Want to keep your produce fresh for as long as possible? Here’s how to store every fruit, vegetable, and herb you can think of.

A

Apples– They last longer when stored in the refrigerator. Keep them in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer to lessen the amount of ethylene produced. Allow them to warm up to room temperature before eating for the best flavor.

Apricots– These should be stored at room temperature until ripe. Once ripe they should be placed in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. Apricots are very perishable and should be eaten right away when ripe. 

Artichokes– Unwashed artichokes should be kept in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. Cook right away for optimal flavor. 

Arugula– Keep unwashed arugula in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. Pick out bad leaves to prevent the rest of the bunch from spoiling. Wash only the amount you are going to use. Eat right away for optimal freshness. 

Asian Greens– Same as arugula. Keep unwashed greens in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. 

Asparagus– Trim the ends and stand upright in a glass container with about an inch of water in the bottom. Cover the asparagus and container with a plastic bag and refrigerate.

Avocados– Unripe avocados will ripen at room temperature in a few days. To speed up this process, place avocado in a paper bag. Refrigerating unripe avocados will slow down the ripening process. Store ripe avocados in the refrigerator and use within two days. To store half of a used avocado, save the half with the pit still in it and wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Use within one day. 

B

Bananas– Store at room temperature until ripe. Ripened bananas can be refrigerated for 3-5 days. Overripe bananas can be frozen and used for smoothies or thawed out for banana bread.

Basil– Basil is very sensitive to cold, so if you must refrigerate it put the basil in the warmest part of your refrigerator (usually the door). Basil can be kept on the counter if your room temperature is on the chillier side (about 68 degrees or less). If your basil still has stems, you can place it in a jar with cold water and keep on the counter. Basil can also be frozen to use in sauces or infused water later. 

Beans, Shelling– These are best when eaten right away, but you can store whole pods in a covered container or bag in the refrigerator for up to three days. You can also freeze the shelled beans for up to six months for later use. 

Beans, String– Place green beans in a breathable container or bag (a paper bag works too) in the refrigerator crisper drawer. The beans are still fresh when they snap in half, not bend.

Beets– Keep beets in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. The beet greens are also edible, but store the roots and the greens in separate bags. The greens will keep for a few days if kept in the crisper drawer. The root of the plant will be firm if it is fresh. 

Blackberries– Store unwashed berries in the refrigerator. Eat quickly, as fresh organic berries tend to spoil quickly. Alternatively, you can freeze them to put in smoothies or make sorbet. Frozen berries will last at least a few months.

Blueberries– Store unwashed berries in the refrigerator. Eat quickly, as fresh organic berries tend to spoil quickly. Alternatively, you can freeze them to put in smoothies or make sorbet. Frozen berries will last at least a few months.

Bok Choy– Place unwashed heads of bok choy in a plastic bag, loosely tied. Keep in the refrigerator crisper drawer. Bok choy is more perishable than other cabbages so eat as soon as possible. 

Broccoli– Refrigerate unwashed broccoli in a plastic bag. Broccoli should be crisp when fresh, not wilted.

Broccoli Rabe– Refrigerate unwashed broccoli rabe in a plastic bag.

Brussels Sprouts– If you are not eating right away, you can freeze the brussels sprouts to use later. Be sure to blanch the sprouts before freezing.

C

Cabbage– Keep the entire head of cabbage in a perforated plastic bag in your refrigerator’s crisper drawer.

Calaloo– Just like other greens, store calaloo in a plastic bag in the refrigerator crisper drawer.

Cantaloupe– Ripe melons can be stored in the refrigerator. For unripe melons, keep in a cool, dark place until ripe. You will be able to smell a sweet odor when the cantaloupe is ripe. Wrap cut melons tightly in plastic. Keep the seeds in the cut melon until you are ready to eat. 

Carrots– Keep carrots in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. If your carrots come with greens attached, remove them and store the carrots separately. The greens are edible. 

Cauliflower– Store in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. Remove any florets that are turning brown on the top. 

Celeriac– Keep in a plastic bag in the refrigerator crisper drawer.

Celery– Wrap the entire unwashed bunch in aluminum foil and keep in the refrigerator. Wash thoroughly before you eat it. 

