Should you keep vegetables in the fridge or in a cupboard?

Vegetables in front of open fridge door
Going to the grocery store is becoming more and more exciting thanks to the wide variety of vegetables available. In summer as well as in winter, the selection is extensive, and as a result the consumer has a lot of choice when it comes to preparing recipes with them at home. However, the ready availability of these vegetables sometimes prompts us to buy a little too much of them, which leads to waste. We know that storing vegetables can be a hassle, so here are a few tips to help choose wisely and minimize food waste.

Some veggies prefer being stored in the fridge
All homes and families are now equipped with an electric refrigerator, the modern replacement of a cold room or vegetable cellar. Contrary to popular belief, not all vegetables should be stored in this indispensable appliance. The fact is its cool environment isn’t appropriate for all vegetables. It is true, though, that most vegetables will keep much longer when kept in a cold environment. For instance, the shelf life of leafy vegetables such as lettuce, kale and spinach are extended if they are placed in the refrigerator. Beets, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, carrots and peppers prefer the comfort of the crisper. Unlike other members of its family, zucchini keeps better in the crisper. Also, to maximize the shelf life of your asparagus, it is best to place it upright in a jar with two or three centimetres of water. 

Before placing a vegetable in the refrigerator, it’s essential to rinse and dry it properly to discourage mould formation. Mushrooms are an exception to the rule since they must not be in contact with water, otherwise they will become soft and unappetizing. 

And other veggies prefer being stored in a cupboard 
In addition to potatoes, onions and garlic, many other vegetables prefer a cool but temperate environment such as a cupboard or the basement of your home. However, be careful! Onions should not be near or in contact with potatoes, because the gases produced by these two vegetables accelerate their respective spoilage. 

Root vegetables keep better in a cool, dry and dark place. The same goes for sweet potatoes and rutabaga. Conversely, squashes such as pumpkin, butternut squash, spaghetti squash and the like should be stored in a dry and well-ventilated place where the temperature is between 15 and 20 degrees Celsius, once they are clean and dry. There's no need to store them in the dark. Just make sure to lay them out so that they don't touch each other and ensure their stalks are pointing upwards. In the best conditions, they'll keep for three to six months, so you can cook hearty vegetable dishes and meals all winter long.

Other vegetable preservation methods
Over the years, various vegetable preservation methods have been passed down and new ones have emerged. Our grandmothers' traditional canning technique makes it possible to store vegetables in the cupboard for one to two years. Provided they are blanched beforehand, vegetables will stay fresh for up to a year in the freezer. Finally, for many years now, the Tupperware brand of containers has marketed its famous FridgeSmart, intelligent fruit and vegetable containers that allow you to prolong the freshness of your food in the refrigerator significantly.

Finally, to avoid fresh vegetables spoilage and reduce food waste, remember that vegetables can be used to make delicious soups or smoothies! As a last resort, use the least appetizing vegetables to make your own homemade vegetable broth! At Artisans des Saveurs, we grow our vegetables with care and are dedicated to providing you with quality food, so that you can enjoy unparalleled freshness and optimal storage time once they leave the field for your home!