To store you can wrap it in a damp tea towel, pop in a plastic bag and store in the crisper compartment of your fridge or stand it upright in a container with 1cm cold water, cover and store it in the refrigerator.
This amazing vegetable can also be frozen. Wash the asparagus thoroughly then remove the woody ends. Blanch by bringing a large pot of water to the boil and add the asparagus standing up for 1-2 minutes then remove. Cool quickly by putting them in a large bowl of cold water with ice cubes then drain well on clean tea towels or paper towels. Transfer to freezer bags, secure and label with date. They can be kept up to 8 months.
To ripen an avocado naturally pop it into a paper bag with an apple, pear or banana outside of the fridge and in 2 to 4 days it will be ripe. Or pop it on top of the apple bowl. When it is ripe put it into the fridge.
Don’t sit bananas on top of other fruit or that fruit just won’t last the distance.
If you wish to dry basil then hang bunches of stems up to air dry in a warm room, this should take about a week. Once the leaves are dried you can remove them from the stems and then store them in a dry airtight container for up to 12 months. To prevent dust from collecting on the drying leaves place inside a paper bag with the end cut off then hang.
BEANS, BROCCOLI & SWEETCORN
Some vegetables need to be kept out of moist environments and beans are one that prefer air circulation. They are known as Medium breathers. Put them in a container but leave one end of the lid up so air can flow in. The beans will last for over a week that way. Both broccoli and sweetcorn like plenty of air circulation but don’t want to dry out.
Store unwashed fresh beans pods in a plastic bag kept in the refrigerator crisper. Freeze your beans by cutting in short lengths, similar to julienne style, then blanching in hot water for 3 minutes, let cool and then bag up. Use scissors to cut your beans (top and tail and store so they are ready to use).
On the other hand, some stored vegetables like a moist environment. The refrigerator can dry out the vegetables. Ever wondered why they become flippy floppy in the crisper? Without humidity they will quickly shrivel and lose quality. Place those vegetables in a polyethylene bag and make 1cm holes in the sides of the bag to allow for ventilation.
Carrots like to be in a closed moist environment and will stay firm if you pop them into a bag – not the crisper.
Lettuce are medium breathers and like a half open/half closed atmosphere.
There are three methods of long term storage of garlic - to dry, freeze or pickle. In order to keep the ‘garlic smell’ alive the only method is drying.
In the recipes we have: How to make Your Own Garlic Powder, How to Dry Garlic, How to freeze Garlic, and How to Pickle Garlic. Have you seen garlic change colour? When garlic is put into vinegar it can turn blue or green because the PH in vinegar changes the pigments in the cut garlic.
How to Make Your Own garlic Powder
Drying garlic is an easy and safe way to keep garlic indefinitely. Choose cloves with no bruises. You
will need a food dehydrator which cost around $100 or you can dry the garlic in your oven. Make drying racks by stretching cheesecloth over the oven racks and securing it with toothpicks. Place the garlic on the racks and turn the oven to 60C for two hours, then lower it to 54C until the garlic is completely dry and crisp.
Peel the garlic cloves. Slice the garlic thinly. A food processor works well. Dry the garlic until crisp.
Dried garlic may be stored at room temperature in an airtight container. If you store the dried garlic in the freezer in the form of flakes, and then grind it close to the time when you will be using the garlic it will keep its amazing freshness for more than a year.
Grind the garlic. A blender gives you a mixture of powder and granules which you can separate using a fine and a coarse sieve. A coffee grinder not used for coffee is good for turning garlic flakes into powder.
If you decide to cure some of your garlic just hang it by the leaves in a dry warm and well-ventilated
space like your kitchen or attic. Dry and ventilated air is important to prevent mould, and fungus. The warmer it is, the quicker the garlic will cure. For example, a 25-27C environment will cure your garlic in 2 weeks. Under cooler conditions, it may take 4-6 weeks. When cured, the stem will be dried out and the skin around the bulb feels like ricepaper. Then once the tops and roots have dried they can be cut off and remove the outer skins without exposing the cloves. Store your garlic in a cool, well ventilated area. Avoid the fridge.
Garlic can be frozen in a number of ways.
• Chop the garlic, wrap it tightly in a plastic freezer bag or in plastic wrap, and freeze. To use just
grate or break off the amount needed.
• Freeze the garlic unpeeled and remove cloves as needed. Peel the cloves and puree them with
oil in a blender or food processor using 2 parts oil to 1 part garlic. The puree will stay soft enough
in the freezer to scrape out parts to use in sautéing. Freeze this mixture immediately - do not
store it at room temperature. The combination of the low-acid garlic, the exclusion of air (by
mixing with oil), and room-temperature storage can support the growth of Clostridium botulinum.
Storing garlic in wine or vinegar
Peeled cloves may be submerged in wine or vinegar and stored in the refrigerator. A dry white or red
wine is suggested; white or wine vinegars also work well. The garlic/liquid should be kept for about 4
months in the refrigerator. Discard both the cloves and the liquid if there are signs of mould or yeast
growth on the surface of the wine or vinegar. The garlic-flavoured liquid and the garlic cloves may be
used to flavour dishes. Do not store the garlic/liquid mixture at room temperature because it will rapidly develop mould growth.
Extreme care must be taken when preparing flavoured oils with garlic or when
storing garlic in oil.
Fresh garlic and oil are a dangerous combination if left at room temperature. Because of garlic’s low
acidity and oil’s lack of oxygen, they can cause botulism toxin to develop. The same hazard exists for roasted garlic stored in oil. However, peeled cloves of garlic can be added to oil and stored in the freezer for several months.
