How to store vegetables and fruits for a long time
How to keep fruits and vegetables from your garden fresh for weeks or months? We’ve put together helpful tips and advice to help you succeed in creating the right storage conditions for your crops..
How to store vegetables
Under no circumstances use the refrigerator to store potatoes, otherwise the starch that is part of it will turn into sugar, and the vegetable itself will acquire a sweet taste. With a brush, remove the remnants of the earth from the fruits and place them in a dark, cool place where the temperature is kept at around 4-5 ° C. It is best to store potatoes in a basement, out of the reach of light, using plastic boxes lined with a layer of wet sand..
Unlike other vegetables, potatoes require a little more heat, so the containers with them should be placed higher.
Do not stack with apples in the same container, as the fruit emits ethylene gas, which accelerates the spoilage of potatoes.
Garlic and onion
Neither garlic nor onions (not shallots) are never kept in the refrigerator either. They require a cool, dry place with good ventilation and a temperature of 5-8 ° C. Mesh bags are ideal, in which a batch of vegetables is delivered to the store (they “breathe” well). If you don’t have a special bag, take a regular bowl. Place the garlic in it and store in the pantry. You can also use a bag, just make sure there are enough ventilation holes in it..
A couple of interesting facts to note:
- potatoes release moisture, which accelerates the rotting of onions, so do not store them nearby;
- green onions and shallots can be kept in the refrigerator;
- garlic can be used to make garlic powder, which is an excellent seasoning.
Want to stop crying when you cut onions? Refrigerate it for half an hour before peeling off the outer layers. Cut off the root last as it causes tears the most..
How to store beets, carrots and parsnips
Carrots, parsnips, beets and other root crops must be well cleaned of the soil and stored in a cool, dark place (for example, a cellar). If you cut off the tops with leaves, then the vegetables will stay fresh for much longer..
Carrots and other root vegetables are well stored in layers in boxes of sand or peat. Keep them on the lowest tier of your basement, it’s coldest there..
If you have a surplus of beets, cook the borscht out of it and freeze it. For a richer color, add some vinegar. Beets will be easy to grate if boiled beforehand.
Hot peppers are dried in the old fashioned way on a thread. Position it so that the pods do not touch each other. This will ensure good air circulation and the pepper will dry properly..
Tomatoes are stored at room temperature away from direct sunlight. Any unheated room or ventilated cellar will do. If the vegetables are still green, place them in a shallow box, separating each fruit with paper, then they will ripen. At 12 degrees, this process will take about 26 days. If you raise it to 20 ° C, then it will take only two weeks. Never store tomatoes in the refrigerator if you want to keep their original refreshing taste..
The salad is not stored for a long time, it is a perishable product. This is the only vegetable we recommend rinsing and drying before putting it in the refrigerator. Food is usually washed just before cooking. Water destroys the natural protective coating that prevents mold formation.
Rinse the lettuce leaves with cold water and dry on a kitchen towel (if there is no special centrifuge for drying greens). Then place the lettuce in a plastic container with ventilation holes..
If you pick salad from the garden, then do it only in the morning. Otherwise, it will wither quickly..
Zucchini do not like the cold as much as root vegetables. They should be stored at temperatures between 10 and 18 degrees. If the room is colder, they will deteriorate, and if it is warmer, they will become tough and fibrous. You can put zucchini under the bed in your bedroom, provided that the room is always cool..
How to store fruit
The best way to store apples
Apples can be refrigerated for short storage. Place them in the fruit drawer and cover with a damp towel..
Never leave apples in a bowl on your kitchen counter unless you are planning to eat them soon. Already at a temperature of +10 degrees, the fruits ripen 4 times faster than at zero. And if the room is more than 20 ° C, then the fruits will become overripe in a matter of days..
For long-term preservation, fill cellophane bags with apples and put in plastic boxes. The thermometer should be kept at zero, then the fruits will not lose their properties and will not deteriorate within six months. If you do not have a special cellar for root crops, then it is also possible to achieve similar conditions. To do this, place a double cardboard box of apples in a cold hallway or basement..
If apples are frozen, they will release juice when thawed. Make sure the temperature does not fall below freezing.
Storage of berries
Never wash berries unless you intend to eat them right away; water removes the thin protective epidermal layer from the skin. Unfortunately, this perishable product cannot be stored for a long time. However, if necessary, wrap the berries in a paper towel and place them in a tightly closed container. Put in a cool dry place, or in the refrigerator for a maximum of 2-3 days.
Tropical fruits quickly lose their flavor in the refrigerator or at low temperatures. If possible, store bananas, avocados, citrus fruits, as well as pineapples, watermelons, eggplants, cucumbers, peppers, and beans at 10 degrees..
Dill and parsley will last up to two weeks if the stems are immersed in a glass of water and covered with a plastic bag. Most other herbs (and herbs) can be stored briefly in the refrigerator, unwashed, in tightly closed plastic containers with enough liquid to prevent premature wilting. For longer storage, use moisture-permeable paper and cellophane.
Storing fresh herbs
Most fresh herbs will wither quickly in the refrigerator. You’ve probably noticed how basil or parsley turns brown. These leafy herbs (along with cilantro, mint and dill) are best placed in a glass of cold water, like a bunch of flowers. Prune the stems and change the water every two days. Just pinch off the leaves when you need them. This will drive even more growth. You can also dry or freeze greens, and can also be canned in vinegar or used for pesto..
Dried herbs should not be placed near the stove or in the immediate vicinity of burners. The heat and steam will quickly cause them to lose their flavor almost completely. As always, choose a dry and cool place..
A few general tips will definitely come in handy. Remember, frozen rhubarb, sweet corn and green beans do not lose their flavor after thawing, so feel free to store them in the freezer..
Cucumbers, beets, cranberries, tomatoes, and pretty much all fruits (especially peaches) are great for canning. As one American singer sang on this topic: “My grandmother always keeps a piece of summer in jars”.