Make the most of the produce you buy—and reduce food waste and maximize your food budget in the process—with these easy tips to make your produce last longer.
How to Store Produce
There’s nothing worse than tossing fresh berries or veggies that have sat in the fridge too long, or that went badly immediately when you brought them home from the store. But you can increase the odds that you’ll have a chance to use them with a few simple tips. And by storing produce this way, you’ll be sure to get your money’s worth—and actually enjoy what you buy.
How to Store Avocados
Avocados ripen at room temperature, but you can slow that down by placing them into the fridge. Keeping them away from bananas can slow ripening down too. If you have an avocado that’s super ripe and needs to be used up, make some guac or dice and store in a freezer bag to blend into smoothies!
How to Store Berries
The best way to help berries like strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries from becoming moldy is to reduce the moisture around them. My favorite way to do this is to transfer them from the containers I bought them in to storage containers lined with a paper towel or a thin clean kitchen towel. This helps to absorb any excess moisture and may keep them fresher for a few days longer.
I’d recommend not washing your berries until right before you use them to help reduce the moisture too, rather than washing them before storage.
TIP: If berries are starting to seem like they’re about to get too soft, place them into a freezer bag and store to use in smoothies and oatmeal. Add them to either frozen to blend or cook until warm and soft.
How to Store Bananas
An easy way to reduce how fast bananas ripen is to take apart the bunch and store them side by side so they have airflow all around them. If they do get too ripe for your liking, simply peel, slice, and store in a freezer bag in the freezer to use in smoothies and baked goods.
TIP: To use frozen bananas in baked goods, let thaw at room temperature, drain off any liquid, and proceed with the recipe.
How to Store Produce like Broccoli, Cauliflower, and Green Beans
Absorbing excess moisture with these veggies, so if you buy precut florets, you can also line either side of the bag with a paper towel. Otherwise, do your best to keep them dry to prevent mold from forming.
TIP: Place broccoli or cauliflower florets into a freezer bag and freeze to use in soups. You can also add frozen cauliflower to smoothies.
How to Store Greens
Greens like baby spinach and kale don’t like excess moisture either, so you can place paper towels on either side of an open bag to help absorb some of the moisture. And you can always place the greens into the freezer in a freezer bag and store to blend into green smoothies and Spinach Banana Muffins.
How to Store Potatoes and Winter Squash
Regular potatoes and sweet potatoes are best kept in a cool dry place like a basement or cabinet. They don’t need to be kept in the fridge and shouldn’t be kept where it’s too warm, which can speed up how quickly they become soft.
TIP: You can also freeze diced and peeled winter squash in a freezer bag to use in chili and soups. Freeze for 3-6 months.
How to Reduce Food Waste
I have a lot of my best tips in this post on reducing food waste, particularly some of the waste that comes with feeding kids. It might help too!
You may also like:
- How to Freeze Strawberries
- How to Freeze Bananas
- How to Freeze Spinach
- How to Freeze Kale
- How to Freeze Peaches
- How to Freeze Blueberries