Most salad vegetables are stored in a fridge, but some are better suited to a mild environment. Storing cucumbers, tomatoes and onions out of the fridge can increase their life span, therefore saving you money.
Keep cucumbers in a cupboard
The College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences suggests storing cucumbers in a fridge, or temperatures below 10 degrees Celsius for more than three days can result in “cold injury”.
The cucumber in turn increases in “wateriness, pitting and decays faster”.
Instead, it is recommended that cucumbers should be stored in a shaded, cool environment away from direct sunlight.
Based on this advice, it is best to keep cucumbers in a cupboard, rather than the vegetable crisper in the fridge.
A fruit bowl is also an alternative storage solution, but due to the shape of a cucumber, and where a fruit bowl is usually stored, a cupboard is preferred.
To add to this, experts at Food52 say cucumbers should not be stored near fruits such as avocados, tomatoes or melons. This is because such fruits give off ethylene gas as they ripen.
They said: “The cucumbers are more likely to yellow quickly due to the exposure of ethylene gas.
“Although not harmful, ethylene is a gas that is released from fruits and vegetables that causes produce to ripen more quickly.”
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Keep tomatoes at room temperature
Tomatoes are another salad fruit that should be stored at room temperature according to experts.
The Neff Kitchen says refrigeration can “affect the taste, texture and aroma of your tomatoes”.
As for where is best to store tomatoes, Taste of Home suggests they prefer to be kept in a cool, dark place, out of the sunlight.
Sunshine will speed up the ripening of a tomato, and the ethylene gas they omit can ripen other fruit, so a fruit bowl is not recommended.
However, tomatoes stored in the fridge are likely to last a couple of weeks longer than those kept in the cupboard.
Keep onions in a cupboard
According to the National Onion Association (NOA), onions are best stored in a cool, dry, dark and well-ventilated room, such as a pantry, cellar, basement or garage.
This is “because they easily absorb moisture,” Healthline said. “If temperatures or humidity are too high, [onions] may start to sprout or rot.”
If onions are kept in a cupboard or at a cool room temperature, they can last up to a couple of months.
Onions can be stored next to garlic – as they prefer the same environment, and it is recommended to remove onions from the plastic bag they can sometimes be bought in, before putting them away.
Since onions need to breathe, and need well-ventilated spaces, a net or mesh bag is preferred if you want to keep them together in some sort of bag.
Not all onions need to be stored this way, spring onions should be kept in the fridge.
Anything that comes bunched can be placed in an airtight container or bag and then into the crisper drawer in the fridge to elongate the shelf life.
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