Storage – which veggies and fruit go in the fridge and which don’t?

Have you ever wondered why your fruit and veggies do not last too long, go soggy or grow mould etc before you had a chance to enjoy them?

One of the possibilities to extend the shelf life of produce is to store it properly – but which ones should be kept in the refrigerator and which ones last longer at room temperature?

A good idea is to copy what grocery stores do as they of course want to be able to sell goods for as long as possible – so if they refrigerate items, you might as well do the same.

If you are using a shopping list, you could bring a pen and label the refrigerated items on your list with “F” for fridge.

 

In addition, I created a print out for you – download it, print it out ( horizontal layout!) and stick it onto your fridge as a neat reminder.

 

FOODS TO STORE IN THE FRIDGE

Tip: refrigerators use less power when they are full, because less cold air escapes when you open the door. 

artichokes
asparagus
beet root
berries – blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries to name a few
broccoli
brussel sprouts
cabbage
carrots
cauliflower
celery
cherries
corn
grapes
herbs except for basil – in plastic bags or wrapped in moist paper towels
leafy greens – arugula, bok choy, lettuce, spinach,
leek
mushrooms – in a paper bag
peas
radishes
most nuts and seeds, especially pine nuts go rancid very quickly
spring onions / green onions
sprouts
squash
oil, especially flax seed oil and hemp oil – best is to even buy bottles that have been kept refrigerated at the store too
fresh salad dressings
zucchini

FOODS TO STORE AT ROOM TEMPERATURE

foods marked with * : store at room temperature unless really ripe, then refrigerate to extend shelf life.

apples – out of direct sunlight
avocado – unless you want to slow down the ripening process
bananas (see note below)
basil
citrus fruit – grapefruit, lemons, limes, mandarines, oranges, pomelos etc
cucumbers
garlic
ginger
jicama
kiwis *
mangoes
nectarines *
onions – they need air circulation and have to stay away from potatoes as the moisture lets them go bad faster
papaya
peaches *
peppers
persimmons
pineapples
plantains
plums *
pomegranate
potatoes
sweet potato
tomatoes
turmeric
watermelon – though nothing is better than a chilled watermelon on a hot summer’s day!

Bananas: can actually be refrigerated; their skin will turn brown but that does not matter. Just keep them away from other fruit & veg as they evaporate more ethylene gas than other produce (all fruit & veg create it, but bananas in much larger quantities) which lets everything around them ripen much faster. You can take advantage of that too, by placing a banana or an apple next to an unripe avocado for example to speed up its ripening process.

 

Did I miss anything?
Do you have any other tipps on how to extend the shelf life of your purchases?

Share your tricks and comment below!

Your handy guide to print out and stick to your fridge – download it for FREE:


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6 comments

  • I find that root vegetables are best kept outdoors, buried in spent coir compost. I use a potato grow-bag and bury the roots in their natural growing position. Keep the compost moist and stand the bag in a shady place. Pinch out any fresh growth. Bury your roots as soon as you get them home. They stay lovely and crisp for weeks.
    So far I have used it to store carrots, parsnips, celeriac, swedes, turnips and Jerusalem artichokes. This works best for organic vegetables that haven’t been scrubbed to death.
    Veggies bought loose rather than in plastic packaging are also usually OK.
    It works best during the cold weather months.

    • Excellent question – if they are unripe, store them at room temperature to ripen but once they are ripe, place them in the refrigerator 🙂 cheers, Lisa

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