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How to Keep Fruits & Vegetables Fresh at Home

groceries fruits on a table

Few things feel better than having a sweet, ripe yellow mango on a hot summer day. But what happens when you can’t consume your fruits and vegetables right away? Proper storage is key to maximizing the shelf life of any fruit or vegetable, and it’s not hard at all! 

Here are a few practical guidelines to ensure that your fresh produce from Safe Select stays fresh and flavorful for as long as it can be:

fruits in a fridge

Which Fruits and Vegetables Should I Keep in the Fridge?

A fridge’s chilly interior allows your fruits and vegetables to maintain their freshness while keeping them away from natural light.

Tips
  • Fresh fruit like apples, berries, and grapes last longer in their original packaging.

  • Plastic bags with tiny vents (openings) or clean net bags can help keep fruit fresh longer by releasing moisture. These work great for grapes, blueberries, cherries, or strawberries. 

  • Apples cause other fruit and vegetables to ripen faster. If possible, separate them from the rest of the produce in the fridge.

Fruit Storage Times
 Apple 3-4 weeks
Avocado (ripe) 3-5 days
Blueberries 1-2 weeks
Cherries 4-7 days
Grapefruit 2-3 weeks
Grapes (Ubas) 5-7 days
Guava (ripe) (Bayabas) 3-4 days
Kiwi (ripe) 5-7 days
Mango (ripe) (Mangga) 5-7 days
Melon (ripe) 7-10 days
Orange 2-3 weeks
Pear (ripe) 5-7 days
Pineapple (Piña) 3-5 days
Raspberries 2-3 days
Strawberries 3-5 days
Watermelon (Pakwan) 2 weeks
Vegetables

Refrigerate these vegetables immediately after purchase.

 Asparagus Wrap stalk ends in a damp paper towel and place in a plastic bag. Will keep for 2 to 3 days in the refrigerator drawer. You'll know when your asparagus is starting to go when the tips of the stalks start to look dry and withered.
Bell Peppers Store in a plastic bag.
Broccoli Store in an open plastic bag in the refrigerator drawer. They will last between 3 to 5 days.
Cabbage Store in a plastic bag with holes in the refrigerator drawer.
Carrots Remove the green tops; keep in a plastic bag in the refrigerator drawer.
Cauliflower Remove the green tops; keep in a plastic bag in the refrigerator drawer.
Celery Store in a plastic bag in the refrigerator drawer.
Corn (Mais) Keep the husks on until ready to cook. Ears of corn should be stored in their husks; they will last between 1 to 2 days.
Cucumber Store in a plastic bag.
Eggplant (Talong) Store in a plastic bag.
French Beans Store in a tightly closed plastic bag or airtight container. Can last 3 to 5 days.
Kale Keep in a plastic bag with holes in the refrigerator drawer.
Lettuce Keep in a loosely closed plastic bag in the refrigerator drawer.
Mushrooms Store in a paper bag - plastic makes them spoil faster. Will last 3 to 5 days.
Peas Store in a plastic bag with holes.
Radish Remove the green tops before storing in a plastic bag.
Spinach Store in a plastic bag with holes in the refrigerator drawer.
Squash (Kalabasa) Can last 3 to 5 days.
Turnips Keep in a plastic bag.
Zucchini Keep in a plastic bag.

Tips
  • Eggplant, celery, peppers, peas, artichokes, zucchini and cucumber will last up to a week in the fridge.

  • Carrots, parsnips, turnips, beets, and radishes can be stored in a produce bag and will last 2 weeks.

  • Lettuce and other leafy greens can be stored in a produce bag, which will last from 3 days up to a week depending on how delicate the leaves are.

 

fresh groceries in a paper bag

Which Fruits Should I Keep in My Pantry?

Some fruits and vegetables need to ripen in the pantry before chilling in the fridge. Store the following at a cool to room temperature environment until they’re fully ripe. Once they’re ready, you can store them in the fridge. Premature refrigeration will harm their flavor and texture. 
Anything whole or new will last longer than anything cut. Cut or peeled fruits and vegetables must be stored immediately in the fridge.
Avocados - to ripen faster, place in a paper bag
Bananas (Saging) 
Guava (Bayabas)
Kiwi
Mangoes (Mangga)
Melons
Papaya
Peaches
Plums
Tomatoes (Kamatis) - keep out of direct sunlight

 

groceries in pantry

How Do I Store My Vegetables in the Pantry?

Keep these items in a cool, dry, and DARK place in your kitchen or pantry. The refrigerator’s chill can taint their flavor and texture.

Vegetables

When exposed to light, these vegetables will think they're outside and will start to sprout!

  • Garlic - Store in a dry, well-ventilated area.
  • Potatoes and Sweet Potatoes  - Keep away from onions; store in a cool, dry area. Keep away from heat and light. 
  • Ginger 
  • Onions

 

frozen berries fruits

How Do I Freeze Fruits?

Freezing your produce is another alternative to keeping things fresh. Frozen fruit makes for great additions to smoothies, cereal, bread, yogurt, or for making fruit sauces. Most fruit will be fine in the freezer for up to one year. You can freeze fruits whole or in small pieces. 

Freezing Berries
  1. Gently wash the berries with water and drain.
  2. Spread berries in a single layer on a metal baking sheet. Place in freezer. This helps to keep the berries from sticking together. 
  3. When the berries are hard, place berries into labelled freezer bags or containers.

 

fresh fruits and vegetables storage

Keep Vegetables and Fruits Separate

Apples, pears, and kiwis, along with many other fruits, produce a gas called ethylene, which speeds up the ripening process of other fruits and vegetables nearby This could be a trick you’d like to use if you want your fruits to ripen faster sometimes, however it’s not ideal for vegetables. Plenty of veggies spoil during ripening, meaning spotting, wilting, yellowing, and more. 

The general rule is to store your fruits and vegetables separate. Having two refrigerator drawers in your fridge is a huge bonus, otherwise, keeping some in the refrigerator drawer and the rest in the other shelves can work too!

 

lettuce and mushrooms

Which vegetables should I give extra care to?

Lettuce

Lettuce needs moisture or humidity to stay fresh, but also air circulation. Storing lettuce in plastic isn’t the worst you can do with them, but it won’t get the necessary air circulation it needs to maximize its shelf life. If possible, try washing, spinning dry, and storing the lettuce in a perforated container (like a colander or specially-made lettuce containers) in the refrigerator. 

Mushrooms

It is important to keep mushrooms in a paper bag, and not in plastic. Mushrooms have a high water content, and as this content evaporates, plastic only traps this moisture, making them slimy. A paper bag is more breathable.

 

fruits in paper bag

Conclusion

With these handy tips, we hope that you get to maximize the shelf life of your fruits and vegetables every time. Remember that these are all guidelines. Don’t wait until the very last day to consume your fruits and vegetables, and use your best judgement on whether something is safe to eat.

Meet at your fruits and vegetable needs with Safe Select, the #1 Premium Online Palengke in Metro Manila. Happy shopping!

Sources: 

www.unlockfood.ca 

https://www.stilltasty.com/articles/view/31 

https://www.thespruceeats.com/how-to-store-vegetables-4687049