9 Fruits & Veggies with the Longest Shelf Life
Stocking up? You don't have to forgo all the fresh food! Here are nine produce items you can buy and store for several weeks, plus some pantry-friendly ways to use them.
Keep apples in your crisper drawer, holding the temperature around 32 degrees, and they'll stay firm and crunchy for a month or more. Be sure to keep them away from other ethylene-producing fruits and veggies, like potatoes, onions, cantaloupe, and more. The gas causes produce to ripen more quickly.
Beets will last around two weeks or more in your fridge. Before storing, cut off the beet greens, which pull moisture away from the root. Place the unwashed bulb (washing speeds up rotting) in a plastic bag and stick it in your fridge's crisper drawer. Pro tip: Don't toss the beet greens! Sauté them like you might spinach or chard within two days for less waste and more taste.
Since most greens tend to wilt quickly, cabbage (both the green and red varieties) is your best long-lasting leafy friend. Wrap cabbage heads tightly in plastic and store in the crisper drawer. They'll last around two weeks and up to a month.
Carrots want moisture, so if you keep them hydrated, they'll stay crisp for up to a month. First, remove the leafy green tops, which pull moisture away from the roots. (Hang on to them and turn them into a carrot-top drizzle for noodle dishes.) Then place the carrots in a container of water and store in the fridge. Change out the water every couple of days so it stays fresh.
Citrus fruits like lemons, limes, and oranges have a long life when refrigerated. Lemons and limes will keep for slightly over a month, and oranges typically last three to four weeks refrigerated.
Onions have one of the longest shelf lives of all produce. Stored in a cool (between 45 and 55 degrees), dry place, they'll keep for up to a year. Basements, pantries, and garages all tend to be good places to keep onions. But make sure you keep them in a well-ventilated container so they don't absorb much moisture. Mesh bags and open baskets work well, but if you're in a pinch, a pair of pantyhose works, too.
At room temperature and out of direct sunlight, pomegranates last up to two weeks. Place them in the fridge and they'll keep for two months. If you've already removed the seeds, keep them in the freezer for up to three months.
Recipe: Try our Pomegranate-Coriander Baked Wings (using frozen wings)
Potatoes are a lot like onions. Stored in a dry, well-ventilated place away from sunlight and at around 40 to 50 degrees, they'll keep for two or three months. (So the basement or cellar is again your go-to, but be sure to keep potatoes separated from onions, as onion gasses make potatoes ripen more quickly.) Keep potatoes in a cardboard box or mesh bag to allow air flow, and be sure to check them for any softening or sprouting. If one starts to rot, it could cause the rest to go bad.
Recipes: Try our Potato, Garlic & Rosemary Packets and Lemon-Rosemary Roasted Chicken Thighs with Potatoes
Acorn squash, butternut squash, kabocha squash, and other winter squash varieties can last for several months if stored in a cool, dry place away from sunlight. A pantry shelf or cabinet where the temperature hangs around 50 degrees usually does the trick Try to buy squash that still has the stems attached—those ones will last a bit longer.