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How to Select and Store the Best Produce for Juicing

People have been wondering how to preserve the harvest for ages. It’s an art form that has been going back generations.

Today, we are able to go to the grocery stores and pick up anything we want. But, as we have lost touch with local roots, people are no longer able to tell what is fresh and how to keep it fresh.

Characteristics of Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

How to Select the Best Produce for Juicing

The best produce is the ripest and freshest. That’s why you should visit your local farmer’s market. They have the freshest foods available. It is also seasonal for your area and you may have a hard time finding fruit in the winter.

In the grocery stores, you have more variety and choice. They have produce year-round and can have what you seek during the off-season. But, remember that the produce had to be picked, packaged, loaded on a truck, driven to the distribution center, repackaged, shipped to the grocery store, unpacked, and placed on the shelf for you to look at – at best that food is 3 days old or more.

Each fruit and vegetable have their own test of ripeness. For some, firm textures mean ripeness. In others, it’s softness.

The color is very important. The darker and richer the color, the riper the produce. Always seek out vibrant and rich colors.

Smell is also important. Overripe produce will produce ethylene gas and begin to ferment. These are unique smells coming from produce. Underripe produce rarely smells of anything at all. But, ripe produce will smell of the fruit or vegetable.

And while you can’t taste the produce before buying, ripe produce has lots of flavors. Underripe produce and those that are artificially ripened lack full taste. Overripe produce tends to taste a little of alcohol and sourness.

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What Fruits and Vegetables are Bad for Juicing?

All fruits and vegetables can be used for juicing. The taste will determine which ones you will want to use. Your juicer will also dictate which fruits and vegetables are best.

The best juicers will keep the fibers and skins of the fruit and vegetable when you juice it. This is important because many of the vitamins and minerals are bound up in the fibers. Lower quality juicers remove this as ‘pulp’ to produce a clear liquid that’s more flavored sugar water.

Some of the Top Problem Produce are:

how to store apples

Apples 

Tend to make frothy drinks

how to store peppers

Peppers

Can cause gas

how to store ginger

Ginger

Creates too much heat

 

how to store onions
how to store garlic

Garlic & Onion

While incredibly healthy, they aren’t so tasty in juices

how to store potatoes

Potato

Often dry and create astringent drinks

 

 

How to Choose Fresh Vegetables and Fruits?

In places where you have a farmer’s market, seek them out. You can see the freshest produce and get to know the farmers that produce them.

Organic and Non-Organic

What is organic produce? Despite popular opinion, organic produce is really not much better than non-organic. It merely means it is 95% free of synthetic chemicals, dyes, fertilizers, and other GMO contaminants (USDA standards).

It does not mean that it is free of pesticides, fertilizers, or dyes if those ingredients were also organic. Natural flavors, which can be just as toxic as artificial flavors, can be organic and added to foods. Animals can be treated to the worst conditions as long the feed is organic.

So, Why Buy Organic Produce?

As a nutritionist, I don’t recommend organic. What I do recommend is local. Stick to local farmers and you can ask them how the produce was raised, what fertilizers and pesticides were used, and if the produce is GMO.

What surprises most people is that small, local farmers practice better crop management, use fewer pesticides, and stick to heirloom plants more than the big farms that supply grocery stores. Often, they are cheaper and have better variety and freshness.

What they can’t do is afford the US$250,000 price tag and 3 to 10-year commitment before getting the little sticker. Most of the farmers will openly state they follow organic principles without being certified.

But, if you are in an area that fresh is not available, then view the organic option and do your research. Produce is marked with origin stamps. Look up the farm and see how they treat the people, animals, and food before it shows up on the grocery store shelf.

How to Tell if Fruit or Vegetable is Organic

At the farmer’s market, you have to ask the farmer. Most of them are honest and will tell you what they used and how they grew the produce. Organic practicing farms are proud of what they produce and will often post it.

