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Food Lover Tip

Food lover tip

Vacuum seal different food items to keep them fresh. D.Nederlof, Terrigal

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  • Easy chicken and corn soup Special occasions Good for leftovers

    Soup is great for dinner as well as lunch the next day.
    10 mins preparation + 15 mins cooking
    Serves 20

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Storing vegetables

Overview
Colourful display of vegetables

Learn how to store your vegetables for optimum freshness.

Asparagus: Look for tender straight stems with compact tips. Store asparagus in an airtight bag in the fridge crisper and use it as soon as you can. If your asparagus becomes soft, trim the ends and stand them in a glass of chilled water.

Avocado: Choose unblemished avocados with a slight give at the stem end. To ripen, leave them at room temperature. When ripe, store in the fridge for up to 2 days. When cut open, leave the seed in and brush surface with water or lemon juice and cover closely with cling film. The lemon juice will help to prevent the flesh from going brown. Storing unripe avocados in the fridge will prevent them from ripening.

Beans: Choose firm, unblemished beans and store them in an airtight bag in the fridge crisper.

Beetroot: Beetroots are best stored in a plastic bag in the fridge. Beetroot greens (the tops) are edible and are delicious used in salads. Cut the greens from the root and store them separately in the crisper section of your fridge.

Bok choy: Choose bok choy with glossy leaves and white healthy stems. Store in an airtight bag in the fridge crisper.

Broccoli: Choose broccoli that has tight, compact head that is blue/green in colour. Store in an airtight bag in the fridge crisper and use it as soon as you can.

Brussels sprouts: Choose small, compact and firm heads that are bright green. Store in an airtight bag in the fridge crisper and use them soon as you can.

Cabbage: Select heavy heads of cabbage with shiny leaves. Store in an airtight bag in the fridge crisper.

Capsicum: Choose capsicums with firm and glossy skins, no spots or shrivelled skin. Store in an airtight bag in the fridge crisper.

Carrots: Choose firm, orange carrots with no signs of softness. Store unwashed carrots in an airtight bag in the fridge crisper.

Cauliflower: Choose a clean, white head with firm tight clusters heavy for their size. The leaves should be fresh and green. Store in an airtight bag in the fridge crisper.

Celery: Choose fresh bunches with a tight formation. Avoid browned or cracked outside stalks. Store unwashed celery in an airtight bag in the fridge crisper with top and base removed. Clean unblemished bases are good flavour for soups and stews.

Chinese broccoli: Choose clean, crisp leaves and compact flowers. Store in an airtight bag in the fridge crisper.

Chinese cabbage: Store in an airtight bag in the fridge crisper.

Corn: Select corn with a green husk. Corn can be stored for a short time in an airtight bag in the fridge crisper. Leave the husk on to stop the corn drying out.

Cucumbers: Choose firm, fresh, dark green cucumbers. Store in the fridge crisper. Use as soon as you can.

Eggplant: Choose firm, dark and shiny eggplants that are heavy for their size. The flesh should bounce back when lightly pressed. Avoid those with brown spots or shrivelled skin. Store in an airtight bag in the fridge crisper.

Fennel: Choose firm white fennel with fresh green leaves. Store in an airtight bag in the fridge crisper. Use it as soon as you can.

Ginger root: Ginger root can be frozen or stored in an airtight container to retain moisture. It will stay fresh for a week at room temperature or up to one month in the fridge.

Garlic: Garlic stored under ideal conditions in a dark, cool, dry place with plenty of air (ventilation) can last up to one year. Try to use fresh garlic within a few weeks of buying it and do not refrigerate it unless the garlic has been peeled or chopped.

Herbs: To store fresh herbs, trim the stems then place them in a jar in 1–2 cm of water. To refrigerate herbs, place them in an airtight bag.

Lettuce: Choose lettuce that is firm with crisp leaves. Check for decay at the stem end. Store in an airtight bag in the fridge crisper. Use it as soon as you can. Do not store lettuce with melons, apples, pears, or other (ethylene gas-emitting) fruits as they will cause the lettuce to turn brown.

Mushrooms: Look for freshness, firmness and colour. Withered mushrooms are a sign of age. Mushrooms are best stored in a brown paper bag in your fridge crisper (plastic makes mushrooms 'sweat').

Onions: Choose firm and unblemished onions. Store chives, spring onions and leeks in an airtight bag in the fridge crisper. All other types of onions should be stored in a cool dark place in open trays. Avoid storing onions and potatoes together; the gases each gives off cause the other to spoil.

Parsnips: Choose firm, white, small parsnips with no signs of softness. Store in an airtight bag in the fridge crisper and use as soon as you can.

Peas: Frozen peas are convenient and available all year round. When in season choose fresh, firm, bright green peas that are not shrivelled or wilted. Store in an airtight bag in the fridge crisper.

Potatoes: Choose unblemished potatoes with no visible scars, damage or greening. Remove from plastic bags and store in a cool, dark, dry place away from onions. A cardboard box or brown paper bag is ideal. Do not refrigerate or store for longer than necessary as potatoes will turn green and go soft. If your potatoes become green or soft you should compost them or add them to your worm farm.

Pumpkin: Store cut pumpkin in cling film in the fridge crisper. Store whole pumpkins at room temperature.

Radish: Select firm, fresh-looking radishes. Store in the fridge crisper with tops and leaves removed. Use within a week of purchase. To restore crispness and crunch, stand in chilled water before using.

Silverbeet and spinach: Choose fresh, dark green bunches, with no signs of blemish or wilting. Store in an airtight bag in the fridge crisper and use as you can.

Sweet potato: Avoid sweet potatoes that are cracked, bruised or soft. Store in a cool, dark, well-ventilated place.

Tomatoes: Select bright-coloured tomatoes free from blemishes. Store tomatoes at room temperature away from direct sunlight to allow for natural ripening. Store ripe tomatoes in the fridge crisper.

Zucchini: Choose zucchini with glossy, unblemished skins and no soft areas. Store in a paper or cloth bag (to prevent 'sweating') in the fridge crisper and use as soon as you can.

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