Even though your refrigerator and freezer allow you to keep leftovers relatively fresh and safe to eat, there is a limit to how long your vegetables can be stored. And yet, not many people really take this into account. They will do something like chop up an onion and leave it in their fridge for weeks at a time and assume that it will always be ready for them to use, but how long will that onion actually last? For that matter, which vegetables remain fresh for the longest period of time? That's important information to know, so let's take a look.
Saving Your Onions
First, let's take a look at how long an onion will last in your refrigerator's vegetable drawer. Generally speaking, onions should last between seven and ten days in your refrigerator and six to eight months in your freezer, but all of that can depend on how they are stored. Chopped onions tend to keep well in your fridge, but they should be stored correctly. A resealable plastic container or plastic bag will work best, but tightly wrapping them in plastic wrap or aluminum foil will work in a pinch. The same storage rules should apply to freezing onions, which means you should be placing them in a sealed container or plastic bag before you place them in an upright freezer or chest freezer. Keep in mind that frozen chopped onions will have a softer texture than fresh onions once they're thawed, so you might want to reserve them as ingredients in cooked dishes.
Other Vegetables - Should You Keep Them in the Fridge?
Other vegetables should keep for a while in your refrigerator as long as you know how to store them. Beets in particular can last up to four months in the refrigerator as long as you cut off the greens and keep them properly sealed. Carrots can also last for several months, but only if you buy them whole and wrap the plastic bag they are often kept in wrapped in a paper towel. This will draw out any moisture and slow down the decaying process that renders your vegetables inedible. Squash, pumpkins, and potatoes can also be kept fresh for a long time as long as they are kept in a cool dry place.
In general, most vegetables can be stored for at least a few weeks to a few months in your refrigerator. Just remember to keep them sealed after you chop them up, and try to keep them away from any moisture if you don't want them to rot before it's time to eat them.