How to Keep Fruits & Vegetables Fresh All Week Long

In Advice Column, August 2017 by Jenna Davila

Dear Jenna,
Can you share some tips on how you keep all of your fruit and vegetables nice and fresh for the week and how you store it all? I wish I could buy that much and keep it fresh for a week!Nisha, Wales

Dear Nisha,

Thank you for reaching out. I would love to help you learn how to keep your produce fresh all week long. If you are buying large quantities of fruit, I highly recommend buying a rack to store your fruit on. This way you can be organised and save a ton of counter space when storing your food. I also recommend inspecting and rotating your produce. Every day or other day, depending on the type of produce, check how your food is ripening or staying fresh. Place the produce that is older or the most ripe towards the front of your rack or refrigerator and the fresher produce towards the back. This way you can ensure that your food doesn’t go bad. Sometimes I like to put the older produce on the top or middle shelves of the rack or refrigerator and the fresher produce on the lower shelves. This way I know what needs to be eaten first. The fresher your produce is when you consume it, the more nutrients you will be getting into your body. Try playing around with these two methods to see which one works best for you. When storing berries on the other hand, you always want to store them on the top shelf in the refrigerator by the vent so they are getting cold air. Make sure nothing is covering your air vent so there is a good air flow in your refrigerator.

Another way to extend your produce shelf life is to wash and prepare it right before you are ready to consume it. Make sure you are eating your food at its maximum freshness. If you are peeling and chopping your food days in advance, it will start losing key nutrients and begin to decompose. If you suspect any of your fruit or vegetables are going bad or that you may not be able to eat them before they do, follow these steps:

  • Wash your produce immediately with filtered water and a little apple cider vinegar in a bowl.
  • Rinse again with plain filtered water, then juice or freeze.
  • If you are freezing, allow your produce to dry first.

Freezing and juicing are great ways to make sure you are saving not only the produce but your money. Freezing your produce is excellent for making smoothies, sauces, broths or steamed vegetables. Juicing is a great way of getting loads of vitamins and minerals into your body and can maximize the amount of produce you can consume before it goes bad. When in doubt, juice or freeze your produce to save it.

Store on the top shelf of the refrigerator: berries, grapes.

Store on the middle shelf of the refrigerator: cherries, coconut (leave wrapped), dates, mushrooms (brown bagged) pomegranates, radishes (leave tops on for extended life).

Store on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator: beetroot (leave tops on for extended life), carrots, celery.

Store in the bottom drawer of the refrigerator: apples, bell peppers, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, cucumbers, green beans, zucchini should be tightly wrapped biodegradable bag or grocery store bag.

Store on a rack or countertop: avocados, bananas, citrus, figs, kiwis, mangoes, melons, papayas, pears, persimmon, pineapple, tomatoes, tropical fruits, fruit such as peaches, nectarines, plums, apricots. Once they ripen, eat or store in the refrigerator to extend shelf life except for tomatoes, they should stay outside of the refrigerator.

Store in a cool dark place: garlic, onions, potatoes, winter squash.

Special instructions:

  • Asparagus: Trim the ends and put them in a small glass jar with some water with a biodegradable bag or grocery store bag over top in the refrigerator. Change the water every few days.
  • Bananas: Hang from an S Hook.
  • Herbs: Put them in a small glass jar with some water with a biodegradable bag or grocery store bag over top of them in the refrigerator. Change the water every few days.
  • Leafy greens: When you pick your greens in a store, they are usually being sprayed by water to keep them from drying out. When you bring your greens home, you want to make sure you shake off any excess water. Loosely put greens in a biodegradable bag or grocery store bag with air inside then twist the top the bag. This will help your plants breathe more easily with high humidity and stay fresher, longer. If you buy greens that come in a plastic container, leave them in their box. I have always found my greens to last long no matter where I put them in the refrigerator.

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Disclaimer: The advice offered in this column is intended for informational purposes only. Use of this column not intended to replace or substitute for any professional, financial, medical, legal, or other professional advice. If you have specific concerns or a situation in which you require professional, psychological or medical help, you should consult with an appropriately trained and qualified specialist. The opinions or views expressed in this column are not intended to treat or diagnose; nor are they meant to replace the treatment and care that you may be receiving from a licensed professional, physician or mental health professional. This column, its author and the website are not responsible for the outcome or results of following any advice in any given situation. You, and only you, are completely responsible for your actions.

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Every month, Jenna Davila answers questions regarding physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being on the Live Pure website.  You can submit your questions for next month’s column here!

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