10 Ways To Store Your Vegetables
1. Start With The Freshest Produce
Well this part is our job, we’re nuts about quality control and strive to only pack the freshest produce we can. If we ever miss something don’t ignore it, please let us know and we’ll credit you the value.
2. Be Gentle
Be careful not to drop, cut or bruise your vege’s, as this causes damage to their cell walls and allows the cheeky microbes to get in and speed up breakdown. Once you have one rotting piece of veg, nearby ones will catch it quicker, so it’s best to throw out any bad pieces.
3. Dirt Is Your Friend
We are big fans of leaving dirt on our potatoes. Unscrubbed potatoes last longer than washed. Although if you’re the efficient type and like to scrub them so they’re ready for cooking, they’ll still last a good week in the fridge.
4. Avoid Trimming Or Cutting
Leaving broccoli, pumpkin and celery whole where possible will increase the life of them. The skins on fruit and vegetables protect against air and microbes. So leave your trimming and chopping until you’re just about to cook.
5. Darkness Beats The Light
Sunlight causes certain things to sprout like potatoes so unless you’re ripening your fruit or veg, store them in the dark (ie fridge).
6. The Right Temperature
Fridge temperature is a balance between two interests, minimising bacteria and avoiding loss of flavour. The warmer the fridge, the higher the chance of bacteria growth, but the colder the fridge, the more you risk your vege’s losing flavour. Vegetables from warmer climates like beans, capsicum, cucumber, eggplant, tomatoes and squash can lose their flavour if stored too cold.Generally, the ideal temperature for keeping vegetables fresh and keeping away bacteria growth is between 2˚C – 4˚C.
7. Minimise Moisture Loss
Loss of moisture is the main factor in ageing of your vege’s. The air in your refrigerator tends to be very dry unless you have one of those fancy fridges that minimises dry air. Higher moisture content vegetables like lettuce, herbs, celery spinach and other greens are best stored in plastic bags or containers to minimise moisture loss and wilting.
8. Avoid Sweating & Condensation
The flip side of moisture is that too much of it can cause things to go slimy. It’s good not to completely seal bags/containers for greens and high moisture content, a small gap is all thats needed to avoid sliminess. Otherwise paper bags do a great job of allowing a little moisture to escape while keeping enough in the vegetables to extend their life. Mushrooms are a great example of this. Store these in the brown paper bag we send them in.
9. Banana’s Ripen Avo’s, Apples turn greens yellow
Bananas give off stacks of ethylene gas when they are ripening which stimulates the ripening of anything they’re cuddling up to. So if you cant wait for your avocado to ripen, hitch it up in a paper bag with a banana. Conversely, if things are over-ripening, banish the ripe bananas. Similarly, apples give off this ethylene gas too, and will turn greens (like spinach, kale, silverbeet, broccoli, etc) yellow as quickly as overnight! Keep apples away from green in your fridge.
10. Store Fruit in the fridge, unless it needs ripening
Non-organic citrus and apples store fine in a fruit bowl, because they’re treated post-harvest with fungicide and/or wax. Because organic fruit doesn’t have this nasty coating, apples will wrinkle and citrus will go mouldy within days out of the fridge. It’s fine to store ripening fruit out of the fridge, but once ripe, pop them into the fridge till you want to eat them. (except bananas – when they’re ripe just eat them! If you have more than you need, peel and freeze for your next smoothie-making session)
Individual Vege Points
Avocados – Store on the bench until slightly soft, then move to fridge.
Tomatoes – Bring to room temperature before use, as this optimises flavour
Mushrooms – Store in paper bag in fridge