Vegetable Storage Guide

How To Store Fruits And Vegetables

Reprinted with permission from CSACookbooks.com courtesy GrowingForMarket.com.

Apples

— Shelf Life: 5-26 weeks

Coldest part of the fridge. Softens after some months, but

fine for cooking after that.

Basil, all types

— Shelf Life: 2-5 days

Cut stems in vase with water on countertop is best, or in the

warmest part of the refrigerator. Excessive cold blackens the

leaves.

Beans (snap)

— Shelf Life: Up to 7 days

Refrigerator; keep in the bag. Wash just before using. Must be

dry before storing.

Beets

— Shelf Life: Roots: 5 weeks; greens: 5 days

Best in fridge, but OK in basement. Separate greens – must be

refrigerated. Wash greens just before cooking.

Broccoli

— Shelf Life: 1 – 2 weeks

Refrigerate in coldest part of fridge.

Brussels Sprouts

— Shelf Life: Keeps 3-4 weeks

Coldest part of the fridge.

Cabbage

— Shelf Life: Refrigerated up to 4 months

Best anywhere in the fridge. Can be stored in a very cold

basement if needed, but not ideal.

Carrots

— Shelf Life: 3 months, properly stored

Coldest part of the fridge. Best to store dry (in a bag). If they

are too wet they will start to sprout or rot. Out of the bag

they begin to go flaccid. Cellar only with great care.

Cauliflower

— Shelf Life: 1 – 2 weeks

Refrigerate in coldest part of fridge.

Chives

— Shelf Life: 4 – 7 days

Dry, loose in a plastic bag in the coldest part of the refrigerator.

Wash just before using.

Cilantro

— Shelf Life: 3 – 14 days

Washed, drained and then refrigerated. In a sealed Tupperware,

with a paper towel or cloth underneath

to help regulate the moisture.

Corn (sweet)

— Shelf Life: Best to eat immediately, but will

retain sweetness up to 4 days Coldest part of the fridge.Typically

loses sweetness during storage.

Cucumbers

— Shelf Life: 3-10 days

Refrigerate.

Dill

— Shelf Life: 3 – 14 days

Washed, drained and then refrigerated. In a sealed Tupperware,

with a paper towel or cloth underneath

to help regulate the moisture.

Eggplant

— Shelf Life: 7-10 days upon refrigeration

On counter until ripe and sof t (and a little wrinkly) — this is

sweetest and most tender. Then put in fridge.

Garlic

— Shelf Life: Best flavor when eaten within 6 weeks,

but can keep up to 4 months. Pantry.

Greens (including lettuce, spinach, and swiss chard)

All greens should be washed and drained before storing in

the refrigerator. Longest shelf life is had by placing greens

on top of a paper towel or clean cloth inside of a lidded Tupperware

container. Whole heads store longer and better than

cut leaves.

Green Beans/String Beans

— Shelf Life: 3- 10 days

Refrigerator – loose and dry.

Kohlrabi

— Shelf Life: 1 – 6 weeks

Coldest part of fridge, loose and dry in plastic bag.

Leeks

— Shelf Life: 5 – 30 days

Coldest part of fridge, loose and dry in plastic bag.

Melons (honeydew, cantaloupe)

— Shelf Life: Up to 2 weeks

(after ripe) in fridge

On counter until ripe. Refrigerating will slow or stop the ripening

if necessary. Cantaloupe smells ripe from the stem end

when perfect.

Mint

— Shelf Life: 2-5 days

Cut stems in vase with water on countertop is best, or in the

warmest part of the refrigerator. Excessive cold blackens the

leaves.

Mushrooms

— Shelf Life: 3 – 10 days

Loose in open container in fridge; never in closed plastic bag.

Nectarines

— Shelf Life: Once ripened and refrigerated: 3 – 5

days

On countertop, loose and separated on platter, until just sof t.

Fruit should sit on its shoulders. Once ripe, eat within 12

hours or refrigerate.

Onions (dry skin)

— Shelf Life: 2 – 20 weeks

Pantry or basement.

Onions (green and spring)

— Shelf Life: 3-14 days

Must be refrigerated.

Parsley

— Shelf Life: 4 – 21 days

Washed, drained and then refrigerated. In a sealed Tupperware,

with a paper towel or cloth underneath to help regulate

the moisture.

