Now that it’s officially summer, the time for wasting away again in Margaritaville is upon us. There is absolutely nothing more enjoyable (fight me) than an ice-cold cucumber-jalapeño margarita with a side of chips and guacamole. But if you’ve ever tried to take home leftover guac, you know that if you’re too drunk to eat it later that night, you might as well toss it straight into the garbage, since it’ll be a uniquely unappealing shade of brown by the morning.
Unfortunately, we can’t always ravenously eat our grocery hauls the first day, even if we’re snagging some peak-summer heirloom tomatoes from the farmer’s market or bringing home a trunkload of organic veggies to rival Ina Garten’s drool-worthy bounties. Lucky for you, there are a few absolutely life-changing systems for prepping and storing your produce that will save you money (and spare you some agony) over wasted food.
The three things you have to consider when trying to increase the life of your produce are temperature, airflow, and ethylene (a gas produced by fruits and veggies that causes them to ripen faster). Don’t worry—you don’t need to be a biologist to figure this out. We’re going to run through all the ideal ways to store your favorite stone fruits, berries, herbs, tender greens, and more for optimal freshness and longevity. Get ready to never throw away an unopened, fully rotten bag of spinach again.
OXO storage containers
Cookware powerhouse OXO makes a line of popular produce storage containers that come with carbon filters. Aside from replaceable filters that minimize ethylene, the internal colander keeps air circulating and prevents rotting, while the lid vent allows you to control humidity levels for different kinds of produce, keeping them fresh. Crisper-drawer inserts give fresh veggies an extra glimmer of hope, and don’t take up precious storage space. As someone who will sing the praises of OXO daily, I was happy to read so many positive reviews from customers ecstatic with their purchases. One reviewer claims they kept, “lettuce up to a month in one… and it stayed fresh and crisp.” (Though we don’t recommend keeping lettuce for a month, LOL.) Another writes that the GreenSaver, “easily kept strawberries firm and fresh for 10-11 days.”
Protect your stash
Stasher bags are another excellent way to store things that don’t need as much space, and are great for grab-and-go snacking. These are the ultimate reusable baggies—made from premium food-grade silicone, they are freezable as well as dishwasher-, microwave-, and oven-safe (up to 425 Fahrenheit). Plus, they feature a leak-free, pinch-lock seal that rivals any Ziploc—which makes them ideal for use in the kitchen as well as packing spill-prone toiletries.
The best avocado keeper
There are so many different contraptions and avo-specific Ttupperware-esque containers that basically look like bondage for everyone’s favorite toast-topper; but the one that makes the most sense—and has tons of positive reviews—is the Aavocado Ppod from Joie (they also make onion, tomato, and lemon pods). The super-stretchy silicone makes it perfect for avocados of all sizes, and keeps oxygen from getting to the flesh, which helps prevent browning. One five-star reviewer writes, “I placed a halved avocado in the keeper without the pit and the avocado flesh was still green days later! Hallelujah! I’ve found my solution!” Pro tip: Add a squeeze of lemon before storing your avocados for an extra anti-browning oomph.
The best reusable wraps
I’m kind of obsessed with the way Food Huggers look. Not only do these silicone sleeves come in fun colors (including “autumn harvest” and “fresh greens”), they can also be used for basically anything—from oddly shaped heirloom tomatoes and bananas to lids for jars or cans. Huggers protect your produce from ethylene gas— and from developing or emitting gross smells that cause them to rot faster. "I am surprised that these ‘huggers’ actually preserved a cut onion, a cut pepper, half of a cucumber, even half of a tomato (in the fridge),” one delighted Amazon customer writes. “I'm not throwing away halves of veggies that I don't need right away!” A true success story.
Another option we really love are these waxed-cotton wraps—made in the USA with certified organic cotton and responsibly sourced beeswax—which will easily help you phase out single-use plastic cling wrap.Saran.
Invest in an herb saver
Surprisingly, asparagus thrives when being stored upright in a bit of water, like a floral arrangement—same goes for herbs. Fresh herbs can be very persnickety: too much moisture and they’ll rot too fast, not enough and you’ll have tiny, dried-up twigs in the bottom of your crisper drawer where the thyme used to be. The Cole & Mason herb keeper was a game-changer for one reviewer who writes, “It has truly paid off. Chives, parsley, and dill… all lasted in great condition for three weeks.”
Don’t forget to thank the planet for all the delicious sustenance it provides!
The Rec Room staff independently selected all of the stuff featured in this story. Want more reviews, recommendations, and red-hot deals? Sign up for our newsletter.