Living in California, our family is truly blessed to have an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables year-round. In Marin, we take advantage of our local Farmers’ Market and stock up on most of the produce we need for the week. But, if there’s one thing I hate, it’s seeing this fresh, beautiful produce go to waste in my fridge.
After I quit plastic, I was challenged to find new methods to preserve my fruits and veggies. Without a protective layer of plastic, a lot of my produce was coming out wilted and flaccid after a day in the fridge. Unsurprisingly, with a little research I found that storing produce without plastic is nothing new. Our grandparents were able to preserve their produce minus plastic and you can bet they weren’t about to let their food go to waste.
After some trial and error, I've found that I can protect my produce just as well as plastic, and even better in most cases.
Here is a list of ways to store your produce minus the waste:
Apples. Store loose in crisper drawer
Asparagus. Trim ends and store in a glass of water in the fridge. Change the water mid-week.
Avocado. Store at room temperature until ripe and then transfer to the refrigerator. If you eat half, store the other half in the refrigerator with the pit in wrapped in a beeswax cloth.
Bananas. Store on counter away from ethylene sensitive produce like apples and potatoes.
Basil. Trim ends and store in a glass jar of water on counter. They will grow roots after about a week and you can transplant into your garden!
Berries. Berries do not like to be wet, so do not wash them until you’re ready to eat. Store in a sealed glass jar or container in your fridge.
Broccoli (and Cauliflower). Store loose or in a cloth produce bag in the crisper. The produce bag mostly just keeps your drawer clean from debris.
Carrots. Cut off ends and save in a sealed glass container in the fridge or store upright in a glass of water.
Celery. Store loose in crisper or in cloth produce bag.
Chard. Store in a cloth produce bag that’s been spritzed with water.
Citrus. Store loose in crisper.
Eggplant. Store loose in crisper.
Figs. Store in single layer on a plate or in a glass container.
Garlic. Store at room temperature on counter.
Grapes. Store in cloth produce bag in crisper or a glass container.
Lettuce. Either store in cloth produce bag that’s been spritzed with water or wash lettuce and spin dry in salad spinner and store directly in your spinner in fridge.
Melon. Store at room temperature on counter until ripe, then transfer to fridge.
Mushrooms. Store in sealed glass container in fridge.
Onions. Store at room temperature on counter.
Pineapple. Store at room temperature on counter until ripe (you should be able to easily pull out a leaf). Then cut into pieces and place in sealed glass container in fridge.
Potatoes. Store at room temperature on counter.
Radishes. Cut off stems and rinse. Store in a jar of water in fridge. Change water every few days.
Stone Fruit. Store at room temperature on counter until ripe, then transfer to crisper.Tomatoes. Store at room temperature on counter.