Food storage – how to keep your vegetables fresher for longer
Spring is finally here and that means shopping for fresh vegetables at the market! But what if your veg doesn’t look quite as fit the next day? You may be storing it incorrectly. We’ve compiled a short guide on how to make sure asparagus and the rest of the gang stay at their best.
Most vegetables are made up of 70-90% water. As soon as they’re harvested, their natural moisture supply is cut off. Once separated from their roots, vegetables soon begin to wilt. And wilting leads to a loss of essential nutrients. The longer vegetables are stored, the more vitamins and minerals are lost. The best way to prevent this is either to use your veggies straight after buying them, or blanch and then freeze them.
Food storage – get it right!
Where each vegetable comes from is a good indication of how to store it. Varieties from warmer regions like tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers or courgettes don’t belong in a fridge. They’re not used to low temperatures and can easily suffer a cold shock. Store them in a dry place out of direct sunlight instead. Sylvia Abel is one of the experts at logistics company CF Gastro Service GmbH. “If vegetables are prepped immediately or a day later, they can easily be stored in perforated plastic bags at room temperature,” she explains. Locally grown vegetables, such as broccoli or cabbage, can be popped in the fridge. Tuber vegetables, like carrots or even asparagus, can also be stored in a fridge. Wrap them in damp kitchen roll before placing in the vegetable drawer.
What’s sitting alongside your fresh veg also makes a difference. Apples and tomatoes should always be stored separately as they both give off ethylene – a plant hormone that causes other fruit and vegetables to ripen more quickly. Keep onions and potatoes apart too. Onions absorb water from potatoes, which causes them to rot. Both onions and potatoes should be stored in a dry, well-ventilated place. “Look out for special pots or linen bags,” is our expert’s tip.
However, the best way to ensure you’re vegetables taste as fresh as they look is to eat them as soon as possible. Buon appetito!