How to Store Vegetables Without Plastic Bags

How to Store Vegetables Without Plastic Bags

Learn how to store vegetables without plastic bags, it’s simple! Just a few simple swaps in your kitchen will have you on your way to plastic-free.

How to Store Vegetables Without Plastic Bags

Like anything new, learning to store vegetables without plastic bags takes some getting used to. Your fridge will look different at first, and there might be some frustration with which containers fit what. If the tips below don’t work for you, switch it up, and let me know what you discover!

If you haven’t already, invest in some airtight glass containers for storage; I’ve found that on the larger side is better. I also use “flour-sack” style towels (I find the large size works best), and cloth produce bags for storing vegetables.

Keep Vegetables Fresh

The best way to keep vegetables fresh is to not wash them until you are ready to use them. Unwashed veggies stay fresher longer, which creates less waste!

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How to Store Artichokes (and most veggies)

The most effective way to store vegetables without plastic bags, I’ve found, is to wrap them in a damp towel and refrigerate. I like to use flour sack style towels and cloth produce bags, like those linked above. I dampen the towels by running them quickly under cool water. When they get dirty, I just toss them in the wash with the towel load every week. Paper towels are an option here, but since we’re aiming for less waste, I like to use re-usable items.

This is the best way to store carrots, just be sure to cut the tops off to keep them fresher, as they lose moisture through the tops (floppy carrots are dehydrating carrots).

Wrapping in a damp towel is also the best way to store cauliflower, bunches of greens (chard, kale, spinach), bunches of herbs, and heads of lettuce.

Wrapping in a damp towel in the refrigerator is also the best storage method for leeks, scallions, broccoli, beets (separate the greens from the tops), asparagus, celery, and cabbage, cucumbers, and zucchini.

How to Store Snap Peas

The other storage method I use for vegetables is to store in an airtight containers and refrigerate. This goes for green beans, loose-leaf greens as well.

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Humidity for Vegetables

The key for keeping vegetables fresh is to control the humidity in their environment. Most vegetables, like those listed above that I store in a damp towel, like some humidity.

Other items, such as snap peas, green beans, and strawberries, prefer a dry environment, such as an airtight container.

Traditionally, crisper drawers are meant for high humidity. Every fridge will be a bit different. I tend not to use my crisper drawer for much, because when everything is piled in there, wrapped in towels, I forget about it.

Watch the Video for How to Store Vegetables without Plastic Bags

how to store vegetables without plastic bags

Leave Tomatoes on the Counter at a Cool Temperature

If they start to soften too much, refrigerate. However, know that a refrigerated tomato will have a mushier texture, making them better for sauces and stews, rather than eating fresh.

Store potatoes, sweet potatoes, and onions in the pantry (cool, dark, dry place)

If potatoes and sweet potatoes are refrigerated, they will get sweeter. I only do this if I absolutely have to, but prefer to keep them in the pantry.

 

Check out my Zero Waste and Kitchen Storage Boards on Pinterest for more plastic-free storage ideas!


2 thoughts on “How to Store Vegetables Without Plastic Bags”

    • Hi Marilee! I’ll do a separate post for fruit, but usually for strawberries I put them in a glass container (unwashed) with a lid. Make sure to remove any that have any bad or mushy spots though, because they will make others go bad!

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