At the grocery stores, it’s harder. In the US, there is a PLU (Price Look-Up Code) on most fruits and vegetables. It was created to help suppliers manage the increasing traffic of produce to stores. It is not and was never meant to be for the customers. It is not required to be used, so you may not see it on all produce.

All PLU codes are 5 digits. Conventionally raised produce starts with a 0, which is often omitted. It can include produce heavily sprayed with pesticides by big factory farms or uncertified organic produce made by little farms that can’t afford the certification.

The GMO code is 8. These are almost always guaranteed to be sprayed with pesticides and heavily since most genetic modifications are for resisting pesticides.

Organic produce uses the number 9. The produce is certified organic.

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Benefits of Organic Produce

Right now, the only benefit is being free of synthetic chemicals. Some studies show that the nutrition is better, but that depends on growing conditions.

There is a big difference with local produce. Several studies show local produce can have many more times the amount of nutrition than equal produce purchased from the grocery stores. 

Here’s the reason: local produce is picked ripe and sold within 1-2 days of harvest and minimally handled. Ripe produce has the full amount of nutrition it can possibly have. And the less the produce is moved and handled, the less nutrition it loses.

Produce in the grocery stores is picked a few days early and passed through many hands. This causes the nutritional content to drop fast. In addition, most grocery stores use fluorescent lights which rob the produce of even more nutrition.

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What Produce to Buy Organic

There are hundreds of lists that will tell you what to buy organic and what not to. And each list is different. Why? Because when a new list comes out, the industry reduces pesticide use and denies contamination.

And most of the lists are made by bloggers who have little or no nutritional training at all.

Fruits to Buy Organic

Fruits are one of the most heavily sprayed crops, along with corn, soy, and wheat. It is safe to assume all fruit has chemicals on it – synthetic or organic.

Fruit that has lots of folds and pitting tend to collect chemicals and debris in those hidden areas. So, the more the fruit is bumpy, the more you should choose organic or local.

Apples are also heavily sprayed, even organic farms use lots of organic sprays. Stick to organic and local apples to avoid the worst of the contamination.

Vegetables to Buy Organic

As with fruits, the more a vegetable has folds and wrinkles, the more it will collect residues. Leafy vegetables collect the chemicals between leaves where it is hard to clean.

If possible, we recommend all vegetables should be organic or local.

Safe Non-Organic Fruits and Vegetables

The only safe non-organic produce we recommend is local produce where you can ask the farmers about how they grew the food and what they used. Otherwise, you risk heavy contamination.

On the other hand, if the choice is between an organic processed food and non-organic produce, you should choose the non-organic produce. A conventional vegetable is better than processed foods for sure.

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Fruits and Vegetables with Most Pesticides to Avoid

The more expensive the produce, the more pesticides will be used to protect it, especially around holidays.

Strawberries are one of the most protected crops in the spring. In southern regions, they are used for Valentine’s Day. The need for big, perfect berries causes farmers to overuse the sprays.

Nuts tend also to have a high pesticide usage, especially after the recent drought/flooding experienced in the primary nut-growing areas (California in the US, and Ghana in Africa).

GMO Fruits and Vegetables

Genetically modified foods are also a concern. Largely untested, they are being passed around without care. Fortunately, many countries and local towns are banning GMOs. We recommend avoiding all GMO foods.

Best Place to Buy Organic Produce

Unless you run into a certified organic farmer at a farmer’s market (which is rare) the grocery stores are going to dictate what you have available. If you don’t know how to buy vegetables and fruits, then you could end up paying a lot more than you should.

First, before you buy, research the farm you are going to support. Some are good and some are bad. In some cases, the farm could use organic pesticides at much higher rates than a conventional farm.

Secondly, compare stores. Smaller outlets and health food stores may have better prices and more local produce. Big stores have the selection and the price.

Finally, stay away from the ‘trend’ stores. Just because it’s in a store that promotes being organic and natural doesn’t mean everything is good.