Chard– Store in a plastic bag in the coolest part of your refrigerator for a couple days. Chard should be eaten as soon as possible. If the chard gets wilted, submerge in cold water and keep in the refrigerator overnight to revive it. 

Cherries– Keep in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. Allow the cherries to come to room temperature before eating for better flavor. 

Chervil– Place stems in a glass with cool water just like flowers. Keep in the refrigerator like this for up to a week. Or wrap the chervil in a damp paper towel and keep in the refrigerator for up to five days. 

Chives– If your herbs came in a plastic package, keep in the refrigerator for a few days. If you herbs did not come in a package, trim the stems and stick in a jar with about an inch of water. Keep in the refrigerator with a bag over them or on the counter. 

Cilantro– If your herbs came in a plastic package, keep in the refrigerator for a few days. If you herbs did not come in a package, trim the stems and stick in a jar with about an inch of water. Keep in the refrigerator with a bag over them or on the counter. 

Collard Greens– Keep in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. If your greens start to wilt, submerge in cold water and refrigerate overnight to revive. 

Corn– Corn is best when eaten immediately, but it can be stored in the refrigerator for a few days or frozen for a few months. Since organic farms do not use pesticides, worm damage is common in corn. The worms are not harmful to us. Simply cut off the part with the worm damage and cook the rest. 

Cranberries– Store unwashed cranberries in the refrigerator. You can also wash and freeze them for later use. 

Crimini Mushrooms– Unopened prepackaged mushrooms can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week. Once opened, move the mushrooms to a paper bag and refrigerate. 

Cucumbers– Keep in the refrigerator. Cucumbers should not be squishy.

D

Dandelion Greens– Store in a plastic bag in the coldest part of your refrigerator for a few days. These should be eaten right away.

Dates– Store in a cool, dark pantry or in the refrigerator.

Dill– If your herbs came in a plastic package, keep in the refrigerator for a few days. If you herbs did not come in a package, trim the stems and stick in a jar with about an inch of water. Keep in the refrigerator with a bag over them or on the counter. 

E

Eggplant– Keep eggplant in a bag close to the door of the refrigerator. It is very sensitive to cold.

Endive– Store in a plastic bag in the coldest part of the refrigerator for a few days. Endive should be eaten as soon as possible.

F

Fennel– Keep in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. Use immediately for the best flavor and texture.

Fiddleheads– These can be stored in the refrigerator for a short amount of time but are better when eaten right away. 

G

Garlic– Garlic stored  in a dark, cool, dry place with plenty of ventilation will last for several weeks to one year. Try to use fresh garlic within a few weeks and do not refrigerate unless the garlic has been peeled or chopped.

Garlic Scapes– Store garlic scapes in the refrigerator for up to a month.

Ginger– Place unpeeled ginger in a sealable plastic bag and store in crisper for up to two weeks. If you need to store fresh ginger long-term, it can be frozen in an airtight container.

Grapefruit– Keep at room temperature if they are to be used within three to five days. They are juiciest when warm rather than chilled. For longer storage, they should be stored in the refrigerator crisper.

Grapes– Before refrigerating grapes, be sure to remove any spoiled ones with broken skins or browning spots.

H

Honeydew– Ripe melons should be stored in the refrigerator. Unripe melons can be kept in a cool dark space until properly ripened. The honeydew will be ripe when you can smell a sweet aroma. Cut melons should be wrapped tightly in plastic. Leave the seeds inside a cut melon until you’re ready to eat it to help keep the moisture in the fruit.

Husk Cherries– Remove the husks and store in the fridge for 5-7 days.

K

Kale– Kale should be eaten as soon as possible. It stays fresh longer when stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.  Kale and many other leafy greens may wilt easily.  Often, they are just dried out which can occur even if the greens remain in constant refrigeration.  To refresh kale, submerge the wilted greens in cold water and keep in the refrigerator overnight.  

Kiwi– It is best to store kiwis in the refrigerator. To make them ripen faster you can keep them in a closed plastic bag together with an apple or pear.

Kohlrabi– Remove leafy stems, then store in a sealed plastic bag in the refrigerator.

Kumquats– Kumquats can be kept at room temperature for up to three days. They can last up to two weeks in the refrigerator, but should be returned to room temperature before eating for optimal flavor.

L

Leeks– Store in loosely closed plastic bags in the refrigerator.

