How to Store Food Outside of the Fridge

Here's how you can keep fruits and veggies fresh!

IMAGE Pexels

Throwing out spoilt fresh fruits and veggies can be heartbreaking. You remember when you bought them:  fresh, vibrant, beautiful, and now they’re wilt and on the verge of spoiling. There’s a way you can avoid wasting your precious produce! Whether you don’t have a refrigerator, don’t have space in the refrigerator, or want to shop less often, these tips will surely help you do right by your fresh fruits and veggies.

The freshest vegetables can be found in open-air markets where they don't refrigerate.
Photo by Majoy Siason

1 Buy at the Wet Market

Once a fruit or vegetable has been refrigerated, they need to stay refrigerated. It gets used to the colder temperature and once it's out, its ripening process is accelerated. If you bought your produce at the groceries, they've most likely been refrigerated and are not advisable to keep at room temperature anymore.

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2 Buy Unripe Fruits

If you’re shopping once a week, buy your fruits at different stages of ripening so you can be eating a sweet fruit every day. Make sure to eat them within the day once they’re fully ripe.

Here are the fruits to leave on your countertop where they will continue to ripen:

Apples, bananas, pears, kiwis, mangoes, papayas, pineapples, pomegranates, mangoes, and cabbages.

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Cushion your fruits and veggies with kitchen towels to keep them bruise-free.
Photo by Pexels

3 Avoid Bruising Your Fruits and Veggies

Bruising your produce can actually trigger enzymatic reactions that cause it to spoil faster. You probably know this through experience when you pick out your produce and always avoid the discolored produce.

To avoid bruising your fruits and veggies, you can line your baskets with kitchen towels. Also, for softer produce, avoid layering them on top of one another. Bell peppers and zucchinis will do even better wrapped individually in newspaper.

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4 Choose a Well Ventilated Area

Whether you’re keeping it in the dark or on top of your kitchen counter, make sure you don’t seal your produce in airtight containers. The lack of respiration will cause it to go bad quickly.

Tomatoes are summer fruits and can actually get "burned" by the cold.
Photo by Pixabay

5 Tomatoes and Other Citrus Fruits are Better at Room Temperature

Refrigerating tomatoes and other citrus fruits will actually rid it of its fruity scent and change its texture. It will last longer on your countertop, away from direct sunlight. You can continue ripening your citrus fruits by placing them in a cool, dark and dry place.

If your tomatoes are already fully ripe and you don’t think they’ll last the night, boil them for 10 minutes so you can still use them the next day.

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6 Take Them Out of Their Plastic Bags

Fruits and vegetables will immediately rot if stored wet, especially when it’s in a plastic bag that traps moisture. Wick plastic containers, baskets or bags are better to use. 

7 Get Rid of Rotten Produce

Rot spreads. Save the rest of your fruits and veggies by discarding rotten produce. Look out for bruising, dripping, mold, or if it particularly attracts fruit flies. If fruit is particularly too ripe, or just bruised but not rotten, it's still best to separate it from the group. Instead of throwing it away, just eat it immediately!

Photo by Pixabay

8 Root Crops Stay Fresh For Longer

You can store potatoes, jicama (singkamas), yams, sweet potatoes, onions and garlic for weeks, sometimes months as long as they are in a cool, dry, and dark place.

Exposing them to light may cause them to sprout. Also, keep onions and potatoes away from each other as they will also cause sprouting.

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9 Treat Herbs and Greens Like Flowers

Fresh greens lettuce, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and herbs will last long on your kitchen counter if you treat them like a bouquet of flowers. Cut their ends and have them stand in a jar of fresh water. Change the water daily to keep it clean.

10 Make Jam

Too many fruits ripe at the same time? Cooking your fruits in sugar and storing them in sterilized jars will give it a long shelf life.

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11 Pickle Fruits and Veggies

Green mangoes, okra, green beans, peppers, radishes, tomatoes, and squash can all be pickled. These give your fruits and vegetables more shelf life. The longer they marinate, the tastier they get.

Breakfast beef steaks are your best bet for quickly-cooked meals.

It's so easy to make your own pickled mangoes!

These tips will not only make storing produce easier, but it’s also an easier way to guarantee meeting your required fruits and veggies for the day.

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