Posts Tagged With: fruit

Storage Life of Fruits and Vegetables

Make that produce last!

If fruits and vegetables sit around too long before being served and eaten, they can quickly go bad. Throwing away bruised, moldy, or spoiled produce is like throwing away money…and nutrition!

Proper storage can help your fruit and veggies last the maximum number of days in your house.  You can also purchase fruits and vegetables that have a longer storage life, like apples and carrots. When you make an effort to eat fruits and vegetables each day and follow these storage tips, you may find that you aren’t throwing away produce anymore.

Assorted fruitFruits

Refrigerate your ripe fruits so they can last longer. Even bananas can be refrigerated — the peel will turn brown, but the inside will stay nice and ripe!

Also, store apples and grapes inside plastic bags and store any cut melon in air-tight containers.

How long can fruits be stored without going bad?

  • 3+ weeks: apples, grapefruit, kiwi
  • 2 weeks: bananas, blueberries, honeydew, lemon, lime, tangerine, cherries, orange
  • 1 week: grapes
  • 5 days: cantaloupe, watermelon, pears
  • 2-3 days: nectarine, strawberries
  • 1-2 days: mango, peach, raspberries

vegetables clip art


Most veggies need to be refrigerated. Exceptions include whole onions and sweet potatoes, which should be stored in a cool, dry, well-ventilated place.  Also, store your tomatoes at room temp, away from direct sunlight.

All veggies should be wrapped in a plastic bag in the fridge, and spinach, collard greens, and asparagus should also be wrapped in a damp paper towel within the plastic bag.  Store mushrooms in the original container or a sealed container.

How long can veggies be stored without going bad?

  • 3-5 weeks: whole onions, sweet potatoes
  • 2-3 weeks: rhubarb, carrots
  • 1 week: artichokes, Brussels sprouts, cucumber, green beans, cabbage, lettuce, mushrooms, radishes, tomato
  • 5 days: bell pepper, cauliflower
  • 3-5 days: broccoli, spinach, asparagus
  • 1-3 days: cut onions, collard greens
  • ASAP: green onion, summer squash, corn (with husk)
Categories: Community Nutrition, Education in the Community | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Smoothies for Breakfast

In my last rotation with WVU dining services, I was able to choose a new food item, recipe, or something of the like to implement and write a report on. I decided to provide a smoothie bar during breakfast hours for those students in Evansdale Cafe.  The project included planning, food costing, advertising, implementing, writing a literature review, and writing a 16-page summary of the quality improvement project.  While this was several weeks ago, I thought I’d pass along some of what I came up with, because it was a fun project to be a part of.  The staff at WVU were extremely helpful in every aspect of the project– letting me take creative reigns, printing off customer counts, invoice orders, ordering the food, helping with set-up, tear-down, and even working next to me during the busy 2 hours, running the second blender. I am very grateful that the staff at WVU are so willing to help – they definitely care about their dietetic interns!


            Fruits are an important part of a healthy diet as they contain vitamins, minerals, and fiber that are beneficial for heart health, digestive health, and more.  However, less than 23% of Americans are consuming the recommended 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables per day.1 In fact, a study by Steven E. Shive found that students at a community college have a typical fruit intake of 1.7 servings a day.2 By providing students at WVU with a smoothie bar during breakfast hours, it creates the opportunity for students to increase their fruit intake that day by 1-2 servings.  A smoothie bar was planned and was implemented on Friday, September 28th from 7:30-9:00am and served approximately 80 students.  Students were able to design their own smoothie or choose one of the three smoothies shown on signs with nutrition facts attached.  Peaches, bananas, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries could be mixed with vanilla soy milk, 2% milk, orange juice, and yogurt.  Each smoothie took less than a minute to make and the smoothie operation worked well with two employees running the blenders and taking orders.  There were approximately 5.5 labor hours involved and the average food-cost of a smoothie made was $1.165.  Feedback from the students was positive, as many students lined up early, gave positive comments, asked if the smoothie bar was permanent, and were happy to have something different, unique, and nutritious on a weekday morning.  If there is enough staff available to run the smoothie bar, I would recommend keeping it in rotation several times a month.

