HOW TO STORE PRODUCE WITHOUT PLASTIC
One of my favorite kitchen tools is the book by Beth Terry, “Plastic Free”. In it she has a really helpful guide for the best ways to store your veggies and fruit, keeping them fresh and tasty without using plastic bags, wraps, or containers. Think about it, your great-grandparents didn’t have any plastic wrap or zip-up bags… and yet they managed to eat well enough to produce a family line that led to you!
Speaking of dear Grandma, I have a few of her old enamel refrigerator containers that I just couldn’t bring myself to part with over the years. They are perfect now, as they were back then, for storing produce.
Here are some storage tips for items you might be picking up for your holiday table. You can check out Beth Terry’s blog to see the complete list. http://myplasticfreelife.com/2010/05/how-to-store-produce-without-plastic/
Asparagus ‐ Place them loosely and upright in a glass or a bowl with water at room temperature. They will keep for a week outside the fridge.
Beets – Cut the greens off to keep the beets firm, (be sure to use the greens!) Leaving tops on root vegetables draws moisture from the roots, making them lose flavor and firmness. Beets should be washed and kept in an open container with a wet towel on top.
Beet Greens – Place in an airtight container with a little moisture.
Broccoli ‐ Place in an open container in the fridge or wrap in a damp towel before placing in the fridge.
Carrots‐ Cut the leafy tops off to keep them fresh longer and place them in a closed container with plenty of
moisture: wrap in a damp towel or dunk them in cold water every couple of days if stored for long.
Greens‐ Remove any bands, twist ties, etc. Most greens must be kept in an air‐tight container with a damp cloth to keep them from drying out. Kale, collards, and chard do well in a cup of water on the counter or fridge.
Green Beans‐ To maintain humidity, but not wetness, drape a damp cloth over an open or loosely closed container.
Onions‐ Store in a cool, dark and dry, place with good air circulation, so don’t stack them.
Potatoes (like garlic and onions)- Store in cool, dark and dry place such as a box in a dark corner of the pantry. A paper bag also works well.
Sweet Potatoes‐ Store in a cool, dark, well‐ventilated place. Never refrigerate‐‐sweet potatoes don’t like the cold.
Winter Squash‐ Store in a cool, dark, well ventilated place. Many growers say winter squash gets sweeter if stored for a week or so after harvest.
Apples‐ Store on a cool counter or shelf for up to two weeks or for longer storage in a cardboard box in the fridge.
Dates‐ Dryer dates (like Deglet Noor) are fine stored on the counter in a bowl or paper bag. Moist dates (like Medjool) need a bit of refrigeration if stored for more than a week, either in cloth or a paper bag in order to keep moisture away from the skin of the dates.
Pears‐ Keep for a few weeks on a cool counter or in a paper bag. To hasten the ripening put an apple in with them.
Do yourself a favor and get a copy of Beth Terry’s book, “Plastic Free”. It’s my guidebook to living a plastic-free life in a plastic-choked world. A great way to start your one-step-at-a-time journey, or to kick it up a notch if you are already on the path.