Fresh veggies are so healthy to keep on hand and can be used in a wide variety of meals. Today, we've got some great tips on how to store vegetables so they'll last longer. Reduce food waste and save money!

woman making a salad, from Shelf Cooking

The best thing about shelf cooking is that you can take a bunch of random ingredients and turn them into a delicious meal for your family… Without having to go to the store! But what happens when you go to reach for the lettuce and realize it's soggy and wilted and sad?

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It's time to learn how to store your vegetables properly so they stay fresh for as long as possible! No more throwing veggies in the trash because you couldn't eat them quickly enough. Use these tried-and-true tips and you'll always have fresh veggies on hand for a delicious and nutritious meal!


VEGETABLE STORAGE

Before we discuss how to store your vegetables, check out these options to take your veggie storage to the next level! You don't have to have these products at all to keep your vegetables fresh, but they can definitely help make a difference:

  • Produce Saver Food Storage Containers – These containers help prolong your produce! They act as a crisper tray to keep the moisture away. Just make sure you don't wash your veggies before putting them into the containers. If you absolutely have to prewash, then make sure they're completely dry!
  • Cut Veggie Saver – If you like using one onion throughout the week or slicing peppers to snack on, try out these veggie savers! They keep veggies fresher longer and keep the smells out of the fridge. Plus, they're shaped like the vegetable they're made for, which makes them easy to spot in the fridge.
  • Wire Baskets – Losing track of vegetables? Check out this basket system to keep them all organized. This helps with airflow and so you can easily see your supply so nothing gets lost in the back to slowly rot.

These vegetable storage ideas are a great way to keep produce as fresh as possible, while also keeping them organized!


HOW TO STORE VEGETABLES THE RIGHT WAY

woman chopping vegetables, from Shelf Cooking

Wait, you mean there's a proper way to store veggies so they stay fresh? Yep! No more throwing everything into the fridge because you think it'll keep longer.

And stop piling all of your vegetables together. It's not doing you any favors! Use these tips on how to store whole vegetables and be amazed at how much longer they'll last.


VEGGIES TO STORE IN THE PANTRY

Some vegetables stay fresh the longest when they're stored in a cool, dry place. The pantry is usually the best place for this! However, if your pantry is on the warmer side, then store them in a place they'll stay cool and dry.

  • Onion – Keep them at room temperature and away from any other veggies, as onions cause them to ripen quicker!
  • Potatoes – Any and all types of potatoes (brown, sweet, red, etc.) do best in the pantry.
  • Garlic – Whatever you do, don't put it in the fridge!
  • Winter Squash – Butternut, acorn, and other winter squash can last for a long time at room temperature.

Give this produce plenty of room to breathe, and they'll last you for a good while in the pantry!


VEGETABLES TO STORE ON THE COUNTER

Like pantry vegetables, some vegetables last the longest at room temperature! Putting them into the refrigerator before they're ripened will actually mess up with the ripening process, so the counter is the best spot for them to go.

  • Avocado – Store these on the counter and keep them away from other fruit. If you need to ripen an avocado quickly, wrap it in a paper sack with an apple. Once it's ripened, store it in the refrigerator.
  • Tomato – Yes, we know, it's actually a fruit! But since people eat them like veggies, we're including them. Leave tomatoes on the counter out of direct sunlight. And whatever you do, keep them out of the fridge!
  • Cucumber – They actually don't like the cold, so they do best at room temperature in a dry place. If you must have them cold, then wrap them in a paper towel, put them in an open paper sack, and store them in the door of the fridge where it's the warmest.

Stick to these tips, and you'll have the freshest veggies in all the land. 😉


VEGGIES TO STORE IN THE REFRIGERATOR

woman picking tomato off the vine, from Shelf Cooking

Oh, the refrigerator. What a magical cold box that helps keep so many vegetables at their peak freshness! Be sure to keep your fridge organized so none of those goodies go to waste.

Also, keep in mind that any veggies stored in the crisper should only be stored with other vegetables. Keep the fruit in their own crisper, so they don't make the veggies ripen quicker.


KEEP THESE VEGGIES FRESH IN WATER

  • Herbs – Fresh herbs, such as cilantro and parsley, do best when they're kept moist. Stand the bunch in a glass of water and cover with a plastic bag.
  • Asparagus – Cut the bottom inch off and stand in a glass of water, covered with a plastic bag.
  • Green Onions – Place the roots in a glass of water and cover with a plastic bag.
  • Carrots – Cut the green tops off and store in a tupperware container full of water.

KEEP THESE VEGGIES FRESH IN THE CRISPER DRAWER

  • Celery – Take out of the plastic bag and wrap it in foil before storing. This will help it breathe while keeping the moisture away.
  • Whole Mushrooms – Take them out of their package and store them in a paper bag. They'll be able to breathe better and won't get slimy.
  • Sliced Mushrooms – Remove them from the container they came in and wrap tightly in plastic wrap or foil.
  • Corn on the Cob – Leave in the husk to store.
  • Lettuce – Don't wash it until right before eating! If you must wash it so you can prep salads for the week, make sure it's completely dry before putting away.
  • Summer Squash – Zucchini and other summer squash can be wrapped in a paper towel to keep moisture away. Then, put it in a plastic bag.
  • Cauliflower – Keep it in the bag it came in or put it in a plastic bag. Store it stem-side down so the head doesn't collect any moisture.
  • Broccoli – Wrap the head in a damp paper towel to keep it from drying out.
  • Cabbage – Don't wash until right before you need it!
  • Peppers – Don't wash until right before you need them.
  • Okra – Put in a paper bag for storage. Don't wash until right before using!

Bonus Tip: The next time you make too much guacamole, push the leftovers down in an airtight container with a spoon to remove any air bubbles. Then, cover with a thin layer of water (½ inch) and put the lid on top. Refrigerate for up to three days. When you're ready to eat it, pour the water off the top and stir. It'll be as fresh as the day you made it!


Alright, well there you have it! Now you know all about how to store vegetables the right way so they stay fresher, longer! Do you have any tips that we missed? Let us know in the comments!

Image with text that reads "how to store veggies & keep them fresh" from Shelf Cooking

Want some more great vegetable tips?

  • Needing a way to use up those veggies that are starting to go bad? Build your own soup from scratch!
  • Sneak some veggies into your family's meals! Get some great ideas and enjoy knowing that your family is getting some extra nutrition.
  • Wanting to make a salad but completely out of salad dressing? Make your own!!!

Enjoy! It's crunch time!