3 Ways To Store Your Vegetables For Maximum Freshness

Saturday, January 21, 2023

Vegetables are a great addition to the meals you cook, whether roasted, grilled, fried, or boiled. Culinary experts, however, believe that the quality of your vegetables often determines the dish’s final taste. Poor-quality vegetables may cause food poisoning and leave an unpleasant taste in your meals. That is why it’s best to be mindful of the vegetables you pick off the shelves at the grocery store. According to data, only 29.3% of Canadians buy and consume the recommended amount of vegetables needed by the body. So, if you're buying vegetables anytime soon, these tips will be handy when storing them before cooking.

Room temperature storage
Some vegetables, such as tomatoes, potatoes, and onions, can be stored at room temperature in a cool, dry place. These vegetables should be kept out of direct sunlight and away from heat sources. How would your kitchen expose these particular vegetables to sunlight? First, it can happen if you keep them too close to your window where direct light comes through. The slightest increase in room temperature can also accelerate excessive ripening and spoilage. It is worth noting that even at room temperature, you must check daily for signs of excessive softness, mould, and other indicators that your veggies may be going bad.

Many vegetables, including leafy greens, broccoli, and bell peppers, are best kept refrigerated. However, it goes beyond dumping them in the refrigerator and hoping they will last long until you're ready to use them. These vegetables should be wrapped in plastic or placed in airtight containers to maintain their freshness. Sometimes, you may need to line airtight plastic containers with clean tissue or paper towels to soak up excess moisture from these vegetables. This step is particularly useful if you wash the veggies and plan to store them immediately in the refrigerator. Ideally, it would be best if you allowed washed vegetables to dry off before putting them in containers. If you don't have the time to do so, then paper towels are the way to go. 

It is important to note that even when vegetables are kept in the refrigerator, they can still go bad. That is why it is vital to check their physical condition often and ensure your fridge provides the right temperature. For example, you must keep vegetables like Brussel Sprouts at a cool temperature of 30 °F. Place them loosely in a bowl with a food-grade film over the surface. Poke holes in the film to avoid moisture buildup. When you're ready to use them, there's a great brussel sprout recipe at primaverakitchen.com you can try.

Indeed, certain vegetables don't do well in the fridge, even for a couple of days. They will start to get bad and slimy as early as day two of being stored in the fridge. That is why you’ll also need a freezer. Vegetables, like peas, corn, and green beans, can be frozen for a long time. There is a simple trick to getting them to stay fresher after weeks, and even months, of freezer storage. Consider techniques like blanching, where you place your veggies in hot water for a short while and cool them off in ice-cold water to halt the cooking process. When you try this, even vegetables like okra, asparagus, and broccoli can taste fresher after freezer storage. Remember to keep them in freezer bags or airtight containers to preserve colour and texture.