Commercially prepared garlic in oil contains a preservative to increase the acidity of the mixture and
keep it safe. To make garlic-flavoured oil at home, add dehydrated garlic to olive oil in a wide mouth jar,screw on the lid, and place the jar in the refrigerator. If the olive oil turns solid, just spoon it out. Be careful, however, to always use a dry spoon.
To keep herbs use a ventilated bag with a slightly moistened towel or pop them in a glass of water standing in the fridge.
Kohlrabi – Korean Radish
Store it in a cool, dark place, with plenty of circulating air and not in the fridge as the dampness will turn it mouldy. Keeps 1 to 2 weeks.
If you want to save a lime before they spoil, squeeze the juice into an ice-cube tray,
and then transfer the frozen juice cubes to a plastic bag. Freshly squeezed juice
may be frozen for up to four months.
Mung bean sprouts (silver sprouts) come from the sprouted seeds of the mung bean plant. Store the bean sprouts in the refrigerator. Sprouts are a high percentage of water, so when they go slimy, they are gone. They need to be rinsed with water often and kept in a cool place and this will prolong the lifespan.
VALENCIA - “I’m sweet, I’m green’ I’m an Aussie?” That’s right - a Valencia. The green outside is nature’s sunscreen and that means they are juicy as they have been left on the tree to absorb the energy of the sun and ripen naturally. It’s ripe and ready to eat when like this.
To ripen, store the green-skinned pears at room temperature for three to seven days to ripen. When ripe, store in a plastic bag in the fridge for up to three days. The Packham pear is ready to eat when it yields to gentle pressure near the stem.
It should be eaten when firm but well-coloured in its orange stage as the tannin content is greatly reduced, having turned from green in colour. It then turns from yellowish-orange to orange-red when ripe. They are very sweet and creamy and slightly spicy. Surprisingly, persimmons stored in the fridge will deteriorate faster than if stored at room temperature and are ethylene sensitive, so to ripen store them near ethylene-producing fruit such as apples or bananas.
Like an apple you can eat it when it is hard and crispy, but if you want it sweet then wait until it slightly softens but don't wait till it over-ripens as it will turn to mush. So you do not need to peel the skin as it is edible but just don't eat the seeds.
Store them at room temperature until they soften a little, although you’ll find they taste great even when still crisp. Once ripened, store the plums in the fridge.
Store potatoes in burlap, brown paper, or perforated plastic bags away from
Light and onions, in the coolest, non-refrigerated, and well-ventilated part of the house not in an area where this is no air flow such as a cupboard. Under ideal conditions they can last up to three months this way, but more realistically, figure three to five weeks.
Store radish by separating them from their greens. Store the radishes in a plastic bag in the fridge.
To store trim off all leaf material, wrap the stalks in clingwrap and refrigerate. It will last up to 3 weeks.
To freeze, wash, trim and cut stalks into 5cm lengths then blanch in boiling water for 2 minutes, cool quickly in cold water to retain colour and flavour, drain well and pack into containers.
Strawberries should be eaten as soon as possible. Do not wash until you are ready to consume them. If you must store strawberries, place them on a paper towel in a tightly-covered container in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days. Strawberries need to be kept cold in the fridge. When taking them home treat them like milk and dairy and get them to the fridge as soon as you can. Fresh strawberries should last well for 5 days in the fridge.
Grower tip – to get the best flavour we suggest you take strawberries out the fridge 1 hour before eating and allow to warm to room temperature as the cold tends to mask the true flavour.
They may also be frozen whole or in pieces. To freeze, wash and hull, sprinkle with 1/3 cup sugar, and toss gently with your hands. Place in freezer containers or zip-top bags. Use within 1 year.
Sweetcorn like plenty of air circulation but don’t want to dry out.
Tomatoes really shouldn't be stored in the fridge - if they're fresh, they'll last for up to a week in the fruit bowl, and they shouldn't be kept any longer than that. The tart taste of tomatoes is due to a chemical called Linolenic Acid converting to Z-3-Hexenel, and this reaction is disrupted by cold. If you must store tomatoes, bring them out of the fridge for at least an hour before eating to let them warm to room temperature.
Store unripe tomatoes with fruit so that they can ripen – in a paper bag with an apple or banana which releases the ripening agent ethylene gas. Now tomatoes will lose flavour going into the fridge but if the hot weather hits it might be a good idea. Store fruit in the fridge only after they have ripened.
Watercress is made of 93% water so need hydration and perishes quickly if not in water. The rubber bands are for transport only and should be taken off when storing at home as they affect the longevity of the herb.
Rinse and pat dry the watercress with paper towels.
Fill a jar about three-fourths of the way up.
Bunch the watercress together and place the stems in the jar, as you would with flowers. Add water so the stems are fully submerged.
Cover the leaves at the top of the jar with a perforated plastic bag.
Store in the refrigerator for up to four to five days.
You can wrap the stems with a wet cloth instead of putting them in a jar of water, if you prefer but they won’t last as long.
WOMBOK – CHINESE CABBAGE
A versatile vegetable. If you store it in a loose plastic bag in the fridge it stays fresh for weeks.
Keep in a cool place and store without washing first. That will allow the zucchini to last approximately a week without perishing. The cold of the refrigerator can prematurely age it but if there is no cool place outside of the fridge then store in the crisper drawer in a plastic bag and will last about five days.