To ensure that vegetables retain their flavor and valuable properties for a long time, it is important to store them properly. Here are some of the most important tips.
Which vegetables are suitable for storage in the refrigerator?
Fully mature vegetables should be stored in the fridge. This is a proven way to slow down adverse tissue changes that can contribute to premature spoilage. In this way you can gain a few extra days for their consumption. New vegetables, such as chives, lettuce and radishes, should also be put in the fridge. They will keep for about 2 days. Brussels sprouts, carrots, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, asparagus and leeks can also be stored this way without any worries.
Proven ways to store lettuce and cabbage
As already mentioned, lettuces and cabbages of all kinds are best stored in the refrigerator. For the former varieties, such as curly, butter or oak-leaf, it’s best to place them in a bowl or open container. A paper towel should be placed on the bottom and top of the container to provide effective protection from condensation, moisture, and air. Vegetables of this type should not be tightly covered. Lack of fresh air contributes to the development of nitrites, which have carcinogenic properties. As for vegetables such as arugula, spinach or lamb’s lettuce, before placing them in the container, they should be washed thoroughly and then gently wiped, but not 100% dry, as their leaves need a little moisture.
Vegetables that should not be stored in the refrigerator
What vegetables are not suitable for storage in the refrigerator? Juicy and tender varieties such as cucumber, zucchini, eggplants, tomatoes, pumpkin and asparagus fall into this category. By putting them in the refrigerator, we make them soften prematurely, lose their firmness and start to spoil. What is more, they are extremely sensitive to the so-called “chilling scald”, i.e. unfavourable changes in the tissue that occur as a result of refrigeration. In addition, the above-mentioned vegetables at low temperatures lose their bioactive substances, such as antioxidants, and their natural aroma.
In which part of the fridge should I store vegetables?
Which part of the fridge is best for storing vegetables? It is best to place them in the bottom drawers, where the temperature is about 7 – 10 degrees Celsius. First, they should be thoroughly washed and dried, so that there is no accumulation of moisture in them. The market increasingly often meets with modern models of refrigerators equipped with special zones for vegetables and fruits, which are characterized by a reduced level of moisture inside them. A recommended solution are also special containers for storing onions or garlic. Very practical are also boxes for lettuce or other vegetables, equipped with a removable basket, which protects them from condensing water, and thus – the development of bacteria.
Vegetables that prefer shady places
There is a group of vegetables that should not be stored either in the refrigerator (they may start to rot in it) or outside (it may result in their sprouting). They feel best in cool, dark, dry places such as a cellar. Potatoes, onions, garlic, and carrots fall into this category. Those who do not have a cellar, such conditions can provide vegetables in the kitchen cupboard or pantry. It is best to place them in a linen or cotton bag, paper bag or basket. However, you should never put them in a plastic bag, as this may result in premature spoiling.