Organic Fruits and Vegetables Delivered to Your Home

Who wouldn’t want fresh vegetables and fruits delivered to your door? There are options. There are companies that will deliver meals in a box (GreenChef.com) and those that will just deliver produce (FarmBoxDirect.com).

We found about a dozen big companies for each in a simple search.

Also, check out your local farmer’s markets and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)/Co-Op. Some markets have a delivery person that will do your shopping for you and deliver. Some CSAs will deliver your weekly crop-share to your door.

While convenient, this isn’t best way to get the best fresh fruits and vegetables. You can’t be guaranteed to get the size or quantity you want. Someone else is handling and picking out your food. And you don’t get to know the farmer’s, one of the best benefits to local foods.

Where to Buy Cheap Fruits and Vegetables

When financials are tough, finding cheap fruits and vegetables is your option. Here’s what you should do.

Know that the more a piece of produce is handled and prepared by someone else, the more it will cost. A butternut squash may be $2 whole, but it’s $6 cut up.

Some grocery stores and markets will allow you to claim the ‘waste’. They will place out of date produce, trimmings, and imperfect produce for people in financial hardships and for farmers. You’ll have to work this out with the manager to pick up this extra since there are regulations that have to be followed for what they can give out.

Remember, a conventional, pesticide-covered apple is better than no apple at all. A 50-50% mix of vinegar and water will remove most of the pesticides covering the fruit or vegetable.

Sometimes frozen is a better value. Check out what they have in the frozen section to see what your options are.

Where to Buy Fruits and Vegetables for Juicing

The absolute best place for the best deals, best produce, and best selection is your local farmer’s market. Here, you don’t have to pay a middleman, or several middlemen, to get your produce.

For example, where I live, a pepper will cost $1 each all year in the grocery stores. In the winter, the farmer will sell them for the same price. But, in the summer, when they are fresh and abundant, the farmer sells them for $0.25 each. And I’ve gotten a whole bushel (about 30 peppers) for $5.

If this isn’t an option, look for smaller health food stores and natural markets. They will support more local farmers and also the selection from larger farms.

Finally, hit up the regular grocery store. You will pay the most for this produce, and it will be the oldest. But, it practically guarantees you will get the same produce all year.

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Best Vegetables for Juicing

Any vegetable can be used for juicing. They all contain healthy vitamins and minerals.

However, some of them are better than others.

The vegetables that are best cooked are not the best for juicing. Think potatoes, onions, and garlic. Sure, a few onion rings on a salad are fine, but do you really want to drink half an onion?

Stringy vegetables, such as beans and peas, should have the tough fibers removed before you try to juice.

The vegetables with a lot of water, soft flesh, and often eaten raw are best for your juicer.

We recommend trying all of them and seeing what you like.

Most Healthy and Nutritious Vegetables

Depending on the year and season, this will change drastically. That’s because all vegetables are healthy and as many as possible should be eaten.

Here’s the best guide for healthiest:

1. Choose the produce richest in color.

2. Choose the different produce colors. For maximum health benefits choose at least 5 different colors.

3. Choose the produce that is in season where you live.

4. Prepare the produce within 5 days of harvest for maximum benefit.

That can mean cabbage in the winter months in the far north and summer squash in the late summer. But, if you change those time, they lose many nutrients and don’t taste as good.

Are Frozen Vegetables and Fruits Good for Juicing?

Absolutely, as long as you do your research.

Frozen vegetables are often the less attractive siblings to the perfect specimens in the fresh section. They get harvested together, but the less attractive ones get shipped to the frozen plant.

This means that the frozen vegetable could be processed and have their nutrients preserved better than the fresh vegetable.

And this is where you need to do your research. Most frozen veggies are not organic and the product of huge factory farms, the ones that use the most pesticides. They may not be washed at all prior to packaging and still have all those chemicals sitting right on them. So, research the process and see if it meets your standards.

