4 Fruit Storage Ideas That Will Put Your Basic Bowl to Shame
From custom cabinetry to color coding.
Published Sep 14, 2022 8:00 AM
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No one can afford to let a bag of cherries go bad, and we mean that quite literally. According to Seattle Public Utilities, the average family tosses $130 of edible food each month. Since there are so many fruits that are best not refrigerated—plums, peaches, pineapples, avocados, bananas, and citrus to start—proper storage is key to savoring ripe produce and keeping an organized kitchen. We’ve found four ingenious fruit storage ideas, from hanging baskets (which are perfect if you’re tight on countertop space) to drawers and larders (if you have room to spare). May your bananas never brown too quickly again.
Think: Vertical Fruit Storage
If you’re short on countertop space (who isn’t?), take inspiration from Samantha Sawle of My Neutral Nest, who taught herself how to macramé these baskets during lockdown to combat the lacking fruit storage in her camper van. (You just loop the cotton cord over a hook on the wall or, better yet, the ceiling.) Now the craft is a bona fide side gig. “I don’t have the biggest kitchen, so anything that helps me save worktop space is a plus for me,” says Sawle. “Especially if it can look cute at the same time.”
With a three-tiered, wall-mounted wire rack—this one is available at Etsy—you can both save yourself precious surface area and organize your fruit by type so you don’t have to rummage through a bowl to find your last little lemon.
You’ll never forget your daily serving of fruit if it’s stored in a woven willow wall basket, handmade by Julie Gurr (she even grows the material herself). The wide lip of the large version makes it a good match for apples and oranges. Gurr also offers a longer, narrower design, which fits smaller fruits like lemons and limes.
Opt for a Fruit Storage Bowl, But Better
There’s more to this beautiful Emile Henry storage bowl than meets the eye. The ceramic base offers a dark, temperature-stable spot for potatoes, onions, and not-quite-ripe fruit, while the shallow lid is intended for items that need to breathe (think: apples, bananas, and pears). Even the cork rim is deliberate—it’s inspired by the old trick of tossing a wine cork in your fruit bowl to absorb extra moisture and keep fruit flies away.
We can think of a dozen uses for these colorful IKEA wire baskets (a place for socks, hair products, or printer ink, for starters), but they’re particularly perfect for storing fruits and veggies. The steel mesh ventilates the items, reducing moisture buildup, so your goods will stay fresher longer.
Go All Out With Built-In Fruit Storage
In the 18th century, long before refrigeration, kitchen staples such as fruits, vegetables, bread, and milk were kept in a larder, just like this British Standard design. Vents are installed to let air flow over a shelf, often made of marble, which helps keep the ingredients cool. Add a cutting board, and you have a place to both store and prep lunch.
If your household eats their way through what feels like a dozen apples a day, consider dedicating a cupboard to fruit storage. Ditch the typical doors and shelves and install slatted trays like these from Plain English, which are made of oak and sit on traditional wood runners. “It’s all about the airflow,” reiterates Imogene Pritchard, the company’s U.S. design director.
When in Doubt, Keep Things Colorful
Remember when Dakota Johnson broke the Internet with her limes-only fruit bowl? If constructing a built-in fruit pantry seems too daunting, just take a page out of the star’s book and store your produce in small vessels, categorized by color. This seamless system will leave your refrigerator or kitchen table looking instantly tidier. Plus you know what they say about your food resembling the rainbow.