Tuesday, January 01, 2008

storing fruits and veggies

Pretty unrealistic pic, eh? heh heh

If one of your goals for the new year is organization, how about that refrigerator you've packed over the holidays? Holy cow! I just got mine under control.

Apples: According to the Purdue Horticulture Dept., apples are best stored in plastic bags with air holes in a 30-32˚F refrigerator. They recommend putting them on shelves instead of the crisper drawer to permit proper circulation and humidity. Do not freeze.

Bananas: From Chiquita Banana, “To slow the ripening process once bananas reach your preferred ripeness, put them in the refrigerator. Even though our original jingle warned consumers not to refrigerate bananas, it’s really OK. The skin may turn dark, but the fruit will be just right for several days.” I thought my cousin was wacky for doing this, but once I tried it, I found it is the best way to keep from throwing away overripe bananas.

Fresh corn: Us Nebraska gals know this: Store it in the husk, but use it the day you buy it. If you’re not going to use it that same day, remove the husk, vacuum seal it, and store it in the freezer.

Bell peppers: According to the Texas Produce Association, bell peppers can handle short-term storage for seven days or less at 45-50 degrees with 85-95 percent humidity. If you store a pepper below 42 degrees it will suffer from chill injury. Additionally, don’t store next to apples because of a chemical reaction.

Tomatoes: According to the Penn State Agriculture Dept., tomatoes should be stored in an aerated basket on your counter, out of direct sunlight. Putting them in the refrigerator will cause them to lose their aroma and flavor. However, don't leave a basket of tomatoes on a marble surface. I found out the hard way that the acid from a leak will ruin the finish. I have a spot on a hundred-year-old sideboard.

Potatoes: According to the Delicious Organic website, “Because their starch turns to sugar in the refrigerator, they should be kept in a dark, dry, cool area like a cellar or a brown bag. However, out of sight is out of mind, so beware of warm temperatured climates that cause them to sprout too quickly. Store them in the refrigerator but let them come to room temperature for a day (take them out in the morning) so that their sugar can return to starch.”

Herbs and lettuce: According to the Virginia Tech Cooperative Extension, “Lettuce should be rinsed under cold running water, drained, packaged in plastic bags, and refrigerated.” The refrigerator should be at least 40˚F or lower, and you should eat the greens within a week. Do not freeze.

Onions: According to the Foodservice Guide, “Store your onions in a cool, dry ventilated place–not in the refrigerator. Lack of air movement reduces storage life. Chopped or sliced onions can be stored in a sealed container in your refrigerator for up to 7 days.” Do not freeze.


1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the unclutter link as well! I'm a life-long student and there is always something new to learn (or sometimes, just remind!! LOL)