How to Store Vegetables
When you store vegetables in the correct way then it should keep them beautiful and fresh to eat. However, when you get them home from the store, you do need to put some thought into where you are going to store them. Some vegetables want to be stored in your refrigerator, different vegetables need to ripen prior to you putting them into the refrigerator, and some just need to be stored in a cool dry area of your kitchen. So, you need to know how to store vegetables correctly.
Keep Your Veggies Apart
The initial thing you ought to understand about storing vegetables is that you need to ensure that you do not try to store them all together. Never store your veggies with fruits as many fruits give off a particular gas which causes other produce to ruin. Storing vegetables and fruits in distinct crisper drawers helps to avoid vegetables spoiling too quickly.
While vegetables all have their own precise storage needs, they likewise have numerous preferences that they have in common. The best place to start is to check what vegetables are in season as these will be the freshest. Veg always taste at their best in season, so study their growing times before you buy them to understand which veg you can store best together.
Instantly take away any ties that have been used to keep the veggies together from the store until you get home as leaving them on bruises vegetables. Ensure that you cut away any leafy tops of vegetables to store them, otherwise they will drain all of the moisture from your veg and this will mean that your vegetables will speedily lose all their flavor. Do not wash your vegetables unless you feel that you are ready to eat them straight away, making sure your veggies are totally dry prior to storing them.
The crisper in your refrigerator is the most natural space where people tend to think to store their vegetables. This indispensable drawer at the base of your fridge is great for most of your vegetables, but not all, even if it has settings which allow you to control the temperature and humidity.
Storing Green Leafy Vegetables
It can be more of a mission to keep leafy greens fresher for longer. However, if you rinse them, wrap them up in paper towels, and refrigerate them in a sealed container then they are much more likely to last longer. This process can be done with a number of leafy greens such as lettuce, kale, bok choy, and spinach. Storing leafy greens in this way is best done the moment you bring them home as it will ensure that they are more suitable to eat for longer. When you buy prewashed leafy greens, it is still advisable to rinse them once again after you have taken them home. Dark leafy greens are a little trickier to store for long periods of time as they will usually wilt easily.
Vegetables To Keep On The Countertop
- Onions – Onions ought to be kept out of direct sunlight in a cool, dry area. This is because they are inclined to share their overpowering smell with the other vegetables that they are stored alongside. Likewise, attempt to avoid keeping them with potatoes, as they may cause them to start sprouting.
- Eggplants – Whatever you may believe, the only place to properly store your fresh eggplant will be at room temperature. It is best to not store them in the refrigerator but instead find a cool place on a countertop. Side-step sealing eggplants in plastic as they will spoil faster.
- Zucchini- It is better to store zucchini only if it is whole and has not been cut for use. Store it unwashed in a perforated plastic bag on your countertop as long as your kitchen stays fairly cool, or else place it in your fridge.
- Squash – They had better be stored in a cool, dry place outside of your refrigerator like in a designated a cupboard. Storing squash, like other root vegetables, is fairly trouble free and it is easy to keep them nice and fresh.
- Root vegetables – Usually, root vegetables like potatoes, beets, and pumpkins, ought to be stored at room temperature in a wire mesh basket. Put a basket in a cool and dark place on your countertop at leave them for up to a week.
Vegetables To Keep In Your Refrigerator
- Cabbage – Chop up cabbage and then it needs to be wrapped firmly in plastic. It can then be kept in the crisper part of your fridge until you are ready to use it.
- Broccoli – It does not keep for long, so it is best to eat up your fresh broccoli the moment that you bring it home. However, you can try to keep it fresh by wrapping it up loosely in damp kitchen towels and placing it in your refrigerator. Broccoli hates being sealed up in a plastic bag as it starts to sweat and go brown.
- Mushrooms – Pre-wrapped mushrooms can be kept in their packaging and simply placed into your refrigerator. Once you open the pack of mushrooms, but still have leftovers, add extra plastic wrap again with holes for increased air flow. Wild mushrooms can instead be stored in a paper bag. Put mushrooms into your crisper to prevent them from drying out. Even if your mushrooms shrivel up slightly, they can still be used in your cooking.
- Asparagus ought to be stored in the refrigerator to keep it fresh. You should keep the asparagus stalks moist with a damp paper towel or you can even store the stalks in a bowl of cold water.
