On food storing 4

On food storing (Email 4 of 5) 

One could write a manual on how to store veggies and herbs.

And actually - some people did.

Like Mike and Nancy Bubel.

They did actual research on root cellar and collected the best practices on how to store food, mostly vegetables, and fruit.

In their book, Mike and Nancy share the genuine advice on how to take care of your harvest like if your life depended on the quality of food you manage to preserve throughout the harsh winters.

But hey.

I live in a flat and I don’t even have a garden (not to mention root cellars).

I buy my veggies in the store and I buy them in relatively small quantities.

Still, good quality, organic vegetables, and fresh herbs are expensive.

Letting them spoil is a waste of money.

And you know what...

I have a toddler and I make mashes for him.

I make 1-2 servings per one cooking to serve the meals as fresh as possible, so I use very little of everything.

This is how my pumpkin looks after I cut off the necessary amount for the mash.

pumpkin

I still need to store that small piece of pumpkin somewhere, right?

Those situations inspired me to find out more about storing food.

Here are my very much concentrated tips on short term food storing for busy urban moms (and dads).

For pantry

dry and dark

Garlic, potatoes (don’t wash them), pumpkin, tomatoes, bananas, apple, carrots (don’t wash them either) are meant to be stored in the pantry where it is dark and dry.

(I remember the days I used to store bananas in the fridge and no wonder they used to get dark after a day or two. A pantry is a way better option.)

For storing, use cloth bags or woven baskets and never leave your veggies in plastics or they would start rotting really fast.

For the fridge

In the fridge, store your veggies in a vegetable drawer and this is why: the temperature there is stable and colder than anywhere else in your fridge (unless you changed it manually).

Leafy greens like arugula, kale, collards, turnip, roman, spinach leaves, beet greens and all kinds of lettuce should be stored in the vegetable drawer in a muslin bag or wrapped in a beeswax wrap.

The muslin bag should be left open for the best air circulation.

If you use beeswax wraps, wrap your greens loosely.

Veggies and fruit like cabbages, parsnips, broccoli, carrots, onion, artichokes, cauliflower, cucumbers, and grapes should be stored in a vegetable drawer, with or without a muslin bag.

Herbs like basil, parsley cilantro, mint are best when put in the glass of water or wrapped in beeswax wrap with a few drops of water.

Herbs like dill, rosemary, sage, would stay longer if wrapped in a beeswax wrap with a few drops of water or, if you don't have a beeswax wrap, you may use a damp cloth.

Wrap the herbs in it and store it in the fridge. Be sure to rewrap and change the towel once a day.

Berries like blueberries, raspberries, strawberries should be stored in the coldest part of your fridge, unwashed.

I store them in the artisan woven baskets to let the air circulate freely.

basket

Other tips:

When you bring your veggies home, be sure to remove all the plastics from them - rubber bands, any wire, stickers or additional packaging.

Only then move on with storing your produce.

Reasons for doing this are simple.

Your fruits, veggies, berries, and herbs need to breathe. Stickers, wires, and bands make it unnecessarily difficult.

Try not cutting your products before storing them, if you can.

To go even further - many veggies stay fresh for longer if you store them unwashed.

Do not remove the stems of fruit.