Fresh vegetables: how to store them properly. 5 ways to make them last longer

Broccoli, cauliflower, celery below and cucumbers, peppers, and zucchini above. Here’s how to organize the pantry and some practical tips for not finding moldy tomatoes and dried vegetables in the fridge.

HOW TO PRESERVE VEGETABLES

Once cooked, the vegetables can be stored for a maximum of two days. However, there are qualities of vegetables that deteriorate more easily than others: potatoes, tomatoes, onions or legumes must be left at room temperature to prevent the cold from damaging them. Here are 5 ways to preserve them for longer.

HOW TO PRESERVE FRESH VEGETABLES

Before washing vegetables, it is important to differentiate the types: cabbage, chard and broccoli are strong vegetables with not too fragile fibers, even if they are cut and washed do not spoil faster. Instead, it is advisable to wash soft leaves and herbs on the spot, because they are too delicate. It is necessary to remove elastic or string from the products to avoid damaging the fibres and to allow an even circulation of the lymph. It is also recommended to cut the herbaceous tufts from radishes, carrots, beetroot and turnips that absorb moisture from vegetables, losing flavor and tone.

If you decide to wash the vegetables first, always make sure to dry them well. With parsley, coriander and spinach leaves, first use a drained salad and then place them in the fridge wrapped in absorbent paper, to be returned every two days.

Use multilayer plastic bags to keep the colours and fibres bright and fresh. In fact, in an environment that is neither too humid nor too dry (such as the fridge) the vegetables will continue to release water and vapours. It is therefore necessary to keep the plastic bag partially open or pierce it so that the humidity does not get trapped. You can use the same bags several times, washing them and then drying them after each use.

The drained salad is the ideal tool for storing lettuces and delicate leaves in the refrigerator for up to a couple of weeks, because the internal perforated support lifts the vegetables from the bottom of the container where the released water usually accumulates. If you use plastic containers, cover them with absorbent paper.

Each compartment of the fridge has a different temperature: the lower drawer is wetter, so it is suitable for fruit and vegetables, but also for storing broccoli, cauliflower, celery, green beans and leafy vegetables. On the other hand, on the upper, colder shelves, it is advisable to put cucumbers, peppers and courgettes and vegetables that are sensitive to temperature.

HOW TO STORE FRUIT AND VEGETABLES IN THE REFRIGERATOR

In the fridge, leave room for the products, always trying, if possible, to divide fruit and vegetables into different containers, but also into separate compartments. Most of the fruit is climatical, i.e. it releases ethylene gas, which ensures the ripening process even after harvesting. This gaseous vegetable product can also deteriorate the tissues of nearby products.