Basic rules for storing your produce

Get rid of brown bananas and overripe avocados

Did you ever go to the kitchen to have yourself a delicious fresh avocado toast, only to cut the avocado in half and find it either rotten or unripe inside? So have we… That’s why we have collected all the best storage advice for avocados and other produce, so nothing of the ugly produce goes to waste after finally having a home.

A person holding a cucumber which looks like a duck or bird

First tip for you: How does a penguin feel in Africa, or a lion feel in Greenland?

Taken out of their natural environment they must have at least a temperature that somewhat matches where they come from. The same principal applies for your fruit and veg.

That is why produce with a tropical origin should not be kept cold. Bananas turn brown in the fridge, and many of those sunkissed fruits can lose colour and taste when stored cold. So, for e.g. cucumber, tomato, pineapple, avocado, banana, lemon, grape, lime, mango and papaya to name a few, the cold is a big no-go!

Most veggies are pretty durable when stored in a cool place in a dry environment (4–6 degrees C). But your fridge is not dry! That’s why you should store your veggies in sealed boxes or bags to prevent moist from reaching the produce. Cut vegetables can last several days in the fridge if stored this way.

So, keep the lions at living room temperature, and the penguins protected in the fridge, and separate ethylene-rich produce from ethylene-sensitive produce. Which brings us to the second tip.

Second tip for you: Familiar with the proverb “it is better to be green and growing than ripe and rotten”?

You don’t want your produce to be overripe or turn rotten over night. That is why you should keep it separated between what excretes ethylene, and what doesn’t. Ethylene-a-what-now?

All plants excrete the gas ethylene and their ripening processes depend on this excretion. Some plants excrete much and some less, but common to them all is that ethylene instigates and accelerates the growth development and ripening of the plant. Most fruits create and need a lot of ethylene to ripe, whereas many veggies only excrete or need small amounts of ethylene. This is why some veggies are especially sensitive to ethylene-presence. Many veggies and herbs will change colour, taste and structure when exposed to too much ethylene. This ethylene-sensitive produce should therefore be kept separate from fruit, and especially from fruit that produce a lot of ethylene such as tomatoes, apples, pears, plums, melon and peach. On the other hand, these fruits can also be used to ripen unripe fruit and veggies (such as our friend, the avocado) when kept together.

Third and last tip: Fruit and veggies don’t mix well, but how about those gnarly roots?

Root vegetables such as e.g. potato, beetroot, onion, ginger and garlic also don’t like the cold and moist in the fridge. Actually they feel best, and last the longest, if they are simply stored at room-temperature in an aired and dark space, such as a wire-mesh or natural fiber basket with a lid on it.

Furthermore, keep onions, garlics and roots separate, as they will otherwise contribute to ripening and over-ripening each other.

If you need more tips read this article on storing your summer veggies.

A person holding a GRIM beet

/Article written by Simone


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