TIP #65-PROPER FOOD STORAGE 1

“Proper Food Storage: The Ultimate Guide (Part I)” By Katie Waldeck 1. Vegetables Greens: Take off bands holding the greens together. Store in an airtight container with a damp cloth. Spinach should be stored in an open container in your refrigerator’s vegetable crisper. Onions, Garlic Shallots, Potatoes & Sweet Potatoes: Store in a cool, dark & dry place, like a cabinet. Don’t stack onions — they like air circulation. Potatoes can be stored in a paper bag. Beets, Radishes & Turnips: Cut off any greens before storing (see above for how to store the greens). Keep them in an open container with a moist towel in the crisper. Cucumber, Zucchini & Broccoli: Wrap a moist towel around them and store in the crisper. Asparagus: No need to refrigerate if you’re using them within a week. Keep them upright in a glass filled with room temperature water. Avocado: Keep in a paper bag on the counter. Carrots: Keep in an airtight container wrapped in a damp towel. Mushrooms: Take off any plastic wrapping and transfer loose mushrooms to a paper bag. You can also wrap them in a damp towel and store in the fridge. And remember — never wash before storing! Sweet Corn: Don’t store it — sweet corn should be eaten as soon as possible. Sweet Peppers: If you’re using within a few days, keep them on the countertop. If not, keep them loose in the crisper. Tomatoes: Keep them on the counter. Nothing turns a terrific tomato into a terrible tomato quite like refrigeration. 2. Fruits Stone Fruits: Keep on the counter until the fruit is fully ripe, at which point you should refrigerate to prolong their shelf life. Citrus Fruits: Citrus does best in the crisper, not in an air-tight container. Most citrus can be stored at room temperature for several days, however — with the exception of tangerines and mandarins, which should always be refrigerated. Berries: Store in a paper bag in the crisper. Keep an eye out for moisture — berries don’t take well to it. It’s also a good idea to not stack them too high. Melons: Uncut melon doesn’t need to be refrigerated, but should be kept out of the sun. Cut melon should be stored in an open container in the fridge. Apples: Apples don’t need to be refrigerated, but make sure the counter or shelf that you’re storing them on is cool. Bananas: Always keep at room temperature — bananas hate the cold! Cherries: Always refrigerate, ideally in an airtight container. It’s best to store cherries separately from other foods in the fridge, as they tend to absorb odors. Do not wash until use. Grapes: Most grapes come in ventilated plastic bags for a reason — it’s the ideal packing for keeping them fresh. Store in the fridge and wash when you use them. 3. Herbs Dried Herbs: They may look pretty sitting out on your counter, but the best way to store dried herbs is in a cool, dark place — like inside a cabinet. They’ll retain their flavor much longer that way. Basil: To keep basil fresh as long as possible (warning: it can be difficult, no matter how hard you try!), store it loosely packed in an airtight container. Keep a small damp piece of paper inside the container. Basil doesn’t like to be cold, so store it on the counter. Parsley & Cilantro: Cut off the bottom tips of the stems and store in a jar of water, like you would with a bouquet of flowers. Keep the leaves dry. Change the water every few days, and use within two weeks. Fresh Thyme, Rosemary & Chives: Loosely wrap in plastic wrap. Store in a compartment on the refrigerator’s door. Fennel: No need to refrigerate if you plan on using within a few days. Instead, keep upright in a cup of water. To be continued…

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