Apr 23, 2020

Due to the current pandemic, more people have started incorporating vegetables to their diet as an immunity booster. However, these vegetables wouldn’t really help you ensure that your health is kept in good condition if they’ve already started rotting, would they?

Since most people are stocking up their pantries just in case, here are some vegetables with long shelf lives (if handled and stored properly) which you can consider buying on your next trip to the market.

Onion

vegetable shelf-life

Onions are a good source of vitamin C, vitamin B6, potassium and folate, as well as dietary fiber, calcium and iron. A rich antioxidant, onions are also low in sodium and calories and contain no fat.

It must be stored in a dry and well-ventilated area and must not be exposed to direct sunlight or other heat sources. A lack of air circulation will also reduce its shelf life, so avoid wrapping or placing raw onion in plastic. Raw onion (except the green onion variant) should also not be refrigerated, as this takes away its flavor and will only make them prone to mold.

You can, however, seal chopped onions in plastic bags and containers if you will put them in the refrigerator to extend its shelf life.

Onions must also be stored alone, as it might affect the shelf life and cause discoloration among other produce, especially potatoes and those that release moisture. Due to its strong odor, it must also be kept away from items like apples and pears—whose smell it can also absorb in return.

Garlic

vegetable shelf life

Garlic is rich in vitamin C, vitamin B6, thiamin, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, copper and manganese. Just like onions, garlic can make your food flavorful without having you worry about calories.  

Although a bulb lasts for around half a year if stored well, its shelf life decreases once it is broken down into cloves. Proper storage for garlic is also similar to that of onions, as both consider moisture and light as their biggest enemies because these make them prone to mold.

Moreover, refrigerating raw garlic will also cause it to grow sprouts which will make it taste bitter. Peeled or chopped garlic, on the other hand, can be stored in the refrigerator as long as they are put in an airtight container.

Keeping garlic around other vegetables for storage is okay even if it is also a root bulb.

Cabbage

vegetable shelf life

Cabbages are packed with nutrients—including various vitamins like vitamin C, thiamine, niacin, and folate as well as numerous antioxidants like lutein, choline and beta-carotene. It is also a rich source of dietary fiber, calcium, magnesium and potassium and has low-calorie content.

Unlike the first two vegetables, cabbages are better stored in a cold and moist place. However, when it comes to long-term storage, they must be kept away from other produce because of the gas it emits.

Potato

vegetable shelf life

Widely available, potatoes are a staple that contain numerous nutritional benefits. It is rich in carbohydrates, fiber, starch vitamins C and vitamin B6, potassium, manganese and antioxidants.

As mentioned above, potatoes should be kept away from onions and other produce that emit gas, as it will cause potatoes to rot more quickly.

Potatoes also prefer cool, dark and dry places with good ventilation. In order to prevent sprouts from growing on potatoes, they must be stored away from light.

[READ: 5 foods you shouldn’t refrigerate (and how to store them properly)]

Sitaw/green beans 

vegetable shelf life

This inexpensive vegetable which we often find in dishes like sinigang is packed with vitamins A, B, C and K, copper, magnesium and protein. Aside from being a good source of fiber and starch, it is also free from fat, sodium and cholesterol.

Proper storage of this vegetable includes placing it inside a plastic bag or resealable container and refrigerating it afterward. Moreover, it is not advisable to wash or trim them unless you will be cooking them immediately because cutting the beans may reduce its shelf life.

Mung beans/monggo

vegetable shelf life

Despite their small size, mung beans are actually packed with many vitamins and minerals. Aside from being rich in protein, fiber and antioxidants, it contains potassium, magnesium, folate, fiber and vitamin B6.

Proper storage of these beans is as simple as putting them inside airtight containers or jars which should be kept in a cool, dark place. Once cooked, ensure that moisture will be kept out from the containers, so when refrigerating mung beans, one must never leave its container open. 

Pumpkin/kalabasa

vegetable shelf life

Often recommended for keeping your eyes healthy, pumpkin is a great source of beta-carotene which is converted to vitamin A upon consumption, minerals including calcium, potassium and magnesium, as well as vitamins E, C and B.

Whole pumpkins must be stored in a cool and dark place with proper ventilation. Placing them directly on the floor, especially those that are cemented, is also not recommended. Meanwhile, pumpkins that are already cut can be stored for longer shelf life by wrapping them in cling wrap and refrigerating.

[READ: For the healthy and the picky: Easy meriendas you can make with squash]

Carrots

vegetable shelf life

An excellent source of vitamin A through beta-carotene, carrots are also enriched with several B vitamins, vitamin K and potassium.

Like potatoes, carrots are sensitive to the gas that some produce like onions emit, so it is best to keep them away from those. To make them last longer, the tops should be cut off as soon as possible since these draw moisture away from the carrot. Because of this, they are also best left unwashed until you’re about to actually cook them.

Radish/labanos

vegetable shelf life

Radishes are loaded with dietary fiber, as well as vitamins A, C, E, B6, potassium, phosphorus and zinc. They are also rich in antioxidants and anthocyanins, which makes them good for the heart. 

Radishes share the same proper storage instructions as carrots. Their tops (green part) must be cut off to ensure freshness for a longer period of time. Aside from storing them in a plastic bag accompanied by a paper towel to absorb moisture, another way to make them last longer is by pickling them.

 

Header photo by ja ma on Unsplash

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Read more:

Low-cost immune-boosting food you can easily find in your backyard

Grow your own food—if not from seeds then from scraps

Easy meriendas you can make with sweet potatoes

 

TAGS: cabbage carrots garlic kalabasa monggo onion potato pumpkin radish sitaw vegetable vegetable shelf life