Tips for properly storing seasonal produce

Summer is an exciting time for fruit lovers in the Philippines. Many local fruits are in season between April and June, and it’s common to see large amounts of mangoes, melons, jackfruits, and Java plums in the market during this period. People who incorporate a lot of vegetables into their diet also have something to look forward to during this time. While it’s possible to grow vegetables year-round in a tropical country, summer is a particularly good time to harvest beans, corn, cucumbers, greens, peppers, and sweet potatoes, among others. Fresh produce like this makes for great snacks and salad components, especially if you’re trying to eat lighter and healthier this season.

To maximize your haul of fresh fruits and veggies, you need to consider how to best store them so that they’ll stay fresh for longer. Perhaps you recently opted to buy inverter refrigerator and you’re planning to put everything in there for the time being. That’s a good start, but you should also know that not every fruit and vegetable needs to be refrigerated.

Some Items Are Better Stored Outside the Fridge

There are some fruits and vegetables that fare better when left on the counter or stored in the pantry. Unfortunately, the only way to take note of which goes where is to keep a list and commit that list to memory. Among the vegetables that should be kept out of the fridge are tomatoes, garlic, onions, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and ginger. When it comes to fruits, there are those that should be stored at room temperature until they’re fully ripe, after which they can be kept in the fridge. These include avocados, bananas, guavas, mangoes, melons, and papayas. Other fruits do equally well when left on the counter or stored inside the fridge. Take note that once a fruit has been opened or cut, it should be put in a container and stored in the refrigerator.

Not needing to refrigerate certain fruits and vegetables doesn’t mean that you can just leave them on the counter. Produce should be placed in a cool, dry, and dark place, as some have a tendency to sprout when exposed to sunlight.

On the other hand, there are fruits and vegetables that must be stored at low temperatures. Proper preparation is necessary to preserve their quality and extend their shelf life. Here are some of the essential tips you should know when storing summer produce in the fridge.

Refrain From Washing Them before Putting Them in the Fridge

It’s tempting to wash produce first so you can be sure it’s clean before storing it in the fridge. However, it’s best to refrain from doing so, as putting moist or wet items in the refrigerator can add to the internal humidity. The excess moisture, in turn, can negatively impact the freshness of produce and cause your fruits and veggies to rot earlier than they should.

Avoid Cutting Fruits and Veggies before Storing Them

Fruits and vegetables that are cut before storage are more likely to go bad faster compared to those that are stored intact. As much as possible, put these items whole in the refrigerator to preserve their freshness. Now, there are instances when you only need a portion of a fruit or veggie and have to store the remainder in the refrigerator. In this case, make sure to store these cut pieces in a covered container to keep them fresh for as long as possible.

Check If the Item Will Do Better on the Shelves or in the Crisper

The crisper is a drawer in your refrigerator that is specifically designed to keep produce fresh. It does this by fostering a greater level of humidity compared to the regular shelves in your fridge. Some crispers can even be manipulated to provide the precise level of humidity needed to keep fruits and veggies fresh for a longer time. As a rule of thumb, vegetables do better in the crisper than on the shelves of the ref. If an item is prone to wilting, it should go into the high-humidity crisper. 

In the meantime, items that are prone to rot or overripening may be best kept on the fridge shelves or in a separate drawer. Fruits like bananas and apples can rot faster if stored in a high-humidity environment like the crisper drawer. Additionally, these items produce ethylene gas, which can affect the quality of your other fruits and vegetables. Storing them in a separate area ensures that the gas will not affect other produce.

Mind the Refrigerator’s Temperature and Humidity Level

If your refrigerator’s internal temperature tends to fluctuate, this can negatively impact the freshness of the fruits and vegetables you store in it. Should this happen, it’s best to have a professional check your kitchen appliance to determine the issue and solve it. This way, you’re less likely to waste food or get sick from eating spoiled food. Aside from keeping the temperature stable, check your fridge’s humidity level. Remember that different types of produce will have different moisture requirements, so you want to be able to maintain the optimal level of moisture in your fridge.

Following these tips will help you make the most of your produce and enjoy it without having to make daily trips to the market. However, do remember that fruits and vegetables have a limited shelf life, and a refrigerator can only help you extend this by a little bit. As such, it’s best to couple these tips with planning your purchases well and buying your summer fruits and veggies with a sense of purpose.


