Liveability Guides

Storing vegetables in the fridge in plastic doesn’t always keep them fresh. Check out our great guide to help you reduce your use of plastic and get to know your vegetables a little better.

Storing Vegetables without Plastic

Centre for Liveability Real Estate

Whilst we’re all used to storing our vegetables in the refrigerator, most often wrapped in plastic or kept in plastic bags, it’s not always the best solution for keeping them fresh. Check out this great guide to help you reduce your use of plastic and get to know your vegetables a little better.

Guide to Storing Vegetables without Plastic

VegetableTip
ArtichokesPlace in an airtight container sealed, with light moisture.
AsparagusPlace them loosely in a glass or bowl upright with water at room temperature. (Will keep for a week outside the fridge).
AvocadosPlace in a paper bag at room temp. To speed up their ripening‐ place an apple in the bag with them.
ArugulaArugula, like lettuce, should not stay wet! Dunk in cold water and spin or lay flat to dry. Place dry arugula in an open container, wrapped with a dry towel to absorb any extra moisture.
BasilIs difficult to store well. Basil does not like the cold, or to be wet for that matter. The best method here is an airtight container/jar loosely packed with a small damp piece of paper inside‐left out on a cool counter.
Beans, shellingOpen container in the fridge, eat ASAP. Some recommend freezing them if not going to eat right away.
BeetsCut the tops off to keep beets firm, (be sure to keep the greens!)by leaving any top on root vegetables draws moisture from the root, making them loose flavor and firmness. Beets should be washed and kept in and open container with a wet towel on top.
Beet GreensPlace in an airtight container with a little moisture.
BroccoliPlace in an open container in the fridge or wrap in a damp towel before placing in the fridge.
Broccoli RabeLeft in an open container in the crisper, but best used as soon as possible.
Brussels SproutsIf bought on the stalk leave them on that stalk. Put the stalk in the fridge or leave it on a cold place. If they’re bought loose store them in an open container with a damp towel on top.
CabbageLeft out on a cool counter is fine up to a week, in the crisper otherwise. Peel off outer leaves if they start to wilt. Cabbage might begin to loose its moisture after a week , so, best used as soon as possible.
CarrotsCut the tops off to keep them fresh longer. Place them in closed container with plenty of moisture, either wrapped in a damp towel or dunk them in cold water every couple of days if they’re stored that long.
CauliflowerWill last a while in a closed container in the fridge, but they say cauliflower has the best flavor the day it’s bought.
CeleryDoes best when simply placed in a cup or bowl of shallow water on the counter.
Celery Root/CeleriacWrap the root in a damp towel and place in the crisper.
CornLeave unhusked in an open container if you must, but corn really is best eaten sooner then later for maximum flavor.
CucumberWrapped in a moist towel in the fridge. If you’re planning on eating them within a day or two after buying them they should be fine left out in a cool room.
EggplantDoes fine left out in a cool room. Don’t wash it, eggplant doesn’t like any extra moisture around its leaves. For longer storage‐ place loose, in the crisper.
Fava BeansPlace in an air tight container.
FennelIf used within a couple days after it’s bought fennel can be left out on the counter, upright in a cup or bowl of water (like celery). If wanting to keep longer than a few days place in the fridge in a closed container with a little water.
GarlicStore in a cool, dark, place.
Green GarlicAn airtight container in the fridge or left out for a day or two is fine, best before dried out.
GreensRemove any bands, twist ties, etc. most greens must be kept in an air‐tight container with a damp cloth‐ to keep them from drying out. Kale, collards, and chard even do well in a cup of water on the counter or fridge.
Green BeansThey like humidity, but not wetness. A damp cloth draped over an open or loosely closed container.
Green TomatoesStore in a cool room away from the sun to keep them green and use quickly or they will begin to color.
HerbsA closed container in the fridge to kept up to a week. Any longer might encourage mold.
LettuceKeep damp in an airtight container in the fridge.
LeeksLeave in an open container in the crisper wrapped in a damp cloth or in a shallow cup of water on the counter (just so the very bottom of the stem has water).
OkraDoesn’t like humidity. So a dry towel in an airtight container. Doesn’t store that well, best eaten quickly after purchase
OnionStore in a cool, dark and dry, place‐ good air circulation is best, so don’t stack them.
ParsnipsAn open container in the crisper, or, like a carrot, wrapped in a damp cloth in the fridge.
Potatoes(Like garlic and onions) Store in cool, dark and dry place, such as, a box in a dark corner of the pantry; a paper bag also works well.
RadicchioPlace in the fridge in an open container with a damp cloth on top.
RadishesRemove the greens (store separately) so they don’t draw out excess moisture from the roots and place them in a open container in the fridge with a wet towel placed on top.
RhubarbWrap in a damp towel and place in an open container in the refrigerator.
RutabagasIn an ideal situation a cool, dark, humid root cellar or a closed container in the crisper to keep their moisture in.
Snap PeasRefrigerate in an open container.
SpinachStore loose in an open container in the crisper, cool as soon as possible. Spinach loves to stay cold.
Spring OnionsRemove any band or tie and place in the crisper.
Summer SquashDoes fine for a few days if left out on a cool counter, even after cut.
Sweet PeppersOnly wash them right before you plan on eating them as wetness decreases storage time. Store in a cool room to use in a couple a days, place in the crisper if longer storage needed.
Sweet PotatoesStore in a cool, dark, well‐ventilated place. Never refrigerate‐‐sweet potatoes don’t like the cold.
TomatoesNever refrigerate. Depending on ripeness, tomatoes can stay for up to two weeks on the counter. To hasten ripeness place in a paper bag with an apple.
TurnipsRemove the greens (store separately) same as radishes and beets, store them in an open container with a moist cloth.
Winter SquashStore in a cool, dark, well ventilated place. Many growers say winter squashes get sweeter if they’re stored for a week or so before eaten.
ZucchiniDoes fine for a few days if left out on a cool counter, even after cut. Wrap in a cloth and refrigerate for longer storage.

 

Sources:

Centre for Liveability Real Estate

Centre for Liveability Real Estate

In addition to their expertise in residential real estate, The Centre for Liveability Real Estate also works collaboratively with the sustainable design, construction, manufacturing and assessment and industries in the development of information on this site.

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