Keeping Veggies Fresh
Do you know the proper way to store fresh veggies in the fridge? Do you store different produce in specific ways or do you just toss everything in the fridge? If you aren't quite sure how to keep your favourite vegetables crisp, don't worry, we've got you covered. Although the best storage methods for fresh vegetables can vary within each vegetable category (green onions differ from Spanish onions, for example), here's a list with some basic guidelines. A few overall points to keep in mind first, though:
Refrigeration can damage some vegetables (such as potatoes), yielding an off-flavour or mushy texture.
Keep vegetables that are not stored in the refrigerator (such as potatoes and onions) away from heat sources and out of sunlight.
Some vegetables (like tomatoes and eggplants) can be left on the counter to ripen and then refrigerated to extend their lifespan.
When storing veggies in plastic bags, make sure to poke some holes in the bag to allow for proper air circulation. Or buy perforated plastic vegetable bags.
Keep vegetables and fruits in separate produce drawers because some fruits, such as apples and pears, produce a substance called ethylene that hastens ripening of other produce.
Do not store potatoes and onions together because they each give off gases that can cause the rapid decay of the other.
Although some vegetables can last for long periods of time when properly stored, try to use them sooner, rather than later, for optimal flavour and nutrient value.
Add crispness back to limp veggies like celery and asparagus by placing them stem-side down in a small amount of water; refrigerate until crisp.
Last but not least, do not wash vegetables until you're ready to eat them!
|Artichoke||Refrigerator life: 4 to 5 days. Add a few drops of water to a plastic bag.|
|Asparagus||Refrigerator life: 4 to 5 days. Wrap stalk bottoms in a damp paper towel and place in a loosely closed plastic bag.|
|Broccoli||Refrigerator life: 4 days. Store in an open plastic bag.|
|Cabbage, Whole||Refrigerator life: 1 to 2 weeks in a plastic bag.|
|Cabbage, Cut||Refrigerator life: 1 to 2 days if wrapped tightly in plastic wrap.|
|Carrots||Refrigerator life: Very variable. Store in their original plastic bag.|
|Cauliflower, Whole||Refrigerator life: Up to 5 days. Store stem-side up in a plastic bag.|
|Celery||Refrigerator life: Up to 2 weeks. Store in a plastic bag.|
|Cucumber||Refrigerator life: 1 week if waxed; less if not waxed.|
|Eggplant||Refrigerator life: 3 to 4 days. Store in a plastic bag.|
|Garlic||Shelf life: A few weeks to a few months, depending on size. Store in a dark, cool spot.|
|Green beans||Refrigerator life: 3 to 5 days. Store in a plastic bag.|
|Leafy Vegetables||Refrigerator life: 3 to 5 days. Wrap in a damp paper towel and place in a plastic bag.|
|Leeks||Refrigerator life: Up to 1 week. Loosely wrap in a plastic bag.|
|Lettuce||Refrigerator life: Varies greatly by type. Leave in plastic bags.|
|Mushrooms||Refrigerator life: Varies greatly by type. Store in a loosely closed paper bag on a refrigerator shelf and not in the produce drawer.|
|Onions, Whole||Shelf life: 3 to 4 weeks. Store in a cool, dry, open space.|
|Onions, Cut||Refrigerator life: 2 to 3 days if tightly wrapped in plastic wrap.|
|Peas||Refrigerator life: 1 to 2 days. Store in a plastic bag.|
|Peppers||Refrigerator life: Up to 1 week. Store in a plastic bag.|
|Potatoes, New||Shelf life: 1 week. Store in a cool, dark, dry place.|
|Potatoes||Shelf life: Up to 2 months. Store in a cool, dark, dry place in a burlap, brown paper or perforated plastic bag.|
|Pumpkin||Shelf life: Up to 1 month in a cool, dry place.|
|Scallions (green onions)||Refrigerator life: Up to 3 days. Store in a plastic bag.|
|Squash (Winter), whole||Shelf life: Up to 3 months. Store in a cool, dry place.|
|Squash (Winter), cut||Refrigerator life: Up to 1 week if wrapped tightly in plastic.|
|Squash (Summer)||Refrigerator life: Up to 1 week. Store in a plastic bag.|
|Sweet Potatoes||Shelf life: Up to 1 month if stored in a cool, dry place; up to 1 week if stored at room temperature.|
|Tomatoes||Shelf life: Up to 2 days once fully ripe. Store at room temperature for the best flavour.|