Lemons– Keep in the refrigerator. 

Lettuce– Refrigerate unwashed leaves in a plastic bag in the vegetable drawer. Do not store lettuce with melons, apples, pears, or other ethylene gas-emitting fruits as they will cause the lettuce to turn brown.  Lettuce and many other leafy greens may wilt easily.  Often, they are just dried out which can occur even if the greens remain in constant refrigeration.  To refresh lettuce, submerge the wilted greens in cold water and keep in the refrigerator overnight.  

Limes– Keep in the refrigerator.

Lychees– Prepackaged lychees can be stored, unopened, in the refrigerator for about one week. Once opened, they should be moved to a paper bag and refrigerated.

M

Mandarins– Short-term, mandarins/clementines will keep well at a cool room temperature. For longer-term storage, keep them in the refrigerator.

Mangoes– Store  at room temperature for even ripening. Ripe mangoes will keep for a couple days in the refrigerator. Haitian and Ataulfo mangoes will be soft and may have a wrinkly skin when they are ripe.

Marjoram– Store fresh marjoram in the refrigerator, loosely wrapped in a damp paper towel and slipped into an airtight container. Marjoram leaves dry quickly and maintain their distinct flavor. To dry, hang a small bunch of marjoram stems upside down in a dark, ventilated area. Once dry, crush the leaves, toss out the stems and store in an airtight container.

Mint– If your mint came in a plastic clamshell container, just keep in the refrigerator. Your mint should last over a week stored this way. Alternatively, store your mint refrigerated in another type of sealed container. Or, like many other herbs and veggies that come on a stem, cut the bottom of the mint stems on a diagonal. Place in a tall jar with about an inch of water in the bottom, cover the jar loosely with plastic, and place in the refrigerator. Change the water every few days.

Mustard Greens– Store in a plastic bag in the coldest part of the refrigerator for a day or two, however they wilt quickly and should be cooked as soon as possible. 

N

Nectarines– In general, store in the refrigerator and leave out on the counter anywhere from a few hours to a day before being used.

O

Okra– Fresh okra should be used quickly and stored in a plastic produce bag in the fridge for no more than a week. Whole okra pods can be frozen for several months as long as they are blanched and dried before being placed in a sealed freezer bag.

Onion– Store onions in a cool, dry, well ventilated place. If the onions show signs of sprouting, cut away the sprouts and use them immediately. Avoid storing onions and potatoes together, as the gases they each give off will cause the other to spoil.

Oranges– Keep in the refrigerator. Oranges can also be stored at room temperature, though they will not last as long. They also yield more juice when stored at room temperature.

Oyster Mushrooms– Prepackaged mushrooms can be stored, unopened, in the refrigerator for about one week. Once opened, mushrooms should be moved to a paper bag and refrigerated.

P

Papayas– You can refrigerate papayas in a plastic bag to slow down the ripening process. Papayas will ripen in a few days at room temperature. To speed ripening, put them in a paper bag at room temperature. Use quickly after they ripen.

Parsley– Parsley is best used as soon as possible, but if you need to store parsley, trim the stems and place them into a jar with about an inch of water in the bottom. Place a plastic bag over the leaves and refrigerate.

Parsnips– Store root veggies in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator.

Peaches– Peaches should be stored in the refrigerator and left out on the counter anywhere from a few hours to a day before being used.

Pears– Pears actually ripen best once they are removed from the tree, and are usually picked before they reach their peak ripeness. Keep pears at room temperature for best flavor and even ripening. If you want to keep them a few days longer, store them in the refrigerator. How to know when pears are ripe: Check the neck! Apply gentle thumb pressure near the neck, or stem end. If it yields slightly, it’s ripe!

Peas, edible pod– English peas, snow peas, and snap peas can be stored for a few days in the refrigerator in a plastic bag.

Peas, shelling– The peas need to be removed from the shell before being cooked and eaten. To do this, look for the seam that runs down the side of the pod. Press the pod gently to break the seam, and then run your finger through the inside of the pod to get the peas out. Though it may sound like a little extra work, pea shelling makes a fun family activity! Once removed from the shell, peas can be steamed, boiled, microwaved, or sauteed and they only need to be cooked for about 2-3 minutes. Shelling peas lose their flavor quickly, and are best when eaten as close to when they were picked as possible.  Blanch peas and freeze in an air-tight bag in order to preserve the flavor and nutritional value if you are not going to use your pea pods right away.  

