Storing Produce

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This great Periodic Table of Produce is from a Real Simple magazine of 2006. Click on each image to enlarge and read information properly.

More tips:
— Don’t wash vegetables before refrigerating, but rather wash before eating. Too much moisture is detrimental.
— Remove greens/tops from beets, carrots, parsnips, and radishes before storing.
— Keep ethylene-emitting and odor-emitting foods bagged or contained.
— Tomatoes, potatoes, garlic or any vegetable picked to ripen after harvest shouldn’t be refrigerated.
— Using the crisper drawers in a refrigerator for your fruit and veggie storage is best or containers like FridgeSmart that allow regulation of airflow with a unique venting system and special built-in grid that lifts food away from condensation. They also provide a universal storage chart imprinted on each of the containers.

By produce:
Apples – don’t allow them to touch each other
Blackberries, raspberries, boysenberries – to prevent bruising, remove berries from containers and place on a tray lined with paper towels. Cover with dry paper towels and refrigerate.
Oranges – refrigerate, but bring to room temperature before eating
Pineapple – soften and decrease acidity by leaving out at room temperature for up to 5 days
Tomatoes – store stem-side down. Refrigeration reduces flavor, but significantly extends shelf life, especially in warmer climates.
Asparagus – cut an inch off the bottom, wrap the exposed part in a moist paper towel, wrap in vented plastic before refrigerating
Carrots – breathe life into limp carrots by soaking them in ice water for 30 minutes
Celery – trim the base and rinse in cold water before refrigerating in a vented plastic bag
Lettuce – bags of mixed lettuce spoil sooner than a non-mix. Regardless of the expiration date, I've found that once you open the bag, you only have a few good days of lettuce. However, if I buy a whole lettuce, I tend to leave it in tact in a vented bag until I need it. If it’s a bit wilted once I get to it, taking off the outer leaves should reveal nice greens on the inside. To prep and store for salads, wash, tear the leaves (cutting causes browning), dry, wrap loosely in a dry paper towel, and refrigerate in a vented plastic bag.
Onions – for long-term storage, loosely wrap each in newspaper to protect from humidity.
Ginger – peel, cut into 1 inch segments, cover in sherry, store in a sealed container in fridge
Fresh Herbs – for most herbs, you can loosely wrap them in a just damp paper towel and seal in a zip-top bag. I’ve had great luck with the Herb Keeper; you can keep 1 large or 2 small bunches comfortably.
Cilantro or Parsley – store in the refrigerator wrapped in plastic
Rosemary – store in the refrigerator in a sealed plastic bag
Sage & Thyme – store in an unsealed plastic bag in the crisper

This information was compiled from Real Simple magazine, guidanceforgrowing.com, and They Call Me Mommy blog.

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