Cooking Matters! Storing Fresh Fruits and Veggies; Freezing Fruits and Veggies

Avoid food waste! Keep produce fresh longer using these storage tips. 

  • When purchasing fresh fruits and veggies: if you will eat right away, buy ripe. If you won’t, buy before they are ripe and let them ripen at home. Or, buy a mix – a few that are ripe to eat right away and a few that aren’t for later in the week.
  • If refrigeration is not available, some fruits and veggies can be stored in a cool room or basement instead. Try potatoes, beets, carrots, other root veggies, apples, and pears.

Buy fruits and veggies in bulk when they are in season and the price is good. Freeze the extras to use another time.

  • Most produce maintains its quality when frozen for up to about 6 months (for fruits) or 12 months (for veggies). 
  • Blanching slows the loss of flavor, color, texture, and nutrients during freezing. Veggies frozen without blanching are safe to eat, but may not maintain their quality for as long. If you’re pressed for time, hearty veggies like broccoli, carrots, corn, and summer or winter squash can be frozen without blanching. But you may want to use them up more quickly than blanched frozen veggies.

The Cooking Matters campaign knows that kids need good food to grow up healthy. That’s why we’re here to help you learn to shop for and cook healthy, affordable meals for your entire family. For more information, including additional tips and recipes, visit If you are interested in more Cooking Matters resources, including FREE online lessons, head here:

Related Resources: Food Storage flyer

Recipes: Fall Fruit Compote ; Vegetable Lasagna ; Fall Vegetable Salad


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