Just because you are buying food for storage does not mean you have to sustain on a diet of dried pasta and canned goods. Frozen or fresh produce can continue to nourish you during challenging instances. It’s more important than ever that you keep your immune system healthy, and these healthy plants can help you do that. Hand sanitizer and masks aren’t your greatest defense – it’s your immune system. Here are 12 fruits and vegetables that last for months when optimally stored.
- Apples can last for 2-4 months with ideal conditions. Storing the apples at around 32F, and keeping the humitity low can increase chances of apples being able to last for the long haul. Honeycrisp apples, however, may spoil faster and are better kept around 36F
- If left on the counter they are good for up to month
- Visually spot check the apples anyways. If the skin is wrinkled and it’s soft inside, the apple may not be good anymore.
- Eat the largest apples first, as they are usually the ones that go bad first.
- Keep your apples in the crisper and away from any ethylene gas production
- In a cook, dark, humid space like a cellar, beets can last several months. You’ll want to remove most of the stem leaving about ½ inch or so of the stem on the beet just to insure the beet juice stays intact.
- Can last up to 2 months if wrapped in a plastic bag. I’ve seen them last for close to 6 months, however.
- You can use them to make delicious salads in lieu of salads made with more fragile and “spoil fast” characteristics
- Bruisings on cabbage will shorten the shelf life
- Cabbage is part of the beloved cruciferous family and contains healthy sulforaphanes touted to help with fighting cancer
- The word on the street is if you want carrots to last, keep them as dry as possible. However, I have had bags of baby carrots last for literally months in my refrigerator and are all in perfectly edible and flawless condition. These are organic carrots also, so they are not sprayed with pesticides or preservatives. If kept in a plastic bag, I’ve noticed carrots lasting for a few months. When they are out of the bag, I notice they wither within just a few days.
- Once the carrot is cooked however, it will last for about a week
- These health-boosting small fruits will last a few weeks on the counter, however will last for months in the refrigerator. I have seen them last 4-5 months. Even if the skin is a tad wrinkled on the outside, the inside will still give you fresh lemon juice to use in your dressings or salads.
- If kept in the refrigerator, oranges can last for up to two months. Oranges and citrus fruits, in general, provide a good source of antioxidants during times of stress. Read more on the Benefits of Citrus.
- Wrapping celery in a sheet of foil and keeping it inside of your fridge, will allow celery to last for over a month.
- If you want to make the best dishes…ya gotta put some garlic in it. The good news is that when kept at around 60-65F garlic can last months. Of course, if you cut the garlic, however, it will only be good for a few days. And if you put this cut garlic in the fridge…well, everything will taste like garlic.
- Another member of the allicium family, when onions are stored at around 30-50F in a dry area, onions can literally last for up to a year. In most real-world case scenarios (~65F on the counter), I’ve seen onions last for perhaps 5-6 months or so. Still, this has plenty of shelf-life to kept for any cases that need a food storage plan.
- Ideal storage temp is 40 F
- They do not like light and just to let you know they don’t like it, they turn green
- Thus, dark areas such as cellars give potatoes ideal conditions to last a long time
- In ideal conditions, they last 2-4 months
- Includes butternut squash, pumpkins, etc.
- Likes to be kept in the dark
- Will last for 2-6 months
Romaine Lettuce (depending on kind)
For whatever reason, I’ve always had luck with romaine lettuce so I thought I’d put this here. I usually buy the hearts in a bag. I’ve had romaine lettuce last me literally for a few months. It could be the breed that I bought (usually by Organic Girl), but even after 4 weeks, the romaine seems pretty pristine.
Last but not least, frozen vegetables are always a go-to and they are plenty more healthy than canned. Canned goods are notoriously known for having excessive sodium and depleted levels of potassium.
How To Properly Store Veggies
Here is an article on How to Properly Store Vegetables and fruits using your refrigerator crisper. Organizing veggies in an optimal way will help them stay fresher for longer.