Signage for Smoothies <– Check out a PDF of the sign I made for the smoothie bar, which explains how to order and shows all the ingredients available.

Smoothie Nutrition Facts <– I analyzed the smoothies for their nutrients and made signs that displayed the nutrition facts for 3 different smoothies — Triple Berry (strawberry, raspberry, blueberry), Peach-Raspberry, and Strawberry-Banana.

Working the smoothie bar on Friday morning. Set-up took about an hour for one employee (me)– thankfully all the food and supplies were organized on carts in the dry storage, walk-in cooler, and walk-in freezer the day before, so set-up in the morning went “smoothly”…haha

Making one of the approximately 80 smoothies we made that day. The first people to get a smoothie at 7:20am were a group of WVU student-athletes who had just finished with an early morning practice.


This project also involved taking into account food safety rules and regulations – dairy products were stored in tubs of ice to keep below 45 degrees F; employees wore hair restraints, aprons, gloves, and properly washed their hands; serving utensils were used; and the smoothie bar was located within 25 feet of a hand-washing station.

The most popular smoothie was the strawberry-banana smoothie. We used about 10 pounds of strawberries that morning and about 35 bananas!



  1. Brown, B.J., & Hermann, J.R. (2005). Cooking classes increase fruit and vegetable intake and food safety behaviors in youth and adults. Journal of Nutrition Education & Behavior, 37(2), 104-105. Retrieved from
  2. Shive, S. E., & Morris, M. N. (2006). Evaluation of the energize your life! social marketing campaign pilot study to increase fruit intake among community college students. Journal of American College Health, 55(1), 33-39.  Retrieved from
Categories: Food Service | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

WVU Downtown Farmers’ Market

Today my rotation was filled with variety– body composition analysis, a grocery store tour, and a farmers’ market.  I love the variety of things that this rotation has to offer so far, and it’s only been 3 days!  Here are some photos I took from the downtown farmers’ market today. It is held across from the Mountainlair every Wednesday from 11am-1pm, and today was comprised of about 5 vendors, but in the following weeks, more vendors should be present. There were fresh and local grapes, peaches, apples, eggplant, bell peppers, hot peppers, lettuce, tomatoes, potatoes, corn on the cob, baked goods (cookies, bread), and more.  WVU also had a tent where students could get a nice-sized sample of peach crisp, made by WVU dining using fresh and local West Virginian peaches.  The recipe was created and tweaked to meet certain nutrition standards (more fiber, less fat, lower in sodium), so you can be rest assured the peach crisp is healthy for you.  And for you animal lovers out there, the peach crisp is also vegan!  We were talking about what recipe and dish to give away for free at next week’s farmers’ market, and it may be something made with potatoes, corn, and peppers! Mmmm! Or perhaps an apple dish? Whatever it is, it’s always made with local ingredients.

Hundreds of free samples of peach crisp…went fast!

SNAP benefits and credit/debit cards can be used here

Local foods available for students to purchase

Peaches, apples, tomatoes, corn, and grapes…yum!

Thanks to all the vendors who participate and help make WVU a healthier campus!

Fresh apples & various veggies

Great for cooking

Eggplants — excellent grilled, baked, or sauteed!

Freshly made “Yum Bun” for $3 – filled with veggies & looks like whole wheat flour was used. Great!

I think this downtown farmers market is a great for students of all types– if you live in the dorms, grab a bag of apples for those midnight cravings when the dining hall is closed. If you live off campus, why not buy some peaches and take a recipe card and try out the healthy peach crisp one weekend?  And of course, whether you live off campus or on campus, a yum bun will definitely fill you up in between classses!

Categories: Community Nutrition | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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