Continued: Food Storage Guide for Everything!
By Patty Liston
I received some great comments regarding the storage article last week. As promised, I am continuing the article; this time with regard to storing produce.
As we all know, storage of fruits and vegetables can be a bit tricky. We have every intention of eating what we purchase but soon find our refrigerator "crispers" holding wilted lettuce and moldy strawberries. Hopefully, this article will prevent such occurrences in the future. The following list is particularly long so I am only going to write about things that I feel most people would actually purchase and store.
Should I miss anything (this information is from RealSimple.com, by Elizabeth Passarella), just write to me and I will give you any additional information you may need. As I wrote last week, just print this article and tape it to your cupboard for easy access.
Alfalfa sprouts: 3 days in frig
Apples: 3 weeks in frig
Apricots: 5 days in frig
Artichokes: 1 week in frig
Asparagus: 3 days in frig (trim the ends before wrapping the spears in a damp paper towel, then place into a plastic bag).
Avocados: 3 days in frig (to ripen, keep in a paper bag at room temp until soft)
Bananas: counter top 5 days (ripe tomatoes can be frozen for baking. The skin will blacken, but that is alright).
Beets: 3 weeks, frig
Bell peppers: 1 week green, 5 days red, yellow and orange)
Blackberries: 2 days in frig (spread in a single layer on a paper towel-lined plate and throw away any moldy pieces to prevent spreading the mold)
Blueberries: 1 week in frig (as with blackberries, be sure to throw out any moldy fruit to prevent spreading the mold)
Broccoli: 1 week in frig
Brussels sprouts: 1 week in frig
Cabbage - green and red: 2 weeks in frig
Cantaloupe: 5 days whole, 3 days cut/or cubed (to ripen, put the melon in a paper bag at room temperature. It is suggested that we wash the rind to get rid of any bacteria from spreading when we cut into it - something I wasn't aware of!)
Carrots: 2 weeks in frig
Cauliflower: 1 week in frig
Celery: 2 weeks in frig
Cherries: 3 days in frig in an open bag or bowl
Corn, unshucked: perfect on the first day, otherwise within 3 days for best taste
Cucumbers: 5 days in frig
Garlic: 2 months in frig but make sure that air can circulate around it
Grapefruit: on your countertop 1 week or in your frig for 3 weeks
Grapes: best up to 3 days; 1 week if in a bowl or ventilated plastic bag
Green beans: 1 week in frig
Honeydew: 5 days whole, 3 days cut. (see Cantaloupe for additional information)
Lemons: 3 weeks in frig
Lettuce: bagged and in clam shells. Bacteria will spread regardless of how good lettuce looks. ALWAYS follow the expiration date on the bag.
Limes: 3 weeks in frig
Mango: 4 days in frig (ripen at room temperature in a paper bag)
Mushrooms: 1 week in frig in a paper bag
Nectarines: 5 days in frig (paper bag trick again to ripen)
Onions: In your pantry, 2 months, whole, with air circulating around them.
Frig: 4 days, cut
Oranges: On your countertop, 3 days. Frig, 2 weeks
Peaches: 5 days in frig (paper bag to ripen)
Pears: 5 days in frig (paper bag to ripen)
Pineapple: countertop, 5 days (whole), 3 days in frig if sliced
Plums: 5 days in frig (to soften, keep at room temperature until they are soft, and the skins have a "silvery, powdery coating").
Potatoes: new and fingerling: in your pantry, 5 days with air circulating
Potatoes: red, russet, Yukon gold and others: in your pantry, 3 weeks with air circulating.
Radishes: 3 days in frig is best. To ensure freshness, remove the leaves and they may stay in frig up to 2 weeks.
Raspberries: 3 days in frig in a single layer towel lined plate. See cantaloupe for further reminders).
Scallions: 5 days in frig
Spinach, bagged and in clamshells: Just like the lettuce and spinach, follow the expiration date!
Spinach, bunch: 3 days in frig
Summer squash: 5 days in frig
Squash, winter: (acorn, butternut, delicate and spaghetti) In your pantry, 3 months whole or in your frig, 1 week cut)
Strawberries: 3 days in frig (see blackberries and blueberries for further info).
Sugar snap peas: 4 days in frig
Sweet potatoes and yams: In your pantry for 2 weeks, in a paper bag
Tangerines: 1 week in frig
Tomatillos: 1 month in frig in a paper bag
Tomatoes: countertop for 3 days (ripen in paper bag)
Watermelon: 1 week in frig (whole), or 7 days if cut. If it won't fit in your frig, keep this big boy in your pantry at a cool temperature for 1 week.
Zucchini: (for once, not ZYLAPHONE!) 5 days in frig