One of the most rewarding parts of gardening is the harvest. Because of this, I quickly realized that just as important as having food is making it last. So whether you’re growing your own or buying up things on sale, or just trying to have a great stock of fresh food, let’s explore best practices for fresh food cold storage and how to make produce last as long as possible!
When we’re not harvesting our own garden, we are getting Misfits Market and Imperfect Foods and saving it up. Learn more about what we think here from one of our other sites: https://karacarrero.com/misfits-market-imperfect-foods-family-comparison/
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- Both of our families save 25% off our next order with code COOKWME-BZ3IRQ. Copy and paste it in the coupon section at misfitsmarket.com.
- We both get $10 off our next order if you use this link :]
The Best Fruits and Veggies for Cold Storage
When storing fruits and vegetables, it’s important to know what the ideal conditions are to make them last the longest. In fact, under the right temperatures and humidity, you can get food to stay in your home for half the year or more if you don’t eat it right away.
Here are some of our favorites and how long they can last; but first a few definitions to make sure we have addressed cold storage for beginners!
- Cold – approximately 32 degrees or slightly higher.
- Cool – Typically between forty and fifty degrees.
- Warm – Around 55 degrees.
- Moist – around 95% humidity
- Dry – On average this is 65% humidity
Apples – cold, moist conditions – between 2 and 6 months
Beets – cold, moist conditions – between 3 and five months
Cabbage – cold, moist conditions – up to 6 weeks
Carrots – cold, moist conditions – between 4 and 5 months
Celery – cold, moist conditions – between 3 to 4 months
Celery Root – cold, moist conditions – up to 2 months
Garlic – cool, dry conditions – 6 months
Grapes – cold, moist conditions – up to 6 weeks
Hot Peppers – warm, dry conditions – 6 months
Onions – cool, dry conditions – 6 months
Parsley – cold, moist conditions – 2 months
Parsnips – cold, moist conditions – up to 6 months
Pears – cold, moist conditions – up to 7 months
Potatoes – cold or cool, moist conditions – 9 months!!
Pumpkins – warm, dry conditions – 3 months
Radishes – cold, moist conditions – 3 months
Winter Squashes – warm, dry conditions – 6 months
Sweet Potatoes – warm, dry conditions – 6 months
Other methods to preserve and eat produce:
Fermenting: what and why?
Almost any veggies and even fruits can be fermented. It’s a great way to make sure that you’re getting some healthy bacteria into your family’s system, but also a way to ensure your food goes even further.
We do lots of cabbage and crisp veggies, adding in bay leaf to keep that crisp-ness. And while this is not my video, here’s a YouTube video all on the ins-and outs if you want to try it.
Dehydrate fruits and herbs
Especially things like apples and pears, just dip slices into lemon juice and dehydrate for a day or two depending on how thick your slices are. They make really tasty chip snacks and there’s nothing to them.
Similarly you can use an air fryer or oven to dry out potatoes, fruits, and herbs to make them last through the winter season or when you know you won’t be leaving the house.
Can your favorite foods
It’s WAY easier than most people think. If you’re putting acidic food in jars like tomatoes, all you need is a a large pot with lid and canning jars. If you have a pressure canner… no, not an instant pot… then you can stock up things like broth and base veggies. I highly recommend going straight to the ball site for recipes and instructions. Even a small pressure canner that holds 2-6 jars is sufficient to make this work!