Eating plant-based foods to boost your immune system is key. But life gets busy! And sometimes we head to the grocery store with the best of intentions only to let some of our produce get limp and not-so-appetizing before we get around to cooking it. Well good news: we're coming at you with these 10 fruits and vegetables with long shelf lives.
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When it comes to fruits and vegetables with long shelf lives, apples are top of the list. They can last 2-4 months in your fridge. Store whole apples in the refrigerator in the crisper drawer, away from vegetables.
Then use your apples to make this whole food plant-based apple crisp.
Beets can last 2-4 months in your fridge, too. If greens are still attached, cut them off, then store in the crisper your fridge, preferably in a perforated bag. Beets are also crazy good for your heart, so eat up!
Don’t want to go through the mess of prepping and roasting beets? Let MamaSezz do the work and order MamaSezz Strong Heart Beets.
At room temperature, Vitamin C rich oranges may last about a week. But you can stretch out their shelf life by popping in the crisper drawer of your fridge for up to 4 weeks.
Then use your oranges to make this easy vegan blender soup.
We love potatoes at MamaSezz and will defend them against naysayers any chance we get (seriously, potatoes get a bad rap -- they’re super healthy!). Not only are they nutrient powerhouses, but potatoes last a long time, 2-4 months, so long as they’re stored in a cool, dark place. In the basement and in a cardboard box, mesh or paper bag with holes, or basket is your basement is your best bet -- and be sure to keep away from onions and apples because gases from the onions and apples will make potatoes sprout faster. (Though sprouted potatoes can still be consumed! Just cut off the sprouts. If your potatoes are green and soft, toss them.)
Then use your potatoes to make this dairy-free potato leek soup.
Speaking of onions, you can store this root vegetable for about 2 months in a cool, dry place -- like your basement or garage. Remember to keep separate from potatoes. And in a mesh bag is best.
6. Sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes don’t last as long as white potatoes, but they will still keep for about 5 weeks when stored in a cool, dry place. Again, a basket or mesh bag is ideal.
Then use your sweet potatoes to make this easy vegan breakfast: sweet potato toast!
When properly stored, cabbage can last from 2 weeks to 2 months. Keep cabbage heads whole until you plan to use it and place in crisper on a high humidity setting if you have it. You can also wrap in plastic to stretch out shelf life.
Then use your cabbage to make these maple tahini quinoa wraps.
8. Winter squash
Butternut squash, pumpkin, and acorn squashes can last up to 3 months when stored in a cool, dark place away from apples, pears, and other ripening fruits.
Then use your squash to make this easy stuffed squash recipe.
Cut of the greens if they have them and aim to keep your carrots dry in the crisper to help them last about a month. If they came in a plastic bag, you may want to wrap them in paper towels to keep moisture at bay.
Then use your carrots to make this vegan spicy carrot soup recipe.
If you want your celery to last 2-4 weeks, ditch the hearts and buy your celery whole. Pro tip: wrap it in aluminum foil to avoid limp celery.
Get whole food plant-based meals dropped right at your door. Ready-made and packaged healthy meals that last in your fridge for 2 weeks. Need more time? Pop in the freezer for up to 2 months!
Learning how to store produce properly means you can enjoy all these fruits and vegetables with long shelf lives.
- Apples can last 2-4 months in the fridge
- Beets can last 2-4 months in the fridge
- Oranges can last about 1 month in the fridge
- Potatoes can last 2-4 months in cool, dry, dark place (away from onions and apples)
- Onions can last about 2 months in cool, dry, dark place
- Sweet potatoes can last about 5 weeks in cool, dry, dark place (away from onions and apples)
- Cabbage can last 2 weeks to 2 months in the fridge
- Winter squash can last up to 3 months stored in cool, dry, dark place
- Carrots can last about 1 month in the fridge
- Celery can last 2-4 weeks month in the fridge
By Ali Brown
Ali is a mom, wife, and nutrition and lifestyle writer and editor. She has her Plant-Based Nutrition Certificate from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies.