Vegetables contain the full spectrum of water-soluble vitamins, antioxidants, minerals, and fiber. To get the most out of these wonderful products, you need to ensure that they are stored in the best possible conditions.
Vegetable storage rules are a whole science. The duration of their "life" can be influenced by several factors at once: storage conditions during the growing season, during transportation, and immediately before use.
Of course, not everyone has the opportunity to grow vegetables on their own and control the conditions for their storage at each stage (because you most likely just buy vegetables in the markets and stores). But how to keep vegetables fresh? We have prepared vegetable storage tips to ensure that you always have fresh vegetables on hand for your breakfast meal prep.
How to Preserve Vegetables?
- Vegetables and fruits that produce ethylene should not be kept near other vegetables, especially those that are sensitive to this gas. For example, storing apples (which produce ethylene) with cabbages (which are sensitive to it) or bananas with cucumbers will quickly spoil the vegetables.
- If you need to speed up the process of fruit ripening, you should put it in a paper bag along with a tomato or apple.
- It is important to sort out the vegetables and throw away those that have begun to rot in a timely manner in order to avoid damage to the remaining vegetables.
- How to keep vegetables fresh? Vegetables keep much longer if they do not come into contact with water. Therefore, it is better to refrain from buying already washed carrots or potatoes. Water deprives vegetables of their natural protective film, without which they quickly become moldy and their skin fades.
- If the purchased vegetables are wet, then before putting them in the refrigerator, they need to be dried: let them dry naturally or wipe them with a towel. Before putting vegetables in a container, lay paper on its bottom—it will absorb all the condensate.
- Greens and herbs, on the contrary, need to be washed before being stored in the refrigerator. If there is a lot of dirt stuck to the vegetables, then it can be removed with a dry paper towel, soft brush, or sponge.
- Bulgarian pepper, cucumbers, and tomatoes should not be exposed to the cold. They keep best at normal room temperature.
- It is better to keep onions away from potatoes; it makes the root crop germinate much faster. Potatoes do not like light. It is best to put the root crop in a dark, dry place. For example, boxes or baskets, having previously laid them out with paper. You can also put one apple in each box—this will prevent it from rotting and sprouting. It is important to replace apples from time to time, as they spoil quickly enough.
- Vegetables in a closed container or in a cramped room always rot quickly. In order for excess moisture to evaporate in a timely manner, the fruits need an influx of fresh air. Therefore, for storing vegetables, you need to select boxes and baskets with many holes.
- Before storage, the tops must be removed from root crops. You can leave only a small tail, which will protect the carrots or beets from drying out.
- The shelf life of most peeled and chopped vegetables is reduced to 12–24 hours compared to unpeeled ones. You can increase this time if you store the vegetables in a vacuum packer and bags. Putting vegetables in an oxygen-free environment increases their shelf life by up to 15 days.
- Before sending to the refrigerator, you need to wrap the greens in a damp kitchen towel. This will keep the herbs fresh.
- In addition, greens can be frozen in ice molds with the addition of vegetable oil. Then they can be used in cooking.
- You can store vegetables in a special box. This will keep them fresh and crispy.
- If the chili pepper loses its freshness, it can also be sent to the freezer, and grated if necessary.
Proper organization in the refrigerator will allow you to always see what vegetables are available and use them on time.
Vegetable Storage: Freezing Vegetables for the Winter
If you want to please yourself with vegetable dishes even in the off-season, you can send the vegetables to the freezer. Thanks to low temperatures, they will be stored much longer than in the refrigerator or outside of it. How to freeze and store vegetables in winter?
Best Way to Store Vegetables in Winter
You should follow some tips:
- Only clean, high quality vegetables should be stored for long-term storage. They also shouldn't be overripe.
- The generally accepted temperature level for freezing food is 18 degrees below zero.
- For the sake of convenience, it is better to freeze vegetables in portions so that they do not turn into one big ice block.
- Send vegetables to the freezer as fresh as possible.
- You can store vegetables in plastic bags or plastic containers.
Do you know any cool ways or tips for storing vegetables?