Next time you’re about to throw away limp vegetables from your fridge, think again! It’s possible that the veggies are simply dehydrated (usually the fridge makes them lose water faster). If they’re not mouldy, you can most probably revive them with water.
It’s also a great way to save money while grocery shopping. You can pick up rescued vegetables on donation from Tuesday Food Cycle Markets organised by Taste Before you Waste or benefit from discounted food at the supermarkets.
Ekoplaza, for example, has daily discounts (up to 50%) for vegetables that are not as firm anymore. Oftentimes you can find wilted spinach or collard greens that revives beautifully after a SPA treatment.
Below are two simple ways you can treat your vegetables.
For any leafy greens from spinach to collard greens and lettuce, the best method is an ice bath.
Fill a large bowl with cold water, add a handful of ice cubes and submerge your (washed) leafy greens. Place the bowl in the fridge to keep it cold. Already after 20 min you’ll see the leaves “drink up” the water and become fresh and crispy!
Some bloggers advice to only do the ice bath for 20 min, but I actually like to keep my lettuce in the ice bath in the fridge for a few days. It doesn’t spoil and keeps fresh!
An ice bath also works for green beans and potatoes. Just peel the potatoes before submerging into an ice bath.
Glass of Water
This method works for celery, carrots, broccoli, and asparagus. Just trim the bottoms of the vegetables and place them upright in a tall glass of water until crisp (usually around 30 min).
This method works great with herbs, too. Just change the water often to prevent the stalks from going mouldy.
What vegetables can’t be rehydrated?
The re-hydration methods (both an ice bath and a glass of water) won’t work for vegetables that rot quickly (e.g. zucchini, squash, pumpkin and tomatoes). So make sure you use them quickly, e.g. by making a tomato soup or pasta sauce, zucchini fritters or spiralled zucchini “noodles” (so called zoodles), pumpkin soup, or simply roast the vegetables to serve them on top of rice, grains, pasta, or lettuce.