There’s nothing quite like the crispness and flavour of fresh vegetables. In a different way, there’s also nothing quite like delving into the punnet of mushrooms to scoop out a hearty handful of grey, furry mould. Sigh.
Whether you’re storing vegetables in fridge compartments or cupboards, with the right know-how you’ll be able to enjoy your favourites for longer. So, how long do fresh vegetables last, and how can you keep them at their best in storage? Find out here.
How long do fresh vegetables last?
Floppy, soggy lettuce? Smushy, squishy carrots? Potatoes that have grown their very own set of horns? There’s no catch-all answer to this question – and you can usually tell just by looking at most veggies, but fresh vegetables can be split into a few different categories of longevity:
- 1 month (in cool, dark conditions): Potatoes, onions, turnips, carrots
- 2-3 weeks: Beets, celery, peppers
- 1 week: Cucumbers, lettuce, cauliflower, cabbage
- Less than a week: The majority of fresh vegetables; including tomatoes, aubergine, beans, summer squash, spinach
To help your vegetables last as long as possible, there are a number of key tips that’ll help stop your veg from spoiling (and we mean the 'going off’ kind, not the ‘ruining the ending of your favourite TV show’ kind):
- Keep them out of direct heat and sunlight.
- Give them as much air and room as you can.
- Remove any vegetables that have started growing legs, are split in a massacre of mush behind the butter, leaking sludge, or showing signs of mould immediately, so as not to spoil the entire batch.
Where to store vegetables
One of the key components when it comes to the best way to keep vegetables fresh is knowing how to store vegetables of different types. Different vegetables react differently in different environments. Some do better in the fridge, whereas others stay fresher in kitchen cupboards or pantries. And some, like cucumber, are best in a sandwich or even an ice-cold glass of something on a Friday night.
If the proof is in the pudding, the clue is in the name. Iceberg lettuce, believe it or not, likes to be kept cold! In terms of storing vegetables in fridge compartments, the following examples do best in colder temperatures:
- Salad leaves
But this isn’t the best way to store all vegetables. Some veggies are best kept in the dark (who knows who they might expose your secrets to?). Cool, dark kitchen cabinets are a better home for cold-sensitive veggies, including the following:
How to store vegetables using kitchen paper
So that’s where to store vegetables covered, now onto some handy tips for the best way to store vegetables to keep them fresh. Plenty kitchen paper is a great tool for keeping vegetables fresh because of its strength and absorbency. Here are two examples of how you can use this kitchen staple to keep your veggies fresh:
- Wrap individual vegetables in paper to keep them protected. The more contact veggies have with each other (especially if they’re giving off moisture), the quicker they lose their freshness. Use pieces of Plenty kitchen paper to gently absorb all that excess gunk from your butternut squish, without drying it out, to keep your veggies fresh for longer.
- Line containers with kitchen towel. This is relevant for anything that comes in a punnet-style container: tomatoes (yes, we know that they’re technically a fruit!), mushrooms, etc. By simply sticking a sheet of paper at the bottom of the container, you’ll soak up any extra moisture and help stop mould from forming quickly – because we all know how disappointing it is when we reach for the raspberries and we’re met with a sea of furry, fluffy mould. Change the kitchen towel frequently to make the veg last even longer.
Plenty kitchen towel is great for wrapping vegetables for storage. The combination of being super-strong and super-absorbent is perfect for keeping sliced veg fresher for longer.
Kitchen roll is not only handy for storage; it’s also great for prep. Try these tips for keeping your fresh vegetables in tip-top condition:
- If you’ve dragged your root vegetables through the mud to get here, use a sheet of Plenty kitchen paper to help wipe them down before they go into storage.
- When you’re storing vegetables after washing them, always be sure to pat them dry with some kitchen paper first. Lining the container with a sheet will also help to absorb more water and prevent them from going prematurely soggy.
- On the other hand, if you’re pre-prepping vegetables for later, you can prevent them from drying out before cooking by dampening a sheet of kitchen paper to wrap them in and wrap sliced vegetables in them.
You should have a much better idea now about the best way to keep vegetables fresh, and how handy kitchen paper can be for the job. Put these tips into practice and you’ll find you’re seeing far less of that furry monster at the back of the fridge!