Food Preservation & Storage
- Beets- Trim beet tops to one-half inch to reduce wilting. Store in refrigerator in plastic bags up to two weeks. Beets can be stored two to four months in cold, humid cellar or pit. Maintain at 32-40 degrees F and 90 to 95 percent relative humidity for best results.
- Carrots- Remove the green tops before storing because they increase the respiration rate and draw moisture from the carrots, causing shriveling.
Place carrots in a plastic bag before storing in a refrigerator crisper at 32 to 45 degrees F. Carrots taste best when used within 2 weeks, but the nutritional value will keep for several weeks. Prevent bitterness in carrots by storing them away from apples and other fruits that give off volatile gases (ethylene) while ripening.
- Eggplant- Store as soon as possible in the vegetable compartment of refrigerator at 45 to 50 degrees F. Temperatures below 45 degrees F produce chilling injuries that will appear as 'water-soaked spots.'
- Peppers- Too many peppers? Freeze some. Wash and dry peppers. Remove seeds. Cut up peppers however you like and freeze them in a ziplock bag. Use them all winter long for pizzas, fajitas, etc.
- Sugar Snap Peas- Sugar snap peas can be stored in the vegetable crisper up to 1-3 days and are suitable for freezing, but not canning. Frozen peas keep well up to one year.
- Tomatillos- Fresh ripe tomatillos will keep in the refrigerator for about two weeks. They will keep even longer if the husks are removed and the fruits are placed in sealed plastic bags stored in the refrigerator. They may also be frozen whole or sliced.
- Tomatoes- Freeze tomatoes by cutting out the stem and setting them into a shallow pan or container so that they freeze seperately. Once frozen, you can bag them up together. Before cooking, remove the skin by running the tomatoes under warm water. Frozen tomatoes are best used for soups, stews, and casseroles, as the flesh does not remain firm.
Storage Tips (downloadable .doc)
This past winter I asked you to share your best tips for storing the vegetables and herbs. I promised to compile them and pass them along. Although it may be more cumbersome, I chose to use all the comments even though some are very similar – frequently there’s a slightly different method that may make a difference for you, and I just couldn’t leave out the commentary that sometimes accompanied the tips.