Like many people, you’ll probably purchase a few days’ worths of food at one moment, and you have to think about making sure that your fresh veggies remain fresh for as long as you can.
All vegetables aren’t alike, so there’s no one best method to keep the variety. Fresh greens such as lettuce cannot be handled in the same manner as root vegetables such as carrots or potatoes. Certain practices such as washing or peeling can extend or reduce their lifespan according to various aspects. The way you store certain vegetables can affect the length of time they remain fresh. Here’s what you need to be aware of when storing your vegetables to ensure maximum freshness.
Cool, dry, dark place
Some vegetables last longer in a cool or room temperature place, free of heat, moisture, and light. In certain instances, this could be a cabinet in the kitchen (not placed right close to the oven) or it could be an individual pantry. The optimal temperatures for the pantry are between 50 to 70 F (although 50-60 F is more suitable).
In addition, the reason you should keep the pantry in darkness is that when these vegetables have been exposed to the light, they will think they’re outside and start to grow.
Vegetables that you can keep in your pantry are:
- Winter hard squash Acorn, spaghetti, and butternut
- All varieties of potatoes (including sweet potatoes and yams)
They will last for at most one month in the pantry or even longer, such as one month or more when the temperature is within 50-60 F.
And unless you can practice strictly controlling the temperature at home all year time, this means that vegetables kept in your pantry typically last longer during colder months than during the hot.
It is important to note that while you can keep your onions and potatoes in your pantry, do not store them close to each other. Potatoes will grow faster if they are kept near onions.
Also, it’s important to keep note of any pests, especially fruit flies. A good fruit fly spray will eliminate any fruit fly that lars in your pantry.
In the Fridge
Do you have a refrigerator with crisper drawers? They do in most cases however some allow you to alter the humidity, typically through the opening (less humid) or shutting (more humidity) tiny air vents in the drawers. Although the low-humidity setting is ideal for certain fruits, however, for vegetables, you must choose higher humidity (in terms of shutting your vents). The temperature of your refrigerator should be in the range of 33 to 40 F.
- Asparagus is known to have a short shelf lifespan, even if chilled. You’ll be able to tell that your asparagus’s beginning to wane when the ends of the stalks begin to appear dry and swollen. Asparagus is good for up to three days in the fresher. However, check out the following tips on how to extend this time significantly.
- Eggplant, celery, peppers, peas, artichokes, cucumber, and zucchini will last for up to an entire week in the fridge.
- The summer squash, the yellow squash, and green beans for three to five days.
- Broccoli can last from 3 and 5 days.
- Brussels sprouts can last from 3 and 5 days.
- Cauliflower will last for a week.
- Carrots, parsnips, turnips beets, and radishes can be kept in a plastic bag for 2 weeks.
- The same is true for other leafy greens. They can last for 3 days to a week, depending upon how fragile the leaf is.
- Mushrooms last between 3 and 5 days. They must be stored in a plastic bag.
- Ears of corn must be kept in their husks. They can last from 1 and 2 days.
Keep fruits and vegetables separate
If you’ve heard you could make an avocado ripen by keeping it in a container together with an apple, it’s actually true. The reason is that the pears and apples and various other fruits, release an ethylene gas that speeds up the process of ripening of other fruits and veggies which are nearby.
Although you might wish for your fruit to mature quicker, this isn’t the case for vegetables. For vegetables, ripening simply is spoilage. It can be seen as spotting turning yellow, wilting, and, generally, breaking down.
This means that you keep your vegetables in a separate area from your fruit. When you’ve got two drawers for crispers You could use one for vegetables and the other one for fruits.
Alongside apple and pears, Kiwi, nectarines and plums, apricots, and peaches are major producers of ethylene.
We have discussed before the need for onions to be kept out of the vicinity of potatoes This isn’t because of ethylene however, the excess water that they release can cause potatoes to sprout.
The longer you keep it whole, the longer than any cut item, and any cut or peeled must be kept in the refrigerator.