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7 Ways On How To Keep Your Vegetables Fresh Longer

7 Ways On How To Keep Your Vegetables Fresh Longer

There’s a special joy in hearing the crunch of fresh veggies and the snap of leafy greens. However, keeping them fresh once you get them home can be a real struggle.

To keep your vegetables fresh longer, you have to store them the right way. But there's no one-size-fits-all approach to it. Some vegetables need to be placed in the fridge, others need to mature before being stored in the refrigerator, while others are best stored in a cool, dry place at room temperature.

Here's all you need to know to keep your favorite veggies fresh longer:

1. Wash The Leafy Greens

Leafy green vegetables such as spinach, kale, romaine, bibb, red leaf, and other types of lettuce will stay fresh for the longest possible time if you rinse them in cool water, spin them dry, and keep them in a container before refrigerating.

You can place them either in a plastic bag or a perforated container — the latter is how the restaurants store leafy green vegetables to keep them fresh.

2. Don't Put The Incompatibles Together

Did you know, storing tomatoes and cucumber together causes faster spoilage?

The reason is ethylene: a gas some vegetables and fruits naturally produce. It is one of the most common causes of food waste throughout the planet. To keep your vegetables fresh longer, store ethylene-producing foods away from the ones that are sensitive to it.

The food items that produce ethylene are:

  • Tomato

  • Pepper

  • Apple

  • Pear

  • Banana

  • Cantaloupe

  • Avocado

The food items sensitive to ethylene are:

  • Cucumber

  • Onion

  • Eggplant

  • Grapes

  • Mango

  • Asparagus

  • Peach

3. Don't Wash Off The Outer Layer

Many vegetables, especially the ones cultivated in warm climates, have a natural outer layer that protects them from harmful environmental agents. Furthermore, vegetable vendors and farmers sometimes add a coating of artificial wax to a variety of vegetables in order to achieve the same protective effect.

Leave that wax on until you're ready to cook them! It helps prevent premature rotting, keeping the vegetables fresh longer. Coated veggies include potatoes, eggplants, cucumbers, bell peppers, lemons, tomatoes, and turnips.

4. Don't Refrigerate The Root Vegetables

Instead, store them in a cool, dark, and dry place. Some vegetables stay fresh the longest in a room-temperature or cool area, away from heat, light, and moisture.

Garlic, onions, shallots, white and sweet potatoes, yams, and rutabagas will last a month or longer if stored in your pantry at temperatures around 20ºC.

5. Trim The Carrots

Their green tops may look pretty, but they actually soak up nutrients and crispness from the rest of the carrot. Remove the green tops of your carrots by slicing them off with a knife before storing them in a refrigerator.

You can loosely pack the carrots in a plastic bag and store it in the crisper drawer of your fridge to ensure freshness for the longest period possible. Storing them this way should keep for several weeks!

Pro tip: You don't have to dispose of the greens. Use them as a salad topping or to make pesto.

6. Let The Mushrooms Breathe

Mushrooms like being stored in a cool place and kept well-ventilated. Therefore, a porous paper bag is a good choice to put them in. Free them from their plastic-encased grocery wrapping, as it can restrict aeration and lock in moisture. In a paper bag placed inside a refrigerator, they may stay fresh for up to a week!

7. Bag The Lemons

Want to keep your lemons fresh and juicy for up to a month? Just seal them inside a plastic bag, forcing all the air out, and store them in a refrigerator. If you simply place them on your kitchen counter, they will dry out and turn into hard orbs in no time.

Freeze The Ginger

Ginger can usually last in your fridge for a few weeks. To make it last longer, just put it in your freezer. Chop, slice, or grate the ginger (no need to peel it), and wrap it tightly in foil or a plastic bag to keep the air out. This will keep the ginger fresh for at least three months!

By and large, not all vegetables are alike. Meaning there's no single best method to store them all. The leafy greens like spinach and lettuce can't be dealt with in the same way as root vegetables like onions and potatoes. Additionally, storing certain vegetables together can also affect how long they can stay fresh. Keep in mind the tips mentioned in this article, and you'll keep your veggies fresh for the longest time!

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