With the coronavirus situation escalating, many are looking to ensure that their pantries and freezers are stocked with essentials. But beyond frozen food and pantry staples, what else should you have on hand? Long-lasting fruits and vegetables.
Of course, fruits and vegetables like berries, avocados, lettuce, and more, may go bad fairly quickly, but much produce can last for weeks, or even months. Below, five favorites to have on hand. As a reminder: Frozen and canned fruits and vegetables also are an excellent thing to purchase as their shelf-life is very long—to keep things healthy, just look for those with no added salt or sugar.
Did you know your apples are probably a year old when you buy them? If you keep apples in cold storage conditions following these guidelines from the University of Maine, they can keep for up to four months. Prevention recommends eating the biggest apples first since they tend to not keep fresh as long.
Sign us up for a bag or two of wholesome taters. Potatoes go bad in a few weeks if you keep them at room temperature, but they can stay fresh from two-to-three months when you store them in your refrigerator, per Well + Good. FYI: Sweet potatoes shouldn't be refrigerated, and last only about one-to-two weeks when stored on your counter. If you can store them in a dark, dry space, they can last about a month, says Real Simple.
This root vegetable can last between two-to-four months when you store them in the fridge, according to Prevention. If the greens are still on when you buy them, cut them off before storing in a perforated plastic bag in your vegetable crisper.
Onions can last up to two months in your fridge, but Well + Good offers a smart tip: Chop up onions and put them in a freezer-safe bag. Onions freeze well, so you can grab them from the freezer for soups, stir-fries, or whatever you're cooking.
You can extend the shelf life of carrots up to "a few months," notes Prevention. If the carrots you bought come in a plastic bag, simply place a paper towel inside of the bag to help keep moisture at bay.