Veggie Challenged - Storing fresh fruit/veggies

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10-06-2006, 06:08 PM
Ok. Can anyone give me a link or ideals about how to keep my fruits and veggies for later. I know I can wrap individuals tomatoes in newspaper and keep them in the dark and they wont ripen too fast. Any other hints on storing (in fridge or out of fridge, etc) would be very helpful.

10-06-2006, 10:27 PM
I store almost all of my produce in plastic bags or airtight containers in the vegetable drawer in the fridge. The produce I have successfully stored this way includes peaches, nectarines, pluots, apricots, cucumbers, radishes, carrots, bell peppers, onions (yellow, purple, and scallions), raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, eggplant, zucchini, melon, lettuce, celery, cabbage, fennel bulb, swiss chard, kale, lemons, limes, beans, and snap peas. Everything I store in the fridge keeps for at least week, most of it keeps for two weeks and some of it (beans, chard, radishes, kale, celery, fennel bulb) will keep for longer. I've even managed to keep zucchini this way for over two weeks (but it did go straight from the garden into the fridge).

There are only a few exceptions:

Tomatoes: I usually store tomatoes in a bowl on the counter (out of direct sunlight). I'm not sure your idea of wrapping them in newspaper will work. Tomatoes give off a gas that causes them and other fruit to ripen. For example, if you have some underipe peaches, you can put them in a paper bag with some tomatoes, close up the bag to trap the gas that the tomatoes give off, and the peaches will ripen in a day or so. If you wrap the tomatoes in paper, this will trap the gas that they give off, causing them to ripen further. If they are underipe, that's exactly what you want. But if they are already ripe, you don't really want them to ripen anymore. I generally store my tomatoes out in the open (but not in direct sunlight). If they are really ripe, I put them in the fridge, but that does make them less palatable for eating sliced (although they will still be fine to cook with). It would probably be good to store them in a cool dark place, but I don't think I'd wrap them in newspaper. However you store them, I think you'll find that they don't last long and that it is best to try to use them within a few days. Tomatoes are fragile.
Potatoes: I usually store potatoes in the cupboard (i.e., a dark, cool place) but I will put them in the fridge if I'm not going to use them within a week.
Garlic, shallots, and ginger root: I store garlic, shallots, and ginger root in a bowl on the counter.
Mushrooms: Probably best stored on the counter in a plastic bag, but really should be used within a few days or they will get mushy.
Onions: These can be stored on the counter or in a dark cupboard, but I think you'll find they are less pungent (i.e., your eyes will water less when you cut them up) if you store them in the fridge.
Limes and lemons: These will also do fine on the counter or in the cupboard for probably a week, but any longer than that and you should put them in the fridge.

You definitely want to put any produce that you store in the fridge in an airtight container or plastic bag, otherwise it will dry out very quickly (sometimes in just a few hours). I've read that it is best to use a perforated plastic bag (there are special vegetable storage bags you can buy) but I've never done this.

- Barbara

10-07-2006, 09:59 PM
Thanks for the great info. The tomato ideal works well. I go to a local wholesale produce market that sells boxes to the public anywhere from $5-$20 depending on time of year per box. I give some and keep some. The ones I keep I wrap in regular newspaper individually and place back in the box. Rarely do I have to throw out any and have kept them up to 3 weeks without rot occurring.

10-09-2006, 01:53 AM
I agree w/ everything EXCEPT storing mushrooms in plastic!! Just don't!!! They can get very icky and slimy quickly. They are best stored in a paper bag where they can "breathe." Just wanted to let you know so you didn't end up with a bunch of slimy rotten mushrooms...ew!

12-27-2006, 07:38 PM
I personally believe that fresh veggies and fruits should not stored for more than 1 week if uncut and not more than 2 days if cut (even in a fridge). They grow stale and may cause stomach poisoning due to some toxins which are generated (stale rice, noodles, beans etc. catch staphylococcus even in afridge if stored for more than 2 days).
if we store potatoes for more than 3 days, we start seeing fungus/greenish thing on definitely there was something growing one day before which we couldnt see...

I ususally buy frozen veggies/fruits which are cheap, healthy, have no preservatives and can be stored for months...

06-19-2007, 04:22 PM
If you wrap celery in aluminum foil, it will stay crisp.