Storage of Fruits and Vegetables

Storage of fruits and vegetables start with the selection of fruits and vegetables that are free of insect damage and close to maturity. Depending on the type of fruit or vegetable, they are stored in cold, moist or dry places.

Asked in Storage of Fruits and Vegetables, Freezing and Drying Food, Onions and Garlic

Can you freeze garlic?

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Sure, as long as you're going to cook it anyway! I have grown garlic for years, and at first I used other storage methods like braiding it, or storing it in a mesh bag. That works fine for six months, but after that it either rots or withers up. But two years ago, I broke the bulbs into cloves, put them in a freezer bag, and waited to see what would happen. The result? The flavor is almost perfectly preserved, but the texture becomes much like other frozen vegetables. The flesh is still firm but translucent. It keeps in the freezer for many months. I did not peel the cloves before freezing, which protected against freezer burn; I just broke up the bulbs and left things the way they were. To sum up, frozen garlic tastes great, and is fine for roasts, soups, spaghetti sauce or other cooked foods. And oh yes, frozen garlic is much, much easier to peel! Yes Yes you can freeze garlic. I get the big container of the fresh peeled garlic at Costco and I place it on a baking sheet and drizzle with Extra Virgin Olive Oil and bake at 350 degrees until golden brown and soft. I blend it in the food processor until it is a paste and place small amounts in those little snack size zip-lock baggies and place in the freezer. This is great for all kinds of recipes. Yes, but... Why on earth would you want to freeze garlic? If you have a huge crop of it in your garden, give some away. If you practise the false economy of buying fresh foods on 'special' and keeping them for a rainy day, don't. The only reason to freeze fresh foods is if you live a long, long way from civilization and make only sporadic trips to the stores. Otherwise, buy just as much garlic in your weekly grocery shop as you think you'll need. If you've a few cloves over that are starting to sprout, stick them in your garden. Actually... No, when certain compounds in garlic get below 35 they denature. The garlic will not taste the same. It will be harsher than fresh garlic. Some people don't mind and they use refrigerated or frozen garlic but most really picky cooks feel the time spent preping fresh garlic for each recipe is worth the more complex flavour. Sure - I do it all the time, with oil I spend no more than half an hour every six months or so peeling 250g garlic as soon as I buy it, while it is still crisp and fresh. Press each clove with a knife to make it easier to peel. Then peel them, and then chop them up just a bit and put them through a blender with about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of olive oil. It makes a nice smooth mush which I then store in a jar with a good lid, and place in the freezer door for easy access. It can be prised out with a knife in suitable chunks quite easily and thaws in no time. There is absolutely no waste. Prior to trying this, most of my garlic went limp and started sending out shoots before I could use it. PLS NOTE: A lot of websites warn that storing garlic in oil can cause botulism. So be very cautious about doing it. As with most seasonings and vegetables, freezing in air tight containers or plastic wrap for a few weeks at a time should have no ill effects. However, it would be best to leave the garlic in clove form, minced or chopped garlic should be ok if not too moist at the time of freezing (helping with freezer-burn / off taste.) And as with onions, Arm & Hammer helps keep garlic odors down.
Asked in Food & Cooking, Storage of Fruits and Vegetables

How long does it take for an onion to go bad?

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Depending on the climate conditions, onions can stay good for several months. They keep better in cool, dry temperatures in the dark, but are unlikely to last more than a couple of weeks in hot and humid conditions, out in the open and the light.
Asked in Waste and Recycling, Storage of Fruits and Vegetables, Biochemistry, Bananas and Plantains

What effect does a paper bag have on a banana?

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Placing bananas in a paper bag or any other enclosed environment will hasten the ripening process. This is due to the fact that, as a banana ripens, it emits ethylene gas. Ethylene gas is essential in the ripening process. If you place bananas in a bag, the gas concentrates and the ripening process accelerates. Ethylene gas is what banana importers use to accelerate the ripening of bananas prior to sending them to market.
Asked in Food Spoilage, Food Safety, Storage of Fruits and Vegetables

Can unopened jar of mushrooms go bad?

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The mushrooms can go bad IF there is no preserving liquid in it to keep the mushrooms fresh
Asked in Storage of Fruits and Vegetables

Can you freeze leftover canned foods?

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NO if you do you will get aliminium poisoning
Asked in Storage of Fruits and Vegetables, Tomatoes

How long does tomato paste in a tube keep?

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Ask Rachel Ray, she uses it all the time. Although, before using it again, I would squeeze a little out first before using what you need. I would think it would last at least 3 to 4 weeks.
Asked in Storage of Fruits and Vegetables, Strawberries

Can you stop strawberries from rotting?

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No you can't, you can slow it down by keeping it cool or you can put a paper towel over it and it lasts for another 3 days
Asked in Storage of Meats Poultry and Seafood, Storage of Fruits and Vegetables

How long can bananas stay in the freezer and still be good to cook with?

