I eat a lot of vegetables. But having tons of produce in the fridge can be tricky to manage. We’ve all been there before… watching our expensive produce go to waste right before our eyes. If you’re tired of having to throw out vegetables before you had the chance to use it, or hate watching your potatoes sprouting and turning green in front of your very eyes, This post is for you.
Here are my 5 tips to keep your vegetables stay fresh longer. Tried and tested :)
1. Buy local and choose the freshest vegetables you can afford.
It’s a given that the fresher the vegetables the longer they keep. As much as we can’t reverse the signs of ageing, or turn water to wine (unless you’re Jesus!), we can’t preserve veggies that are not fresh to start with. It’s that simple. Buy local, support your local farmers and get better tasting vegetables that last longer than the ones you get at the large supermarket.
2. Wash vegetables just before you use them.
Avoid storing your vegetables in the fridge after washing without drying them thoroughly first. Moisture encourages mold growth and therefore accelerates spoilage.
3. Know your fridge’s microclimate.
This is nerdy but important. Your fridge has Cold Zone, Moderate Zone and Humid Zone/Crisper drawer. You can check this by using a thermometer to measure each shelf, but usually the one closer to the cold vent is the cold zone. The crisper drawer is best for storing vegetables so if you must store counter top vegetables (i.e., when counter top space is tight or you bought enough vegetables to survive a nuclear winter), make sure you put them here. If you have very cold fridge, you might want prevent vegetables like salad leaves and Chinese greens from wilting due to very cold temperature and excess moisture by storing them on the moderate zone instead.
4. Not everything needs to go in the fridge.
You can print a handy chart like the one I found on Spark People or follow this hack. Just look at where the vegetables or fruits are stored/displayed at your fruit and vegetable shop and replicate it at home. For example, things like tomatoes, garlic, ginger and lemon – you would find them displayed at room temperature on the counter. So do that at home and you’ll find they would last longer. It may seem odd, especially if you’re used to storing everything in the fridge, but it works.
5. Do not store fruits and vegetables together.
Some fruits produce high amount of ethylene gas which accelerates the ripening process of other foods nearby so keep them separate from other fruits and vegetable, especially in a tight, confined space. Ethylene producing fruits include:
This could be why your potatoes sprouting and turning green quicker that they should have. Are you storing them in the same place as you store your onions? Though not a fruit, onion is a high ethylene producer. Keep onions and potatoes separate!
Want more tips?
Here’s some of my favourite links from around the net where you can find a comprehensive list of vegetables and their storage tips:
- A Guide to Storing Fruits and Vegetables – The Kitchn
- How to Store Vegetables & Fruit Without Plastic
- How to Store Fresh Product from A to Zucchini
What to do with wilted vegetables:
I hate throwing food away so I would normally find a way to use them up. Here’re some ideas:
- Stir fry with other leftover vegetables
- Make soups
- Make vegetable dips
- Make vegetable stock
What’s your favourite tip for keeping fresh vegetables fresh for longer?