Back to Basics: Vegetable Storage

on
Monday, February 12, 2018


One thing I'm trying to be better about this year is managing waste.  If you examine your life, you'll realize how much plastic you use, how much food you waste, and how many of those damn plastic bags from the grocery store that you use.  If you learn to properly store your vegetables, they will last a lot longer reducing the amount of food you waste. I'm making a conscious effort to reduce my waste, but I am not zero waste yet.  It's spreading to all aspects of my life too! I'm looking into reusable feminine care products, makeup pads, and I have already stocked up on reusable grocery and vegetable bags.

When I started living on my own at 18, I would buy the occasional vegetable (yeah, my eating habits were less than stellar) and stick it in the fridge with the plastic bag still wrapped around it.  More often than not, it would sit there and rot before I got around to using it.  But now, 15 years later (damn, I'm old) I'm learning to properly store vegetables so I'm not making broth every other week, even though it is delicious and handy to have.

I'm not going to write about every vegetable in the world, only the ones I use regularly.  I'm also trying to use vegetables only when in season, but more about that later.


Crisper

Most vegetables that you keep in your crisper remain loose.  Store your kale and other leafy greens washed, wrapped in a loose cloth towel.  Celery and peppers can also be stored in a crisper, but wrap the celery in a loose damp towel, and the peppers can remain loose. Broccoli and cauliflower should remain loose, but can the florets can be wrapped to prevent crumbs and crumbling.

In a jar with water

This is something that was completely new to me, but I LOVE IT. I had no idea that certain veggies needed to be left in an uncovered jar with water in the bottom. Aside from it keeping my veggies fresh for SO MUCH LONGER, it looks great.  I've started invested in a lot of mason jars of all sizes.  They are really good for everything, from veggie storage to morning coffee transport.
Asparagus, carrots, and leeks should all be left open in a jar with water. I reserve the lowest drawer in my fridge for these, as it has the most headroom.  The bottoms of the asparagus should be trimmed before storage, but nothing needs to be washed. Basil should be stored this way as well.


Unwashed and loose

Apples, cherries, eggplant and Brussels sprouts can all be store loose in the fridge.

Room temp, out of the fridge

Potatoes, onions, tomatoes, persimmons, zucchini and pomegranates should not be refrigerated.  Potatoes and onions should be kept in a dry place, and can be stored together. Something I don't have at home now, but am looking into is drawers to keep these things. My Pinterest is filled with kitchen storage ideas.

Resources

When you first start learning and and breaking old habits, it may seem daunting and confusing.  How will I ever remember this stuff?! Well, here is a list of my fav resources for managing waste and vegetable storage.

Paris To Go 
Zero Waste Home
Zero-Waste Chef


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