Peppers, Green Bell– Bell peppers are ethylene sensitive, so they should not be stored near ethylene-producing food such as pears or apples. Store peppers in plastic bags and they will keep up to five days in the refrigerator. Green peppers will keep slightly longer than the other, more ripe, varieties.

Peppers, Chili– Store whole peppers at room temperature if using them within two to three days. Otherwise, use the crisper drawer of your fridge to store the pepper at a consistent humidity level for over a week.

Peppers, Sweet– Bell peppers are ethylene sensitive, so they should not be stored near ethylene-producing food such as pears or apples. Store peppers in plastic bags and they will keep up to five days in the refrigerator. Green peppers will keep slightly longer than the other, more ripe, varieties.

Persimmons– Once ripe, Hachiya persimmons don’t keep well. They should be eaten right away or refrigerated for no more than a day or two. Ripen persimmons at room temperature in a paper bag with an apple or banana. Store them in the refrigerator when ripe.

Pineapples- Pineapples ripen best at room temperature. Store them leaf side down, for even ripening. Once ripened pineapples can be stored in the refrigerator for a couple days.

Plums– Ripen plums on the counter first, then store in the fridge and use promptly!

Pluots– Store ripe stone fruit in the refrigerator and use promptly!

Pomegranate– Pomegranates may be stored at room temperature. To extend shelf life, refrigerate. To freeze, scoop out pomegranate seeds and place in a single layer on cookie tray in freezer. Once seeds are frozen, transfer to airtight containers or heavy-duty freezer bags and return to freezer. 

Pomelos– Pomelos should be used quickly after delivery as they are perishable. Keep them and other citrus fruits in the refrigerator until you are ready to use them. To maximize the flavor, set the fruit out on the counter a few minutes before eating to allow it to come to room temperature.

Portabello Mushrooms– Prepackaged mushrooms can be stored, unopened, in the refrigerator for about one week. Once opened, mushrooms should be moved to a paper bag and refrigerated.

Potatoes– Potatoes should be kept in a cool, dry place with good air circulation. If you choose to store potatoes in a plastic bag for more than a couple days make sure there are holes punched in the bag and that the bag isn’t sealed. We recommend storing potatoes separately from onions. Fingerling potatoes can be refrigerated, other varieties should not be stored in the fridge. Use fingerlings as quickly as possible for the best flavor!

Pumpkins– Pumpkins can be stored for up to a month in a cool, dry environment (they’ll go a bit more quickly than other hard-rind squash like butternut).

R

Radicchio– Radicchio has hardy leaves that can be kept fresh for over a week. Wrap the whole head loosely in plastic and store in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator.

Radishes– Store root veggies in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator.

Raspberries– Store unwashed berries in the refrigerator. Use quickly, as fresh organic berries are not sprayed with anti-fungal agents. They spoil quickly!

Rhubarb– A bunch of rhubarb can last for 2-3 weeks when refrigerated in a sealed plastic bag. We recommend trimming the ends of older stalks and placing them in a glass of water for an hour or two to help limp rhubarb stalks liven up before using them. Fresh rhubarb freezes pretty well. Chop into 1/2-inch pieces, spread on a baking sheet and freeze. Once frozen, rhubarb pieces can be slipped into a freezer bag, sealed tightly and stored for up to six months. If you have a little more time and a load of fresh strawberries, canning rhubarb is another delicious way to savor the flavor of rhubarb for many more months.

Rosemary– Herbs in a plastic clamshell package actually keep well for a few days in the clamshell package in the refrigerator. If your herbs didn’t come in a clamshell package, trim the stems then place them into a jar with about an inch of water in the bottom. If you need to refrigerate the herbs, place a plastic bag over the herbs/jar and then refrigerate.

Rutabaga– Store root veggies in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator.

S

Scallions– If not stored properly scallions can turn quickly. Fortunately, storing them is a snap. Fill a jar with about an inch of water. Put your scallions (with roots) in the jar. Cover with a plastic bag or plastic wrap and pop in the refrigerator. Change the water once every day or two. Also, scallions freeze quite well. Wash them off, chop them up, and put them in your freezer! They’ll last for quite a while.