Parsnips

— Shelf Life: 3 months

Coldest part of the fridge. Best to store dry (in a bag). If they

are too wet they will start to sprout or rot. Out of the bag

they begin to go flaccid. Cellar only with great care.

Peaches

— Shelf Life: Once ripened and refrigerated: 3 – 5 days

On countertop, loose and separated on platter, until just sof t.

Fruit should sit on its shoulders. Once

ripe, eat within 12 hours or refrigerate.

Peas (English)

— Shelf Life: 1 – 3 weeks, but sweetest eaten

within 1-4 days after harvest

Refrigerator, keep in the bag. Shell as soon as pods sof ten.

Peas (Snow, Sugar Snap)

— Shelf Life: 3 – 14 days

Coldest part of fridge.

Peppers (Green – Sweet)

— Shelf Life: 1 – 5 weeks

Refrigerate, loose and dry.

Peppers (Hot)

— Shelf Life: 1 – 5 weeks

Refrigerate, loose and dry.

Peppers (Red – Sweet)

— Shelf Life: 3 – 21 days

Refrigerate, loose and dry.

Plums

— Shelf Life: Once ripened and refrigerated: 3 – 5 days.

On countertop, loose and separated on platter, until just sof t.

Once ripe, eat within 12 hours or

refrigerate.

Potatoes (Irish)

— Shelf Life: Up to 4 months in fridge, 6

weeks in pantry

Pantry, cellar or warmest part of the fridge. Very cold temperatures

lead to increased sugar/sweetness; nice for some

people, unexpected for others. New potatoes, on the other

hand, must be refrigerated.

Potatoes (sweet)

— Shelf Life: 5 weeks – 8 months, depending

on variety and previous handling

Hate refrigeration: NEVER in fridge. Basement or Pantry. Ideally

at 55 – 65F, but tolerates up to 80F or higher.

Pumpkins

— Shelf Life: 3 – 8 weeks

In a cool basement (55 -65F) or pantry. Hate refrigeration.

Radishes

— Shelf Life: 1 – 5 weeks

Washed, drained and then refrigerated, in a Tupperware, with

a paper towel or cloth underneath to help regulate the moisture.

Raspberries

— Shelf Life: 1-3 days

Must be refrigerated in coldest part of fridge. If storing in a

plastic container, pack loosely. Okay to store

in an open container. Wash only before eating/using: excessive

or premature washing leads to fungal

growth.

Rhubarb

— Shelf Life: 5 – 21 days

Store loose and dry in a plastic bag in any part of the refrigerator.

Rosemary

— Shelf Life: 1 – 2 weeks

Do not wash! Store dried, loose in a bag in any part of refrigerator.

Squash, Summer (ALL)

— Shelf Life: 3-10 days

Refrigerate.

Squash, Winter (Acorn, Buttercup, Delicata, Hubbard,

Kabocha)

— Shelf Life: 3 – 8 weeks

In a cool basement (55 -65F). Hate refrigeration.

Squash, Winter (Butternut, Spaghetti)

— Shelf Life: 3 weeks

– 4 months

In a cool basement (55 -65F). Hate refrigeration.

Strawberries

— Shelf Life: 1-3 days

Must be refrigerated in coldest part of fridge. If storing in a

plastic container, pack loosely. Best to store in an open container.

Wash only before eating/using: excessive or premature

washing leads to fungal growth.

Tomatoes, Big Slicing

— Shelf Life: Once ripened and refrigerated:

3 – 5 days

Countertop, loose and separated on platter, until just soft.

On shoulders as per peaches and nectarines.

Tomatoes, Cherry

— Shelf Life: In refrigerator: 7 – 10 days

Assuming they arrive ripe, eat within 12 hours or refrigerate.

If underripe, store in open container on

counter until fully ripe.

Tomatoes, Plums

— Shelf Life: In refrigerator: up to 10 days

Store loose on counter, separated from each other, until ripe.

Use or refrigerate within 24 hours.

Turnips

— Shelf Life: 2 – 7 weeks

Loose and dry in any part of the refrigerator.

Watermelon

— Shelf Life: 3 – 5 weeks

Counter storage will not help ripening, but much more tolerant

of pantry, fridge or basement storage than other melons.


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