Summer’s here, which means it’s time to enjoy the warm weather and perfectly ripe fruits and veggies. Crisp corn, tart cherries and sweet strawberries are just some of the produce that is at its peak during summer.
Warm weather also means that fruits and veggies can go bad faster if you don’t store them properly. To help maximize the freshness of your summer finds, we’ve created this handy guide on how to properly store fruits and veggies.
Keep these delicate greens unwashed until you use them. If you decide to pre-wash the leaves, make sure to dry them before you refrigerate them. Keep them tightly sealed in a plastic bag in the fridge. And try to use them as soon as possible, as arugula can quickly grow bacteria.
Separate the leaves from the beetroot before you store them. Put them in separate plastic bags in the refrigerator.
Place them in a loosely covered container and store them in the fridge. Don’t wash them until you’re ready to eat them, as extra moisture can make them go bad sooner.
Corn is best enjoyed the same day you purchase it. You can store corn for two to three days in the fridge, but it might become less sweet. Be sure to store it unshucked and in a plastic bag.
Store melons like watermelon and honeydew in the refrigerator until you’re ready to cut and serve them. Wrap cut melons with plastic wrap before refrigerating them. Melons tend to taste sweeter at room temperature, so let them sit out for about 20 to 30 minutes before you cut and serve them.
Stone Fruits (Peaches, Nectarines & Plums)
If they’re not ripe when you buy them, put them in a brown paper bag and store them at room temperature until they’re soft. Once they’re ripe, you can store them in the fridge for a couple of days.
Store strawberries in an airtight bag or container in the refrigerator. If you see any overripe or moldy strawberries in the batch, separate them from the rest. Don’t wash them before you store them, as extra moisture can contribute to the growth of mold.
Keep unripe tomatoes at room temperature in a bowl or on a plate. Store them stem-side down, as moisture can escape from where the stem was. Once they’re ripe, you can store them in the fridge for a couple of days. However, keeping them in the fridge for too long can dull their flavor and lead to a mealy texture.
This post was originally published June 7, 2016. It was last updated June 20, 2017.