When it comes to food freshness is everything, however, we can’t always buy food as soon as we need to use it, and this is particularly true for veggies. So what can we do to make sure our vegetables remain fresh and are as delicious in a week as the day we first bought them? Ultimately, it all comes down to storage, which is why today we’d like to share some key tips for storing veggies. That way you will be able to store your food for longer periods and rest assured it’ll still taste great.

It’s better to store whole vegetables

If a vegetable is whole it’ll take longer for it to go bad and its flavor is less likely to be affected. When we chop or slice a vegetable various things happen to it all at once. First and foremost more of its inner “flesh” is exposed which means it’ll be in contact with air and any substances that happen to be on it. This can result in foreign odors getting stuck to it, and immediately changing its flavor.

However, cutting vegetables also results in their cells breaking down which affects their composition in various ways. For most vegetables, this will affect their nutritional values, but it also makes them more fragile. That is to say, a chopped vegetable is much more likely to spoil than a whole one. So if you want to make the most out of your veggies try to store them whole and always use them in a single serving.

Not all vegetables need to go to the fridge

It’s easy to assume that all vegetables will fare better if we drop them into our fridge, but this isn’t the case. Different foods have different ideal conditions for their storage, and this means a fair amount of veggies will fare better if we store them outside of our fridge.

which veggies to store in fridge

Vegetables like onions, shallots, and garlic prefer to stay at room temperature and in a dry environment. In other words, your humid and cold fridge is a little too much for them, and if you leave them there they’ll likely go stale faster. So next time you buy a root veggie leave it in your pantry without a worry. They will likely last weeks on your pantry compared to how they’ll fare on the fridge.

Root Vegetables (Carrots, Beets, Turnips)

Root vegetables should be kept in a cool and humid environment. Options include storing them in perforated plastic bags in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator or in a root cellar if you have one available. If the greens are attached, remove them to prevent moisture loss from the vegetable itself. After removing the greens, place carrots, beets, and turnips in the refrigerator, ideally in the crisper drawer. Separate them from fruits to avoid ethylene gas exposure which can spoil them faster.

Leafy Greens (Lettuce, Kale, Spinach)

To maintain the freshness of leafy greens, the approach is slightly different. After purchasing, rinse your greens in cold water and then dry them thoroughly, using a salad spinner if possible. Once dry, wrap the greens in a clean cloth or paper towels to absorb any residual moisture. Place the wrapped greens in a container or reusable veggie bag and store in the refrigerator. This method can help preserve their crisp texture and prevent decay.

Nightshades (Tomatoes, Eggplants, Peppers)

The best storage method for nightshades like tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers is at room temperature, away from direct sunlight, in a well-ventilated area. Tomatoes especially benefit from being stored stem-side down to reduce the loss of moisture. Interestingly, refrigerating tomatoes can diminish their flavor, so it’s best to enjoy them when they are ripe. Eggplants and peppers can be kept in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator if they will not be used promptly. Ensure these veggies are dry before storage to prevent spoilage.

Alliums (Onions, Garlic)

For alliums such as onions and garlic, proper storage involves keeping them in a dry, dark area with good air circulation, for example, in a pantry or cellar. Avoid storing alliums in plastic bags as this can trap humidity and cause mold growth. They should not be refrigerated but instead kept at room temperature in a mesh bag or wire basket. Placing them in a location separate from potatoes will ensure they do not absorb moisture and gases released from the potatoes, which can hasten spoilage.

Squashes (Zucchini, Winter Squash)

Squashes are versatile in that they have different storage needs based on variety. Summer squashes (such as zucchini) should be placed in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator and used within one to two weeks. Harder winter squashes can be stored in a cool, dark place outside the refrigerator for a month or more, depending on the variety. Ensure they are kept in a single layer, not touching each other to allow for adequate air flow, and check periodically for signs of soft spots or mold.

By updating your knowledge on how to store different types of vegetables, you can not only save money by reducing waste but also enjoy fresh produce with maximum nutrition and taste. Remember, these tips are guidelines; adjustments may be necessary based on your particular climate and storage environment.

Making the most out of your fridge

Most fridges are designed with vegetable storage in mind even if you don’t realize it, so using your fridge the right way is the main key to ensuring your veggies remain in top shape.

Most fridges have a crisper drawer, a compartment designed specifically to store vegetables. Not only that but most of them can even be adjusted for your needs. If your drawer has adjustable vents this means you can change the humidity to suit your needs, closed vents mean higher humidity which is ideal for vegetables, while open vents result in a reduced humidity, something fruits will enjoy. So make sure to store vegetables in the right area of your fridge and even if you don’t do much else this will extend the shelf life of your veggies considerably.


By k3nrpsd

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