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How to store vegetables and fruits to keep them fresh

From tips on how to keep bananas fresh to how to wash vegetables, we can help you get more from your produce!

Updated

how to store strawberries

Key steps

Follow these guidelines on how to store your vegetables and fruits to keep them fresher for longer:

  • Take them out of any plastic wrapping as soon as you get home.

  • Store them in conditions that reflect how they’re grown.

  • Check your food regularly and remove any parts that are over-ripe to avoid spoiling the rest of the bunch.

  • If you’re making a fruit salad, a squeeze of lemon juice can help preserve the fruits from prematurely going off.

We all want to get our 5-a-day, the trick is managing to do it consistently every day. A lot of that relies on knowing how to store vegetables and fruits to keep them fresh so that you can eat them throughout the week and that’s why we’ve put together this guide on how to store fruit and how to keep vegetables fresh.

Check your fruit and vegetables regularly and remove any parts that are going off immediately. This will help prevent them from affecting the healthy parts.

How to keep vegetables fresh

Some golden rules to follow include:

  • Keep foods separated. Some veggies (broccoli and cauliflower), like some fruits, can cause premature ripening in other foods due to gasses they produce.

  • Know what to store where. Cool, dark places are best for onions and potatoes for instance.

  • Use the right storage method. Celery likes to be wrapped in foil, but salad vegetables and herbs should be sealed tightly in bags.

  • Potatoes and other vegetables that grow underground last longer when you store them similar to their natural environment. That means a lack of light but good air circulation and high humidity.

  • Wash before eating, not storing. Moisture can encourage the growth of bacteria and mould, even if stored in the fridge.

  • Remove spoiled veg immediately to prevent it spoiling other food.

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How to store fruit: FAQs

How to preserve bananas?

  • Keep them separate from other unripe food and remove any ripe bananas from the bunch. This will prevent them from spoiling the other bananas they’re stored with.

  • Some people also claim wrapping the stem in a little bit of plastic film is useful when learning how to preserve bananas.

  • The way to best store bananas is to hang them on a stand on the worktop, free from any packaging.

  • The cellophane that some bananas come packed in can trap moisture, causing condensation which softens the fruit so it’s best to remove this as soon as you can. Bananas also like to be stored as similar to their natural environment as possible and that means hanging them on a stand.

How to preserve strawberries?

  • The best way to preserve strawberries is to keep them dry and free from excess moisture in the fridge. To keep them fresh for a week, cut their stem, and place them in an airtight container lined with paper towel to absorb moisture.

How to store avocado?

  • If you wish to store half of an avocado, or if you have mashed or cut avocado, the best way to prevent it from going brown is to sprinkle it with lime or lemon and keep in an airtight content in the fridge. For whole avocados, keep them separate from other fruits at room temperature until ripe. Once they are ripe, put them in the fridge and they will last for five days.

How to store mangoes?

  • If the mangoes are unripe, keep them at room temperature. If you wish to ripen them more quickly, cover them in paper and leave at room temperature. Once they are ripe, place them in the fridge. Alternatively, you can cut them and keep them in a glass airtight container in the fridge once ripe.

It’s so important to eat lots of fruit and veg – and knowing how to prepare and store them correctly can help make it easier to do just that. With these tips, getting 5-a-day should be a walk in the park.

Do you want to learn which household cleaning tasks cause the most stress?  Then read our Heated Household data analysis. 

Frequently asked questions on storing fruits and vegetables

Is it worth investing in a separate fruit and vegetable washer?

A fruit and vegetable washer are not a necessary addition to your home. A thorough cleaning in your sink should be all you need, and fruit and vegetable washes can leave their own residue on your food, altering the taste. If you are worried about pesticides, why not try opting for organic fruit and veg instead of purchasing a fruit and vegetable washer.

How do you store other prepared vegetables?

Meal planning and preparation in advance is a great way to stay organised, but do you know how to store prepared vegetables? If you have washed and dried leafy greens, they simply need to be stored inside a sealed container lined with paper towels. These same steps can also be used for stems such as celery, alliums such as garlic or onions, and legumes such as string beans. For chopped fresh broccoli and cauliflower or trimmed brussel sprouts, they need a little air to keep them fresh so wrap them loosely in cling film. Finally, root veggies like carrots and parsnips should be refrigerated in a sealed container.

Can you store any fruits and vegetables together?

As a general rule, if you want to keep your produce fresh at home then you need to avoid storing fruits and veggies together as many fruits produce ethylene gas which ripens and spoils other produce. There are a few exceptions to this rule such as produce which doesn’t excrete ethylene gas or react to it. This includes lemons, limes, oranges, mushroom, bell peppers and undamaged potatoes so these could all be stored together. You can also consider storing unripe fruit with ethylene producers if you intentionally want to speed up the ripening process.

Originally published