Fresh vegetables maintain their highest nutrient content when they are stored whole and then usually in the refrigerator or freezer. By slicing vegetables, you are introducing air, light and heat to the exposed veggies and the nutrient content begins to break down. It is, however, more convenient to slice vegetables and store them properly so that they are available when you want them.
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Store vegetables in airtight containers soon after they are cut up, and place them in the refrigerator. The container will shield the food from oxygen and will slow down oxidation in certain foods, like avocados and potatoes. The low temperature of the refrigerator will slow the loss of nutrients as well as curb the growth of any bacteria.
Pack sliced vegetables in plastic wrap and then place them in the refrigerator. Foods like potatoes that will turn color due to oxidation will benefit for being tightly wrapped. Plastic wrap will also guard against the smell of vegetables such as onions and peppers. Make sure the food is tightly wrapped and that the plastic is not unraveling in the refrigerator.
Put food inside plastic bags with an interlocking zip closure.The bags are inexpensive and easy to use. Make sure to press as much air out of the bag before you close and seal it.
Pack certain vegetables in water or liquid. Carrot and celery sticks as well as other vegetables can be packed in a container of water before being placed in the refrigerator. The water will keep the food hydrated and will keep the vegetables crisp. You can also put sliced foods in flavored liquids and olive oil to add more taste.
Consider dehydrating vegetables if you are not planning on eating them right away or if you would like to store them for a longer period of time. Food dehydrators are relatively inexpensive and are easy to use. Most vegetables will dry out in the period of six to eight hours, depending on the vegetable’s water content. Once they are dried, you can pack then in an airtight container and store them in a cupboard.
Freeze the vegetables after you have cut them up. Place the vegetables in airtight bags or containers and place them in the freezer. You can thaw them out in a microwave when you need them. It is helpful to label the container with the date the food was prepared.
References and ResourcesUtah State Cooperative Extension FAQ: What's the best way to store fruits and vegetables?
University of Southern California: What Is the Best Way to Store Vegetables in the Refrigerator? by Caroline Suen
Backpacking Chef: Dehydrating Vegetables