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Food Storage 101

                  

Today was my CSA pick-up day, & like most pick-up days, I end up coming home with a lot of washing & prep ahead of me! I need to make the most of what I am getting & want nothing to go to waste, so I was excited that Suzie’s Farm shared these “food storage tips” on their blog:

  • Root vegetables (beets, carrots, turnips, radishes, etc.): Store unwashed root vegetables in plastic bags in your refrigerator’s crisper section for up to three weeks. To increase storage life, remove the greens but leave at least an inch of stem.
  • Greens (kale, lettuce, salad mix, beet tops, chard, spinach, etc.): Rinse in cold water, dry in a spinner or out on the counter, then wrap in a damp paper or cloth towel & store in a plastic bag. Keeps for up to 5 days, to a week. 
  • Fresh herbs: Snip off the bottom of the stems. Make sure the leaves are completely dry. Better to hold off rinsing them until you’re about to use them. Fill a jar or a water glass partially with water & place the stem ends of the herbs into the water in the jar. If you are storing the herbs in the refrigerator, cover loosely with a plastic bag. Cilantro loves cool temperatures & should be stored in the refrigerator. Parsley can be stored at room temperature or in the refrigerator. Basil is ideally stored at room temperature & not in the refrigerator, because it is susceptible to damage from cold. Change the water after several days if the water starts to discolor. Fresh herbs can last up to 2 weeks or longer when stored this way.
  • Brassicas (broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, cabbage): Store it unwashed in the coolest part of the fridge—just tumble it all in there & eat it within 10 days. The worst that can happen is that it might get a little bit yellow on top, but it will still taste good.
  • Tomatoes, eggplant, summer squash, peppers: It is the ephemeral nature of summer vegtetables to turn to mush in a few days. The best you can do is slow down their decay by keeping it as cold as possible, until you’re ready to eat. For squash, eggplant and peppers, store in the coldest part of the fridge & don’t pile anything heavy on top of them. In the case of tomatoes, store regular-sized ones upside down—less of the tomato’s body touches a hard surface, which means less of it gets soft & mushy.
  • Sprouts: Sprouts must be dry before you put them in the fridge. Never put wet sprouts in the fridge…they’ll turn to compost almost before your eyes. Let them sit out to dry for 8-12 hours or spin them dry. Keep them in a plastic bag…if they are warmish or still a little wet, leave the bag open, but if they are cool and dry, seal the bag completely. Kept well, they should last for a week or more.
  • Microgreens: Rinse & dry completely. Wrap them in paper towels & place in a resealable plastic bag…don’t pack them too tightly. They’ll last anywhere from 3 days to a week, depending the type of green. 

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    This is what my fridge is going to look like when I move into my apartment.
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