Fruits and veggies can last in the fridge from two days to more than a month, depending on the specific fruit or veggie, of course. Certain factors play a role in their freshness — such as how ripe the produce was when you purchased it, the temperature of your fridge and which types of produce should or shouldn't be stored together. Here's a quick guide to help prevent your fruits and veggies from rotting and maintain their freshness longer.
Winter fruits and veggies can last all season long if you store them properly. Apples, pumpkin, squash and garlic should all be kept dry and cool. The area should be well-ventilated and dark, such as a basement. Prevent placing any fruits or vegetables in a spot where they'll be in direct contact with the sun. The ideal temperature for winter produce is 32 degrees F. Winter squash will last the longest at up to six months, whereas cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli can only last one month, assuming it's properly stored.
Typically, summer fruits and vegetables do not last as long as their winter counterparts. Berries, watermelon, zucchini and peppers last up to one week in the refrigerator. Summer produce should all be stored in separate plastic bags in the refrigerator for maximum freshness and quality. Lettuce and chard should be kept dry and in a separate crisper drawer than all other fruits and veggies. Corn, cucumbers and green beans have the shortest lifespan of just four days, so plan a meal right away to use up these foods.
If your lettuce becomes wilted despite your best efforts to keep it fresh, it can be salvaged as long as it's not moldy. The reason lettuce (and other greens) become wilted is simply because they lose their water. To perk them back up, submerge in cold water for 30 minutes. This allows them to regain their crispness and provide you with a fresh, delicious salad in under an hour.
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