You thought it is more than enough to keep vegetables fresh by just refrigerating them? You might be a housewife, a cooking daddy, or a small garden owner who is continuously looking for the best way to keep the fresh produce longer.
This concern has been growing since the implementation of MCO 2.0 in Malaysia. Most people refuse to go to the grocery store too often due to the pandemic. So, they will buy more at once to store the items in the house. The problem is, the vegetables you bought are too fast to rot and become mouldy, such a waste!
Let us dig deeper for some hidden hacks to keep vegetables fresh for longer period. Before that, we need to understand vegetable storage times:
Different Storage times for different types of vegetables
Based on Unlockfood.ca, below is the guideline of average storage time for selected vegetables at their best quality:
Infographic by Chocobo Trading
Factors that affect Vegetable freshness:
There are three main things to consider if you want to keep the vegetables fresh.
Different types of vegetables have different optimum humidity level to stay fresh.
When the environment is too dry, water contained in the veggies will evaporate into the air and make them dry out and wilt.
If it is too humid, water in the air will attach to the veggies’ surfaces, cause them to become mushy or rot.
NOT ALL vegetables are suitable to be stored at low temperature!
Veggies such as tomatoes and potatoes can stay fresh longer if you put them in a dark and cool place away from the fridge.
Produce that best left at room temperature needs air circulation.
Sometimes, premature spoilage might happen if you store your fresh produce in plastic bags. In this case, you should take the veggies out of the plastic bags to let them breathe.
Storing Hacks to Keep Veggies Fresh for Weeks:
1. Start from buying the freshest produce
The first step to get the veggies’ most extended storage life in your kitchen is to select the best quality produce.
Do remember always to ensure the characteristics such as bright and lively colour in the leafy greens. Also, check if the vegetable is still at their peak of crisp. For non-leafy produce such as tomatoes, make sure there are no signs of wrinkling, mouldy spots and leaked fluid.
2. Ways of Refrigerating Fresh Produce
Almost all modern refrigerator models come with a crisper drawer known as fruits and vegetable shelf or case. You should always keep the fresh produce in those drawers and set to a high humidity level.
One of the biggest mistakes that many people are doing is stashing fruits and vegetables in the same place. Some fruits will produce a gas called ethylene, making vegetables ripen and rot faster if put together.
Thus, separately storing fruits and vegetables can make both produce stay sprightly for a longer time.
3. For Leafy Greens
Let us talk about our all-time-favourite produce- lettuce!
They are various types of lettuce substitutes which including romaine, iceberg, red and green coral lettuce, to name a few. Many people have no resistance for its crunch and refreshing flavour.
However, lettuce will lose their crunchiness very soon if they are not stored properly. By using this hack, you could keep the veggies fresh up to two weeks!
Based on Chef Joe, this smart tip is applicable for most leafy greens such as cabbage, spinach, and lettuce.
Ensure the green produce is not wet and remain unwashed before refrigeration.
Take out a dry container, put a clean and dry towel at the bottom of the container.
Put half of the container with leafy greens
Put one dry and clean towel on the top and continue Step 3-4 until the container is full.