Summer is a great time to indulge in all of the delicious, nutritious produce the season has to offer. However, it can be hard to convince yourself to choose fresh fruits or veggies over other options if all of the produce you have on hand is tasteless and soggy. While produce does lose some of its nutritional value as it starts to ripen, it’s still possible to preserve nutrients – and taste – for days or weeks after you bring fruits and vegetables home from the grocery store, farmers’ market, or pick-your-own stand by following these simple guidelines:
Store These Fruits and Veggies in the Fridge
All cut fruits and veggies
Apples that you won’t consume within 7 days
Leafy green vegetables (lettuce, spinach)
Store These Fruits and Veggies on the Counter
Apples that you will consume within 7 day
Store These Fruits and Veggies in a Cool, Dry Place
Ripen These Fruits and Veggies on the Counter, Then Refrigerate
In order to prolong shelf life, store fruits and vegetables separately, as many fruits emit a gas called ethylene that speeds up the ripening process, making any vegetables in the surrounding area spoil quicker. Locally-sourced produce will also keep longer in your refrigerator or on your countertop, as it will likely have been picked closer to the date you purchased it, giving it less time to ripen in transit.
No matter which fruits or vegetables you choose to enjoy this summer, make sure to store them correctly to get the most out of their taste and nutritional value!