Making and eating fabulous salads is much easier when your produce is still good when you reach in the refrigerator for it! Too many times I have grabbed for the lettuce or reached for the strawberries, only to find they had gone bad.
The length of time that fruits and vegetables will keep in the fridge varies based on a number of factors, including freshness and ripeness at time of purchase. This quick little guide will help you insure that your produce is perfect the next time you reach for a salad.
Mushrooms, okra, guavas, papayas – 1-2 days
Cilantro, parsley, asparagus, pineapples, berries, cherries, tangerines – 2-3 days
Plums, avocados, kiwis, green onions, collards, kale, mustard greens, spinach, swiss chard, beans, broccoli, peas – 3-5 days
Melons, cauliflower, celery, cabbage, green beans, chillies, peppers, tomatoes, lettuce – 1 week
Beets, radishes, carrots – 2 weeks
Cranberries, citrus fruits such as lemons, limes, oranges and grapefruits – more than 2 weeks
Apples - 1 month
Fruit juice – 3 weeks unopened, 7-10 days opened (8-12 months unopened in the freezer)
Of the produce that is not usually refrigerated, if properly stored, squash and potatoes will last 3-6 months, and onions and garlic for about 2 months.
Most fresh fruits will keep 8-12 months in the freezer. Some exceptions include citrus fruits such as lemons, limes, oranges, and grapefruits, as well as pineapple, which keep just 4-6 months when frozen.
One more little tip is to list what produce you have when you bring it home and post it on the fridge. Include the date you bought it (or a “use by” date if it is easier for you) on the list so that you can see at a glance what you have that needs to be used.
This way you don’t suffer from the out-of-sight, out-of-mind problem that the crisper drawer sometimes creates!
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