Food Talk And Fabulous Finds - tips for keeping veggies fresh and crisp
06-28-2010, 05:07 PM
does anyone have any tips, basic or more detailed, for keeping veggies fresh and crisp?
i started a new organic green cabbage just yesterday and already today the outer leaves (are they called leaves?) are kind of soft and mushy. should i be storing this in a sealed plastic container? should just wrapping it in plastic wrap be ok? i cut the core out yesterday to make it easier to peel the layers off to use/eat, but other than that it is in it's whole state, like not cut up or anything.
also any tips for broccoli asparagus parsley tomatoes etc.
06-28-2010, 06:31 PM
Moisture is not a stored vegetable's friend so sealed containers and plastic wrap are not the way to go in my experience. You can leave them in the plastic grocery bag and add a paper towel to absorb moisture and do not close the bag up. Use the veggie drawer of your fridge. Cabbage should not be mushy in a day even cut up. Tomatoes are the exception as they should be stored on the countertop- the fridge messes with their texture and sweetness. Asparagus should be checked as soon as you get home and any mushy looking tips tossed as they will contaminate the whole bunch- you can even give them a sniff- your nose will tell you if they are about to go. If so- rinse well and cook right away (roasted is nice)- then they will go several more days. The ideal situation is not to overbuy them and shop more frequently so you are not having to deal with sad oldies. Worst case take the tired guys and make a quick vegetable stew or soup- that will give you another several days to use them up. Cabbage tends to last quite some time if you just cut off the part you need and store the rest cut face tight against the bag. Next time you may have to cut a thin layer off because it is dried out, but not much. Unless you are making stuffed cabbage you should not need to peel the cabbage off in layers. Hope this helps.
06-28-2010, 10:34 PM
thank you! that really helps. i will try all of your suggestions. i was peeling the cabbage off in layers because i was using it as a bread substitue to make a sandwich, like wrapping the sandwich stuff inside it. it worked really well and was really fantastic yesterday, very crunchy and fresh and made the "sandwich" "hold-able." and then today not so much. but i will try your storage tips. thanks! :)
06-29-2010, 05:39 AM
I like the Hefty green bags. I keep my lettuce cleaned and cut up in one of those with a paper towel to absorb moisture and it keeps a long time that way.
It helps to buy the freshest possible produce to begin with. If it's not really fresh when you buy it, it sure won't get any fresher when you get it home!
06-29-2010, 08:19 AM
Sometimes removing the core can hasten wilting (or so it seems to me), but the green bags help a lot. The cheap ones (like the ones I found at Dollar Tree) seem to work as well as the more expensive ones. They can be reused several times.
Vaccuum sealing works great too, if you've got a vaccum sealer (like Seal-a-Meal). They're expensive though. I fell in love when I found one on a garage sale, still new, never removed from the box for $2 (a $150 machine at the time). They're a lot cheaper now (if you can find the cheaper, more basic models. I think Walmart carries one that's about $50).
Cold water (water and ice in a bowl) can recrisp slightly wilted veggies.
06-29-2010, 09:00 AM
I second the paper towel comment - I cut up vegetables for a "salad bar" I use all week, and I find a paper towel in the bottom of the tupperware for peppers and the top and bottom for lettuce makes a big difference - it doesn't just absorb moisture, but keeps the humidity high so that there is a little water and the vegetables don't get icky.
I store celery sticks in a little water, and that's ok for carrots, too, but carrots are fine cut up in a baggie.
You might do well with the cabbage to peel off the layers and store them in a bag with a slightly moist paper towel. Tomatoes and cucumbers I cut as I go. They do best if you cut them right before you eat them.
06-29-2010, 10:47 AM
Funnily enough I find the plastic clamshells that the 1 lb prewashed lettuce/spinach come in keep lettuce fresh and crisp longer than any other. I keep 2 from the winter when I have to buy lettuce. A layer of paper towel top and bottom.
As for cabbage, I find that loose plastic works best, I keep it in a plastic grocery bag NOT in the produce drawer. I usually can keep a cabbage for about 3 weeks.
06-29-2010, 12:25 PM
thanks everyone! :)
these are all great suggestions and lots of info for me to try. this will all come in handy with my new eating plan and help me to keep things fresh (and yummy ;)) and not waste things. i appreciate the help, thanks!
07-02-2010, 06:08 PM
I HIGHLY recommend the green bags! I use them for all my fruit and veggie storage. I can buy enough produce for two weeks and it all stays crisp and fresh until the last day. Just remember to change the bags every so often once you see they are not working quite as well.