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Kitchen Tips

How to Prevent Fruits and Vegetables from Over Ripening

There’s nothing worse than buying fruits and vegetables to find out that your “fresh” produce is now almost inedible before the end of your workweek.

Yes, one bad apple can ruin the bunch. So try this easy hack to keep your fruits and vegetables fresh longer.

When some fruits ripen they naturally emit a gas called ethylene, which will speed up the ripening process of other nearby fruits and vegetables. If you have ready-to-eat bananas keep them far away from your potatoes, squash or other ethylene-sensitive produce so they don’t go bad before you have a chance to eat them.

However, if you’re looking to accelerate rock-hard avocados or peaches, store them in a paper bag or container with an apple or banana, which will concentrate the ethylene and help them ripen quicker.

Here’s a list to keep handy:

ETHYLENE-PRODUCING:

  • Apples
  • Apricots
  • Avocados
  • Blueberries
  • Cantaloupe
  • Figs
  • Green Onions
  • Grapes
  • Honeydew
  • Kiwi
  • Mangoes
  • Nectarines
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Persimmons
  • Plums
  • Potatoes
  • Tomatoes

ETHYLENE-SENSITIVE

  • Asparagus
  • Blackberries
  • Broccoli
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Cucumbers
  • Eggplants
  • Endive
  • Garlic
  • Green beans
  • Kale
  • Leafy Greens
  • Leeks
  • Okra
  • Onions
  • Parsley
  • Peas
  • Raspberries
  • Spinach
  • Squash
  • Strawberries
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Watermelon

If you're looking for a quick way to remember, The Kitchn pointed out, it's mostly fruits that are the ethylene-makers, while vegetables are typically the ones affected by ethylene gas.