OK it’s summer time and we have gardens and farmer’s markets and neighbor’s who generously share their bountiful crops, but how can we keep them fresh? Should they be stored in the refrigerator or on the counter?
Here are some hints to keeping produce fresh and safe.
These foods should be stored in the produce drawer of your refrigerator kept at 38-40 degrees.
These foods should stay out on the counter
Fruit and vegetables don’t mix well with each other in storage so keep them in separate drawers to help prevent ethylene gas building up which causes produce to ripen quicker. Fruits and veggies that produce ethylene gas should be kept away from foods that are sensitive to the effects of ethylene gas. Keep apples, melons and apricots away from strawberries, cherries, grapes carrots, broccoli, celery, green beans artichokes, asparagus and leafy greens. On the counter store avocados, bananas , nectarines, plums and peaches away from grapefruit, watermelon, lemons, limes, oranges and potatoes.
If all that is too much to remember:
You can alternatively buy green bags which are BPA free and create a beneficial storage environment for your produce enabling it to last longer. The bags can be used about 10 times each.
Crisper filters are available that attach to the inside of your produce crisper drawer. This gadget prolongs the life of your produce through an activated carbon filter which absorbs ethylene gas. It is all natural and made from coconuts. There is a date indicator which keeps track of when it’s time to replace the carbon filter.
Enjoy those yummy fruits and veggies this summer!!
Mary Sieruta, RD, MS, LDN, CDE
Mary Sieruta is a Certified Diabetes Educator and has been a Registered Dietitian with the Community Health Center for nine years.