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How to store cut vegetables the right way

Easy ways to store cut vegetables to keep them fresh and nutritious.

It is a common practice these days to cut and store vegetables in the fridge prior to its use. Though a convenient practice, it isn't the ideal way to cook vegetables. This is because vegetables that are cut and kept aside for too long lose their vital nutrients and minerals through oxidation. Ideally, you should cut your vegetables few minutes before you plan to cook them. However, since it isn't possible to do that every time for practical purposes, here are a few ways in which you can store your cut vegetables and keep their nutrients intact, at least to a certain extent.

Leafy greens

If you want to store spinach, fenugreek or coriander in your refrigerator make sure that you separate the leaves from the stem before refrigeration. Ensure that you remove dead or wilted leaves from the fresh ones. Don't wash the leaves if you are planning to store them. Instead, wrap them in a paper towel to keep their moisture intact. In case you don't have a paper towel, wrap your greens in a thin cotton cloth. Cotton wrap will help your greens retain moisture and allow air circulation too. However, ensure that you use your greens within two days of refrigeration. In case of coriander, avoid stocking piles of it in the fridge and get fresh stock more often. Know how leafy green vegetables can help you fight constipation.

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Root vegetables

Most root vegetables like potatoes, radish and carrots lose their texture and change colour when cut and kept aside for too long. Their moisture evaporates readily making them dry and almost tasteless. To store potatoes, carrots, beets and radish in the refrigerator, cut them into slices and put them into a bowl containing water. Cover it loosely and refrigerate it. Keep in mind you can store them for up to one day in the fridge. Alternatively, you can also wrap the cut vegetables in a moist paper towel or a thin cotton cloth and put them in fridge. Remember not to lock them up in an airtight container as it can rob the cut vegetables of their natural moisture. Here are five reasons to eat more potatoes.

Cruciferous vegetables

Cauliflower and broccoli don't lose their moisture soon after being cut. However, they are sensitive and absorbent of flavours when kept in the refrigerator. Cauliflower should be stored in an airtight container as soon as they are cut. Store broccoli in netted pouches to allow them to breathe. In case of cabbage, cut and store it in plastic bags to refrigerate. Know how cauliflowers can protect your kidneys.

Beans

Wash and cut beans and allow them to dry for a while. Put them in a plastic bag and refrigerate them. You can also keep beans in an airtight container. Here is how to cook non-gassy beans.

Onions

Store onions in an airtight container soon after it is cut and diced. However make sure that you use the cut and peeled onions within one day after refrigeration. Here are five health benefits of onions you should know.

Gourd

Both bottle gourd and bitter gourd can lose their moisture when kept in the refrigerator for too long. The best way to store them is to wrap them in a moist paper towel or a thin cotton cloth. Alternatively, you can keep them in a porous vessel with a lid covering it. Here are six amazing health benefits of bitter gourd.

Eggplant

When cut and sliced, eggplant tends to turn brown or black due to rapid oxidation. Sprinkle salt and turmeric over it or a few drops of lemon juice to prevent it from discolouration.

Peppers

Cut and slice green, yellow and red pepper and put them in a plastic bag or an airtight container. Remember, wrapping them in a moist paper towel or a wet cloth could make it turn slimy.

Raw banana or plantain

Cut them into small pieces and dip them in a vessel containing water, salt and turmeric powder. You can store suran or jimikand the same way.

Pumpkin

Cut and dice pumpkins and place them in an airtight jar and store it in the freezer.

Peas

To store peas the right way, put them in an airtight container and refrigerate. Peas can be stored for more than six months if stored appropriately.

Drumsticks

Cut drumsticks into pieces and store them in an airtight container. They stay for up to a week in the fridge without losing their nutrient value. Here are eight health benefits of drumstick you should know.

Garlic

Chopped garlic can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge, however, use it within two days after refrigeration.

Ginger

Remove the skin and cut ginger into pieces. Keep the pieces in an airtight container and use it within five days to reap its nutritional benefits.

Tomatoes

This is one vegetable that you don't need to cut and store. Tomatoes will lose all its moisture and water content when refrigerated after being cut into pieces. Store whole tomatoes in the fridge and chop them as and when needed. Here are six reasons why you should be eating more tomatoes.

Okra or brinjal

Like tomatoes avoid storing okra in the fridge when cut. It makes them slimy and messy.

Image source: Getty Images


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