Avoid washing produce soon after harvesting, wash them only before you're going to use them. For produce with greens attached, separate the root from the tops before storing. Store salad greens in a bag with a dry paper towel to keep them fresh. Store fruits and corn in the freezer. Store all produce in an appropriate place away from pets and pests.
Fresh produce is abundant and farmers’ markets are flourishing every where. With the abundance of produce around, I thought I would share some of my top do’s and don’ts with you on storing fresh produce.
Tips to store fresh produce naturally
1. Wash your fresh produce right before you are going to prepare them
A lot of people like to wash their produce as soon as they bring it home from market (or the grocery store). Cleanliness is awesome, but moisture and produce are not great friends. Hold off on washing your produce until it’s ready to be used.
2. Store your fresh produce in the appropriate place
This is a tricky one, and there are lots of different opinions on this, but there are a few basics that most people agree on. For example, tomatoes do not get stored in the fridge (until they’ve been cut). Tomatoes do much better out on the counter. When they end up in the fridge, they get soft and mealy, and the flavor isn’t as strong. Don’t believe me? Do a little experiment. Buy two tomatoes (of equal ripeness). Store one in the fridge and one on the counter and do a taste test after a couple of days.
3. For produce with greens attached, separate the root from the tops before storing
One of the great things about shopping at farmers markets is that you get the whole food item. Ok, that was kinda cryptic. What I mean by that is when you buy the beets, you get the beets and the beet greens. Same goes for carrots and radishes. And it’s all edible! Beet greens are basically swiss chard. Carrot tops are great in soup and radish greens can be used to bulk up a salad. It’s like a two for one special! After you get your two for one special home, you want to separate the tops from the root because the tops will draw away moisture from the root and your fresh produce won’t be fresh for very long.
4. Store salad greens in a bag with a dry paper towel
Everyone hates soggy salad greens. To keep them fresher longer, store lettuces in a bag with a dry paper towel. The paper towel absorb any moisture keeping your greens happy longer! Yay!
5. Don’t be afraid of the freezer
We all love fresh produce. But sometimes life happens, and I end up with more produce than I can prepare or eat before it will go bad. In enters our hero for this scene, the freezer! Fruits can be stored in the freezer just as they are, and corn can also be stored in the freezer without cooking it first, just cut the the kernels off the cob.