Monday, October 6, 2014

Vegetable Storage - Tips


1. Select the freshest produce :-
Probably stating the obvious here but the fresher and better quality your veg, the longer it’s going to last.

2. Minimise physical damage :-
Cuts and bruises damage the cell walls of your veg and open them up to spoilage by microbes. The bad news is that once you have one rotten piece of veg, it passes on to it’s mates so if you do notice any damaged veg, best to get rid of them.

3. Dirt is good :-
I find unscrubbed potatoes tend to be longer lasting and hope one day to be growing my own to really test out the dirt theory.
4. Avoid cutting or trimming :-
A whole pumpkin or squash will keep for much longer than a cut piece. This is all about exposure to the air and to microbes. So best to leave trimming and chopping until the last minute.

5. Select the best storage temperature :-
Just like some people love the heat and others, different vegetables have different preferences for climate.

# Mostly it comes down to the prevailing temperature where they grow. Root veg and onions store better at cooler temperatures but warmer climate veg like tomatoes, eggplant (aubergine), squash, cucumbers, capsicum (peppers) and beans can actually loose flavor, develop brown spots and have their texture effected if you pop them in the refrigerator.

# Unripe avocados develop brown spots and fail to ripen further if placed in the fridge. So best to store these in a cool dark place.

# The other thing to consider with temperature is that lower temperatures, like the fridge, slow down microbial growth and decrease enzymic activity. So if your veg isn’t sensitive to the cold, generally the lower the storage temperature, the longer they’ll last.

6. Protect from exposure to light :-
Sunlight can promote sprouting in things like potatoes so unless you’re trying to encourage ripening in your veg, best to store them in the dark.

7. Minimize dehydration :-
One of the biggest contributors to aging in veg is loss of moisture. The air in your refrigerator tends to be very dry. So higher moisture things like celery or spinach or lettuce are best stored in plastic bags or containers to minimize moisture loss and wilting.

8. Avoid condensation and sweating
Of course too much moisture can also be a bad thing and can encourage things to go slimy. Paper towel can be useful to absorb excess moisture without allowing things to get too dry. Nigel recommends avoiding covering cut pumpkin surfaces with cling wrap as they tend to sweat. He just leaves it uncovered and lets the surface dry out and then trims and discards this before the next use.

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Related Posts :-

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