Human nutrition cannot be considered as complete without vegetables. Read our guide about “how to store fresh vegetables correctly?”. The vegetables contain vitamins to maintain our health, fiber for normal digestion, carbohydrates – a source of energy.
Today fresh cucumbers, tomatoes, and peppers are available all year round.
The culinary portal views7.com has collected your recommendations on where to buy, how to choose vegetables, and how best to store them in order to get the most out of them at any time of the year.
Where is the best place to buy vegetables?
Traditionally, they go to the market. It is convenient to buy fresh vegetables here for several reasons:
- The products are usually fresh, from nearby regions, they are not processed in any way for transportation.
- There are many competing sellers – you can choose both a better quality product and a reasonable price.
- Some sellers offer to try their products right at the counter, before buying.
Supermarkets have their own advantages:
- Versatility: Everyone can find everything they need – from household chemicals to baked goods – in the same place where they buy vegetables.
- Safety: In stores, goods undergo more serious quality control.
- Comfort: The supermarket is spacious, there are less noise and pushing, you can study the composition of the products on the labels. And you can arrange delivery lying on the couch – this is a huge advantage in a pandemic. But under other circumstances, it is better to evaluate vegetables visually before purchasing.
How to choose the right vegetables?
Many housewives are afraid of non-seasonal greenhouse vegetables; everyone knows that they use a large number of nitrate fertilizers for their cultivation.
Does this mean that in winter you need to go for vegetables with homemade nitrate testers? Not at all.
First, these devices give results with a huge margin of error.
Secondly, nitrates are not as bad as they seem. These substances are not in themselves toxic. To get poisoned, you need a huge concentration of them in the product.
There is even a scientific hypothesis according to which, in moderate amounts, nitrates from food heals the cardiovascular system.
Cabbage, which contains a lot of nitrates, can be easily identified by its appearance.
If you see a lot of black dots and spots on the leaves, this is a sign of a fungal disease of Fusarium. It is noteworthy that this fungus loves exactly “nitrate” cabbage.
But the main danger is not just nitrates, but the toxins of the fungus itself. If you have already bought such an ugly head of cabbage, just remove the top leaves affected by the fungus from it.
Much more dangerous than nitrates are pesticides and herbicides, with the help of which plants protect against pests and diseases.
To prevent these chemicals from harming the body, vegetables just need to be thoroughly washed before use – at least 30 seconds under running water, and preferably with a brush.
When choosing potatoes, make sure there are no green spots or sprouts on them. They indicate that the tubers were not stored properly and solanine was produced in them. Although not a chemical, it is highly toxic.
There are general rules for all vegetables and root crops. Try not to buy fruits if they:
- Too soft – perhaps the decay process begins.
- Very large – when a vegetable is “outgrown” in the garden, it loses some of its taste and useful properties.
- Malformed – The fetus probably lacked space or nourishment during growth.
- Unpleasant odor.
How to store fresh vegetables properly?
And so you chose vegetables, brought them home. How to keep them fresh and healthy for a long time? We will not tell you that carrots are perfectly stored in boxes of sand.
In an apartment, there are only two options:
(1) store the product in the refrigerator
(2) in the kitchen cabinet.
Potatoes, onions, garlic, tomatoes do not like the refrigerator.
Tomatoes lose their taste and aroma in the cold. They can be left on the table in an open container – bowl, basket. But ripe fruits will lie like this for only a few days.
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Potatoes germinate in warmth and turn green in the light. In either case, the concentration of dangerous solanine increases in it. Therefore, store potatoes in a dark, cool, well-ventilated place.
The same conditions work for onions and garlic, but it is best to keep them away from potatoes.
Onions are well kept hanging: for example, in a string bag or on a string.
Carrots, beets, cabbage, bell peppers, cucumbers, eggplants are best placed in the refrigerator. Celery – there, but in a tight bag or an airtight container, otherwise its pungent smell will permeate all products.
We also store ripe avocado fruit there. Unripe is best left on the table.
Greens can, like a bouquet, be put in a container with water and put into the refrigerator.
There are some more general guidelines on how to store vegetables properly:
1. Roots brought from the market or brought from the dacha must be cleaned from the ground with a dry cloth, and the tops must be cut off.
2. Vegetables should not be washed before storage but before use.
3. Onions, potatoes (that is, everything that is stored for a long time) needs to be reviewed from time to time, and spoiled fruits should be removed.
4. It is better to choose paper bags for storage, and the containers are perforated so that air circulates freely in them, moisture does not collect.
5. Store vegetables separately from fruits. Apples, pears, bananas emit ethylene. This gas speeds up the ripening of other fruits, as a result, they spoil faster.
Note: Do not store vegetables for long – prepare healthy, vitamin-rich meals from them every day, or eat them fresh, because it is so delicious.