Green space musings at Paradizoo Theme Farm in Mendez, Cavite

Life in the city can feel somewhat stifling: modern life enables you to do so much but most of them require you to be sedentary, cocooned in air-conditioned rooms with your eyes glued to device screens, or traversing the drab concrete jungle. Sometimes, we just crave for a bit of green space, areas with verdant life that refreshes the mind, body and soul.  Several studies have already cited the health and social benefits of green spaces, which include stress reduction, enhanced mood and improved social interactions. Just outside the metro in Mendez, Cavite, one can find Paradizoo, one of Zoomanity Group‘s theme parks.  Here you can find green spaces in abundance, with 12-hectares of land that offers a combination of Paradize and Zoo that makes each visit uniquely relaxing and entertaining. Paradizoo, Tagaytay Paradizoo, Tagaytay Inside the park, your eyes are treated to wide expanses of greenery with attractions such as: Vegetable Garden.  Paradizoo employs best faming practices, particularly in vermiculture, bokashi soil, hydrophonics and composting, to produce fresh and organic vegetables. Flower Garden. Horticulturists and lovers of decorative plants will love the sheer variety of colors and shapes of flowers to be found here. Paradizoo, Tagaytay Paradizoo, Tagaytay Paradizoo, Tagaytay Meditation Garden.  A quiet and peaceful place where one can relax and reflect, this is a boon to busy professionals who want to unload themselves from the cares of city life for a while. Paradizoo, Tagaytay Paradizoo, Tagaytay Paradizoo, Tagaytay Families will also welcome the opportunity to enjoy some time playing in the great outdoors with activities such as: Archery Attack.  An instructor will teach you the proper way to aim at and hit targets, which you can later use when doing mock battles with your companions. Paradizoo, Tagaytay Paradizoo, Tagaytay Farm Frenzy.  Meet and cuddle up (and let out your inner Disney Princess, hehehe!) as you meet new animal friends like rabbits, hamsters, birds, goats and other critters. Paradizoo, Tagaytay Paradizoo, Tagaytay Plant Me Home.  Want to take a bit of the greenery home with you?  In this area, you can select flowers and vegetables from garden plots that you can buy and bring home. Paradizoo, Tagaytay Paradizoo, Tagaytay Fun Z Bubble.  Roll across the fields with the kids in this fun and exhilarating activity. Paradizoo, Tagaytay And when you’re parched or famished from all the exercise and outdoor activities, drop by the Paradizoo Cafe for some well-deserved snacking.  You can also check out the cool souvenirs that you can buy and bring home with you. Paradizoo, Tagaytay Paradizoo, Tagaytay Paradizoo, Tagaytay Paradizoo, Tagaytay As much as I love the city, it’s sometimes important to take a break from it for a while and get some respite in amidst the sunshine and greenery. Afterwards, I feel like I’m ready to face life in the city again, refreshed and re-energized. Paradizoo is located along the Mendez-Tagaytay Road in Mendez, Cavite, open daily from 8am to 5pm. To commute going there, ride a bus to Tagaytay City or at Olivarez terminal.  Afterwards, then ride any jeepney or bus to Mendez and inform the driver to drop you off to Maglabe Drive.  Lastly, take a trycicle ride to Paradizoo. Rates:
  • Adult: Php199
  • Child (3 feet to 4 feet): Php149
  • Children below 3 feet free of charge
Book your eco-farm journey by emailing or by calling +63 046 4131244 | +63 966 1938965. Know more about Paradizoo and other Zoomanity’s attractions at Here’s a tip: you can get discounted ticketsto Paradizoo Theme Farm by signing up for a free YOGO customer account and booking via the YOGO PH app (download now on Google Play or the App Store). You can also book your tickets via Klook Disclosure: Together with fellow bloggers, I was invited by the Zoomanity Group to tour and experience the attractions at the Paradizoo Theme Farm.  The tour was sponsored by the company and was not paid for by the attendees including myself.

Fuss-and-frill-free healthy lunch at Mongolian Quick Stop

Mongolian Quick Stop is my foodcourt favorite for relatively guilt-free yet satisfying lunches. I love how the fresh vegetables, meats and seafoods together with the sauce combinations all come together into a flavorful mixture. I usually go for the affordable Mongolian Quick Bowl which allows me to enjoy the Mongolian Quick Stop experience for only Php90.

Where to Eat: This branch is at The Loop at the ELJ Communication Center in Quezon City.

Mongolian Quick-Stop Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato