Stretching the Shelf Life

Tips to Stretch your Veggies Shelf Life: Freezing and Storage Ideas

Eating fresh produce is an important part every meals, but sometimes you need to stretch the life of your veggies; here are some steps.

First and foremost, remove all veggies from any plastic packaging they may come in and give them a rinse.

Cucumbers: Once washed, pat dry, then swaddle and place in a plastic bag. Cut your cucumbers into 1/4“ slices and stack in a sealable container, place a paper towel on top and seal the container, store upside down, so that the paper  towel absorbs the extra moisture. Thank you to the Slow Roasted Italian, for this tip.

Sweet Bell Peppers: Livestrong shared this tip for extending bell peppers life. Using a sharp knife, not to damage the skin of the peppers, cut your peppers into slices or chunks and remove the seeds and stem. Lay your cut peppers on a paper towel and wrap the paper towel around your peppers. Place the wrapped peppers in a bowl, or container, fill with about half an inch of cold water.

Note:  There is also the paper towel “trick” – wash your veggies, pat them dry, slice them if desired and put in a sealed container or Ziploc bag, before you seal it, add a couple fresh, dry paper towels to the container or bag. Monitor the paper towels and switch them out for dry ones every couple days, to keep your veggies longer.  You can also store bell peppers in the freezer by simply blanching them first.

Tomatoes: Around our homes tomatoes don’t very last long, but if for some reason there is a straggler or two, frozen tomatoes are awesome for things like soup and chili or any recipe that calls for “canned” tomatoes. Southern Made Simple has a great walk through for your freezing session. Now we’ve only ever tried this with our beefsteak or heritage tomatoes not our cherry, grape or cocktail, but if you decide to venture into small tomato territory, be sure to let us know how it goes.

Eggplant: Our favorite way to keep eggplant on hand for cooler months is to freeze extra when we grill it in the summer. For other things like soups and stir-fry’s, roast, our eggplant in cubes, then freeze these cubes before bagging them for later. Fresh Bites Daily, walks us through this process with ease; it gives you a taste of the summer all year long.

Avocados: There are many ways to freeze and store avocados. Full Disclaimer: they likely won’t come out of the freezer with a consistency that allows them to look or taste picture perfect on Avocado toast, but they will be perfect for things like dressings, dips or baking. To make things easier Whole New Mom has found a variety of ways to Freeze Avocados. She suggests freezing items individually before packaging. This not only helps with ease of use from freezer to the dinner table, it helps your produce freeze better, so that it lasts even longer. A quick spritz of lemon juice also helps prevent the Avocados browning.

Do you have any tried and true fresh veggie storage tips? We want to hear them.