Mamabake’s Guide to Storing Fruit and Vegetables – Part 3

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 fruitandveg3

The other parts of this guide here and here.

Papaya – keep already ripe papaya in the fridge, inside a plastic bag to maintain moisture. You can keep it for up to a week this way. If unripe, ripen at room temperature or place in a brown paper bag to speed it up.

Parsnip – keep parsnips just as you would carrots: The greens should be removed and the roots placed loose in the vegetable drawer which should be lined with paper towel to absorb moisture. Parsnips can keep for several months this way, as long as the drawer is lined with paper and replaced regularly.

Passion Fruit– Ripe passionfruit can be kept in a plastic bag in the fridge for up to a week, but the best method of storage is to scoop ripe flesh from the outer and freeze it. You can keep passionfruit pulp for months in this way. Unripe passionfruit should be ripened at room temperature.

Peach, Plum and Nectarine Storageripen stone fruit at room temperature and then refrigerate as soon as ripe, sweet and fragrant smelling. Do not wash until you intend to consume as stone fruit skin is extremely delicate. Keep in the fridge inside a plastic bag for 3 to 5 days. Nectarines and plums tend to have a shorter shelf life than peaches so need to be consumed within a couple of days before they start to grow mould.

Peas – whole pods of fresh peas should be stored in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer for only a couple of days; they quickly begin to dry out once picked. If you have a large quantity of peas, shell, blanch and freeze them to keep for many months.

Pear – the fact that we can have fresh pears not from our own trees is provided by the miracle of refrigeration. Tree ripened pears are good for only a day or 2 before they start to degrade very quickly so most pears are picked early and cooled to extend storage. Ripen unripe pears at room temperature and once ready store in the fridge in a plastic bag for only a couple of days.

Persimmon – both Fuyu and Hachiya persimmons should be kept at room temperature as refrigeration causes them to become soft and mushy too quickly. Eat Hachiyas as soon as the flesh is soft and yielding and Fuyu should be eaten within a few days while still crisp.

Pineapple – pineapple should be ripened uncovered at room temperature. With cut pineapple or pineapple that has had the leafy top removed, you need to watch out for mould where it has been cut. When ripe you can store a whole pineapple in a plastic bag for a few days until you are ready to eat. Otherwise skin and cut pineapple and store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.

Pomegranate – pomegranates can be kept in the fridge in the coolest, driest spot for up to 2-3 months depending on the specimen. Pomegranate arils can be removed from the outer and frozen in zip lock bags for several months.

Potato– never refrigerate an uncooked potato. Keep potatoes in a cool, dry, dark place in a breathable bag such as burlap, in netting or in a basket where they can get adequate airflow. Potatoes can keep several months this way.

Potato, sweet –see Sweet potato – keep sweet potatoes in a similar way to regular potatoes. Do not refrigerate them. Cooked sweet potato can be removed from skins and frozen for a couple of months

Pumpkin– keep whole pumpkins for several months in a cool, dry , dark place not touching one another. Cut pumpkin quickly deteriorates, so keep in a sealed container or in plastic wrap for only 2-3 days in the fridge.

Radish – remove greens from the radishes, wash the radishes and place in a paper towel lined zip lock bag still damp. Will keep for up to one week.

Raspberry – handle raspberries very gently. Discard any mouldy specimens and spread raspberries on a paper towel lined plate or plastic container for a few days in the fridge. Berries are best eaten the day they are picked/purchased, so consume quickly. Do not wash until you intend to eat them.

Rhubarb – remove leaves and keep stalks in the plastic bag to maintain moisture for up to 5 days. Never eat the leaves or feed them to pets.

Salsify – salsify root can be kept in a bucket of damp sand in a cool dry place. If you grow salsify, it is actually best to leave it in the garden until you intend to consume it as it stores well through cold weather in a the garden. Purchased salsify should be cleaned, placed in a plastic bag and stored in the fridge for a few days.

Spinach – keep spinach leaves unwashed and loose in a plastic bag in the fridge. You can also wrap with paper towel to absorb excess moisture. Spinach can last the week this way. If you have a large quantity of spinach, chop, blanch and freeze it in portions.

Squash – keep unwashed in a plastic bag for up to 5 days in the vegetable drawer.

Strawberries – like other berries, do not wash strawberries until you intend to eat them. Line a plate with a few layers of paper towel and place berries on it with some space between them. This way they will last up to 4-5 days in the fridge.

Tomatoes – keep ripe tomatoes out of the fridge on the counter but away from sunlight and consume within a couple of days. Once overripe, keep tomatoes in the fridge for a few days. Unripe tomatoes should be kept stem side down on the counter not touching until ripe.

Turnipstore turnips in the same manner as radishes: remove greens from the root, wash the root and place in a paper towel lined zip lock bag still damp. Will keep for up to one week.

Watermelon – uncut watermelon can last a week or more at room temperature. Wrap and refrigerate cut watermelon for up to one week, but the flavour gradually degrades as it is kept cool.

Yams – store in the same way as potatoes: Keep potatoes in a cool, dry, dark place in a breathable bag such as burlap, in netting or in a basket where they can get adequate airflow. Potatoes can keep several months this way.

Zucchini – like squash keep unwashed in a plastic bag for up to 5 days in the vegetable drawer.

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