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5 Tips To Keep Your Vegetables Stay Fresh Longer

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 :)

5 Tips To Keep Your Vegetables Stay Fresh

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:

  • fruits-82524_1280 Banana
  • Avocado
  • Melon
  • Kiwifruit
  • Mangoes
  • Papayas
  • Nectarines
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Plums
  • Tomatoes

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:

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? 

Keren Natalia

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Why Brussels Sprouts Are Good, Bitter and The Best Way To Cook them

Honestly, I used to hate Brussels sprouts. Yes I know. Hate is a strong word.

But it wasn’t because my mum used to force feed me with it when I was a child, I mean, we didn’t have Brussels sprouts back home. In fact my first taste of Brussels sprouts vegetarian was here in Sydney, when I was in my early twenties (feels like a long time ago).

Anyway, somewhere, sometime ago, I had it.

It was a bad tasting experience. The dish was bitter and awful. I didn’t like it at all. Since then, I never dared to order Brussels sprouts again. Let alone try to cook it at home.

But a few years ago I gave Brussels sprout a second try at Porteno. I ordered the Crispy fried Brussels sprouts with lentil and mint which was highly recommended by the wait staff. I was skeptical.

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It turned out to be amazing.

It was deliciously crispy, fresh and bursting with flavours. It wasn’t bitter at all. It changed my whole perception of Brussels sprouts.

Fast track to today, I am now a Brussels sprouts convert. I found the best way to cook Brussels sprout, reduce the bitterness and increase the awesomeness of this highly nutritious (and often misunderstood) vegetable.

Before I go on about cooking, please indulge me in taking a closer look at this vegetable and its amazing properties.

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Why Brussels Sprouts Is Good For You

Brussels sprout is a cruciferous vegetable, meaning it shares the same family as cauliflower, cabbage, or broccoli (Brassicaceae).

Brussels Sprouts Contain Anti-Cancer Properties

Cruciferous vegetables contain high sulfur compounds, including sulforaphane, which has powerful anti-cancer properties. It not only helps neutralise and eliminate damaging free radicals, but it is also able to activate the tumor-suppressor genes in cells which are turning cancerous, stopping the cancer cell from growing.

Bitter = Stress

Interestingly enough, the more stressed the plant is, the more sulforaphane is produced. When the weather is too hot or too dry, or when they’re getting chewed on by insects or infected by virus, bacteria or fungi, they produce more of these compounds to survive the unfavourable condition.

So, stressed sprouts are more likely to be bitter, as well as the ones harvested when they are too mature.

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How To Make Brussels Sprouts Less Bitter

Two words; Short and Sweet. Pick them young, cook them quickly and store them for a minimum amount of time. Stressed out sprouts mean bitter sprouts so keep them cold, keep the storage time short and don’t cook them for too long. Easy right?

Best Way To Cook Brussels Sprouts

It should probably read “The Tastiest Way to Eat Brussels Sprouts”

Stir frying – hands down – is the simplest, quickest, best way to cook Brussels sprouts without making it taste like ass. It’s true.

15 minutes to prep, 5-7 minutes to cook, 20 minutes from fridge to table. Take that Jamie!

Crunchy Brussels Sprouts with Ginger and Mushroom
Recipe Type: Main
Author: Justonemorespoon
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 2
A quick and easy recipe to a delicious tasting Brussels Sprouts. This recipe guarantees to give you crunchy and tasty sprouts while preserving all the beneficial anti-cancer properties of the sprouts through rapid cooking method. Free-radicals be gone!
Ingredients
  • 4 Brussels sprouts, quartered
  • 1 big handful of snow peas, string removed
  • 1/2 red capsicum, chopped
  • 1 chilli, chopped (optional)
  • 1-2 tablespoons soy mushroom sauce
  • 1 large brown mushroom, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp chia seed to sprinkle
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 cm ginger
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Salt and pepper to season
Instructions
  1. Heat coconut oil in wok on high heat.
  2. Fry garlic and ginger until fragrant (about 1 minute).
  3. Add all chopped veggies except mushroom. Stir.
  4. Add mushroom sauce and water into the wok.
  5. Stir fry until all the veggies are nice and soft (about 5 minutes).
  6. Add sliced mushroom and mix through (the residual heat will cook the mushroom).
  7. Serve immediately with some brown or white rice.

Did you make this recipe?

Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and/or share a picture on Instagram and tag me on the picture.

 

Keren x