Shiitanke Mushrooms– Prepackaged mushrooms can be stored, unopened, in the refrigerator for about one week. Once opened, mushrooms should be moved to a paper bag and refrigerated.

Spinach– Store unwashed spinach in a loosely closed plastic bag in the refrigerator.

Sprouts– Refrigerate your sprouts in a loose plastic bag perforated with a few holes so that water doesn’t condense. If your sprouts arrived in a plastic clam-shell container you can refrigerate them in the container. Try to use as quickly as possible for the best flavor and texture.

Squash, Summer– Summer squashes are much more perishable than their winter counterparts. Store them in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator and use promptly.

Squash, Winter– Winter squash can be stored for several months in a cool, dry environment.

Strawberries– Strawberries are extremely perishable and should be refrigerated immediately. Store unwashed strawberries in the refrigerator by stacking them on paper towels (between the layers as well), in a moisture-proof container. Eat them within 48-72 hours, or freeze them. Most berries freeze nicely, and will keep up to ten months in the freezer. To freeze berries, rinse gently and dry them in a colander or on paper towels. Then, put them on a sheet pan or tray in the freezer for one hour. Once frozen, store them in a freezer bag/container. This method will prevent them from sticking to one another and makes them easier to measure out for future needs.

Sunchokes– Keep in a cool, dark, and dry location or kept in a sealed bag in your refrigerator’s crisper drawer.

Sweet Potatoes– Store sweet potatoes in a dark, dry, cool place. Use within one week if stored at room temperature. If refrigerated, their natural sugars will turn to starch and ruin the flavor.

T

Tangelos– Short-term, tangelos will keep well at a cool room temperature. For longer-term storage, keep them in the refrigerator.

Tangerines– Short-term, tangerines will keep well at a cool room temperature. For longer-term storage, keep them in the refrigerator.

Tarragon– Store fresh tarragon just as you would parsley. Trim the ends of the stems and place in a glass with a little water on your kitchen counter, away from direct sunlight. Trim the ends and change the water every other day for up to a week. You can freeze whole sprigs in an airtight plastic bag for 3-5 months. There’s no need to defrost before using, simply toss the frozen sprig into your soup or chicken and just remember to fish out the stem before serving.

Thai Basil– Keeping the stems in a vase of water can help delay basil’s rapid deterioration, but fresh basil should either be eaten or preserved within a few days of harvesting because basil wilts very quickly, once picked. Basil does not respond well to cold temperatures, so please don’t refrigerate it. Like sweet basil, Thai basil doesn’t retain its flavor well when dried, so it’s best to use fresh Thai basil whenever possible. Freezing chopped basil in ice cube trays filled with a little olive oil or preserving in salt are the two best ways to keep basil for long term storage.

Thyme– Herbs in a plastic clamshell package actually keep well for a few days in the clamshell package in the refrigerator. If your herbs didn’t come in a clamshell package, trim the stems then place them into a jar with about an inch of water in the bottom. If you need to refrigerate the herbs, place a plastic bag over the herbs/jar and then refrigerate.

Tomatillos– Leave husks on tomatillos until you’re ready to use them. Store on the counter in a dry, well-ventilated place for up to a week. Tomatillos can also be stored in the refrigerator for up to three weeks. Tomatillos can be frozen for several months, but will lose some of their flavor. Remove the husks, wash and dry the green fruits and place in a sealed freezer bag.

Tomatoes– Keep tomatoes at room temperature until ripened. Once ripened, tomatoes will last for a few days. Try to avoid refrigerating tomatoes whenever possible, as it severely affects their flavor.

Turnip Greens– Turnip greens can be stored in a plastic bag in the fridge.

Turnips– Store root veggies in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator.

W

Watermelon– Ripe melons should be stored in the refrigerator. Unripe melons can be kept in a cool dark space until properly ripened. Cut melons should be wrapped tightly in plastic. Leave the seeds inside a cut melon until you’re ready to eat it to help keep the moisture in the fruit.

White Mushrooms– Prepackaged mushrooms can be stored, unopened, in the refrigerator for about one week. Once opened, mushrooms should be moved to a paper bag and refrigerated.

 

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