Nature intended you to enjoy the freshness, great taste and nutrient-dense goodness of vegetables, herbs and fruit, and it’s best to make sure you keep it that way.
But first up, some things to expect when you are buying organic:
- The size, colour, texture and form of your organic vegetables may be different from supermarket produce. This is a good thing, because it means that the produce is not chemically formed or grown.
- Sometimes you may receive the produce straight out of the soil and not washed. This is a way of ensuring a longer shelf life. You will only need to wash your veg right before you cook or eat it.
- You may find an odd snail or ant in your bag of organic vegetables. Just remove these beauties – they won’t kill you.
Get some tricks up your sleeve. This is how you keep your organic produce fresher for longer:
Most leafy greens will show signs of wilting. That’s ok! Simply store them in the fridge as they are and when you’re ready to cook, just wash the produce and watch it come to life while the water drains.
You will be able to gauge how long it lasts as the days go by – this varies depending on your fridge temperature. The trick is to avoid your produce retaining excess moisture, which is usually absorbed by a paper towel if wrapped in one.
A wet paper towel or tea towel is your best friend when storing herbs. Remove your herbs from the brown bag, wrap them in a moist tea towel and keep them in the fridge. Cotton bags also work well; when they dry out, just spritz them with water to moisten again.
What can I keep out of the fridge?
Most tubers, like potatoes, do not need to be stored in a fridge, and your pantry or vegetable rack will do just fine. Cabbages and onions also keep well outside of the fridge, and tomatoes should be stored at room temperature away from direct sunlight and heat.
Lastly, a few suggestions on alternative storage containers that will make the produce last longer.
- BPA-free, airtight, reusable or silicone containers are good for freshness and reuse.
- The breathable fabric of organic cotton muslin bags helps keep organic veg fresh for longer.
- While we promote zero waste, you may still encounter plastic bags. If you haven’t already made your way through the stash in the kitchen drawer, make sure to reuse these bags to store your veggies in the fridge.
- Organic cotton beeswax wrappers are also great to wrap half-eaten fruits and veggies when keeping in the fridge.
This article was written by Siyabonga Mngoma and first published by Abundance Wholesome Foods.