Tips on how to properly store fruits and vegetables

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Fruit and Vegetable Storage Tips(NaturalHealth365) Whether we are juicing, blending or eating fresh fruits and vegetables, there’s nothing more frustrating than to witness our produce going bad, either because we forgot about it, or we didn’t store it properly.

In this article, I have listed several fruits and vegetables, commonly used, and will show you how to store them effectively – so you can extend their freshness as long as possible. Be sure to read, at the end of this article, about our “End of the Week” juice.

Juicing tips designed to save you lots of money

At the end of your weekly food – it’s a great idea to find what you haven’t eaten, blended or juiced and make that last healthy juice or smoothie. You’ll be saving at least $6 – that you would have spent at your local juice bar.

Simple storage tips: If you live in the Northern part of the United States, you can usually find a good storage bin to store your produce such as, carrots, beets, turnips, potatoes, apples, celery, Brussels sprouts, broccoli and cauliflower. However, beet tops need to be refrigerated. If you live in the Southern part of the U.S., then I would suggest you store your produce in the refrigerator.

Sometimes, if you have an extra refrigerator in the garage or basement, you can buy in bulk and save up to 50% off your grocery bill.

Don’t forget to label your food. Placing stickers on your bio-degradable bags (which store produce) will help you remember when you made your last purchase. Here’s a basic ‘time-line schedule’ for storing produce:

Veggies in the refrigerator

1. Kale, Swiss Chard (10 days)
2. Beet Greens (3 days)
3. Spinach, Cilantro, Endive, Escarole (7 days)
4. Parsley, Chives (10 days)
5. Salad Greens, Romaine and Frisee (10 days)
6. Collard Greens (10 days)
7. Cabbage (2 weeks)
8. Bok Choy (1 week)
9. Broccoli, Cauliflower and Radicchio (7 to 10 days)
10. Beets (2 weeks)
11. Apples (3 weeks)
12. Celery, Cucumber (7-10 days)
13. Zucchini (7 days)
14. Blueberries (10 days)
15. Strawberries and Blackberries (7 days-place in bowl uncovered)
16. Raspberries (4 days – placed in bowl uncovered)
17. Pears, when ripe (2 days)
18. Pineapple, leave top on until ready to juice or eat. (7 days)
19. Dandelion Greens (5 days)
20. Mustard Greens (7 days)
21. Fresh Peppers (1 week)
22. Tomatoes (5 days – when ripe)
23. Carrots (2 weeks)
24. Radishes and Roots (10 days)

It’s best to always refrigerate your fruit after they start getting soft. They will last another week if you let them ripen on your kitchen table or countertops, then once they get soft, you can refrigerate for another week.

If you buy your fruits already ripened, then make sure to refrigerate them once they start to soften. But our list is assuming all the fruits are hard when purchased.

25. Avocado (1 week) – then refrigerate.
26. Pears (1 week) – then refrigerate.
27. Stone fruits (1 week) – then refrigerate.
28. Lemons, Limes and Grapefruits (2-3 weeks) – then refrigerate.
29. Bananas – we never refrigerate them.
30. Grapes (1 week) – then refrigerate, although some small dark grapes are more sensitive.
31. Pineapple, leave the top on until you are ready to juice or eat it, (1 week) – then refrigerate.
32. Papaya (1 week) – then refrigerate.
33. Mango (1 week) – then refrigerate.
34. Watermelon and other melons, unless cut (1 week) – then refrigerate. If cut, then refrigerate immediately.

Getting the most out of your fruits and veggies

When you purchase fruits that are unripe, we recommend you keep them on your kitchen table or on the kitchen counter – until they start to ripen up. Then, place them into the refrigerator for longevity. For example, avocados refrigerate well, once they become ripe on the countertop. Once ripe, they will stay good another week when refrigerated.

We get the best results when we spin dry our greens, line zip lock bags with organic paper towels and make them air tight.

Once your fruit has naturally ripened, you can place into the refrigerator for an additional three or four days.

Try to juice or eat most everything you have within a week….but if you can’t, then make sure to put the older produce up to the front of your refrigerator. For example, at the end of the week, when we see we still have leftover produce, still in good shape, we gather it up and make a good liter of juice out of it!

Here’s a delicious ‘End of Week’ juice tonic:1 Beet with its Greens
4 leaves Swiss Chard
2 apples
1 Lime
2 Tomatoes
2 cups Spinach

Learn more about the benefits of jucing and enjoy the holiday season.

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About the author: Linda Kordich has been married for 33 years to Jay Kordich, world renown health educator and the “Father of Juicing”. She is the co-author of their new book, Live Foods Live Bodies and teaches throughout the world on the ‘Powers of the Gentle Art of Foods and Juices’. For more information about Jay and Linda Kordich – visit: www.JayKordich.com

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  • G Clay

    Kale can be kept in the freezer. Just tear it into pieces and put in a baggie. It keeps very well.

  • Frugal Fruit Lover

    We wash all our produce in a dilute hydrogen peroxide solution, and it lasts MUCH longer than if we simply rinse it. We use food-grade hydrogen peroxide, and just 1 or 2 ounces in a sink full of water works quite well.

    The hydrogen peroxide kills the bacteria which cause decay, so the produce never goes “fuzzy”. It eventually gets dehydrated in the refrigerator, so it doesn’t last forever. Still, mushy raspberries or strawberries which are partially dehydrated can still be juiced or used in cooked food.

    No doubt the loss of beneficial soil bacteria plays a role in lost nutrition, as does the shelf life of delicate nutrients. Nevertheless, with the cost of organic, locally-grown produce, it’s well worth our time and the small incremental cost to wash all our produce in hydrogen peroxide. If you have a problem with produce going bad before you get a chance to use it, you might want to try H2O2.

  • Karen Scribner

    Go to Bed, Bath and Beyond and buy Debbie Meyer Green Bags with the BBB coupon that never expires. The green bags are rinsed and dried after the fruit or veggie is taken out and these bags last a long time. Always store the foods dry and never wash them until you are ready to use them as the wetness promotes decay. Most produce has already been washed but the producer. I make an exception and scrub the pineapples and melons when they get home and let them dry on the counter. Tomatoes on vines will keep for weeks on the counter but do not buy them in the winter as they are not for people to eat then. Tomatoes are a summer fruit (used as a vegetable.) Apples must be kept in the fridge, the colder the better. Celery will freeze and get hollow and taste terrible. If that happens just cook it. Overripe bananas can be frozen loose in the freezer with skins on. When you want to use one, take it out and wait a little. Just slice off the skin and put the chunks in the blender or thaw and mash for cooked banana treats like bread. Peeled bananas get sticky and messy from the sugar.