Summer is a great time to stock up on fresh fruits and vegetables! With all the extra produce you need somewhere to put it and not everything needs to be kept in the fridge. Produce can also be kept on the counter or in the freezer. Keeping certain produce on the counter can quicken the ripening process. Keeping it in the freezer can change the texture, but will extend the life of the product.
Storing fruits on the counter will help them to ripen faster. Storing them in the fridge extends their shelf life. Mangoes, plums, peaches, and pears can be ripened at room temperature and then refrigerated for longer storage. Apples can be kept on the counter but if kept for too long they will lose their firm texture. Bananas can also be kept on the counter for quick ripening.
These can be kept on the counter or in a cupboard: onions, potatoes, rutabaga, squash, and tomatoes.
Most fresh fruits and veggies can be stored and will keep for longer in the fridge. Most fridges have what is called a ‘crisper’. This is drawer, usually in the bottom of your fridge, that is meant to help produce retain its moisture and maintain freshness.
After you have kept your produce on the counter or in the fridge for too long you will notice that it starts to wilt or lose its firmness. This produce can then be put into the freezer. Most fruits and veggies can be kept in the freezer and will keep for up to one year. Freezing produce will change its texture. Frozen fruits and vegetables can be put into smoothies, soups, stews, and stir fry.