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Tips for Keeping Food Fresh Longer

Refrigerate or Room Temperature?

It's frustrating to pay for fresh produce and not have it stay fresh until you need it. I didn't want to make multiple trips to the grocery store during the week so I spent a little time finding out the best way to store produce. I found a convenient infographic that not only specifies whether or not to refrigerate. It also gives specifics on how to store and get the most out of your produce. How can I extend the freshness of fresh produce? jillconyers.com

It’s frustrating to pay for fresh produce and not have it stay fresh until you need it. I didn’t want to make multiple trips to the grocery store during the week so I spent a little time finding out the best way to store produce. I found a convenient infographic that not only specifies whether or not to refrigerate. It also gives specifics on how to store and get the most out of your produce.

How can I extend the freshness of fresh produce?

I also came across some interesting tips for storing food in general that, if they actually work,  could be a big money saver.

Onions stored in pantyhose will last as long as 8 months. Put onions in pantyhose and tie knots between each onion. seriouseats.com

Freeze green onions in a plastic bottle. Make sure the green onions are completely dry before storing or they’ll get freezer burn. lunchinabox.net

Store herbs like flowers, then cover with plastic, secure with a rubber band and refrigerate. This keeps herbs fresh the longest. This also works for storing asparagus. simlpyrecipes.com

Wash berries in a vinegar solution to make them last longer. Mix one part white or apple cider vinegar and ten parts water. Swirl the berries around in the mixture, rinse, and put them in the fridge. With the diluted solution and rinsing you won’t taste the vinegar. Strawberries go almost two weeks without getting moldy and soft. passionforsavings.com

Store asparagus like cut flowers. To keep asparagus in prime condition, trim the cut ends, stand them in a glass of water, cover with plastic, and refrigerate (glass and all) for up to two days. cookinglight.com

Wrap the crown of a bunch of bananas with plastic wrap. Bananas will keep for 3-5 days longer than usual. Also, bananas produce more ethelyne gas than any other fruit. Keep them isolated on the counter. The plastic wrap works. It extends the life of the banana without becoming soft too qiuckly.  instructables.com

This trick with a paper towel will keep your salad lettuce fresh all week long. lifehacker.com

Wrap celery, broccoli, and lettuce in tin foil before storing in the fridge. Veggies will stay crisp for 4 weeks more. justalittlenutty.com

Use mason jars instead of plastic containers. Produce will keep a few days longer if stored in a jar. hickeryhollerfarm.com

Reuse plastic bottles to close up your plastic bags. Make sure your produce is completely dry before putting the cap on. lushhome.com

Keep ginger in the freezer. Ginger lasts longer and it grates more easily. lowcarbdiets.about.com

Keep mushrooms in a paper bag, not a plastic bag. A plastic bag will trap moisture and cause mushrooms to mildew. Put them in a paper bag in the fridge. foodiefortwo.wordpress.com

Save money. Repurpose. Foods stay fresh longer. That’s a win-win-win!

Do you have a food storage tip to add? Have you tried any of these tips to store your produce? Which one are you most interested in finding out if it really works?

On the Menu

I’m continuing with Simple Green Smoothies 21-Day Cleanse Week 2.

 

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30 Comments

  1. Added tip: if you pick strawberries at a U-pick, do NOT wash them before you put them in the fridge. (Store ’em dirty.) They last much longer! If you are planning to freeze them, wash, dry, and remove green tops; then place cut side down (point up) in a single layer in a square Tupperware type container. We used to use a sheet cake storage Tupperware for that.

  2. this is a super helpful post!! how do you suggest storing apples away from other fruits/veggies in the fridge?

  3. Great tips! There are so many different ways to keep stuff fresh! I don’t always do what that chart says but I do keep my tomatoes out, which I think keeps them from getting kind of mealy. I will have to save this chart so I can make sure to keep things fresh longer!

