Buying fruit and vegetables in bulk is often a more economical way to shop. For those on tighter budgets and with large families this is a great way to save a little extra. Regardless of your budget, once you’ve taken your vegetables home, it is important to remember that there are certain things that you can do to help to extend the life of your fresh produce at home which will keep your family eating well for longer.
Here are some of our suggestions:
- Store fresh, uncut butternut in a cool, dark place, such as a pantry or cupboard, where sunlight won’t hasten its ripening.
If you have cut the butternut but do not need to use it all at once, keep the cut butternut in the fridge. It will last in the refrigerator for at least four days. Make sure it’s covered, ideally in a close-fitting container or zippered plastic bag.
- Take note of the area of the store in which your picked out the vegetable that you bought – was it stored in the fridge or not? This is indicative of the best way to extend the life of your vegetable.
- If possible, avoid storing fruits and vegetables together as they ripen at different speeds and give off enzymes that encourage those around them to ripen simultaneously.
- Trim off excess leaves that aren’t needed e.g. carrot tops, pineapple tops.
- Do not refrigerate potatoes, they are best kept in a cool, dark place for extended shelf life. Warmer, more humid temperatures encourage the potatoes to sprout and thus spoil. If you have washed the potatoes, be sure to dry them before storing them. For best results, store in a brown paper bag.
- Do not store root vegetables and onions in the same place – enzymes in the onions often cause the potatoes to spoil faster. Keep onions in an open basket and do not keep them for too long.
- Store mushrooms in the fridge, packed as they came from the shop. If you have opened the container, wrap them in plastic again with a few air holes poked in to help with air circulation. Wild or brown mushrooms can be stored in a brown paper bag in the fridge. Mushrooms have spoilt if they go slimy and soft.
Share any of your favourite vegetable storage tips with us. We’d love to hear them!