Vegetable Juice Benefits

There are many benefits to juicing. But, it also depends on your juicer.

In fruits and vegetables, many of the vitamins and minerals are bound to the fibers of the plants. When we eat the whole food, our digestive enzymes break down the fibers and release the nutrients.

When you juice, the juicer breaks the fibers. Depending on how good a job your juicer does is the quality of the juice.

Older and less expensive models basically squeezed the juice from the pulp and discarded the pulp. It became a standard to have dry pulp. The problem was the pulp still contained most of the nutrients and people threw that away. (The pulp from large, commercial juicers is often sold to livestock growers because it is so nutritious.)

Newer models grind up the pulp, which releases more nutrients. The best models keep the pulp and pulverize it to the degree it’s smooth and delicious. Then, you don’t lose the nutrients.

Green Leafy Vegetable Benefits

Green leaves are some of the healthiest foods out there. There are so many, yet people stick to just the basics: lettuce, spinach, and kale. Mustard, beets, turnip, collard, cabbage, broccoli, chard, dandelion, plantain, watercress, chickweed, red clover, and all leafy herbs are all edible. Most of these can be sweeter young.

The biggest thing they all have in common is a tremendous amount of Vitamin K, chlorophyll and magnesium. Magnesium binds chlorophyll similar to how iron binds our hemoglobin.

They are all low carb veggies, so people can eat them as they desire. You only need to watch if you have blood thinning problems or problems with kidney stones.

They are all at their best with fats. They are naturally low in fats, so in order to extract the vitamins K and A, you need to eat a bit of fat with them.

Most Nutritious and Healthiest Greens

It’s what most people don’t want to hear: the more bitter and puckering the green, the healthier it is. That’s because those bitter components are what make the greens most healthy.

Go with dark green vegetables as well. The more color means more chlorophyll and more nutrition.

Go fresh and in the season. Produce picked in the season has the most nutrients.

Other than that, all green are healthy and none have an edge over the others.

Green Vegetable Vitamins

While they have all the vitamins, the ones that stand out are the vitamin K and magnesium. They also have good amounts of vitamin A, manganese, fiber and calcium. In fact, green vegetables have more calcium than milk.

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Vegetables to Juice for Hair Growth

There are lots of recipes online. The common theme is the use of cucumbers, ginger, celery, and a leafy green. These provide nearly the whole range of nutrients in good quantities.

Any vegetable is good for hair growth, as it is a sign of good nutrition. The body slows hair growth when the organs need the nutrients first. By supplying your body with nutrition, you ensure your hair grows.

And just as a side note, you need balanced proteins for good hair growth, so we recommend eating high-quality meats for hair growth.

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Vegetables to Juice for Arthritis

Damage done to joints takes the time to heal. You can reduce inflammation and prevent further damage by eating vegetables.

Be careful with the nightshades: tomato, eggplant, and potatoes. In various studies, they can either help inflammation or cause it. In about 50% of people, it does neither. How you react will be unique, so be careful with these.

Hot and spicy vegetables help reduce inflammation. Ginger, garlic, and hot peppers provide fast effects. Cold vegetables like cucumbers and beans could reduce the benefits.

Vegetables to Juice for Cancer

All vegetables will aid the body in defeating cancer. There has been so much research done on individual herbs, spices, and produce that it starts to get confusing.

Here’s the deal: There is no superfood. All fruits, vegetables, herbs, and spices will benefit you.

The difference is quantity.

Cancer is accelerated by sugar and chemical consumption. By making most of your diet vegetables, you greatly reduce your exposure. You also introduce bitter and astringent phytonutrients, nearly all of the ones studied have been shown to reduce cancer or combat chemotherapy side effects.

Vegetables to Juice for Cleanse and Detox

You may get tired of me saying this, but all vegetables are great for a cleanse and detox. They all provide nutrition and help the body flush out toxins.

