It’s no secret that fresh vegetables are healthier and tastier. And since now is the harvest season, it’s time to take care of its proper storage. But not all vegetables can be stored in the same way. An important role is played by temperature, humidity, light and the right “neighbors”.
Potatoes should be stored in a dark and chilled place (8-10 degrees), but not in the refrigerator, where they can become sweet. If too much light gets on the tubers, corned beef toxin can form, so the best place for storage is the cellar.
Cabbage is best stored wrapped in plastic in the refrigerator or cellar. Thus, forks can be stored for up to 2-3 months. Cabbage can also be frozen by cutting into quarters, slicing and blanching for 5 minutes.
Cauliflower does not lose its quality for a long time when stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. If the heads of cabbage are frozen, they will lose their crispness and color when thawed, although they can still be used for cooking. The cauliflower must be blanched before freezing. Divide the forks into “bouquets” and blanch for 3-4 minutes.
Broccoli should also be packed in a bag and stored in the refrigerator, where it can sit for 1-2 weeks. At room temperature, the shelf life will not exceed 1-2 days. By the way, broccoli spoils faster when next to apples, pears and tomatoes, which emit a lot of ethylene.
Tomatoes are best stored at room temperature, such as in the kitchen, where they will sit for 1 to 2 weeks. If you put them in the refrigerator, the ripening process will stop and the fruits will lose their taste and aroma. If you have a cool cellar or a glazed balcony with a constant temperature of 11 to 14 degrees, then tomatoes can lie there for 10 to 14 days, depending on the variety or ripeness. If you wish, you can freeze the tomatoes by peeling them, cutting them into quarters, and freezing them without blanching. You can also puree the ripe fruit and freeze it like ice cubes.
Cucumbers are best stored in plastic wrap in the refrigerator for up to 7 days. But watch the temperature, if the temperature is too low, the fruit will become watery and lose its flavor. Freshly picked cucumbers can be stored for up to a week at room temperature.
Peppers should be refrigerated at 7-10 degrees. Green peppers can last up to 2 weeks, while red and yellow peppers can last for a week. Cut peppers can be frozen after removing the seeds. By the way, frozen peppers do not lose their taste and crisp structure.
Eggplants do not lose their freshness when stored in the refrigerator for up to 8 days. At room temperature, fruits can be stored for 5-6 days. As for the neighborhood, do not put them next to apples, pears and tomatoes, which produce ethylene, which helps the eggplant ripening and rotting process. Eggplant is not suitable for freezing.
9. Onions and garlic
Green onions can be stored in the refrigerator for about 1 week. Rinse and clean the feathers and place them in a plastic bag. If the green onions have become soft, they can be revitalized by placing them in a bowl of ice water for a few minutes. Onions should be stored in a dry place (up to 6 months), but not in a plastic bag or refrigerator. Garlic stays fresh for the longest time in the refrigerator, where it will lie for up to 6-7 months, but at room temperature it will lose its quality after 3-4 weeks.
The leek will stay in the bag for the longest time in the refrigerator at a temperature of no more than 5 degrees (up to 2 weeks). Small and thin onions can be blanched for 4 minutes and then frozen. Larger ones can be cut into pieces no more than 5 cm long, blanched for 4 minutes and also frozen.
Carrots with tops will wither in a few days, so be sure to cut off all the greens and put the fruits in a bag in the refrigerator. Without the top, the carrots will lie for 2-3 weeks. Carrots can be frozen if pre-blanched. Peel the root vegetables, cut into slices or cubes and blanch for 5 minutes.
12. Root vegetables
Root vegetables such as celery and beets can be kept in the refrigerator for several weeks. At room temperature for about one week. Beets, celery, and other root vegetables can also be frozen by peeling and chopping them into cubes, slices, or sticks, then blanch in lightly salted water for a few minutes. Then refrigerate and freeze in plastic containers or plastic bags.
13. Green beans
Can be stored for 5-6 days in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. Beans are perfect for deep freezing. Cut the pods into small pieces and blanch for 3 minutes. Fully ripe beans can also be dried by hanging with the root in a dry and ventilated place.
14. Parsley and dill
Parsley will stay in the refrigerator for up to 7 days in a plastic bag. Also, parsley can be washed and frozen or dried in a dryer or oven at 40-45 degrees. Parsley can also be frozen in ice cubes. The same goes for dill.
15. Spinach and arugula
It is best to put the spinach in a plastic bag in the refrigerator, where the leaves will not lose their quality within a week. At room temperature, spinach will last only 1 day. In the event that the leaves are slightly wilted, place them in cold water and they will become crispy again. Spinach leaves can also be frozen by rinsing and steaming for a few minutes. Then they need to be put in water for cooling and frozen whole or finely chopped. Arugula will wither in 24 hours at room temperature, so keep it in a bag in the refrigerator. Arugula is not suitable for freezing.
16. Zucchini and pumpkins
Zucchini will stay in the refrigerator for up to 1-2 weeks, at room temperature for about 3 days. When frozen, the zucchini becomes soft, so if you want to keep them for the winter, you must first cut them into slices, blanch or lightly fry in oil. The pumpkin can be stored at room temperature, but it will stay cool and dry for the longest time.
Asparagus can be stored for up to 2 weeks in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. If the pods have lost some elasticity, cut off the ends and place them in cold water for several hours. If you want to freeze the asparagus, first blanch it for 3 minutes if it is green, and 5-6 minutes if it is white.
Avocados can be stored for 2-7 days depending on ripeness. In general, fruits are best stored in a bowl on the kitchen counter. If the avocado is unripe, you can place it next to fruits and vegetables that produce ethylene, such as apples or tomatoes. Then the avocado will ripen faster. Avocados do not tolerate low temperatures, which causes the flesh to turn brown.