- Bell peppers – To allow bell peppers to continue to taste good for longer, you need to store them in your crisper drawer. They should last up to 2 weeks in your fridge, but if you cook your peppers, they will only naturally last up to 5 days. Ensure that your peppers are totally dry prior to putting them into the refrigerator as a wet pepper will swiftly turn out to be soft and slimy
- Green beans – It is best to leave beans unwashed and put them into a plastic bag to be kept in the crisper in your refrigerator. You can also freeze them if you wish, just rinse them in cold water, drain them off and cut away the ends to that they are prepared to be cooked.
- Brussels sprouts – If you purchase sprouts on the stalk, remove them, but attempt to keep their outer leaves. You should store them openly in a bowl in your refrigerator. Often sprout leaves begin to wilt, nonetheless the inside of the sprout should remain fresh.
- Carrots – Trim off green stalks and then put your carrots into a container in your refrigerator to help to maintain their freshness and keep them crunchy for longer.
Vegetables That Need More Care
- Cucumbers – There is some discussion as to whether cucumber should be stored at room temperature in your refrigerator. This usually is dependent upon just how warm it gets in your kitchen. If your kitchen is cool go for the countertop. If not, store your cucumbers in your refrigerators crisper section. When you keep your cucumber, all wrapped up in plastic, then this will curtail the amount of moisture available to ruin the cucumber. Cucumbers will typically last up to a week in your refrigerator given that surplus water and moisture will be held back in the fridge as compared to a day on the counter. To assist in keeping your cucumbers fresher for longer, ensure that they continue to stay dry prior to storing them as additional water will lead to a ruined cucumber. Think about how you store your cucumber at every stage as you must avert sogginess and decline. If you do not use up all of your cucumber in one go, then simply cover over the open end with plastic wrap and loosely leave it in an open plastic bag to ensure that you encourage decent airflow around it. This assists in keeping your cucumbers fresh and dry while at the same time protecting them from gases given off by other vegetables and fruit in your refrigerator.
- Tomatoes – To keep tomatoes fresh you need to pay attention to which stage in the ripening process that they are at. For the sweetest tasting tomatoes, you will need to store them out of sunlight, at room temperature, which helps them to ripen consistently. As soon as they are ripe tomatoes should be put into the fridge. However, keeping your tomatoes sitting uncovered on your kitchen counter is the best way to keep them really juicy. This permits them to keep on ripening and helps them to advance their flavor. Most store-bought tomatoes will last up to 5 days when you store them on your countertop. You ought to only preserve tomatoes in a refrigerator the minute that they have entirely ripened. Doing this will extend their shelf life and once ripened they will typically last up to 7 days in your fridge. When you store unripe tomatoes in the fridge this will slow the rate of the ripening procedure, which will give them a less lively flavor and a dry texture. More often than not, storing ripened tomatoes in your refrigerator will harm the flavor, therefore it will be a good idea to store them outside on the countertop and appreciate them while they are still plump and fresh. It is also important to remember that in order to lessen bacteria and decay, after you have cut your tomatoes up then they ought to be stored in your refrigerator. In order to ensure that you keep your tomatoes really fresh after you have cut into them, you should store them cut side down on top of a paper towel in a plastic container. They will last only a few days in your refrigerator, consequently, ensure that you use them as quickly as possible.
Storing Your Garden Harvest
If you are really lucky you might even have homegrown vegetables to pick and store. Knowing how to store your garden harvest is a brilliant way to handle a big glut of vegetables when they all begin to ripen in one go. And it allows you to keep them for use in the months when very little will be growing in your garden. Vegetables from the garden store very well for months as long as you keep them in top conditions. All you need to do is select flawless examples and remember to keep checking them frequently to remove any contaminated veggies. There are numerous ways to store vegetables from your garden including drying them out, preserving them and of course freezing your vegetables.
Freezing Your Vegetables
If you are not able to eat them up straight away, then a great way to store vegetables is to freeze them. Freezing vegetables in your own kitchen is a quick and easy method of preventing food waste, preserving all those lovely nutrients from your veggies and allows you to enjoy the taste of seasonal vegetables throughout the year.
The majority of vegetables will have to be blanched prior to being frozen. Blanching means that you need to boil your vegetable for a few minutes and then instantly put them into ice cold water to halt the cooking method. This will stop your vegetables from experiencing freezer burn. You will be able to keep frozen vegetables in your freezer for about a year. However, freezing is not suggested for artichokes, eggplants, radishes, lettuce or potatoes.
Ultimately, knowing exactly how to store vegetables can be puzzling. Different types of vegetables have different shelf lives, and so need particular storage conditions. Additionally, it can be tricky to work out when a vegetable is no longer good to eat. In an ideal world you will need to store them correctly so that there is no guess work going on.