What goes in needs to come out. If you put only good in, the body can eliminate the bad.

Vegetables to Juice for High Blood Pressure

All vegetables are great to reduce blood pressure. And here we can say some work better than others.

All dark green leafy vegetables will thin the blood and make it easier for the heart to pump. Garlic and onion also help reduce blood pressure by both thinning the blood and relaxing the blood vessels.

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Vegetables to Juice for Energy

You won’t get instant energy from a veggie juice. They don’t have enough sugars or stimulating phytochemicals to do that.

What they will do is give you energy through providing lots of nutrition. Then, your body can work as it should.

Vegetables to Juice for Weight Loss

The key to weight loss is to take in the amount of nutrition your body needs, then it won’t crave extra, which leads to weight gain. It will also let go of stored fats since it becomes used to having a steady supply of nutrition.

And, you will naturally eat less by eating more vegetables.

Best Fruits for Juicing

Just like vegetables, all fruits can be used for juicing. The biggest problems come from the sugar content and seeds/pits.

Most Healthy and Nutritious Fruits

Again, they are all healthy and nutritious. There is no such thing as a superfood. Each fruit contains lots of nutrition and health benefits. Some have more of one type than others, but in the end, they are all nutritious.

What some people judge as better is the ORAC number or the amounts of antioxidants. Yes, there are some fruits that have a much higher ORAC. But, this can’t be the total definition of health. Some of the highest ORAC numbers come in fruits that have very high sugars. Another problem is that the ORAC number was determined on fully ripe and fresh fruits. The more processing the food goes through, the lower the ORAC number. For example, the acai berry has one of the highest ORAC numbers, but because of the early harvest, processing, storing, shipping, and packaging, the real number can be half to 75% less. 

The healthiest and most nutritious foods come from your local farmers market, where you can get them at the peak of ripeness and with the most nutrition. Plus, eating seasonally allows you to change up your juice frequently and get the full range of nutrients fast.

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Fruit Juice Benefits

Fruits tend to have quite a bit more sugars, so you need to be careful with these foods. They also have a lot of nutrition and are powerhouses. Our bodies are designed to seek out fruits because of the nutrition.

And while you will find websites touting the benefits of certain fruits, nearly all fruits will help protect against disease, cancer, and aging.

Best Fruits for Juicing for Weight Loss

When it comes to weight loss, you want to limit your sugar intake. So, you want to be careful of all fruits.

We actually recommend using richly colored fruits and keep it at less than 25%. Avoid the apple and grape juices, as well as commercial juices. They are low in nutrients and provide lots of sugars.

Best Fruits for Juicing for Skin

Any fruit that has lots of antioxidants will help you keep your skin beautiful. In other words, all of them.

Yellow and orange fruits and vegetables seem to work very well for providing the structural material to keep skin looking tight and soft. It helps encourage the keratin to remain tough yet flexible. The carotenoids also help prevent cancer and help keep moisture in the skin to avoid wrinkles. There are hundreds of different types of yellow and orange vegetables, so look for color. And remember, the richer the color, the more nutrients.

Guide to Storing Produce for Juicing

The biggest thing you need to remember when storing produce is that as soon as a fruit or vegetable is ripe, it has optimum nutrition. Once you pass that point, it will begin to ferment, rot, and use up the nutrients. This is what is naturally supposed to happen. What we want to do is to slow that down.

When we are trying to keep fruits and vegetables from spoiling, we want to make sure that we put produce where it is least likely they will produce the enzymes and gases that encourage ripening and spoiling. These produce storage tips are your guide to keeping your fruits and vegetables as fresh as possible.

The how to keeping vegetables and fruits fresh longer is more of a where to store fruits and vegetables.

