Tips to Prolong Produce
Tomatoes- Simple just keep them on the counter, however as they start to become overripe you can slice them and freeze them.
Leafy Herbs- Cilantro, Dill and Parsley do best stored in a glass of water with a plastic bag over the leaves in the fridge, just be sure to change the water every few days.
Basil- This amazing herb differs from its other herby cousins because while storing in a glass of water with a bag over its leaves is ideal, it does not like the cold. Keep on the counter and as they start to wilt, you can chop them up and put them in an ice cube tray with the oil of your choosing, and freeze for later use in your favorite Italian dishes.
Green Beans & Peas- Place these in a sealed plastic bag, unwashed in the crisper drawer until you are ready to eat them.
Carrots- Remove the tops (don’t toss them, they are edible too, and can be used like spinach) wrap the rest of the carrots in a damp paper towel and store in the coolest part of your fridge.
Lettuce & other leafy greens- Wash and completely dry then wrap in dry paper towels or a kitchen towel and place in a plastic bag, pressing out as much air as you can before sealing and placing in the fridge. Side note: Keep away from apples, peaches, and melons.
Zucchini- Store unwashed and uncut in a plastic or paper bag with the bag partly open for air circulation.
Potatoes- Cool dark place or in an aerated paper bag.
Onions & Garlic- Store in the same manner as potatoes, however, be sure to keep these separate from potatoes.
Peppers- It is best to keep these unwashed, and stored in a mesh bag in the fridge. If you do wash them prior, be sure to dry them completely as moisture will rot them faster. Placement in the fridge should allow for air flow, so packing tightly is not recommended.
Eggplant- This fruit does not like the cold and does not like to be very warm either, to best prolong its life, put the whole eggplant in a paper bag and keep out of direct sunlight, this will help quite a bit, however eggplant is unfortunately something that does not keep well no matter what you do. Keep away from bananas, tomatoes and melons and use within the first 3 days after bringing it home.
Beets- This is one of those garden gifts that can last up to a year with proper storage, however you would need a root cellar to do so. They will last up to 3 weeks in the fridge though using the following method. Similar to carrots, cut the green tops off immediately (delicious sauteed fyi), however do not wash these, just simply place them in a plastic storage bag, removing as much air as possible before putting them in the crisper drawer of the fridge.
Radishes- For maximum fridge life potential, clean thoroughly, and cut off the green tops and all roots. Place radishes in a mason jar then fully submerge them in water, closing the lid to ensure it is airtight. This method will keep radishes fresh for up to 15 days.
Sweet Corn- Leaving husks intact, place them in a just damp paper bag being careful not to rip or overcrowd the bag, 1-3 husks should fit just right. Place the damp paper bag(s) into a plastic storage bag and squeeze out any remaining air.