Do you ever wonder how long certain fruits (or vegetables) might last sitting out on your kitchen counter? Or wonder if maybe you should refrigerate them instead? Of course it always depends on exactly how fresh the produce is when you buy it, but, to help solve some of those kitchen mysteries, I am excited to share this handy dandy produce storage guide* (just below) with you today! Please print, pass on, and enjoy. :)
Announcement: Real Food On The Road!
I also want to take a moment to share some super fun news with you. The cross-country family RV trip that my husband and I have been plotting for YEARS is finally coming to fruition—tomorrow! Neither of us has ever stepped foot in an RV before, so I really hope this dream of ours turns out to be everything we’ve ever imagined and does not at all remind us of the Griswolds. :)
We start by flying out to our old stomping grounds in Portland, Oregon (where we briefly lived after college), and then we’ll head south in a rental car to San Francisco, which is where we’ll be picking up our “home away from home” from El Monte RV. From there we plan to hit Yosemite, Big Sur, Vegas, The Grand Canyon, Utah, Yellowstone, Glacier, and (a place I’ve wanted to visit for well over a decade)…Banff! Then we’ll head on over to Seattle where we’ll return the RV and fly home.
I am so thrilled to have this opportunity and to be able to share it with my kids! I must admit though that the food situation is going to be interesting. First of all, we’ll be spending all this time in a TINY kitchen with no fancy appliances. Secondly, we must leave behind our freezer stash of local pastured meat and homemade whole grain goodies (like muffins). And thirdly, I have no idea where we’ll be shopping for all our food (goodbye Earth Fare…sniff sniff). We certainly can’t bring much more than snacks from home. But not to worry. I will for sure be sharing some of our experiences (the good, the bad, and the ugly) on the blog as well as on Facebook and Instagram. And no matter what happens, I’ve been looking forward to this adventure for so long—I can’t wait! :) (Oh and PS – I’ll also have several guest bloggers posting about some great topics on the site while we are gone.)
Produce Storage Cheat Sheet
Okay, here’s the produce storage sheet I promised …hopefully it will help you keep fruits and veggies fresh and prevent any unnecessary waste in your kitchen. Download your free printable version here.
*Thank you to Renee Boyer and Julie McKinney at the Virginia Cooperative Extension for the inspiration for this chart!
123 thoughts on “Produce Storage Cheat Sheet (+ Announcement!)”
When you are in the SF Bay area picking up your RV, look for one of the many farm markets. They run all year here and the produce is seasonal. This should get you through the first part of your trip. Have a great trip.
I’d add peppers freeze very well. I slice green peppers and poblanos, dry them off with a paper towel, and freeze them. They release some water when they thaw but they cook beautifully.
where can i purchase these vegetable charts for the classroom?
Hi. If you click on the chart, it gives you access to the PDF.
how can i get a pre made chart of your vegetables I can use at school. do not want to download. want something more professional and durable. thanks
I’ve seen about being able to chop and freeze onion to use in soups and cooked dishes. Does that work? I haven’t tried it.
Hi. Hmm, I don’t think I’ve frozen a fresh onion but imagine it would work fine to cook with.
I’m struggling to store all this fresh produce. Any tips on making pantry and countertop storage easier or more organized? I’ve thought about vented drawers in our cabinets for onions and potatoes, but they are not in the current budget! My counters are covered at the beginning of the week and starting to emerge by the end!
Hi. This might help: https://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2015/01/16/real-food-tips-organize-your-kitchen/.
I’m wondering if you HAVE to blanch your veggies before freezing? I have been to several websites and they all give different answers:/
Hi Jessica. You do not HAVE to blanch but they will retain more of their nutrients, flavor, and color if you do.
I have seen Michael Pollan mention several times to NOT refrigerate tomatoes… any thoughts?
Hi Ruthanne. Yes, fresh tomatoes will lose their flavor in the fridge. ~Amy
Hi there! I have something I wanted to add as a suggestion. Last year we froze around two gallons of tomatoes because we ran out of time to sun dry. They were such a wonderful addition to winter soups, quiches, and chili. I highly recommend trying this if you end up having an over abundance.
We also had great results freezing peppers, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, and apricots. Blanching before freezing is a great idea to slow the degradation of the structure.
I live in Carmel. There is a Whole Foods in Monterey-Del Monte Center-off Hwy. 1. Off of Carmel Valley Road is Earthbound Farm stand. You can typically find a Farmer’s Market most days of the week around here too! Enjoy your fabulous Rv vacation!
I am very interested to hear your ideas and experiences since we recently purchased a travel trailer and I’m trting to figure it all out too.
Your trip sounds fantastic. It’s my dream to spend a couple of months rv-ing across the country!
Wow! We just did our first rv trip in April. We left from Vegas, went to Route 66, then Sedona, then Grand Canyon, then back to Route 66, then back to vegas. I like your idea of renting in one location and returning in another. I thought of that too late. But we will definitely do it again. Have a great time.