  4. Thank you for the information. I am trying to buy more organic produce so i would really like it to last longer

  5. I never remember what to put on the counter vs. the fridge so thanks for the reminder! I always put a dry paper towel in my spinach and I’ve noticed it does last a lot longer. I hang my bananas on a hook, I think they last longer that way? Produce is pricey sometimes, so any tips help! Thanks for the post!

  6. Ok, wow, these tips are amazing and I have never heard of most of them! I definitely want to try out that banana trick – I hate when they get brown spots. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Hi Gina. Thought I would let you know the banana tip works! The wrap has almost completely stopped the browning of our bananas so far this week. I’m trying the water bottle tips next week.

  7. The celery trick really does work. I do it all the time — my mom taught me. I am surprised that cucumbers should be on the counters since they are stored cold at the store. I wonder if moving from cold to warm does anything? Next time I’m keeping them on the counter and see what happens.

    Love the plastic bottle trick!

    1. Hi Carla. I’m trying both water bottle tips next week. I’m curious about some of the things that I thought needed to be refrigerated but counter is recommended.

    1. That would be great! Thanks for the share 🙂

      Your quesadilla recipe looks amazing!

  8. thanks for the tips! i always feel like we waste a lot of food or i have to go to the store so often, very hard to keep fresh food in a house with two people!

  9. I just learned so much! Thanks for the tips. Do you put the paper towel on top of the greens and then plastic wrap on top or does the paper towel go inbetween two layers of plastic wrap?

    1. Hi Erin. The paper towel goes on top of the salad and then the wrap. I’ve never tried this tip with salad but I do add a paper towel to bags of washed greens which keeps the freshness and crunch longer.

  10. Awesome tips! I just bought bananas from Costco that had plastic wrap on the top and was wondering why. Now I know! I am so horrible at storing food outside of the fridge. I prefer my fruit cold so most is stored in the fridge. I would have never thought to keep my peppers or basil on the counter though, huh, I’ll have to try! Thanks!

    1. Hi Giselle. I tried the banana tip this week and it works! I noticed a few things that I thought needed to be refrigerated but the counter is recommended. I’m curious enough to try and I could use the extra space in the fridge.

  11. Great tips, Jill! I’ve done the fresh herbs in a jar in the fridge and it works really well. I need to try the banana trick- mine ripen SO fast!

    1. Laura the banana tip works! It has slowed the browning of our bananas almost completely this week. I’m going to try the green onion tip next.

  12. I knew very few of these – and I store lots of things in the refrigerator that the list says to keep on the counter, I wonder if that is bad?!
    One of the few that I have always done is the paper towel with my lettuce/salad.
    Thanks for sharing all these great food saving tips!!

    1. Hi Kim. I noticed that about a few things too. I’m curious enough to try. I could def use the extra space in my fridge.

  13. Wow, these are some neat ideas — I’ve always done the paper towel on my salad but the banana tip , who knew?!!! Excited to try these

    1. Hi Jennifer. The banana tip works! It has slowed the browning of our bananas almost completely this week. Next, I’m trying the green onion tip 🙂

  14. What great tips! I love the onions in the pantyhose and the water bottle ideas! As for the food on the counter, I live in Florida. Nothing but bananas on the counter here! The humidity ruins food too quickly and then the fruit flies come. bleh 😀 We do go through quite a lot of bananas, so I’m going to have to try the cling film trick.

    1. I remember that about living in FL. The plastic wrap works! It has slowed the browning of our bananas almost completely so far this week. Next, I’m trying the green onion idea.

      1. I love storing the onions in the pantyhose
        I don’t tie a knot between the onions in the pantyhose, I just use a bread clip or bread tie off my bread bags, so much easier than trying to untie knots, & I can re – use the pantyhose.
        Thx for all the great info.

  15. Fantastic tips Jill. I had read/heard that putting foil on bananas was also a way to keep them from browning up quickly. I learned many things from this post!

    1. Thanks Pam! I saw the foil tip somewhere too. Forgot to include it in the post. I’m trying the plastic wrap on bananas this week. I’m curious to see how well it works.

    1. Thanks for the share Angela! I’m trying the banana tip this week. We’ll see how well it works.

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