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It could stay in the freezer for about 2 days (2) In New Zealand where bananas are in plentiful supply banana cake is a great favourite. These are usually made with over-ripe bananas with black skins. If we have bananas in the fruit dish that have gone black but we are not ready to make a banana cake we simply freeze the bananas by putting them directly into the freezer unpeeled. They can stay there for months on end before being allowed to thaw and added to a banana cake.
Asked in Storage of Fruits and Vegetables, Potatoes

Can mashed potatoes be frozen?

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Yes. (Frozen dinners often have mashed potatoes in them.) I usually add more liquid to mashed potatoes before I freeze them so they don't get too dry when reheating. Or, you can add a bit more liquid, if needed, when you reheat them. If you whip them well ,then will freeze very well.But doing it with a hand masher;they don'tcome out well when unthawed.Get them nice and light ,and add just enough liquidto bind them .To much liquid and they'll be heavy ,and don't freeze as well.
Asked in Storage of Fruits and Vegetables

Can fresh cherries be frozen?

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Yes, fresh cherries can be stored in the freezer. It is best to pit them first, then store in air tight bag. You can also make a mixture of water, sugar and lemon juice and add to cherries before freezing.
Asked in Storage of Fruits and Vegetables, Pumpkins

Can you freeze pumpkin?

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I have a neighbor who did it, it turned out ok, wasn't the best tasting though. Pumpkin freezes best if cooked. Either cook the chunks first, or cook and puree, before freezing, depending on how you plan to use it.
Asked in Food Spoilage, Storage of Fruits and Vegetables, Freezing and Drying Food, Mushrooms

Can you freeze fresh mushrooms?

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Yes they can be frozen. Pack them in baggies of water to keep the from getting freezer burnt. You can keep them for up to a year.
Asked in Food Spoilage, Storage of Fruits and Vegetables, Food Canning

How long does canned homemade jam last?

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Answer: In short, a very, very long time. Ideally, jam will be heat sealed into an air-tight container. This means that bacteria will lack the air it needs to reproduce, and it will be in an unfavorable Ph range due to the massive levels of sugar involved. Also, the fact that the jam was heated, very hot for a long period of time, would have killed any existing bacteria. The only bacteria that would be present would have been introduced between the time that the jam was cooled to below 65 degrees centigrade (about 150 Fahrenheit), and the time it was placed into the jar. So assuming that the jam was jarred properly, this food will be safe to eat and although it may possibly taste unpleasant (and it probably won't), it won't present a health risk. Answer: Jam can last for years in the right conditions. If home-made, sterilising the jars is very important, so make sure you sterilise everything really well. You need to put grease-proof paper on top of the jam before you put on the lids… directly onto the top surface to prevent any mold forming. The sugar is a preservative! My Nan used to make jam and chutney for all of us every year. It was never stored in a fridge, just in a cool, dark place. It can be stored for up to 2 years or even more if the sterilizing process and storage is good. Just boil the jars, make the jam, then heat the jars up again and pour the hot jam into the hot jars, lid them and wait till they pop. We haven't had any problems with this way. Answer: I am currently eating apple jelly which is over ten years old, and is still good. That should give you some idea. I've had strawberry and raspberry jam last five years easily.
Asked in Cooking Techniques, Storage of Fruits and Vegetables, DIY Projects, Potatoes

How far in advance can you peel potatoes to make mashed potaotes?

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You will have several days after peeling the potatoes to cook them, but only if you keep them submerged in water and refridgerated. This isn't recommended for non-commercial uses but many restaurants (even the four star ones) do this ahead of time to save some time, also they have the space and equipment to manage this easily. Remember, the longer you soak the raw potatoes, the more nutrients you lose.
Asked in Storage of Fruits and Vegetables, Tomatoes

What is the shelf life of canned tomatoes?

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Home canned goods can be safely kept until the lid starts to rust or the seal is broken, but really should be used before the next harvest. Commercially canned stuff usually carries a best-by date. I wouldn't use it much past 6 months later.
Asked in Food Spoilage, Storage of Meats Poultry and Seafood, Storage of Fruits and Vegetables

How long can yogurt be kept at room temperature before going bad?

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Some people would consider the risk of bacteria in food being left out too great to risk eating after one hour. Open Yogurt will separate after 4 hours, and will spoil after 12 hrs at room temp. Yogurt, though, is produced with bacteria, changing its spoilage dynamic. If it is still sealed, for example, uncontaminated yogurt has a much longer safe longevity*. However even then you are risking at least indigestion from the higher concentration of bacteria. If it separates in the container, however, that is a sign it has probably been contaminated, or was not an ideal bacterial mix to begin, and should not be eaten regardless how long it was at room temp. *Personal experience having eaten yogurt that at different occasions was; 6 months expired, left in a hot car for 1 day, and left in a backpack at room temperature for 2 days; with the only side effects being a change of texture with the hot car, and indigestion from the backpack yogurt. Room temperature is possibly the least safe of the three, based on that.