Keep your produce as fresh as possible with these guidelines for storing fruits and vegetables.
When buying fruits and vegetables from the grocery store, look to see how they are storing the fresh produce. For example leave refrigerated produce unwashed in its original packaging or wrapped loosely in a plastic bag (exceptions: mushrooms or herbs).
If greens seem sandy – think lettuce form the farmers market – rinse and dry them well, then wrap them into a paper towel before placing them in a plastic bag.
Fruits and vegetables stored at room temperature should be removed from any packaging and left loose.
Some items, like apricots and avocados, will ripen faster in a paper bag on the counter. If you want to speed up the ripening process put multiple pieces of produce in one bag. The bag traps ethylene gas, which is released by the ripening produce and acts as a maturing agent.
Apples Refrigerator: 3 weeks
Bananas Countertop: 5 days Tip: Ripe bananas can be frozen for baking (the skins will blacken, but the flesh will be fine).
Cabbage, green and red Refrigerator: 2 weeks
Cabbage, savoy and Napa Refrigerator: 1 week
Carrots Refrigerator: 2 weeks
Onions Pantry: 2 months (whole; make sure air can circulate around them) Refrigerator: 4 days (cut)
Oranges Countertop: 3 days Refrigerator: 2 weeks
Potatoes, new and fingerling Pantry: 5 days (make sure air can circulate around them) Potatoes—red, russet, Yukon gold, and others Pantry: 3 weeks (make sure air can circulate around them)
Squash, winter Such as acorn, butternut, and spaghetti Pantry: 3 months (whole) Refrigerator: 1 week (cut)
Sweet potatoes and yams Pantry: 2 weeks (in a paper bag)