Fresh ideas to make your food last

Low in calories and loaded with vitamins, fresh fruits and vegetables are a healthy addition to any diet. To get the most out of your fresh produce, try these storage suggestions from the Ecology Center, the non-profit organization that runs the Berkeley (Calif.) Farmers’ Markets.

For fruits: 

  • Apples and pears—Store for a few weeks in a cool spot on a counter or shelf. For longer storage, place apples in the fridge in a cardboard box. 
  • Berries—Store carefully in a paper bag in the fridge. Don’t wash berries until you’re ready to use them.
  • Melons—Store uncut melon in a cool, dry spot. Don’t leave melons where the sun will hit them. Once cut, store in the fridge.
  • Peaches and other stone fruit—Allow unripe fruit to ripen on your counter. Store fully ripened fruit in the fridge.
  • Strawberries—Keep in a paper bag in the fridge, but keep an eye on the moisture level as they don’t like to be wet.

For vegetables:

  • Asparagus—Keep asparagus for up to a week on the counter by placing the stalks upright in a bowl or glass jar filled with water.
  • Carrots, cucumber, lettuce and broccoli—Store these vegetables in the fridge, keeping them moist by wrapping them in a damp towel.
  • Cabbage—Let sit in a cool spot on your counter for up to a week.
  • Lettuce—Leaves of lettuce enjoy being kept damp and cold, but not wet. Also, keep them in an airtight container or bag.
  • Spinach—Keep as cold as possible, loosely in an open container in your fridge’s crisper.
  • Tomatoes—Never refrigerate tomatoes. Instead, keep them on the counter for up to two weeks. 

Read more tips for extending the life of your fruits and veggies*.

Looking for fresh, local produce in your area? Visit one of our farmers’ markets. And, for even more inspiration to eat well, watch our video about smarter shopping, cooking, and snacking for busy families.

*Kaiser Permanente is not responsible for the content or policies of external Internet sites.  

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