Got Old Veggies?

It happens to us all.  You pull out some veggies you were planning to use in a dish and discover that they’re not exactly at their peak.  And you wonder what to do . . .

Some time ago, I wrote about reviving carrots and celery.  But here’s an even better tip.

If you’re going to be cooking the vegetable in any sort of a liquid, you don’t need to revive it before using it.

Now, I’m not talking about something that’s moldy or slimy. Those do have to be thrown out.

If you've got some veggies that are past their prime but not spoiled, this tip might just keep you from throwing them away!But usually the problem with “yucky” veggies is that they’ve lost a lot of water.  That’s why carrots and celery get limp and also why potatoes get soft.  Onions and mushrooms just plain look dried out as will peppers.

Anything that is just dry will reabsorb the water as it cooks.  And the funny thing is that often the flavor is even better as it’s more concentrated — I know that’s the case with mushrooms!

While I don’t deliberately let veggies get past their prime, the reality is that it does happen.  While I used to just throw them out if they looked “dried up” now use them as long as they’re not rotten, moldy or slimy.  And I’ve been pretty surprised at the results!

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5 Comments
  • Debra Perfitt on Facebook
    Posted at 25 November 2012 Reply

    I keep a ziplock bag in my freezer to put veggie peels, seeds cores and veggies that are close to turning. When the bag is full I make soup stock. If I’m not going to be making soup in the near future I process it in jars for the next time I need it.

  • Louise
    Posted at 11 April 2013 Reply

    If my veggies are starting to get soft or dried out, I cut them up and freeze them in a bag. I do quite a bit of cooking in a crock pot, and as you said, who cares if the vegetables started out crisp? By the time they are done cooking, they’ll be pretty soft anyway!

    What I like about this method is that I don’t have to use them right away; they’ll stay fine in the freezer for quite a while. It also means I usually have what I need already chopped up in the freezer. Many of my recipes use carrots, onions, celery and bell peppers, so I always have little frozen bags of those. I worry less about over-buying, too, because the freezer option is always available.

  • The Sea and Sailors
    Posted at 27 May 2014 Reply

    Hm…. ???

  • D and Don
    Posted at 15 December 2015 Reply

    Here is a way to keep greens, like parsley, cilantro, etc to live a bit longer. I make a fresh cut on the ends to encourage the influx of water. I place them in a small jar of water. Then I take the plastic bag that I brought them home in, you know the thin veggie ones, and put it over top of the greens and tighten it up around the top of the glass jar. I either use a rubber band or tuck the excess plastic bag up into itself to make a semi seal. I then find a place in the fridge where it will be wedged in and not tip over and it makes them last oodles longer. My Mother taught me this and she may have learned if from her Mom.

  • Melani
    Posted at 03 May 2016 Reply

    You can also re-grow some of your veggies…like the celery in the picture. As you are using cut the celery off the bottom leaving an inch or two (that part is so so anyway) then put the “core” or the celery, root side down in the room temp water and the center stalks that were tiny and yellow will grow! Using your celery twice! Same with lettuces.

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