Sounds great! I do have to recommend watching the moving RV w/ Robin Williams. It’s a family friendly movie and your adventure reminds me of that movie! We are campers (pop up camper) and look forward to great ideas you come up w/ for camping.
My husband and I have talked about doing something like this I am jealous! Hopefully it will be as great as you imagine it will be!! :)
If you are driving down I-5 to San Francisco you HAVE to stop in Ashland OR – wonderful small town just before the boarder of CA. Great local markets, co-op’s and bakeries, but our biggest boast is the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Lots of great plays this year to see and a really friendly hometown atmosphere. I hope you have the chance to stop and enjoy the area. I may be biased but it really is beautiful down here :)
Have a great trip! We love having a camper for the very reason of eating on the road – we can make anything in the camper that we make at home. We do get the luxury of starting from home with a fully stocked fridge/freezer, we bring our Blendtec and then just kitchen basics already stocked in the camper (including an extra crock-pot). We absolutely love family camping trips in the camper! We go from NE anywhere. Three years ago we went back to Glacier and all the way to the OR coast in Astoria, Seaside, and Fort Stevens State Park. We love the area!!
You can find great local grocers up there – no problem. In fact all along the area you are traveling, we did research before hand on where to find local food and it worked perfectly! Have Fun!!
With your upcoming trip, I have a question for you. We have to visit family due to being so far away from them. My in-laws and parents use a lot of boxed food, condensed soups, and other processed foods. While I haven’t completely eliminated everything yet, we are still in our transition period, how do you recommend I deal with this? How can I make sure we (my 2 year old daughter especially) doesn’t eat a weekend full of junk without offending those cooking for us?
Hi Kaitlin. I think honestly is always the best policy. You can explain ahead of time that you are trying to change your family’s diet into one that focuses on eating real foods. Volunteer to cook a meal or two and show them how yummy real food is! Also, take your own food or shop once you get there so you have alternatives to the processed stuff. And don’t feel like you have to be perfect–If that condensed soup casserole is calling your name, have a taste! :) ~Amy
Thank you for this! I have needed something like this for a LONG time. Very helpful.
You will LOVE Banff! We have been to all of the places you are going (I love Glacier too), but Banff has been the most amazing place. Make sure to hit the hot springs and also in downtown Banff there is an AMAZING fondue restaurant that has the meat selection of buffalo, wild boar, things you would not really find in the US, it was amazing! We hope to go back again someday! http://banffgrizzlyhouse.com/ We ate outside and it rained (we were under cover) and then a rainbow came out all while we were sitting there, heart stopping.
I’m sure someone must have mentioned this before but, if you are going to San Francisco you should try to go to the farmers market at the ferry building :) I love our farmers markets out here in the San Francisco Bay Area. :) oh and thanks a bunch for this list!
I’m confused by the “until ripe” notes under the Pantry/Room Temp column. I thought certain fruits did not ripen after they are picked (citrus, berries, cherries, grapes, watermelon). They still can be stored at room temp for a period of time, but they are no longer ripening. See article http://www.culinarylore.com/food-science:do-all-fruits-ripen-after-picking.
I know that there is a Whole Foods in Vegas about 8 minutes away from The Strip. It’s in a beautiful shopping center that contains one of my favorite stores…the Container Store! ;)
We have lived in our RV home and traveled the country for the last 4 years. It’s an amazing way to live. I feel totally blessed. You guys will love it!!
You will love Banff! It is a bit more commercialized than Jasper is but still pretty. I just drove through Jasper twice this past week going to Vancouver and saw a bear, moose, elk, and mountain sheep! Have fun and hopefully you will see some awesome wildlife. And let me say, welcome to Canada!
You probably won’t be able to buy too much in Portland to stock up for your trip, but as you probably know, there are so many fabulous choices for grocery stores, markets, and restaurants that stock/use local, whole foods. The Portland Metro area is probably the most food friendly town in the US, when it comes to accommodating people with special dietary needs. Have fun!!
Have fun on your adventure! My husband and I have wanted to do an RV trip, too, so I’ll definitely follow your posts!!
We’re in the SF Bay Area and there are tons of delish restaurants you must visit. I’ll post them on your Instagram feed.
Feel free to stop by and use my kitchen in Eugene, OR! :) I am new to your blog and really enjoy all of your tips and information. I am very excited for your cookbook too! Have a great trip!
Have a great time on your adventure! I just wanted to let you know that a small kitchen is a challenge,but it is also very doable. My family and I have lived on our 38 foot sailboat now for a total of three years. The trick is to treat mealtime just as you did at home, and not like you are camping. That gets old quick! It is more more of a challenge and takes a lot more planning. You do have to pick and choose your kitchen gadgets, but take along those things you will use. I use a lot of tips form people who cook/store things in an RV kitchen. If you have any questions I would be glad to help.
Is the watermelon in the refrigerator “whole” or “cut up”? I’ve heard only 3-4 days cut up, but a little longer whole. So, I just wondered which one the chart is referring to. Thank you!
Hi Stella. I believe it is referring to the whole fruit. ~Amy