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Jul 27, 2006 03:26 AM

Produce Guides/Storage

I am so confused as to how to store produce. My mom stores everything in its plastic bag in the crisper, but I'm sure there's some stuff that stores better some other way. I bought a great book, Field Guide to Produce, and learned a lot about produce, but I'm starting to see some contradictions, etc.

Is there a great reference online that may help?

Its extremely hot right now, like 100` inside (my apartment is a sauna) so I tend to stick everything in the fridge. My mom stores lemons for months, why do my lemons start rotting after a week! I read to wrap mushrooms in paper towels and store in the fridge, they got wrinkly after a day. I can't figure it out! I live by myself so I don't use much and throw a lot of stuff away because it goes bad so quick. (I also get extremely excited at the grocery store if I see deals, and I do go to the store like 2-3 times a week, I just have a little shopping addiction....)

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  1. I usually leave my lemons and limes out of the fridge and they last for a few weeks. But 100 degrees, yikes, I'd probably put them in the fridge. It doesn't seem to compromise the quality.

    The only things I would never ever put in the fridge are tomatoes and potatoes.

    1. has some great tips...and I have a magnet at home with tips for storing produce...I'll bring it in tomorrow and share!

      1 Reply
      1. re: MrsMillar

        It only has a few types of produce, but it's a start : )

        Broccoli: Store in an airtight container or sealed plastic bag in the crisper for up to 4 days. If any buds are yellow, the tops should be discarded, but you can still peel and use the stems.

        Carrots: Cut off greens. Store in an airtight container or a sealed plastic bag in the crisper for 2 to 4 weeks. Limp, shriveled carrots have lost vitamins and crunch; feed them to the garbage disposal.

        Celery: Store in an airtight container or a sealed plastic bag in the crisper for up to 1 week. If slightly limp, it's still usable. Peel the stalks, which become stringy as they lose moisture.

        Cucumbers: Store in an airtight container or a sealed plastic bag in the crisper for up to 5 days. Trim away wrinkly ends and use the rest when it starts to go.

        Leafy Greens: Store in an airtight container or a sealed plastic bag in the crisper for 7 to 10 days. A wilted head often has healthier leaves at the center. Peel away the outer leaves to find them.

        Mushrooms: Store in their wrapped box or in a paper bag in the crisper for up to 5 days. Brush off dirt and use. Mushrooms with open gills should be used right away. Discard any that are spotty or slimy.

      2. I'm the same way. I love farmers markets and buy more than my small household can use.

        You might check the temperature of your fridge. That might be the problem. Fruits and veggies - between 35°F and 40°F

        Don’t forget that most items can be frozen. When I know I’m not going to used that broccoli, carrot, etc I cook and freeze in individual portions.

        Asparagus – slice off ends like flowers so water can be absorbed, store upright in about 1/2 inch of water (1 week)

        Berries – store unwashed in a glass jar (1-2 weeks)

        Citrus – store in vegetable bin in fridge. Thin skinned citrus (< month) other citrus (6 months +)

        Celery – wrap in aluminum foil and it will last for weeks and remain crisp

        Mushrooms – store unwashed in a glass jar (2 + weeks)

        Here are some online guides

        This has guidelines for all sorts of food but I found the fruit / veggie tips very good (scroll down)

        I learned some new things like:

        “Cool apples, pears, stone fruits and strawberries on the refrigerator shelves, and then place into perforated plastic bags in the refrigerator. This reduces sweating (water forming inside the bag).”

        Ignore the strawberry advice, those belong in glass jars and stone fruit should only be stored after ripening (they say that elsewhere). But I like that advice about cooling apples and pears before storing in a plastic bag.

        Some veggie storing tips ... don’t agree with all of them

        There IS lots of conflicting advice out there. Try different ways ... and report back and tell us how what you are doing is working.