Correctly storing vegetables will go a long way to keeping them fresh and safe to eat. Some vegetables and fruit need to be stored in the refrigerator, others need to ripen before being placed in the refrigerator, and others are best stored at room temperature or in a cool dry place.
Asparagus should be stored in the fridge. Keep the stalks moist by wrapping them with a damp paper towel or store the stalks upright in a bowl or glass of cold water.
Flowers should be kept in the original containers in the refrigerator. Only remove blooms as you need them. Flowers will last 7-10 days when stored properly. It is best to handle blooms with gloved hands as oils can deteriorate the product.
Herbs should be stored at room temperature. Make a fresh cut on the bottom of the herb stem and submerge just the base of the stem in a cup or vase of water. Change the water daily and recut the stems every few days.
Leafy greens stay fresh longer if they are rinsed, wrapped in a paper towel or tea towel, and refrigerated in a container or sealed plastic bag. You can do this with lettuce greens, bok choy, Swiss chard, kale and spinach. While we do rinse our leafy greens prior to shipping them to you, we do recommend giving them a good rinse in cold water before you store them, drain well with a salad spinner, if available. Include a paper or cloth linen in the storage container, replacing it when wet. The linen can be damp.
Microgreens should be kept in the original containers in the refrigerator. Only remove products as you need them. Microgreens will last 7-10 days when stored properly. It is best to handle microgreens with gloved hands as oils can deteriorate the product.
For the best-tasting tomatoes, store them at room temperature away from direct sunlight. This will help them ripen evenly. Once they are ripe they can be placed in the fridge.
Summer Squash If storing yellow squash or zucchini in the refrigerator, do not wash the squash before storing.
They are best stored in a plastic bag that has had a few holes poked in it for airflow, and then placed in the vegetable crisper drawer. Zucchini stored this way will last approximately 1 week.
Winter Squash & Root Vegetables
Winter squash and root vegetables should be stored in a cool, dark, dry spot outside the fridge like a cupboard or root cellar. You can also store garlic, onions, potatoes, and sweet potatoes this way.
For items with leafy tops, it is best to leave them in packaging until used. Store in a high humidity, dark, cool spot in the refrigerator. To reinvigorate tops, place the roots in water upright in water. Remove dying or wilted leaves that do not revive.
Leafy tops can be removed and stored. See Leafy Greens.
Storage times are different for each type of vegetables. The guidelines below are for vegetables at their best quality.
How long to store?
|Storage times if kept in the cupboard, cool room temperature.|
|Potatoes||1-2 weeks(2-3 months in a cool, dark place)|
|Storage times if kept in the refrigerator.|
|Beans (green, wax)||3-5 days|
|Brussels sprouts||3-5 days|
|Green onions||7-10 days|
|Peas in the pod||3-5 days|
|Peppers (green, red)||1-2 weeks|
|Potatoes (new)||1 week|
|Summer Squash, Zucchini||4-5 days|
Freezing Vegetables and Herbs
If you can’t eat all of your vegetables right away, you can freeze them. Freezing also allows you to preserve nutrients and enjoy the taste of summer all year long.
Most vegetables need to be blanched before they are frozen. This means that you should boil the whole or cut up pieces of the vegetable for 1-2 minutes and then immediately place in ice cold water to stop the cooking process. This will keep your vegetables from getting freezer burn. Frozen vegetables will be fine for up to one year.
Herbs can be frozen in a silicone ice cube tray. Rinse herbs, pat dry and chop as desired. Place herbs in a silicone ice cube tray, fill each with just enough water to completely cover the herbs. Top with a few drops of olive oil. Once frozen, transfer to freezer bags to keep for up to 3 months. To use, place the cube in a small bowl and let the ice melt. Drain and pat dry. Freezing works well for basil, chives, oregano, lemon balm, mint, or tarragon. Frozen herbs can be used in the same proportion as fresh herbs. Remember though they will be limp when defrosted, but will still add fabulous flavor to your cooking.
Flowers can also be frozen in ice cube trays. Place the flowers in a silicone ice cube tray, fill each with water and freeze. These will add a pop of color to any beverage.
Freezing is not recommended for eggplant, lettuce greens, potatoes (other than mashed), radishes, and sweet potatoes.