Imagine the horror of going into your fridge and reaching for your favorite crunchy veggie snacks and it turns out they’ve become bendy and limp? It seems that no matter when you bought your fresh vegetables from the grocery store or farmer’s market, your fridge crisper won’t be able to keep them crisp and fresh at all! Here is a sure-fire method that will restore and refresh old veggies that are less than optimal, to spring back to life once again.
What Causes Veggies To Become Limp?
Even though most of the vegetables you commonly see getting rubbery are often carrots and celery you might be scratching your head how these two will turn limp. A carrot is grown underneath the ground in soil and celery is grown on a stalk with the roots growing from below the exposed stalk. But they both end up getting limp after just a couple days in the fridge- but why?
The answer is very simple since these vegetables are just like people and measure out to be 80% of water if you compare their total fiber mass to water weight. A kitchen crisper doesn’t actually keep your vegetables crisp, but free from moisture (get it yet) making the air within this space very crisp like a cold winter’s day. But if you’ve ever seen mountaineers climbing Mt. Everest, you’ll know that they get dehydrated very quickly from cold dry air.
This is essentially what is happening to your veggies at a faster rate than mountain climbers since your carrots aren’t wearing something to protect them.
Even though their thick skin does hold in moisture, it still escapes through the process of evaporation and dry cold air. One solution is to keep old veggies inside a plastic bag to prevent moisture from escaping so quickly, but most of the time these bags have venting holes in them anyway.
Which Vegetables Are At Risk More Often?
The vegetables that will suffer the most include carrots, celery, beets, turnip, asparagus, broccoli, and cauliflower. You will also see this happen to lettuce, kale, Swiss chard, and spinach. If you buy fresh herbs, this will also happen if you just picked up a sprig of cilantro or parsley for that special recipe you were planning no more than a day before. Even bell peppers and radishes will get rubbery just like beans including snap peas or similar.
What you won’t have success with are tomatoes, cucumbers, or zucchini since these vegetables will shrivel differently and cannot be refreshed so easily. They have to be used when they are at their peak freshness and only go downhill when they become limp. If your vegetables are starting to become discolored or have dark spots, this is a warning sign. It’s not from drying out and simply means they’re too old and must be thrown out.
Reviving Old Veggies Right Away
And now the moment you’ve all been waiting for: the secret to bringing back veggies is right under your nose! All you need is two valuable ingredients including ice cubes and water. Grab a large bowl and fill it with ice and then follow this with adding cold water. Now all you do is submerge your vegetables into this ice bath for no less than 15 to 30 minutes for the best results up to a whole hour if needed.
You’ll be amazed at how these limp and rubbery veggies return to their former glory and have adequate springiness and are just as crisp as the day you bought them. Pat them dry with a towel and proceed to slice them up as you normally would. For items such as celery, you may need to cut away smaller sections that shriveled up beyond repair but the main stalks should be perfectly fine.
You’ll also find that turnips, potatoes, radishes, and even beans are refreshingly crunchy instead of being sad and squishy. If you find that some of them are still not revived, this is a sign they just weren’t good candidates for being reanimated. Toss them into the bin for being composted as these aren’t going to taste very nice either way. This trick never fails and now you’ll be able to enjoy these old veggies for longer using this classic revival trick!