Fruits & Vegetables to Store in Refrigerator

apples

Apples

cherries

Cherries

raspberries

Raspberries

strawberries

Strawberries

blueberries

Blueberries

blackberries

Blackberries

grapes

Grapes

figs

Figs

carrots

Carrots

beets

Beets

broccoli

Broccoli

herbs

Herbs (except basil)

cabbage

Cabbage

leafy greens

Leafy Greens

cauliflower

Cauliflower

lettuce

Lettuce

radishes

Radishes

spinach

Spinach

Fruits & Vegetables to Store in Room Temperature until Fully Ripen, then Store in Refrigerator

kiwi

Kiwifruit

nectarines

Nectarines

peaches

Peaches

apricots

Apricots

pears

Pears

plums

Plums

Fruits & Vegetables to Store at Room Temperature without Refrigeration

potatoes

Potatoes

sweet potatoes

Sweet Potatoes

pumpkin

Pumpkin

onion

Onions

garlic

Garlic

tomatoes

Tomatoes

cucumbers

Cucumbers

lemons

Lemons

grapefruit

Grapefruit

orange

Oranges

whole melons

Whole Melons

whole watermelon

Whole Watermelons

basil

Basil

ginger

Ginger

pomegranates

Pomegranates

pineapple

Pineapples


 

Always store fruit in a cool location and away from other produce. Most fruit produces ethylene gas and this gas encourages other produce to ripen. 

Humidity travels down and will collect in the crisper drawers. Some of the newer refrigerators will have crispers with adjustable openings for maximum humidity control.

Fruits and vegetables that are sensitive to humidity should be stored higher up in the refrigerator.

In general, most vegetables and especially leafy greens should be stored in high humidity conditions while fruits will do best with low humidity.

However, not all produce belongs in the fridge. Fruits that need to ripen will only do it when stored on the counter top.

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Temperature and Humidity Guide for Storing Your Produce

