What’s the Best Way to Store Vegetables Without the Refrigerator?

Vegetables are an important part of the everyday diet. They can be eaten separately or thrown into a recipe with meat, stew, coup or just about anything else. Given the nutritional content of vegetables, it’s important for our bodies to keep them as whole as possible.

Veggies start to lose their nutritional value immediately after they are picked. The veggie will continue to lose some nutrients regardless of how you store it. In some cases, your fridge might be packed or you may want to try storing vegetables without the use of the cooling refrigerator.  

Storing vegetables outside of the fridge depends on the type of vegetable. Plastic zip lock bags can be helpful to an extent. The goal is also to retain most of the nutritional value while keeping the vegetable from experiencing too much oxygen.

Why else without the refrigerator?

The refrigerator and general coolness takes the flavor away from some veggies like potatoes, onions, and tomatoes. Have you noticed how none of these vegetables tend to be in the cooling section of your grocery’s produce section? That’s because they don’t really need cooling.

Store these vegetables in a way that let’s them breathe a bit. The mesh bags for onions and potatoes are indeed designed to keep them fresh and tasty for longer. Simply keeping them in the bag in a cool, dry place is sufficient to keep them fresh for a while. 

Eating these vegetables before they start to soften is also essential. After being picked, they are losing their nutritional value. 

Storing greens without a refrigerator

Salads and other recipes are great with crispy lettuce. Fresh cilantro goes very well with tacos, nachos and many other options. Talking about tacos, learn how to reheat tacos without destroying the flavor.. Storing your leftover salad or the stalks of cilantro before use doesn’t need to be complicated or a challenge. 

Refrigeration also isn’t essential in this case. Green leaves lose their freshness quickly almost regardless of where you put them. Rather than storing them in the fridge, try something else.

Put your leftover salad or extra pieces of cilantro (amongst other veggies intended as a flavoring) in a zip lock bag with a small amount of air. You don’t necessarily want these to dry out and brown, and don’t want them getting overly cold and losing their crisp texture. A zip lock bag gives a fine balance of these options – just use them soon for the best effect.

Use bins to store veggies without refrigeration

Bins are amongst your best options for storing veggies without a fridge. Find bins that have removable lids so you can have the flexibility of air flow. Bins are also a great way of keeping an eye on your veggies on a daily basis which should be necessary both if the veggies are stored in the fridge or not.

Bins are also fairly cheap and do a good job protecting veggies from other items that could bruise them by rolling.

Letting veggies ripen without refrigeration

Some veggies like tomatoes can still ripen, which actually often requires some darkness. Veggies like tomatoes or even avocados can be placed in a cool, dry tube sock or wrap them in paper towels to collect excess moisture. The socks can also protect sensitive veggies like tomatoes or avocados from getting bruised.

Use foil to store without refrigeration

Some veggies fair well with aluminum foil. Carrots and celery do well in retaining their crispness within foil. Wrap the carrots or celery in foil, but don’t seal the foil. Let some air flow through.

Refrigerate if never before refrigerated

One lesson you might learn the hard way is that once you buy a refrigerated veggie, it will spoil quickly once you take it out of the fridge. The attempt to preserve a vegetable with cool needs to be permanent before eaten.

Lettuce without refrigeration

Lettuce is so easy to bruise that it’s difficult to store. Consider storing in a bin with padding. Also, consider just eating relatively quickly – everyone has their bag of lettuce that’s been in the fridge for a month that no one wants to eat – just eat it!

Broccoli and cauliflower are in the same boat. Don’t buy refrigerated unless you intend to keep refrigerated. Buy fresh cauliflower and keep it in plastic and within a bin. If you have any pieces that look bad, just cut them off.

Summer squash and zucchini

These can last 10 days or longer when properly protected and kept dry. The best part about summer squash and zucchini is that you can use both veggies in a dish even after it starts to go bad. Just bake them!

Any disadvantages to storing outside the fridge

Vegetables stored outside the fridge will ripen quickly. If you purchased veggies that need ripening right away, store them outside the fridge. That said, if you want to slow down the ripening process, store them in the fridge.

Final thoughts

In order to get the best nutritional value and taste out of your veggies, the fridge is not the best. We have offered a few days of storing your veggies in a way that keeps them fresh, crisp, and ready to go. Many options are simply keeping veggies stored in the same way the grocery store sells them.