There are many, many different things that can be done with your vegetables. You can choose to bread them and fry them up into a crunchy, tasty snack or you might be more interested in cutting them up and garnishing your salad with them. No matter what type of veggies are your favorite, you can rest assured knowing that you will surely be able to find a way to make use of them.
With that being said, it can be quite hard to make use of something that isn’t as fresh, crisp, or flavorful as it used to be. Over time, even if you are storing your food properly, it will degrade to the point where it will be virtually unusable for your needs. After all, nobody really wants to eat mushy, tasteless vegetables when they are expecting a crisp snack.
There are plenty of different ways that you can try and keep vegetables fresh. However, it depends entirely on the type of vegetable you are working with. Some vegetables are best left on the countertop, or even in hanging baskets while others are best stored in the crisper box of your fridge.
For example, you might have some peppers that you want to keep fresh and crisp but you may not be absolutely sure how you want to do it. You could be wanting to keep them crisp so that you are ready to pickle them or you may have just purchased a large amount of peppers and you want to keep them all fresh so you can make as much use out of them as possible.
There are a few ways that you can keep your peppers crisp, depending on what condition they are in and what you plan to do with them.
Keeping Whole Peppers Crisp
The way that you are going to go about keeping a whole pepper crisp, as opposed to peppers that have been cut and sliced, is going to be a bit different. Whole peppers can last the longest compared to cut peppers as the protective skin of the pepper is entirely intact and there will not be any openings for bacteria or other problematic things to get into the pepper. Generally, if it is well kept, a whole pepper can last approximately two weeks in the fridge before you will have to toss it out.
First things first; you will not want to wash the peppers if you plan on storing them right away. The dust particles and dirt form a thin yet protective layer around the pepper and the colder environment of the fridge will keep anything from growing on it. Instead of washing the peppers, simply inspect them to make sure that there are no blemishes, marks, or open areas of the pepper.
From here, you will want to look for micro-perforated plastic bags or you may even want to pick up some produce bags while you are at the store where you got the peppers. These types of bags are specifically designed to store produce that can give off gasses. Pepper is one type of produce that does this, making it all the more important for you to purchase one of these bags to store the peppers in.
Because these bags are designed to be micro-perforated, they have tiny holes in them that allow the gasses the pepper releases to escape without letting anything else in to affect the pepper while you are storing it. When those gases are trapped because you didn’t use the proper type of bag to store the pepper in, they can actually speed up the ripening and the subsequent spoiling process of the pepper.
These types of produce bags will also help to limit both condensation and the growth of bacteria, further helping the peppers remain fresh for as long as possible. Purchasing these bags when you have produce to work with is often going to be a worthy investment to make.
Once the peppers are bagged, you can put them in the fridge’s crisper compartment. You should wash the peppers when you are ready to eat them. Make sure to check on the peppers periodically as you approach two weeks from when you first stored the peppers just to make sure that they are retaining their freshness.
Keeping Sliced Peppers Crisp
When you chop peppers, you open them up to the possibility of getting contaminants on the soft interior of the pepper. This makes them more likely to become mushy, soggy, and not something that you want to eat when you are looking for a crisp addition to a meal. Even if you do everything right and have the most optimal storage conditions, most sliced peppers are not going to last more than three days, meaning that you should think of ways to use them.
Before cutting the pepper, try and make sure that you use a sharp knife. While a dull knife will still cut through peppers as they are relatively soft, it can leave bruises on the exterior of the pepper that will get in the way of keeping the pepper crisp.
Once you have sliced the peppers (and removed the seeds and pith if you are working with bell peppers), you will want to find some paper towels. The amount of paper towel should be of a size that you can wrap the peppers inside of the towel and still fit it inside an airtight container into the fridge.
After you have wrapped the pepper pieces up and placed the paper towel into an airtight container, you should pour some cold water into the container. You should pour enough water that it will be able to saturate through the paper towel. From here, you can close the container up and place it all into the fridge until you are ready to use the peppers.
While you often won’t be able to get much more than three days out of the peppers even when using this method, there have been cases where your pepper pieces can stay fresh and usable for up to a week. To make sure that your pepper pieces are still in good condition, you will want to check on them periodically after the first three days of storage if you haven’t used them up by that point.
Proper storage plays a massive role in keeping the crisp and lovable texture of peppers and ultimately making sure that you do not allow the skin or the interior of the pepper to become soft, mushy, and generally unpalatable.