apples

Apples

Best Storage Temperature

-1-4 °C


30-40 °F

Optimal Humidity

90-95%

Estimated Storage Life

1-12 Months

pears

Pears

Best Storage Temperature

-1-0 °C


29-31 °F

Optimal Humidity

90-95%

Estimated Storage Life

2-7 Months

peaches

Peaches

Best Storage Temperature

0 °C


31-32 °F

Optimal Humidity

90-95%

Estimated Storage Life

2-4 Weeks

raspberries

Raspberries

Best Storage Temperature

0 °C


31-32 °F

Optimal Humidity

90-95%

Estimated Storage Life

2-3 Days

blackberries

Blackberries

Best Storage Temperature

0-1 °C


32-33 °F

Optimal Humidity

90-95%

Estimated Storage Life

2-3 Days

stawberries

Strawberries

Best Storage Temperature

0 °C


32 °F

Optimal Humidity

90-95%

Estimated Storage Life

3-7 Days

cranberries

Cranberries

Best Storage Temperature

3-6 °C


38-42 °F

Optimal Humidity

90-95%

blueberries

Blueberries

Best Storage Temperature

0-2 °C


32-35 °F

Optimal Humidity

90-95%

kiwi

Kiwi

Best Storage Temperature

0-2 °C


32-35 °F

Optimal Humidity

90-95%

lemons

Lemons

Best Storage Temperature

11-13 °C


52-55 °F

Optimal Humidity

90-95%

grapefruit

Grapefruits

Best Storage Temperature

13-16 °C


55-60 °F

Optimal Humidity

90-95%

orange

Oranges

Best Storage Temperature

4-7 °C


40-45°F

Optimal Humidity

90-95%

pineapple

Pineapples

Best Storage Temperature

10-13 °C


50-55 °F

Optimal Humidity

85-95%

melon

Melons

Best Storage Temperature

10-13 °C


50-55 °F

Optimal Humidity

85-95%

watermelon

Watermelons

Best Storage Temperature

13-21 °C


55-70 °F

Optimal Humidity

85-95%

tomatoes

Tomatoes

Best Storage Temperature

13-21 °C


55-70 °F

Optimal Humidity

90-95%

Estimated Storage Life

4-7 Days

cucumbers

Cucumbers

Best Storage Temperature

10-13°C


50-55 °F

Optimal Humidity

95%

Estimated Storage Life

10-14 Days

sweet peppers

Sweet Peppers

Best Storage Temperature

7-10 °C


45-55 °F

Optimal Humidity

90-95%

Estimated Storage Life

2-3 Weeks

beets

Beets

Best Storage Temperature

0-2°C


32-35 °F

Optimal Humidity

98-100%

Estimated Storage Life

4-6 Months

carrots

Carrots

Best Storage Temperature

0 °C


32 °F

Optimal Humidity

98-100%

Estimated Storage Life

7-9 Months

broccoli

Broccoli

Best Storage Temperature

0 °C


32 °F

Optimal Humidity

95-100%

Estimated Storage Life

10-14 Days

cabbage

Cabbage

Best Storage Temperature

0 °C


32 °F

Optimal Humidity

98-100%

Estimated Storage Life

5-6 Months

cauliflower

Cauliflower

Best Storage Temperature

0 °C


32 °F

Optimal Humidity

95-98%

Estimated Storage Life

3-4 Weeks

kohlrabi

Kohlrabi

Best Storage Temperature

0°C


32 °F

Optimal Humidity

98-100%

Estimated Storage Life

2-3 Months

kale

Kale

Best Storage Temperature

0 °C


32 °F

Optimal Humidity

95-100%

Estimated Storage Life

2-3 Weeks

lettuce

Lettuce

Best Storage Temperature

0 °C


32 °F

Optimal Humidity

98-100%

Estimated Storage Life

2-3 Weeks

chard

Chard

Best Storage Temperature

0 °C


32 °F

Optimal Humidity

95-100%

Estimated Storage Life

 10-14 Days

chicory

Chicory

Best Storage Temperature

0 °C


32 °F

Optimal Humidity

95-100%

Estimated Storage Life

2-4 Weeks

radishes

Radishes

Best Storage Temperature

0°C


32 °F

Optimal Humidity

95-100%

Estimated Storage Life

2-4 Months

parsley

Parsley

Best Storage Temperature

0 °C


32 °F

Optimal Humidity

95-100%

Estimated Storage Life

2-3 Months

How to Store Produce without Refrigeration

If you noticed from the table, many of the storage times can be pretty long. Before refrigeration, people were able to store fruits and vegetables for a very long time. One of the ways they do this was with a root cellar. It was generally a sealed room in their cellar or nearby area where the temperature was kept constant and cool by the surrounding soil. Many older homes still have this room, and it was often a converted to a furnace room.

Canning, dehydrating, and freezing are other methods often used for preserving produce. There are many wonderful websites that go into the details of how to do these methods safely. We recommend you follow the instructions carefully because dangerous bacteria and other contaminants can cause fatal reactions in improperly storing produce.

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Best Produce Storage Containers

Nature designed the best storage for fruits and vegetables: their skin. The longer a fruit or vegetable remains undamaged, the longer it will stay fresh. Storing the uncut vegetable in the right humidity and temperature can make it last as long as possible.

How to Store Cut Vegetables and Fruits in Fridge

Once a fruit or vegetable is cut off, it does not last very long. It can be hours, such as apples, or can be a couple of days. Generally, by the next day, a fruit or vegetable that is cut up will develop a tough membrane designed to protect the rest of the flesh.

But what you really need to worry about is the bacteria that is introduced to the flesh. Fruits and vegetables are wonderful mediums for growing dangerous bacteria if they are left out in the open too long. That is why it’s recommended you use up the entire fruit or vegetable as soon as you cut into it.

