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  • 6 Things To Remember To Prolong The Shelf Life Of Your Vegetables

    How you store them matters!
    by Kate Borbon .
6 Things To Remember To Prolong The Shelf Life Of Your Vegetables
PHOTO BY Pexels
  • Since the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine, families have been stocking up on food to sustain them throughout the time they need to stay home. Some of the food you're purchasing in bulk right now might include vegetables. Here are some tips to consider to keep your veggies fresh for longer.

    How to extend the shelf life of your vegetables

    1. Buy from wet or farmers’ markets.

    According to The Kitchn, when you buy vegetables from a market, you can be more certain that the produce you’re getting was picked in its prime and delivered soon after it was harvested. Yummy.ph adds that produce bought at grocery stores have most likely been refrigerated and can no longer be stored at room temperature since vegetables that have gotten used to cooler temperatures ripen quicker once kept at room temperature.

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    2. Prep the veggies for storage as soon as you get home.

    It’s best to start prepping your vegetables for storage as soon as you arrive home instead of leaving them in their packaging while you finish other errands. For example, some vegetables, like leafy greens and cucumbers, need to be rinsed before storing. Just make sure to get rid of excess moisture before putting those veggies away.

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    3. Blanche your veggies.

    Blanching is the process of boiling the whole vegetable or cut-up pieces of it for one to two minutes then immediately placing it in cold water to halt the cooking process. Quartz explains why doing this is important: Over time, vegetables release enzymes that facilitate the process of rotting, and blanching helps deactivate those enzymes. Furthermore, blanching allows you to clean the surface of your vegetables and get rid of dirt and other tiny organisms that might be living there.

    According to The Spruce Eats, vegetables that need to be blanched before storage include beans (green or wax), broccoli (cut into one-inch pieces), cauliflower, leafy greens, okra, peas, and squash.

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    4. Mind where and how you store the veggies.

    Note that different vegetables should be stored in different ways and areas. For example, these are how you should store different types of veggies:

    • Leafy greens (e.g., lettuce, spinach, kale): Rinse, wrap in a paper towel, seal in a plastic bag or container, then store in the refrigerator
    • Root vegetables (e.g., garlic, onions, potatoes, sweet potatoes, pumpkins): Store in a cool, dark, dry spot outside the refrigerator
    • Tomatoes: Store at room temperature away from direct sunlight so they ripen evenly (they can be stored in the refrigerator once they have ripened)
    • Eggplants, cucumbers, peppers: Store at room temperature
    • Broccoli and cauliflower: Store in the refrigerator away from other produce
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    5. Check on your veggies constantly.

    Rot can spread, according to Yummy.ph. This is why you should check constantly on your veggies and watch out for signs of rot, like bruising, dripping, and mold. The Kitchn also advises changing the bag or towel sealing your veggies if moisture has accumulated and trimming parts that have wilted or turned brown, yellow, soft, or moldy before refrigerating them again.

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    6. Don’t buy more than you need.

    We all want to be sure we have all the food supply we need throughout the quarantine, but please remember not to buy more than what you will use. Buying too many vegetables that you don’t end up using soon might just lead to a lot of food waste.

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