Enjoying the raw food diet can get tricky when it comes to knowing the best ways to store each type of fruit and vegetable. For some people, they rely on what they saw other family members do. For example, if you grew up with a basket of apples on the counter, you are likely to believe that storing them on the kitchen counter is the proper way to keep them fresh. Others grew up knowing that all fruit immediately goes in the crisper, even bananas. While every family has a way of storing their fruit and vegetables, there are time-tested options that will help keep these foods lasting longer. Knowing how to store each kind of fruit and vegetable is key for enjoying a raw food diet and getting the most out of your produce.
Bananas, Potatoes, and Tomatoes
Many people place their tomatoes in the refrigerator, which is actually not the proper way to store this fruit. Instead, tomatoes, bananas, and potatoes should all be stored in a cool dry area, which is not your refrigerator. You may opt to keep them on the counter, but keep in mind if they are near a heat source, they may spoil quickly. Potatoes do very well in a basket in the pantry, as it is cool, dry, and darker. Bananas do best on a stand. If you don't place them on the stand properly, however, they will likely go bad quickly. You can also extend their life by wrapping the stems in aluminum or plastic wrap.
Again, this is a vegetable that many people store in the refrigerator, which is fine, your mushrooms won't go bad or cause any issues there, but you'll find they do better in a cool, dry place. And you never want to wash them except for one time right before use. Keep this in mind now, especially as many are washing their produce more thoroughly in the current pandemic.
If you immediately thought of those apples on your grandma's tabletop, then we hate to tell you this, but that is not the proper way to store them. Apples need to be stored in the refrigerator to last longer. Apples stored at room temperature on the counter will soften much faster than those in the refrigerator. Keeping them in the fridge will ensure they stay crunchy and delicious longer.
This vegetable needs to be stored in the refrigerator. It should be wrapped in a moist paper towel or even stored in a glass of cold water, wrapped with a paper towel, and put in the refrigerator.
Berries and Carrots
Any kind of berry will do well in the refrigerator, as will carrots. Just make sure you peel your carrots when you're ready to use them and not ahead of time. Berries should be washed gently before use.
Wash your lettuce before refrigerating, and once the leaves are dry, store them in a clean plastic bag with a few paper towels.
Mangoes, Plums, Peaches, Kiwi, Avocados, and Pears
For long storage, put them in the fridge, but if you plan on eating them quickly, leave them to ripen at room temperature. Avocados will ripen much slower in the refrigerator, so if you want to keep this vegetable from spoiling too quickly, putting it in the fridge is a great choice. However, make sure that you give it a day to ripen on the counter after removing it unless it already has a bit of give to it when squeezed gently.
Any type of whole melon, such as watermelon, honeydew, and even cantaloupe are best stored at room temperature. Just watch to know when they are ripe and ready to enjoy.
You'll want to flip a pineapple upside down for a day or two at room temperature before cutting to allow the sweetness to spread through the fruit.
Oranges, Tangerines, and Grapefruits
Anything that's more of a citrus, like oranges, tangerines, tangelos, and grapefruits can all be picked from the tree and put on the counter. The same goes for lemons, they also are stored on the counter rather than refrigerated. Just keep an eye on them, once picked they can go bad within a couple of days.
For some of these, you may be wondering how you didn't know this information earlier in life. There are many different ways to store fruits and vegetables, the main thing is these methods will help them to last and taste better than some of the other ways.