It ain’t easy being proficient with produce. It’s especially difficult in North America; the weak Canadian dollar has noticeably raised produce prices, and about 40 percent of the food that’s grown and sold in America is thrown out.
So it’s more important than ever to be resourceful and smart if you’re looking to keep your fridge full of fruits and veggies. You want to save money on the increasingly-expensive produce, and not throw it all away a few days after purchase.
To save on groceries, and ensuring that you’ll always have nutritious produce on hand for a healthy dinner, consider these five long-lasting vegetables. Each can last for at least a month, if not longer when stored correctly.
If you still have leftover pumpkins from Halloween…well those are no good. If it were January, then there’d be a decent chance those holiday pumpkins could still be useable.
Fresh pumpkins can last up to four months refrigerated, or three months on your kitchen counter or cool pantry.
Not sure what to do with a pumpkin, besides carving a jack-o-lantern? Try roasting it in the oven with a bit of olive oil, salt, pepper and cumin. It’s a great side dish as is, or cool it off and throw it in a salad for a vitamin A kick.
Amongst the wonderous properties of the stain-friendly food – like being excellent for your teeth and gums – is their ability to last two-to-four months in the fridge.
Remember to cut the greens off the beets if you’re planning on having them for an extended stay in your fridge. Keeping them on will draw the moisture out from the root, which, over time, can impact the flavor, draw out the nutrients and cause the vegetable to shrivel up.
And one cool tidbit to note if you’re a runner or athlete: runners who eat baked beets before a race actually finish faster. The secret? Nitrates, a chemical that helps endurance and lowers blood pressure.
Onions are a staple in so many meals, you’d be foolish not to have emergency onions somewhere in your home. Especially when they’re so easy to manage – put them in a dry area between 30 to 50 degrees, and they’ll last for months.
The best way to enjoy onions is…however you’d like them. They’re extremely flexible. Our favourite? Throwing some fried or caramelized onions on a juicy burger.
A lot of shoppers lean towards baby carrots: they’re easier to cook with, manipulate, and snack on.
Consider the full-sized option the next time you’re in the supermarket. They won’t go bad as quickly, and they’re one of the most cost-efficient vegetables that help lose weight.
Like onions, add carrots to your diet however you see fit. Toss them in salads, stews, or enjoy it solo with some rosemary and olive oil, baked in the oven. Carrots and hummus is a classic snack, too.
It’s not as popular as its other green friends like lettuce or spinach, but the robust cabbage holds its own. Thanks to its much lower water content, it can stay fresh for longer, and is a little heavier than the almost-all-water lettuces. Wrapped in plastic in the fridge can keep a cabbage useable for about two months.
Cabbage’s kryptonite is heat, which neutralizes many of its nutritional superpowers. It’s best to enjoy it raw, like in a sandwich or salad.