Mamabake’s Guide to Storing Fruit and Vegetables – Part 2

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guidetostoringfruitandveg

Part 1 of this guide Apple –>Coconuts is here.

The length of time you can keep fruits and vegetables listed indicates how long the fruit or vegetable will be at its best. After that it will start to degrade a little but is still fine to use.

Corn – fresh picked corn degrades very quickly. It will last one or two days in the fridge wrapped tightly in plastic or kept within the husk. The outer kernels begin to go mouldy. For this reason, steaming or briefly boiling the corn before storing cut cobs or stripped kernels in the freezer is a good idea if you get a lot of corn. Corn recipes, here.

Cucumber – keeping cucumbers in the fridge actually accelerates the rotting process. Store them at room temperature and they may last the week. If kept in the fridge, keep them on the upper shelves and not in the crisper. Eat within 3-4 days.

Daikon – place daikon in a container or plastic bag and seal, to maintain a moist environment. You can keep daikon for up to a week this way.
Durian – remove the pulp and keep in the fridge for a couple of days but it is best eaten fresh, otherwise it should be frozen. Keeps frozen for up to a year.

Eggplant – Keep eggplant out of the fridge at room temperature and try to use it quickly. It can be kept in the fridge for up to 3 days but should be used soon after removal. Eggplant flavour is best maintained out of the fridge and definitely out of a plastic bag.  Eggplant recipes, here.

Endive – keep endive moist by wrapping in a paper towel and then placing in a plastic bag. Keep in the fridge for up to a week.

Fennel – put fennel in the crisper drawer out of a plastic bag, for up to 4 days. But use as soon as possible because fennel rapidly loses flavour after picking

Figs – consume fresh figs as soon as they are picked/purchased as they are full of sugar and so deteriorate very quickly. Fresh figs can be kept on paper towel on a plate in a plastic bag in the fridge for up to 2 days.

Garlic – keep your garlic in a cool, well-ventilated space. But never ever put it in the plastic bag or in the fridge as moisture causes garlic to deteriorate and then it really stinks. An unbroken head of garlic can be kept for up to 8 weeks, but individual cloves may last only 10 days. If your garlic starts sprouting, just plant it in the garden. Next year you’ll have your own home grown garlic.

Ginger – ginger kept in a zip lock bag in the crisper drawer of your fridge will keep for up to 8 weeks. However you can keep your ginger root in a pot of soil. Let it sprout and grow! If it doesn’t sprout, keeping ginger in soil will keep it nice for months.

Gourds – store gourds and pumpkins in a cool dry place. Maximise air circulation by putting gourds on a bench or table where air can circulate around them. Place them apart and not touching and they can last up to 2-3 months. Cut gourds should be wrapped tightly in plastic and will keep for a week or so this way.

Grapes – keep grapes unwashed in a plastic bag in the fridge for up to a week. You can freeze grapes for up to a year before they start getting sticky.

Guava – this category includes Feijoas, which are a type of guava. Ripen guavas at room temperature, but keep fresh specimens in the fridge for up to 4 days. Freeze the pulp for up to 9 months.

Horseradish – keep purchased horseradish in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer for up to a week or 2 weeks depending on how recently it was picked when you bought it. If you grow your own, try keeping it in clean sand in a crate. Lasts for a year or more.

Jackfruit – cut the jackfruit and remove the flesh. Keep the flesh tightly wrapped in the fridge for up to a week but jackfruit is best frozen as it rapidly ripens and the flavour gets very funky.

Jicama – store jicama like potatoes, in a cool, dry place with decent circulation. They will keep up to 2 or 3 weeks this way. Cut jicama should be kept in the fridge in a plastic bag. Try and use it within a couple of weeks.

Kale – keep kale unwashed, wrapped in paper towels in a sealed plastic bag; kale will keep un-wilted like this for up to a week. Kale recipes, here.

Kohlrabi – remove the leaves before storing and keep loosely wrapped in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.

Leek – wrap leeks loosely in a paper bag to maintain moisture for up to 2 weeks. Cut leek will rapidly become dry and will stink up the fridge with its onion-like smell, so wrap tightly in plastic and try to use as soon as possible.

Lettucekeeping lettuce and other delicate leaves fresh is a little bit of work, but with this method you can keep them for up to 2 weeks. Separate the leaves and wash them thoroughly in a sink/large bowl full of cold water. Thoroughly dry the leaves in a salad spinner and then on paper towel or dry tea towels. Then place dry leaves in more dry paper towel and put in a zip lock bag with the air squeezed out.

Longan – keep fresh longans in an open plastic bag in the fridge for up to 2 weeks

Lycheestore as above, like longans in an open plastic bag, but they should be eaten within a week

Mangostore unripe mangoes at room temperature and allow to ripen for a few days. Ripe mangoes can be kept in the fridge out of a plastic bag for air circulation for up to 2-3 days.

Mushroom – you may notice that mushrooms kept in the fridge in their brown bag will indeed shrivel up within the week. Try storing your mushrooms in a plastic container with the lid replaced with a piece of plastic wrap that has holes poked into it. Keep in the fridge for a couple of weeks.

Onion – onions should be kept in a cool, dark place with plenty of air circulation. Good onions can be kept for several months like this. Don’t store onions with potatoes and never put them in a plastic bag.

 

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