How to Store Vegetables to Keep them Fresh

Storing vegetables the right way will keep them fresh and safe to eat. Some vegetables and fruit need to be stored in the refrigerator, others need to ripen before being placed in the refrigerator, and others are best stored at room temperature or in a cool dry place. Find out more about how your favorite vegetables should be stored.

Storing leafy greens to keep them fresh

Leafy greens stay fresh longer if they’re rinsed, wrapped in a paper towel or tea towel, and refrigerated in a container or sealed plastic bag.   You can do this with lettuce greens,kale and spinach.

Time saving tip – Washing and storing leafy greens as soon as you bring them home will make them more convenient to eat.

Note: Even if you buy pre-washed greens it is a good idea to rinse them again when you get home.

Storing asparagus to keep them fresh

Asparagus should be stored in the fridge. Keep the stalks moist by wrapping them with a damp paper towel or store the stalks upright in a bowl or glass of cold water.

Storing squash and root vegetables to keep them fresh

Squash and root vegetables should be stored in a cool, dark, dry spot outside the fridge like a cupboard or root cellar. You can also store garlic, onions, potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams, pumpkins and rutabaga this way.

Storing tomatoes to keep them fresh

For the best-tasting tomatoes, store them at room temperature away from direct sunlight. This will help them ripen evenly. Once they are ripe they can be placed in the fridge.

Storage times are different for each type of vegetable

The guidelines below are for vegetables at their best quality. They still may be safe to eat after the stated times as long as they are not moldy or rotten. 

Most vegetables, like carrots, potatoes, broccoli, cabbage and celery should be stored in a plastic bag or container in the crisper of your fridge. Mushrooms are best stored in a paper bag. Vegetables should be stored in a different part of the fridge than fruit. This will prevent them from ripening too fast.

VegetableHow long?
Cupboard/cool room temperature
Potatoes1-2 weeks(2-3 months in a cool, dark place)
Tomatoes1-5 days
Onions1-2 months
In the fridge
Asparagus3-4 days
Beans (green, wax)3-5 days
Beets2 weeks
Broccoli3-5 days
Brussels sprouts3-5 days
Cabbage1 week
Carrots3-4 weeks
Cauliflower1 week
Celery1-2 weeks
Corn1-2 days
Cucumbers1 week
Green onions7-10 days
Lettuce1 week
Mushrooms4-7 days
Parsnips3-4 weeks
Peas in the pod3-5 days
Peppers (green, red)1-2 weeks
Potatoes (new)1 week
Rutabaga2-3 weeks
Spinach3-5 days
Sprouts3-5 days
Squash (summer) e.g. zucchini, patty pan4-5 days

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