Do You Know the Proper Places to Store Produce?

Did you know that there are some fruits and vegetables that should not be stored in the refrigerator? It’s true. Some fruits and vegetables are cold-sensitive, therefore should be stored at room temperature. Here is a list of produce and where they should be stored once you get home.

  • Apples – refrigerate
  • Apricots – refrigerate
  • Avocado – do not refrigerate AND refrigerate. If your avocados are unripe, you should leave them at room temperature to ripen as refrigeration can slow down the ripening process. Note: Ripe avocados that have not been cut can be stored in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days. If you have cut ripe avocados that will not be eaten, you can sprinkle with lemon or lime juice and place in an air-tight container and store in the refrigerator for 1 day.
  • Bananas – do not refrigerate AND refrigerate. Unripe bananas ripen faster at room temperature. But if you want to slow down the ripening process, you can store them in the refrigerator. Note, though, that the skin may darken. If bananas get too ripe before you can eat them, you can peel them, place them in a baggie in the freezer, and use them for banana bread or smoothies.
  • Broccoli – refrigerate
  • Brussels Sprouts – refrigerate
  • Cabbage – refrigerate
  • Cantaloupe – refrigerate
  • Cauliflower – refrigerate
  • Cucumber – refrigerate
  • Figs – refrigerate
  • Garlic – do not refrigerate AND refrigerate. Whole heads of garlic store best when left at room temperature because the cold environment will cause the garlic to lose some of its flavor and encourage sprouting. However if you have peeled, chopped garlic, you should store in the refrigerator.
  • Honeydew – refrigerate
  • Kiwi – refrigerate
  • Lettuce – refrigerate
  • Melons, such as cantaloupe, honeydew, and watermelon – do not refrigerate AND refrigerate. Research by the USDA has shown that storage at room temperature may help keep the antioxidants better intact. Once cut, store in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.
  • Onions – do not refrigerate AND refrigerate. The refrigerator humidity makes onions moldy and soft. Once peeled and cut open, place in a re-sealable bag in the vegetable drawer.
  • Plums – refrigerate
  • Potatoes – do not refrigerate. Cold temperatures will break down the starches in potatoes, which will make them gritty.
  • Tomatoes – do not refrigerate. Cold temperatures will make tomatoes dull and mealy. Store on the counter.

Because their aromas and flavors can mingle, garlic, onions, potatoes, and winter squash should be stored separately from each other, in a cool, dark, and dry location, such as a cabinet.