You spend your hard-earned money on produce to keep yourself and your family healthy. It is a shame when fruits and vegetables go to waste before they can be used. While onions are a vegetable that has a longer shelf life, find out how to make onions last longer and get the most out of your vegetable stash.
Onions are one of those vegetables that you buy, forget you have, and last for quite some time before they quickly go bad. They are a root vegetable, which means they thrive in dark conditions. Putting them away in a pantry may be your first thought, but there are certain tips you can follow to make them last longer.
4 Tips To Make Onions Last Longer
1. Buy Local
Onions shelf life is significantly reduced if they have been in storage for quite sometime before their purchase. It is always best to buy produce at a local farmer’s market or grocery store that offers local fare. This can help extend the shelf life of your onions.
2. Proper Storage
Onions do best when they are stored in dark and dry conditions. Wet or damp storage can make them mold, rot, or begin to sprout quicker, therefore reducing their useful life span. A garage, cellar, pantry, or unheated basement are the best options for onion storage. The longer you plan to store them after purchase, the more conscious you need to be of the location you select.
3. Purchase Onions in Good Condition
Inspect your vegetables before purchase. Those that feel slightly damp, appear to have brown or black discoloration, or those at the bottom of the bin will likely go bad quicker than those that are dry and on the top layer of the pile.
4. Know Your Intentions
The necessity of onions shelf-life is more important if you plan to store them for a long period of time thereafter. If you plan to use your onions in a recipe right away, vegetables that are a bit older will be just fine to utilize.
How Long Do Onions Last?
The longevity of your onions depends on a variety of factors, including what type you purchased, their age at the time of purchase, where they are stored, and what temperature they are stored at. In general, if stored properly onions can last from two to three months.
If you are like most people who purchase onions with the intent of using them quickly, they can be stored at room temperature for up to one week without sacrificing flavor or quality. This is the case for whole and raw onions that would be stored on the counter. Putting them in the fridge is always best, however, if you plan on utilizing them soon after purchase.
Outside of the fridge, it is important to store your onions at room temperature with proper ventilation to prevent mold growth.
Stacking onions at the bottom of a vegetable storage bin or in a damp pantry can cause them to disintegrate quickly, leaving you with rotten vegetables and a mess to clean up. Also, storing onions in a plastic bag is not advised. The moisture that can accumulate within a plastic bag can make your onion mold and go bad in no time.
If you have onions that you suspect will go bad soon, try slicing, chopping, or dicing them to store in the freezer. Vegetables that are flash-frozen can last in a deep freezer for months and are often just as fresh when thawed as they were when they were first stored. This allows you to quickly thaw onions and use them in recipes right away without sacrificing flavor or quality.
2 Signs That Suggest an Onion Has Gone Bad?
Nobody wants to eat a vegetable that is far beyond its lifespan. There are a few ways you can tell if an onion has gone bad or is quickly on its way there. Save your taste buds and consider these signs that may point to the state of demise of your onions.
If your onions were once pearly white or golden yellow but are now riddled with black spots or a grey tinge, chances are they have been exposed to moisture. This is the first step in the breakdown of an outer shell of an onion.
While the outside layer may be peeled off and the onion may be salvaged if the discoloration is caught quickly, an onion that is extremely discolored should be discarded.
If your onion looks like you just pulled it out of the garden, tip, and all, it is past time to be used. Sprouts indicate that your onions have gone bad and most likely developed a bitter taste.
Onions are a vegetable that can be stored for a long period of time if done correctly. Follow these tips to make onions last longer and get the best flavor.