Storing, Preparing, and Growing Produce

- About This Page -

This page contains helpful tips and information on produce, its proper storage techniques, and preparation for recipes. Items are listed in alphabetical order and each item lists tips, photos, and links to videos.

If you do not see an item listed here or you have a cooking tip, please contact me or leave a comment. Thank you for being patient as I continue making improvements to this page.

- Preparing Produce -

Before preparing produce, always remove any produce stickers and thoroughly wash them. This is a very important step. Even if you are buying organic produce (no worry of pesticide residue) you still need to wash them. People are the number one reason why germs and bacteria spread. And people have their hands all over fresh produce when trying to pick out the freshest one.

Drying them off with a paper towel is recommended for easier cutting, but not necessary.

- Ethylene Gas -

Some fruits and vegetables produce ethylene gas. Ethylene is a naturally occurring gas that helps speed along the process of ripening in produce. Due to this process, it is best to not store fruits and vegetables that produce high amounts of ethylene with other fruits and vegetables that are sensitive to ethylene. This will help preserve your produce for longer.

In the produce items listed below, you will see asterisks representing as detailed...

*These are foods that naturally produce a high amount of ethylene gas. Keep these together, but away from all other produce, especially produce that is ethylene sensitive. It is best to keep these foods as separate from all other produce as much as possible for best results

**These are foods that are ethylene sensitive. When these items are near high ethylene producing items, they will ripen and go bad very quickly. For best results, store these items all together and away from high ethylene foods.

Produce from your local farmers market is always the best choice!

  • Do not wash apples until just before eating or preparing.
  • Keep apples sealed in the plastic produce bag in the refrigerator.
  • For a video on how to prevent oxidization (turning brown) as well as how to core and slice an apple, click here.
  • For a description and detailed information on every single type of apple you can think of, click here.
  • When it comes to apples, some types are better to use for cooking, some better for baking, and others are better for just eating right off the tree. Click here for six types that are good for just these things.
  • Click here for why apples are the number one produce item you should always buy organic.

  • Store them at room temperature.
  • If you need to ripen an avocado quickly, place it into a brown paper bag along with a banana.
  • If an avocado is already ripe, and you need to slow down the ripening process, put it into the fridge.
  • For a video on how to properly cut and deseed an avocado, click here.
  • How to choose a ripe avocado, click here.

BANANAS (*and**)
  • Ripening bananas produce more ethylene gas than any other fruit; keep them away from all other produce including other non-ripe bananas which are ethylene sensitive.
  • Store at room temperature on top of a counter top.
  • Once bananas are ripe, you can stop the ripening process by putting them in the fridge. Just be sure to put them into a sealed bag first. The skin will turn black but the fruit will be fine.
  • Newbie Note: This refers to raw beans, not beans in a can. Unopened canned goods can always be stored in a cupboard at room temperature.
  • Store beans in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.
  • Do not wash until just before using.
  • Newbie Note: Plan well ahead of time when preparing a new recipe that includes beans. Some beans are necessary to soak in water all night prior to cooking. 
  • As with any produce, beans are always best buying them raw and cooking them yourself rather than buying them in a can or from a box mix. Preparing your own beans may seem intimidating to those who haven't really worked with them at first, but don't be discouraged and learn one thing at a time. Always make sure to do your research (the internet is a great tool!) prior to cooking anything new that you are just not confident with - just like each type of produce is different, so is each type of bean. Some are better for you than others, some taste way better than others, some are better to soak in water overnight and some aren't...always, do, your will save your ass, trust me!
  • GREEN BEANS** - Click here for a short video on how to trim fresh green beans.

  • Never wash berries until just before use! A lot of times, when you purchase fresh berries, you will notice that they almost have a dust film on them; this layer of "dust" is called bloom and actually works as a natural preservative to the berry. So, never wash berries until right before using.
  • Prior to storing, go through the berries and throw away any that are bruised or starting to mold.
  • Store berries loosely in shallow, plastic containers with a lid or covered with plastic wrap, in the refrigerator.
  • Keep broccoli in it's original packaging, or inside a bag, and store in the refrigerator.
  • Do not wash until just before using.
  • How to buy, store, wash, and prepare brussel sprouts including a simple but super tasty recipe - click here.
  • Keep cabbage in it's original packaging, or inside a bag, and store in the refrigerator.

  • WHOLE CARROTS: When purchasing whole carrots that still contain their green tops, cut off all but about an inch off the top of the green. Wrap them in a damp paper towel, seal inside a plastic bag, and store inside the crisper drawer of your refrigerator.
  • BABY CARROTS: New information has come to light recently that shows that baby carrots may not be a very healthy choice from the produce shelves. Try sticking to just buying organic whole carrots and dicing them down to bite-size at home. It really only takes a minute longer than opening up a bag and it's much healthier for you.
  • Keep cauliflower in it's original packaging, or inside a bag, and store in the refrigerator.
  • Do not wash until just before using.


  • How to wash, prepare, and mince fresh cilantro - click here.
  • Before slicing, chopping, or cutting a cucumber, always slice the very tips off each end. This is the root-end of the vegetable and is inedible. 
  • Slicing cucumbers - click here.
  • Deseeding cucumbers - click here.
  • Tips about eggplant including choosing a ripe one, cutting, preparing, and cooking - click here.
  • How to cut fennel or prepare for roasted fennel wedges - click here.

Each head of garlic is divided into cloves.
  • How to mince garlic - click here.
  • How to chop garlic - click here.
  • Garlic is in the same species as onions.
  • It's close relatives are the onion, shallots, chives, and rakkyo.
  • A whole garlic, like what you would buy at the store, is called a "head", (like lettuce).
  • With the exception of the single clove types, a garlic head is divided up into fleshy sections called "cloves".
  • The part of the garlic that we use and eat is the bulb of the plant. The entire plant can grow up to 4 feet tall.
  • Garlic has been used by humans for over 7,000 years and is native to central Asia.









  • How to wash, prepare, and mince fresh parsley - click here.










  • SPAGHETTI SQUASH: How to cut and deseed a spaghetti squash - click here.

  • Spaghetti Squash
  • YELLOW SQUASH: How to cut, Julienne, or dice a yellow squash - click here.
Yellow Squash
  • The history, nutritional facts, and cooking tips - click here
Orange sweet potatoes are sweeter than white ones.

  • How to prepare and chop fresh thyme - click here.
  • How to cut, chop, dice, slice, de-seed, and peel a variety of different types of tomatoes - click here.

  • How to Julienne cut or dice a zucchini - click here.

No comments:

Post a Comment