How to Keep Organic Veg Fresh for Longer

At Abundance Wholesome Foods, our vegetables are not treated with food additives or chemicals to extend the shelf life of the produce.

Nature intended you to enjoy the freshness, great taste and nutrient-dense goodness of vegetables, herbs and fruit, and we’re here to make sure we keep it that way! To understand more, read our article: Organic Food – What’s the Big Fuss?

Here are some things to expect when buying organic:

  • The size, colour, texture and form of your organic vegetables may be different from supermarket produce. This is a good thing because it means that the produce is not chemically formed or grown. 
  • Sometimes you may receive the produce straight out of the soil and not washed. This is our way of ensuring a longer shelf life. You will only need to wash your veg just before you cook or eat it.
  • You may find an odd snail or ant in your bag of organic vegetables. Just remove these beauties – they won’t kill you.

Here’s how to keep your organic veg fresh for longer:

Leafy greens

Most leafy greens will show signs of wilting. That’s ok! Simply store in the fridge as they are and when you’re ready to cook just wash the produce and watch it come to life while the water drains.

For leafy greens like parsley or celery, immerse the stems in a jug of water and store in the fridge. Take the amount you need from the bunch, leaving the rest until it is all consumed. You will be able to gauge how long it lasts as the days go by – this varies depending on your fridge temperature. The trick is to avoid your produce retaining excess moisture, which usually is absorbed by a paper towel if wrapped in one.

Herbs

dried herbs

A wet paper towel or tea towel is your best friend when storing herbs. Remove your herbs from the brown bag, wrap them in a moist tea towel and keep them in the fridge. Cotton bags also work well; when they dry out just spritz them with water to moisten again.

Drying or freezing herbs is also a winner for longer keep. Try dried herbs like mint or lemon verbena for teas. Other herbs like rosemary and oregano are great as a dried seasoning, and sage makes for good herb butter for bread and flavouring a variety of dishes.

What can I keep out of the fridge?

Most tubers, like potatoes, do not need to be stored in a fridge, and your pantry or vegetable rack will do just fine.

Cabbages and onions also keep well outside of the fridge, and tomatoes should be stored at room temperature away from direct sunlight and heat.

Alternative storage containers

  • BPA-free, airtight reusable or silicone containers are good for freshness and reuse. 
  • The breathable fabric of organic cotton muslin bags helps keep organic veg fresh for longer.
  • While we promote zero waste, you may still encounter plastic bags. If you haven’t already made your way through the stash in the kitchen drawer, make sure to reuse these bags to store your veggies in the fridge.
  • Organic cotton beeswax wrappers are also great to wrap half-eaten fruits and veggies in when keeping in the fridge.

These are some of our tried-and-tested methods, but please let us know what works for you. Let’s do whatever we can to limit our food waste.

Read more about the South African Organic Sector Organisation (SAOSO) and how they certify organic farms.

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