Cooking Tips + Kitchen Tips

Published on June 3rd, 2013 | by Mary Gerush


Five Intriguing Techniques To Keep Your Produce Fresh


Tossing too much of the gorgeous produce you’ve brought home from the farmer’s market? I recently came across a post with intriguing ideas for extending the freshness of your produce picks. Out of ten tips, five were new to me. Here they are — which have you tried?

  • Bananas. Wrap banana stems in plastic wrap to keep them from ripening too fast. Banana stems release a natural gas to ripen themselves. Wrapping them snuggly retards that process. (I just wrapped up a new bunch — will keep you posted.)
  • Potatoes. Store them with an apple. This tip came from America’s Test Kitchen; they found potatoes in an apple-free bag sprouted in three to five weeks, while those stored with an apple stayed relatively sprout-free for eight weeks. (I store my potatoes in the frig, which a few sources say is a no-no. I guess I’ll give this trick a try. How do you store yours?)
  • Tomatoes. Store them at room temp stem-side-down, and they’ll stay fresh for about a week. (Don’t store them in the frig — they get mealy.) If you can’t store them stem-side-down, apparently a bit of scotch tape over the stem works the same way.
  • Berries. Bring them home, and wash them in a vinegar-water mixture (one part vinegar to three parts water), which serves to disinfect the fruit and kill mold. Dry them thoroughly, and store them in a container lined with a paper towel.
  • Lemons. If you need only a few drops of lemon juice to top veggies or a salad, don’t cut the fruit in half — just skewer it and squeeze. The fruit will stay fresh longer than if you dissect it. (Love this tip, because love lemons.)

Why waste food unnecessarily? Give these techniques a try — and please report back with your results!

Image Credit: Steve Hopson via flickr/CC

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About the Author

Hi all! I'm Mary Gerush - a recovering corporate worker bee turned good-farm-real-food advocate and writer who wants to help people understand what they're eating. I tend a tiny urban farm in Dallas, TX, and hope to scale up one day soon. Omnivore through-and-through, there's not much I love to eat more than a butter-basted grass fed steak fresh from a searing hot cast iron skillet. Follow me on , , and !

10 Responses to Five Intriguing Techniques To Keep Your Produce Fresh

  1. Karen Case says:

    LOVE this site and the very helpful information!! As my garden grows it will be helpful to have these tricks to extend life of veggies and fruit! Thanks!

  2. Love these tips! We just keep potatoes out on the counter. We have one of those two-tiered fruit stand things. Usually, potatoes and apples live in the big bottom part and garlic and ginger live up top.

  3. Mary G says:

    Great tips! Never thought of them before.


  4. Val Larson says:

    The tip about the berries really works, I rinsed off raspberries and strawberries, pat them dry, and they were good in the produce section of the fridge for TWO weeks, without a bit of mold forming. There is no vinegar scent either! Great tip! Will try the rest.

    • Mary Gerush says:

      Thanks Val! Good to know that about the berry tip working. Will definitely give it a try!

  5. Joycee says:

    Have used the vinegar & water trick with most of my fruit and veg – leaves no vinegar aftertaste and they ALL benefit as the vinegar kills the mould spores. I have noticed a particular difference with cucumbers and citrus – I often buy my limes and lemons in bulk and they usually go mouldy before I get a chance to use them but not anymore! I love the tip about the lemon! Also, in a lot of Asian cooking, a squeeze of lime or cumquat is often added during cooking and I know a lady who squeezes then freezes the juice into ice cube trays, then adds during cooking. Fantastic way to store the juice!

    • Mary Gerush says:

      Thanks for the tip on using the vinegar wash for citrus and veggies. I like to have lemons and limes on hand, but sometimes they go south before I get to use them. Will give it a try!

  6. AEM says:

    These are great tips! I’m especially excited about the bananas–I can’t stand them with the brown spots.

  7. Lisa says:

    I wrap my celery in tin foil. It keeps it crisp for a really long time. Not sure why. Just make sure all is covered… the parts sticking out will get wilted and rubbery (even thought the covered stuff inside is still crisp).

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