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Storing Vegetables

The average family throws away a great number of pounds of spoiled fruits and vegetables each year. In most cases this can be easily eliminated by knowing how to store your fruits and vegetables. Learning these skills will help save you and your family money from your grocery bill.

According to the NRDC, over 40% of all fruit and vegetables are thrown away due to spoilage. That the average household throws away 33lbs of food each month at a cost over $40. That amount is staggering, considering that amount translates to about 5-10% of the average monthly grocery bill.

How and when to wash vegetables

Wash vegetables just before using them since moisture encourages mold which leads to spoilage; if you do wash beforehand, dry before putting into the fridge.

The Packaging

For most vegetables, the package the veggies come in, is usually sufficient to store your vegetables in. Remove any, and all runner bands, twist ties, or other binding agents used to gather vegetables/herbs together in easy to grab units.

VegetableStorage Tip
VegetableStorage Tip
ArtichokesPlace artichokes in an airtight container. Sealed.
AsparagusRemove any bands. Place them loosely inside a glass or a bowl. The should stand upright with water at room temperature. (Will keep for a week outside a fridge).
AvocadoPlace avocados in a paper bag at room temperature. These refrain from placing them into a fridge. If they need to be ripened quicker, place an apple with them in the bag.
ArugulaShould not be stored wet. Wash with cold water, and dry. Place arugula in an open container, wrapped with a dry towel to remove any excess moisture.
BasilBasil does not like the cold, or wet. Store in an airtight container or jar, loosely packed with a damp paper towel (or just a damp towel) inside the container. Store on counter, or pantry.
BeansStore in an open container in the fridge and consume as soon as possible. Can freeze.
BeetsCutting the tops off to keep beets firm, but do not remove the green. Beets store best after having been washed, and kept in an open container with a wet towel left on top.
BroccoliPlace in an open container in the fridge, or wrap in a damp towel.
Broccoli RabeStore in an open container in the vegetable crisper. Use as soon as possible.
Brussel SproutsStore in an open container in the fridge with a damp towel on top.
CabbageYou can leave cabbage on your counter for up to a week. Just peel off the top layer as needed.
CarrotsCutting the tops off carrots will help them last longer. Place them in a closed container with plenty of moisture. Wrap them in a damp towel.
CauliflowerWill last best in a closed container in the fridge. Cauliflower begins to lose its flavour as soon as it's picked. Consume as soon as possible.
CeleryPlace in a cup or bowl of shallow water on the counter. If you wish to store in fridge, many experts agree they will stay crisp if you wrap the stocks in tin foil.
CornLeave un-husked in an open container if you're going to store in fridge. Corn is best consumed the day of purchased.
CucumberWrap cucumber in a moist towel in the fridge.
EggplantDoes fine left out in a cool room. Do not wash before storing. Store in vegetable crisper, away from any vegetables with moisture (towels).
Fava BeansPlace in an airtight container.
Fennelif you're consuming within 48 hours, fennel can be left out on your counter, upright in a bowl of water. If you're not, store in the fridge in a closed container with a little water.
GarlicStore in a cool, dark place.
GreensRemove any bands holding them together. These bands are used to package for sale only. Keep in an air-tight container with a damp cloth.
Green BeansA damp cloth laid over an open container.
Green TomatoesStore in a cool room away from the sun.
HerbsStore in a closed container in the fridge.
LettucesKeep damp in an airtight container in the fridge.
Leeksleave in an open container in the vegetable crisper wrapped in a damp cloth or in a shallow cup of water on the counter.(stem should have water)
MushroomsKeep mushrooms in the fridge in a brown paper bag, or in the container they shipped in. Unused mushrooms should be placed in a dry paper towel in the fridge.
OkraDoes not like humidity. Wrap in a dry towel and place into an air-tight container. Best consumed as soon as possible.
OnionStore in a cool, dark and dry place. Do not stack. Onions like air circulation.
Parsnipsstore in an open container in the crisper. or wrap in a damp cloth n the fridge (much like carrots)
PeppersStore in a plastic bag before placing in the crisper, if they weren't purchased in one.
PotatoesStore in a cool, dark and with as little moisture as possible. Paper bags work well to store potatoes in the pantry.
RadicchioStore in an open container with a damp towel or cloth on top.
RadishesRemove the greens as they will draw out the moisture, and dry them out. Place into an open container in the fridge with a wet towel over top. Remember to remove rubber bands.
RhubarbWrap in a damp towel and place into an open container in the fridge.
Rutabagasstore in cool, dark, humid root cellar or a closed container in the vegetable crisper to retain their own moisture.
Snap PeasStore in an open container in the fridge.
SpinachStore loose in an open container in the crisper. Do not wash before storing. Wash before using.
SproutsSprouts like to be cold. Can store up to 2 weeks if the temperature can be 5c (40f)
Summer SquashDoes fine for few days on a counter.
Sweet PeppersDo not wash before storing. Only wash before eating. Store in the vegetable crisper for maximum storage potential.
Sweet Potato (Yam)Store in a cool, dark and a well-ventilated space. DO NOT refrigerate.
TomatoesDo NOT refrigerate. They will last best on the counter. If you need to ripen faster, place in a paper bag with an apple.
TurnipsRemove the greens, store in an open container with a moist cloth.
Winter Squashstore in a cool, dark location with lots of air circulation.
ZucchiniYou can leave on the counter for a few days. Wrap in a cloth and place in the fridge for longer storage.

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