As the seasons change, we find our refrigerators and counters full of different fruits. Some go in the fridge, some stay out, and some gets lost in the mix. To maximize the life and quality of your produce, we’ve got some simple hacks to help you know where exactly each fruit should go and how. If you follow these simple steps and tips, you’re guaranteed to notice a difference.
- Never store your fruits in sealed plastic bags, as this accelerates mold formation. Always store your fruits either unpacked, in mesh bags, breathable produce bags, or porous or open containers, depending on the nature of the fruit
- Separate ethylene (gas) emitting fruits from other fruits and vegetables, as the ethylene emitted will ripen the other produce very quickly. Ethylene emitters are mainly bananas, apricots, cantaloupe, nectarines, kiwis, mangoes, peaches, pears, plums, avocados and tomatoes.
- On the other hand, if you need to speed up the ripening process of produce, you can place any of the ethylene producing fruits with it in a paper bag. Fold down the top to seal in the ethylene and check daily until it’s reached the desired ripeness.
- Grapes: Grapes tend to develop moisture quickly, so spread them on a plate with a paper towel.
- Berries- Strawberries, Raspberries, Blueberries, and Blackberries:Wash berries with water and a little vinegar to close their pores, then pat dry and place them on a paper towel in a breathable container.
- Citrus Fruits- Oranges, Nectarine, Grapefruit, Lemons and Limes: Store citrus unpacked in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator to maintain freshness for as long as possible.
- Figs: Don’t wash figs unless you are going to eat them immediately. Place on a plate stem side up until ripe. Once ripened, they’re best when consumed within 1-2 days, as they have a very high tendency to form mold.
Counter Top Fruits
- Stone Fruits- Mangoes, Plums, Peaches, Avocados and Apricots: These fruits should be stored on the counter to ripen if they are purchased unripe, and in the fridge once they have ripened. Never pile them on top of one another.
- Tomatoes: Never store your tomatoes in the fridge, as moisture can collect and cause molding.
- Guava: Do not place in the fridge because their strong smell will ruin other food.
- Pineapple: A ripe one can stay for 2-3 days at room temperature on the counter. If you will not eat it by then, cut into chunks and store in an airtight container in the fridge.
- Watermelons: Always buy it ripe! It can stay ripe for 3-4 days at room temperature in a cool dry place. If you will not eat it by then, cut into chunks and store in an airtight container in the fridge.
- Bananas: Wipe bananas with a dry towel, and wrap the tip of the bananas with foil or plastic wrap for counter storage.