There are different methods for different vegetables to keep them fresh:
Coriander, Parsley, Celery and Spring onions: These two vegetables remain fresh for 2 – 3 days in refrigerator but are used quite often. So a very easy way to preserve their freshness is to chop and freeze them in tub ware or freezer bags. They can be accessible anytime when you need them, but make sure they are stored in a dry place. And some tips you must consider while doing this process are:
- Don’t thaw when u want them. Use spoon or fork instead of defrosting.
- Don’t wash them before storing. They should be dry when you chop and store.
- Keep them in dry and cool place.
Tomatoes: Tomatoes are mostly used in salads or in South Asian Curries or in Italian Cuisine. So the best way to preserve them is to cut them in wedges or chunks and freeze them in tub ware (Don’t use freezer bags). SO whenever you need them for Pasta sauce or Karahi Chicken or butter chicken, keep them out for 20 minutes.
Slightly glaze the tub ware before putting tomatoes into it to avoid mess.
Onions: Onion is a naughty fellow. It is not the strong odor of the onion that makes us cry, but the gas that the onion releases when we sever this member of the lily family. The onion itself contains oil, which contains sulfur, an irritant to both our noses and to our eyes. Cutting an onion arouses a gas contained within the onion, propanethiol S-oxide, which then couples with the enzymes in the onion to emit a passive sulfur compound. When this upwardly mobile gas encounters the water produced by the tear ducts in our eyelids, it produces sulfuric acid. In response to the caustic acid, our eyes automatically blink, and produce tears which irrigate the eye, and which flush out the sulfuric acid. So, to avoid tears, cut onion in a deep bowl filled with cold water.
Onions can be preserved after cutting or peeling. All you have to do is cut them in slices, pat with clean kitchen towel (dry), Put them in freezer bag and refrigerate till you need them.
- Don’t wash them before storing.
- After cutting, do pat them dry to store.
Spinach: Spinach is mostly used in form of paste. So when you get fresh spinach from the market, wash it, boil it, grind it and then after cooling down, freeze it in freezer bags.
Baby Spinach: Baby spinach is mostly used in salads, pizza toppings and in pastas. So buy it in less quantity from the market. Keep it refrigerated because it will stay fresh for 4 days in refrigeration and if you are lucky it can survive for a week.
Bitter melon/ Bitter Gourd: One of the favorite vegetables of South Asians. This is widely used in Pakistan, Sri Lanka and India. So the best way to preserve its freshness is, peel its outer skin, make a slit on one side, take out is seeds, cut the remaining part in chunks, apply some salt, keep it aside for 20 minutes, wash thoroughly, dry and freeze in tub ware or freezer bag. This is the way my grandma preserve bitter melon and it is very effective.
Cabbage, lettuce, broccoli, capsicum or cauliflower: Use cling film to preserve their freshness. Pack them airtight in cling film and keep them in refrigerator. (They will stay fresh for 1 week; do not wash them before packing, Keep away from water).
Green chillies or any other chili: If you get cheap green chillies from the market or you get lots of them from your veggie garden, you always want to keep them fresh and save. So for that prick off their stem part and put them in freezer bag and freeze. This is the way which will never waste your chillies. My mothers in law always do this with her chillies.
Ginger, Garlic, Chili, Coriander, Mint or any other Paste: When preserving any herb or vegetable paste, add some lemon juice or vinegar in it to preserve its freshness.
Okra: When you buy okra or lady finger, wash it and pat it with clean, dry kitchen towel. When it is totally dry put it in newspaper and refrigerate. Like this it will stay fresh for 1 week to 1.5 weeks.
Cucumbers, Chinese or Winter melons, Pumpkins, Potatoes, beetroots, radish, white turnip, turnips, brussel sprouts, Carrots or Squash: For keeping cucumber like vegetables fresh for 1 to 1.5 weeks, place them in vegetable box of your fridge because they need normal room temperature or a bit higher to stay fresh.
Beans and Peas: If you are using French beans, then wash them and dry with a clean kitchen towel and keep them refrigerated in freezer bag, but in vegetable box as they do not need cold temperature to survive. Consume them within 7 – 9 days. And for peas, take them out from the shells and keep them in freezer for next use. Use tub ware or freezer bag to store them and make sure they are not wet. Don’t wash them after taking them out from the shells. They can stay fresh up to 30 – 50 days.
Mushrooms: Mushroom is a very delicate vegetable; it can only stay fresh up to 4 days. So the best way to preserve its freshness for 1 week is keep it in paper bag (easily available in markets) or if you don’t have paper bags, line one freezer bag with a big piece of butter paper and place these mushrooms in it. Keep them in refrigerators in a dry place, may be in ridge door cabinets.