Ways to Store Vegetables for Months Without a Refrigerator
Although the fridge enables enjoyment of fresh fruits and vegetables in summer after storage for several days, it has its limitations. You cannot cram indefinite amounts of foodstuffs inside a fridge with the expectation that they will last for months if not weeks. Foods kept inside freezers and refrigerators for more than three months lose their flavor while their nutritional value decreases significantly. Fortunately, there are some ways to store vegetables and fruits for month without refrigerator.
You always have to dispose of all the food you had stored inside your refrigerators whenever power failures last more than a day. It is even more painful if you had invested your effort, time, and funds to grow and harvest your crops.
Vegetable and fruit storage
It is not always right to use your fridge for stockpiling food, especially since it does not always keep foodstuff fresh for longer. Instead, a refrigerator can make foods mushy, mealy, or even inedible, particularly when it comes to fruits and vegetables. To keep some foods at their best, it is advisable to keep them out of your fridge. For instance:
• The cold blacken banana skins, ripening this type of fruit before time while making them mushy. It also makes tomatoes mealy and dull.
• Stone fruits such as peaches, apricots, plums, and nectarines usually ripen at room temperature. The cold temperature of a fridge provides an unsuitable condition.
• The cold also breaks down the starches in potatoes, making them gritty and overly sweet.
• Onions are usually made moldy and mushy while garlic loses its flavor due to the humidity in refrigerators
• You should store whole melons such as watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew at room temperature before cutting them to keep the antioxidants at their most potent.
How You Can Store Vegetables for Months without A Refrigerator
Vegetables can be efficiently stored in the garden. For some, you only need to keep them conveniently in the ground, digging them up during winter. One method of preserving fruits and vegetables during winter is by drying, pickling, and canning. According to some records, such methods have been in use for over 40,000 years. You can leave salsify, parsnips, and kale to freeze in the ground, only covering them with about six inches of straw for protection. Using plastic to cover the beds provides protection from rains in winter and late fall.
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Some fruits and vegetables endure cold weather, making it possible to preserve them in the ground throughout winter. These include salsify, Jerusalem artichokes, kale, collards, Brussels sprouts, and parsnips. However, this method of storage excludes regions where the climatic conditions are most severe.
Basement or root cellar
You can also store vegetables in your basement or root cellar since they provide proper ventilation, cool temperatures, and high levels of humidity. This is also convenient since most homes have a basement or cellar that can stay cool during winter if not afforded a heating system.
You can always arrange and improve the conditions of a basement or root cellar to suit the storage of crops. Ensure you provide sufficient ventilation since vegetables and fruits create ethylene gasses which can cause rapid rotting. Construct an insulated closet next to the window and keep your products on wooden shelves while remembering to provide a lot of air circulation. The air also needs to circulate beneath the products.
The vegetables and fruits will dry out if your storage area is low in humidity. Filling up a container with water and allowing it to evaporate gradually while the container sits on the floor ensures humidity levels stay high.
You can substitute the insulated closet with wooden crates or cardboard boxes as long as you line them correctly using a thick insulated material. Remember, peat moss and sawdust are both good insulators since they regulate humidity perfectly. While humidity needs to be high and at about 95 percent, the recommended temperatures are from 32-50 degrees F.
If food is not properly stored, the bacteria that cause food poisoning can quickly multiply to dangerous levels. Thankfully, most root crops such as beets, potatoes, onions, carrots, and leeks, will stay fresh and crisp if kept in a basement or deep cellar. The more delicate types of produce can also stay fresh in basements or cellars, but they need careful handling. As such, the question as to how you can keep our supply of fresh produce for longer periods without using a fridge has an ideal solution.