Summer is here and that typically means we get in the mood to eat a bit healthier and fresher. Could be the warmer weather making things like crisp, cold salads sound mouthwatering. Or, it could be that you are wearing less clothing so you are constantly reminded that a scone and goldfish crackers for lunch maybe isn’t the best idea.
Either way, here is an A-Z list of how to store your vegetables so they stay as fresh as possible once you bring them home from the farmers market or grocery store. Some of the tricks below shocked me. Asparagus at room temperature? Keep lettuce damp? I never knew!
A B C E F G H L M O P S T W Z
A IS FOR:
ARTICHOKES- Place in an airtight container. Sealed with light moisture.
ASPARAGUS- Place them loosely upright in a glass or bowl with water at room temperature. Will keep for a week outside the fridge.
AVOCADOS- Place in a paper bag at room temperature. Trick- to speed up ripening, place an apple in the bag with them. Who knew?!
ARUGULA- Dunk in cold water and lie flat to dry. Wrap in a dry towel to absorb extra moisture and store in an open container.
B IS FOR:
BASIL- Store in an airtight container loosely packed with a small damp piece of paper inside. Leave out on the counter.
BEETS- Cut off the tops to keep them firm (keep the greens). They should be washed and kept in an open container with a wet towel on top.
BROCCOLI- Place in an open container in the fridge or wrap in a damp towel before placing in the fridge
BRUSSELS SPROUTS- If bought on the stalk, leave them on it. Put the stalk in the fridge or leave it in a cold place. If they are bought loose, store them in an open container with a damp towel on top.
C IS FOR:
CABBAGE- Can be left out on a cool counter for about a week. Otherwise, store in the crisper. Peel off outer leaves if they start to wilt. Cabbage might begin to lose its moisture after a week so use ASAP.
CARROTS- Cut the tops off to keep them fresh longer. Place them in a closed container with plenty of moisture (wrapped in a damp cloth or dunk them in cold water every couple of days if stored that long).
CAULIFLOWER- Will last a while in a closed container in the fridge but they say cauliflower has the best flavor the day it’s bought.
CELERY- Does best when simply placed in a cup or bowl of shallow water on the counter. If you want to keep in the fridge. Wrap it in tin foil and it’ll stay crisp for weeks. I have tried this and it works!
CORN- Leave un-husked in an open container. Eat ASAP for maximum flavor.
CUCUMBER- Wrap in a moist towel in the fridge. You can leave out in a cool room if you are going to be eating them in a day or two.
E IS FOR:
EGGPLANT: Does fine left out in a cool room. Weird fact- don’t wash it because eggplant doesn’t like any moisture around its leaves. (my tip would be to wash just prior to eating).
F IS FOR
FENNEL- Can be left out on the counter, upright in a cup or bowl of water (similar to celery!).
G IS FOR:
GARLIC- Prefers to be stored in a cool, dark place.
GREENS- Remove bands/twist ties. Keep in an air tight container with a damp cloth to keep them from drying out.
GREEN BEANS- this veggie likes humidity but not wetness. If this sounds like an oxymoron to you, I agree. But the tip was to put them in an open or loosely closed container and to drape a damp cloth over them.
H IS FOR:
HERBS- Store in a closed container in the fridge to be kept for about a week. Check for mold if they have been in there longer.
L IS FOR:
LETTUCE- Keep damp in an airtight container in the fridge.
M IS FOR:
MUSHROOMS- keep them in the refrigerator in their original wrapping. Open a corner of the plastic wrap and only take what you need. Then, cover with a paper towel and add more plastic wrap in place back into the fridge.
O IS FOR:
OKRA- Does not like humidity. Keep in an airtight container with a dry towel. Best to be eaten quickly after purchase.
ONION- Store in a cool, dark, dry place.
P IS FOR:
PEPPERS- Sweet/Hot/Bell- store in a plastic bag before placing in a crisper or refrigerator. Green peppers stay fresh longer than orange or red. Did you know you can freeze them? Cut into slices and place on a cooking sheet in the freezer until frozen. Then, place in an air-tight container or freezer bag and return to the freezer.
POTATOES- Store in a cool, dark place.
S IS FOR:
SNAP PEAS- Refrigerate in an open container
SPINACH- Store loose in an open
SPROUTS- Keep them cold (under 40 degrees Fahrenheit). They can last 10-14 days!
SUMMER SQUASH- Leave out on a cool counter.
T IS FOR:
TOMATOES- Never refrigerate. I did not know this! They can stay for up to two weeks on the counter.
W IS FOR:
WINTER SQUASH- store in a cool, dark, well ventilated place.
Z IS FOR:
ZUCCHINI- will do fine for a few days if left out on a cool counter, even after it has been cut. Wrap in a cloth and refrigerate for longer storage.
Do you have any tips on storing vegetables? We’d love to hear!