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How to keep cut vegetables and fruits fresh longer is the big question. Using the plastic wrap can help reduce air contact with the cut portion of a fruit or vegetable. Oxygen in the air causes the enzymes to oxidize, which is often the cause of discoloration, browning, and the creating of the membrane. It will also help reduce the amount of bacteria and yeast that come in contact with the flesh of the produce. But, it will also seal in any bacteria and yeast that were introduced. It can create just as many problems as it prevents.

Vegetable and Fruits Storage Bags for Refrigerator

Fresh fruits and vegetables are still alive. Their enzymes are still active and green vegetables can still be breathing. Just about all fruits and vegetables will give off carbon dioxide, ethylene gas, and moisture. If you wrap these produce items in plastic bags, or any bag that does not have air flow, you were trapping those gases and moisture into the bag. That just encourages decaying.

There are storage bags * for fresh fruits and vegetables. However, we don’t find any of them work a hundred percent and it is best to use your fruits and vegetables as fast as possible.

One of the best ways to keep your greens fresh as long as possible is to wrap a damp paper towel around the cut end of the greens. This will help provide a little bit of moisture to the cut end and help prevent browning.

Store Produce without Using Plastic

Prior to plastic being used, glass and paper were used for produce. But, more often than not, the produce was simply left uncut and the natural skins protected the produce. If an apple or cabbage was cut up for a meal, the whole thing was used.

The glass is often used in canning. This is a process that uses heat to store produce in an oxygen-deficient environment. But, it will not preserve fresh produce.

Metals were rarely used.

Paper bags * are also a good way to preserve produce that has a thick, minimally porous skin. Produce like potatoes and onions take very well to being stored in paper bags. Unfortunately, any produce that is very moist will be dried out quickly by paper bags.

Also, you can use fruit and vegetable stands and baskets * for produce that need to be stored outside the refrigerator. This way you can organize it better and even save some space on the kitchen counter. The stands and baskets come in different designs and materials. Some are made of wood * and others are made of metal. You can easily find the one that fits in your interior.

As we keep saying, nature created the best packaging, the skin of a fruit or vegetable.

Keeping Vegetables and Fruits Fresh Longer

While there may be many gimmicks for keeping fresh fruits and vegetables fresh longer, many of them don’t work. The only way you’re going to ensure that you have fruits and vegetables fresh for as long as possible is to make sure you purchase the freshest fruits and vegetable possible. That means going to the farmers market and getting produce straight from the source.

If you purchase from a grocery store, you never can guarantee how fresh your produce will be. The farther away it was grown, the older it will be when it gets to you.

How to Combine Fruits and Vegetables for Juicing

Any combination of fruits and vegetables is good for juicing. The best combination is the one you create and that you will use. That’s why there are so many variations.

Be sure to rotate your juices often. This will allow you to get the best array of vitamins and minerals. It will also allow you to shop seasonally and save a little bit of money.

The best and healthiest combinations include at least one serving of a fruit and one serving of vegetable. Try not combining more than five different fruits or vegetables. It’s better to keep your juices simple and to juice often.

Juicing is a great opportunity to consume nutritious vegetables you won't normally eat. Combining them with flavors you love can result in a surprisingly delicious and nutritious drinks. 

Start off by juicing one single vegetable and see how you enjoy the taste. Then combine it with a fruit juice that you enjoy and see if you enjoy the combined taste. As you explore, you’ll know what you enjoy and what you don’t. Stick to what you enjoy and you will continue juicing.

With the millions of recipes that are found online, we recommend you do some searches and try out our various recipes. There are some very popular health drinks that are touted by ‘health gurus’ that are absolutely disgusting drinks. There are also some very simple juices that are extremely tasty.

If you liked our article, please share it and use the comment section below for any questions. Thank You!

About the Author: Christina Major is a Holistic Nutritionist, Traditional Naturopath, and Herbalist. She has a Master’s degree in Holistic Nutrition and an advanced degree in Traditional Naturopathy. Further certifications in herbalism and metabolic typing. She owns and operates Crystal Holistic Health Consulting based in PA, the USA since 2010.


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