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Serenity Now 06-08-2014 02:16 PM

Storing fruits and veggies
 
This is something I really struggle with in my kitchen. I need an attractive way to store fruit and veggies that do not go in the fridge. But I also need them to be very visually available to the kids. Right now they are just on the counter, and sometimes the kids will ask me if we are out of apples, just because the citrus is in front, for instance.

I hate clutter on kitchen counters. If I could figure out how, I would have absolutely nothing on the counters. As it is, I have my appliances I use every day out, and store the rest, and it's still too cluttered for my taste. We eat a lot of fresh fruits and veggies, and the food clutter is about to make me crack. But I also want to keep them where the kids will be able to help themselves. How do you store your non-fridge fruits and veggies?

Catholic Mama 06-09-2014 06:02 AM

I have a walk-in pantry and another pantry on the other side of the fridge that is not walk-in. It would have doors but we haven't put them on after they were painted when we were moving in, so it's just shelves that you can walk right up to. One one or two of those shelves I often have a box of clementines and maybe a bag of apples, and a couple of other fruit that won't spoil outside of the fridge. On part of the counter I put melons.

My in-laws do something like this:
http://www.pinterest.com/pin/58476495136919940/
only they put whole fresh fruit on theirs like bananas and apples, and they have a banana hanger on the counter too.

I've also seen vegetables in baskets on the back of the counter.

Catholic Mama 06-09-2014 07:20 AM

My mother-in-law said the trays on her counter where she puts bananas etc. are called a tiered serving tray. This looks like it; sorry, the link is long because I got it off Google Images:
https://www.google.com/search?q=tier...tm%3B400%3B400

Serenity Now 06-09-2014 08:31 PM

I don't want to put them in the pantry, because the pantry items are off limits for the kids. Most things that you put in a pantry are junk items, or stuff that I use in meals, like dried beans, rice, dried peppers, etc that the kids don't snack on anyway. It's just easier to make a blanket no pantry rule.

I have a large family, and we have an orchard, and a huge garden, and we get deliveries from the CSA every week. We have a lot more produce than can fit in a 3 dish tray. I have all my various tomatoes, citrus, root veggies, peppers and herbs I'm drying, bananas, apples, pears, and on and on. The vast majority of our diet is fresh fruits and veggies, so it's a lot of clutter on the counters.

I was thinking maybe something on the walls. Like flat baskets hanging on the walls? I have also seen this fruit shelving system, it looks kind of like gutters hung on your wall, but my husband does wood working and makes most of our furniture, so I could have him make something more attractive. Anyone have anything like that? I want something attractive, at kid eye level so they can wander by and grab the snack they want without rooting through dozens of oranges and lemons for the grapefruit.

clutterwarrior 06-13-2014 10:45 PM

Living in a warm humid climate, the most I leave out is apples, pears and mandarins, everything else goes in the fridge. I just keep them in bowls near the edge of the kitchen bench, so people can easily grab them. I hate kitchen clutter too, although I am not good at managing it, but I figure at least fruit is good clutter! Better to be out and used than to rot in the fridge.

Onions go in a special Jamie Oliver brand tin with holes in it made especially for onions, and brushed potatoes go in a special drawstring bag that keeps the light out.

Serenity Now 06-17-2014 08:57 AM

Don't keep your tomatoes in the fridge! They get mealy tasting.

I think I just need overall food storage help, lol. My new grain order came, and I'm trying out some new stuff, so I have gamma buckets of hard white, hard red, durum, buckwheat, kamut, spelt, soft white, and popcorn cluttering up the eat in area of my kitchen. I have no idea what to do with those, it's like we're living in a warehouse. I can keep the dried beans, dried peppers (once they're dried), dried herbs, various types of rice, potatoes and so on in the pantry. But it's pretty full. It's tomato season, so I have my various heirlooms, tomatillos, and cherries all out. My son eats them like candy. The lemons and limes are producing like crazy, and my kumquats and sour orange crop (for marmalade) look like it's going to be insane. I'll be standing on a street corner with a sign "Free kumquats to good home" lol. Our apples trees are only doing so-so this year, though. I think its been too dry.

Fridge fruits and veggies are easy. I just hide them in the big silver box and no on sees them. But the counter fruits are tough. Some days I feel like I don't have any counter space left at all, and I've got a really big kitchen. If I am airing out coffee that I roasted, and just harvested peppers and tomatoes, it's pretty bad. I need to roast coffee today, so it's on my mind right now. I guess I'll make a bunch of lemon and limeade to free up coffee space, so I will still have room to make bread today.

I'm leaning towards the wall storage idea. I'll have to see how my husband feels about making some little fruit shelves for the walls. Then I can get the clutter off the counters, and the fruit will still be easy to grab. I will still probably need to keep the melons on the counter, but we don't grow a lot of those.

Polliwog 06-17-2014 10:01 AM

Pretty much everything we have goes in the fridge. My kids have no problem finding stuff in there. I usually only keep tomatoes and bananas out. There may be more, though.

mum4boys 06-17-2014 04:57 PM

Do you have some where else to store you gama buckets and just refill another container for use in the kitchen?

There is a blog http://www.blissfulanddomestic.com/p...our-of-my.html I think she does a really good job with storage for her really small kitchen.

I keep our fruit and veggies in a really pretty bowl that is gigantic. But because we have fructose malaborbtion disorder in our house we do not eat many fresh fruits and veggies. If I was in your situation I would probably go with large baskets on the counter to contain the clutter. I like the idea of the fruit gutter but do you have wall space for it?

Serenity Now 06-18-2014 11:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mum4boys (Post 17705706)
Do you have some where else to store you gama buckets and just refill another container for use in the kitchen?

There is a blog http://www.blissfulanddomestic.com/p...our-of-my.html I think she does a really good job with storage for her really small kitchen.

I keep our fruit and veggies in a really pretty bowl that is gigantic. But because we have fructose malaborbtion disorder in our house we do not eat many fresh fruits and veggies. If I was in your situation I would probably go with large baskets on the counter to contain the clutter. I like the idea of the fruit gutter but do you have wall space for it?

The grain has to be stored in the gamma buckets all the time, or else it will go rancid. It has to be kept airtight with moisture and oxygen packets. I'm not talking about flour, but actual grain. I grind my flour from the grain.

I have room for the gutter system, our kitchen is really big and I have wall space I haven't been using.

We grow a lot of our food. We have a large garden and an orchard, so during harvest times, we have fresh produce, sometimes quite a bit. And to fill in the gaps of things we don't grow, we get produce delivered by a local CSA. Like, I don't grow collards or strawberries, so the CSA supplies those. Of course, those go in the fridge. The vast majority of our diet is fresh produce. We're a large family, so it is a lot of produce. No one else has this problem?

pumabearclan 06-19-2014 05:58 AM

Do you have a place to hang those tiered collapsing wire baskets on chains that might be within reach? Then you can put them away when you aren't using them.

We have a small family, so I just use a platter on the counter myself.

Tuffhammer 08-05-2014 06:29 PM

The first instinct is to put fruits and vegetables in the refrigerator to preserve freshness, but not all produce is best kept at cold temperatures. So what I did, I buy a big fruit bowl and place it on the dining table where it is visible to the children. I just don't allow them to go to pantry. :)


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