Keeping Fruits and Veggies at Their Best!

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By The Paula Deen Test Kitchen

How you store fruits and vegetables has a major impact on both their taste and their shelf life. How sad is it when you have to throw out a drawer full of sludge that you bought just a few days earlier? Follow these tips to keep your fruits and vegetables at their best.

Don’t Refrigerate Some fruits and vegetables are cold sensitive and will lose flavor and texture if kept in the fridge. These are best stored at room temperature.

Cool Dark Place These will keep up to one month if stored correctly.
Winter Squash

In the Fridge
Apples In the crisper drawer away from very strong smelling foods (they will absorb odors.)

Broccoli In the crisper drawer away, from apples or other fruits that emit ethylene. (Ethylene is a natural occurring gas that speeds up spoilage in certain produce).

Celery In the crisper drawer, in a tightly sealed plastic bag to retain their moisture.

Leafy greens Keep greens in a plastic bag lined with paper towels.

Green beans Store in tightly sealed bag to retain moisture.

Beets In the crisper drawer. Slice off the green tops and store them as you would other leafy greens.

Berries In a warmer spot in your refrigerator. Store unwashed.

Carrots In crisper. Slice off green tops before storing.

Mushrooms In a warmer spot in your refrigerator. Store unwashed in a paper bag or bowl. Always unwrap from plastic.

Asparagus In warmer spot of refrigerator. Ends trimmed, and stored upright in jar of water.

Peppers In crisper drawer. Store in perforated plastic bag.

Herbs In warmer spot of refrigerator. Ends trimmed, stored upright in jar of water, like a bouquet of flowers. Fresh basil actually prefers to be out in room temperature.

Plan your meals
Some fruits and vegetables naturally have a shorter shelf life than others. Plan on eating the most perishable first. Things like asparagus, broccoli, green beans, berries, figs, and apricots should be eaten within in a few days of purchasing.

Crisper Drawer
The crisper drawer traps moisture and humidity to create a friendly environment that keeps fresh produce from drying out. Generally home refrigerators have two crisper drawers that come in two settings (low and high). Most vegetables need more humidity than fruits so keep one drawer on high to store your crisper vegetables and the other one on low to store your fruits.

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Leave a Comment

Reader Comments:


Any sort of a berry will last longer and not mildew if you take 2 qts. of water and 2T white vinegar and rinse the berries in the water with vinegar. Works great for me!!! Think you should tell everyone about this Ms. Paula so ya'll can have some fresh fruit.

By emily bernhardt on September 26, 2012


your pastries look great . i love to watch u cook

By peggy belford on September 25, 2012


what is a good recipe with raddishes in it, i'm trying to go back to the fruits and vegetables that i grew up on and i can't remember what we use raddishes in.

By sandra bell on September 25, 2012


I enjoyed this article, but I kept asking myself... "what is the warmer spot in the fridge?" Thanks, Annette

By Annette on September 25, 2012


use a 10 to 1 mix - water to vinegar rinse berries with they will keep for weeks.

By carol krohnke on September 25, 2012

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love the table paula would look good on my new patio. so glad you are back. I hope to get there to see you in person one day.i will start tomorrow to find the patern form the tablecloth.
Gladys Rainesl in Savannah Style: A Spring Table for Two on April 13, 2014 at 7:45 pm

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in Chicken Salad: A Southern Staple on April 13, 2014 at 2:55 pm

I just love love love the table and flowers and am so glad that I can still access all of Paula's recipes, her family life, Bobby's lighter versions and Brandon's beautiful work. Truly thankful to see such beautiful tablescapes. You guys are my heros.
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