October 01, 2012
I hear quite often the number one savings problem in homes is produce. Well I am going to let you know how you can save and preserve the most with your produce.
First, always check mark downs or manager specials in the produce section. Ask your produce manager when they do most of their mark downs. Here are some tips on how to preserve different types of produce:
Apples- Keep in a plastic bag in the crisper away from vegetables. They should remain edible for several weeks.
Artichokes: Store in the fridge in a plastic bag for up to 5 days.
Arugula: Enclose roots in a damp paper towel and place the leaves in a plastic bag. Store in the fridge for 2 to 3 days.
Asparagus: Trim the woody ends and stand the stalks upright in a small amount of water in a tall container. Cover the tops with a plastic bag and cook within a few days.
Avocados: To ripen, place avocados in a paper bag and store at room temperature for 2 to 4 days. To speed up this process, add an apple to the bag. Place ripe avocados in the fridge for up to 1 week.
Bananas: Store unripe bananas on the counter, away from direct heat and sunlight (speed things up by placing green bananas in an open paper bag). Once ripened, refrigerate; though the peel turns brown, the flavor and quality are unaffected.
Beets: Remove the leaves (which are great sauteed in olive oil) and store in a plastic bag in the fridge for no more than 2 days. The beets will last in the crisper for up to 2 weeks.
Bell Peppers: Refrigerate in the crisper for up to 2 weeks.
Blueberries: Transfer, unwashed, to an airtight container and refrigerate for 5 to 7 days. Blueberries spoil quickly if left at room temperature.
Broccoli: Place in a plastic bag and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Brussels Sprouts: Refrigerate, unwashed, in a tightly wrapped perforated plastic bag for up to 2 weeks.
Cabbage: Tightly enclose cabbage in a plastic bag and store in the fridge for up to 10 days.
Cantaloupe: Ripe cantaloupes should be stored in plastic in the fridge for up to 5 days, after which they begin to lose flavor.
Carrots: Store carrots in the crisper in a plastic bag with the greens removed for up to 3 weeks.
Cauliflower: Refrigerate, unwashed, in a plastic bag for up to 1 week. If light brown spots develop on the florets, shave off with a pairing knife before cooking.
Celery: Sturdy celery can be stored in the fridge in a plastic bag for 2 weeks.
Eggplant: Store eggplants in a cool location (not the fridge) for 3 to 5 days. Eggplants are quite sensitive to cold.
Fennel: Separate the greens and bulbs and keep each, unwashed, in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days. Wilted fennel can be revived in ice water.
Figs: Place fresh figs on a plate lined with a paper towel and eat them as they ripen. They bruise easily, so gentle handling is prudent. They also ripen quickly, so eat within a few days of purchasing. If overripe, simmer with a bit of water, sugar, and balsamic vinegar for a fig jam or sauce.
Garlic: Place bulbs in a cool, dark, well-ventilated location for up to 1 month.
Grapefruit: Store refrigerated for 2 to 3 weeks.
Grapes: Loosely store, unwashed, in a shallow bowl in the fridge for up to 1 week.
Green Beans: Refrigerate, unwashed, in an unsealed bag for up to 1 week.
Kale: Peppery kale is best kept in the fridge tightly wrapped in a plastic bag pierced for aeration, where it will last 3 to 4 days.
Kiwi: Store at room temperature to ripen. To quicken the process, place in a paper bag with an apple. Once ripened, place in the fridge in a plastic bag for up to 1 week.
Leeks: Stored loosely wrapped in plastic in the fridge, they'll keep fresh for a week.
Lemons/Limes: Store at room temperature, in a dark location, for about 1 week or refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.
Lettuce: Romaine: Refrigerate romaine for 5 to 7 days in a plastic bag.
Mushrooms: Button, Cremini: Place meaty mushrooms on a flat surface, cover with a damp paper towel, and refrigerate for 3 to 5 days.
Onions: Keep onions in a cool, dark location away from potatoes for 3 to 4 weeks.
Papayas: Once ripe, eat immediately or refrigerate for up to 3 days. Unripe, greener papayas should be ripened at room temperature in a dark setting until yellow blotches appear.
Peaches: Store unripe peaches at room temperature open to air. Once ripe, toss into the refrigerator and consume within 2 to 3 days.
Pears: Ripen at room temperature in a loosely closed brown paper bag. Refrigerate once they're ripe and consume within a couple days.
Pineapple: Keep a pineapple with a weak aroma at room temperature for 2 to 3 days until it softens slightly. Then refrigerate for up to 5 days.
Pomegranates: Stored in a cool, dry location, pomegranates keep fresh for several weeks (up to 2 months in the fridge).
Potatoes: Sweet, White: Keep outside of the fridge, in a cool, dark place separated from onions, potatoes will last for months. Sweet potatoes, however, should be used within a week.
Raspberries: Place highly perishable raspberries, unwashed, on a paper towel in a single layer. Cover with a damp paper towel and refrigerate for no more than 2 to 3 days.
Spinach: Pack unwashed spinach bunches loosely in plastic bags and store in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.
Squash: Butternut: Butternut should be stored outside the fridge in a cool, well-ventilated, dark place, where it will stay edible for up to 3 months.
Strawberries: Place unwashed strawberries in a single layer on a paper towel in a covered container. They will last for 2 to 3 days in the fridge.
Tomatoes: Never store tomatoes in the fridge; the cool temps destroy flavor and texture. Keep them at room temperature out of direct sunlight for up to 1 week.
Watermelon: Store whole in the fridge for up to 1 week. The cold prevents the flesh from drying out and turning fibrous.
Zucchini: Refrigerate in the crisper in a plastic bag for up to 5 days.
Have an item you want to add to this list? Send an email with produce in the subject line to email@example.com.
Stay tuned for what items you can freeze tomorrow.
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