It seems like our fresh produce is always going bad before we get the chance to enjoy it. Lacking an expiration date label, it can be hard to keep track of how long various produce is good for. This, unfortunately wastes food and money all too often.
As a consumer, you should definitely consider knowing which produce stays fresh the longest and how to store certain produce properly.
Here are 10 vegetables and fruits that stay the freshest the longest. Remember them for your next grocery trip!
Apples are a fruit bowl staple. Want them to last as long as possible? If you keep them in the refrigerator in the crisper drawer, apples will stay fresh for three to four weeks. At room temperature, they are only at their freshest for a handful of days.
Leafy greens lose their freshness too quickly due to their high water content. However, cabbage has the capacity to last up to about two months when stored properly. In order to have your cabbage last this long it needs to be wrapped in plastic and stored in your fridge.
The key to keeping onions fresh is to store them in a dry area, such as your pantry. By doing this, your onions will last for a month or even longer. Leaving them in the mesh bag that they were purchased in from the grocery store is a key tip in keeping onions fresh.
Oranges will stay at their freshest for two to three weeks when kept in the refrigerator. At room temperature, oranges will keep for a week. Like apples, they should be stored in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator.
Left unwashed and uncut, carrots can stay fresh for two to three weeks in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator. The main key to remember when storing carrots is to keep them dry in order to make them last their longest.
A summertime favorite! Uncut and in the refrigerator, a watermelon can last a week or two due to its tough skin. Pre-cut watermelon at the grocery store spoils faster due the removal of the tough skin that keeps the liquid in.
Once a watermelon has been cut into, it is important that those pieces be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container. These pieces should be eaten within the next couple of days.
Similar to onions, potatoes can last months. They should be stored in a cool, dark area at around 40 degrees F. Even though they have some similarities to onions, you should never store these two items close together. The gases they emit can cause rotting to happen at a quicker rate.
For a maximum shelf life of between two and four months, you should first cut off the greens. This will slow down water loss. They should be stored in a perforated plastic bag in the crisper drawer. Even if they are just stored in the refrigerator, they can still last for up to two weeks.
The green pepper lasts the longest of the variety due to its low sugar content. Green peppers last two to three weeks stored in a plastic back in the refrigerator’s crisper drawer. When picking out green peppers, opt for the heavier and less shriveled looking ones. This will ensure a longer period of freshness.
Garlic can last up to three months in a cool, dark area. Your kitchen cabinet is a good spot to store garlic. Keep the garlic in the mesh bag they were most likely purchased in for optimal freshness. Once the garlic bulb is broken into, unpeeled individual cloves will last for a week or so at room temperature.
Reviewed March 17, 2016
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith
7 Popular Fruits and Vegetables That Last a Long Time. Still Tasty. March 16, 2016.
How Long Do Vegetables Last? Woman's Day. March 16, 2016.
12 Fruits and Vegetables That Won't Go Bad. Rodale's Organic Life. March 16, 2016.