Eggplant gives use plenty of health benefits. It can be a delicious part of any meal, prepared however you choose. Steamed, fried, or baked eggplant can be the perfect side to many dinners! But if you eat eggplant frequently, you probably know that it does not take a very long time to begin to go bad.
Eggplant lasts from three days to five days, depending on a number of conditions. To keep your eggplants fresh for longer, do not put them in the fridge or in a sealed container. The best way to keep your eggplants is at room temperature in a well-ventilated area. Keep your eggplants away from other fruits and vegetables that are sensitive to ethylene gas.
Eggplant may be a tasty and low-calorie food, but it does not last forever. Keep an eye on your eggplant to avoid brown, mushy plants that will be inedible. Here are some tips and tricks to store your eggplant in the most efficient way you can!
Does Eggplant Go Bad? How Long Does Eggplant Last?
Eggplants are just like any other fruit or vegetable. They can go bad very quickly if improperly stored, but you can look for certain indicators of your eggplant’s freshness.
How Long Does Eggplant Last Outside
You should not store your eggplant outside as a general rule. Eggplant does best when it is stored between 50 and 54 degrees Fahrenheit. Outdoors does not have the necessary temperature control to keep your eggplant in this range to keep it fresh.
Storing your eggplant outside also opens it up to the possibility of damage from animals, insects, or other outdoor elements.
Eggplants can be damaged by both high and low temperatures. Keeping your eggplant in a controlled environment with air flow is the best way to make it stay fresh and give you the longest period possible to enjoy.
How Long Does Eggplant Last in the Fridge
You should not be keeping your eggplant in the fridge. Eggplant does not do well in chilled environments like the refrigerator. Once your eggplant dips below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, it will sustain chilling injuries.
You will notice the damage that a lower temperature does to eggplant by the pockmarks, browning, and pitting that your eggplant will show. Eggplants are similar to cucumbers in this way. Eggplant in the fridge will begin to lose texture and taste, even if it is kept in the vegetable drawer.
You may try to use lemon juice on cut eggplant to preserve it, but the plant will still suffer greatly by being stored in the fridge. You should really only be using the fridge for eggplants if you live somewhere very hot and humid.
How Long Does Eggplant Last in the Freezer
The short shelf life of eggplant can be extremely frustrating to chefs. If you are concerned that you will not be able to completely use your eggplant before it goes bad, you can always try storing it in the freezer.
You should know that the eggplant will naturally lose a little taste by storing it in such a cold environment. You may also notice some discoloration in your eggplant if it was not prepared correctly prior to freezing.
Once your eggplant has been frozen, it should be used within one year. After this period, there will be a noticeable decline in quality of the plant.
Overall, the key is to ensure that your eggplant will be stored between 50 and 54 degrees. This is the optimum range for storing your eggplant. Do not keep it in a closed space, especially with other fruits or vegetables that react to ethylene gas like bananas. Keep the eggplant cool and dry for best results!
How To Tell If Eggplant Has Gone Bad
Eggplant will let you know when it is no longer good to eat. The plant has a number of warning signs that you can look for to keep an eye on its quality. These indicators are almost all visual, so a quick look over your eggplants will yield the information that you need to know about its freshness.
Wrinkles: Eggplants should always be nice and plump. Their smooth skin is a hallmark of their freshness. If you see a large amount of wrinkles on your eggplant, it has started to go bad. Eggplants will wither when they get too old and will no longer have the desired tautness to their skin.
Hardness: Eggplant gets softer and softer as it ages. Hard eggplants have not begun to rot, but an eggplant with a squishy or soft area may have begun to rot. Some people prefer to just cut off soft areas on their eggplants, but you should know that this is not guaranteed to make the rest of the eggplant taste any better.
Browning: Eggplants turn brown very quickly when they are cut. This is due to the reaction with the oxygen in the air. If your eggplant is already brown when you cut into it, this is a bad sign. You should dispose of this eggplant immediately. A brown stem will also be a red flag when it comes to the status of your eggplant.
Bitterness: Eggplants become more bitter when they are old. While a little bitterness may not kill you, it is certainly unpleasant and may indicate other issues with the plant.
How to Store Eggplant?
Eggplants will last about a week typically. If you store it properly, your eggplant will be good for 5-7 or 7-10 days, depending on your environment. The main things to watch out for when storing your eggplant are temperature and proximity to other food items. Follow these guidelines to keep your eggplant nice and fresh!
Stay in the temperature range: Lower the temperature of your eggplant to 50 degrees Fahrenheit and keep it there as long you are storing for the best results. You have a little wiggle room (up to 54 degrees), but outside of this temperature range will cause the eggplant to go bad or suffer chill damage.
Allow it to breathe: Don’t store your eggplant with other fruits or vegetables that are ripening. The ethylene gas released will cause your eggplant to ripen faster, making it go bad before its time.
Stay out of the sun: Your eggplant also needs to stay out of direct sunlight. Put it in a sheltered spot in your kitchen.
Can You Freeze Eggplant? How?
Freezing eggplant is not always advisable. It may cause a problem with the texture and taste of the plant when you thaw the eggplant later. However, if you want to store your eggplant for a longer amount of time, you can freeze it to do so. Freezing your eggplant without blanching it will ruin it, so make sure you follow these steps correctly.
Step 1- Boil water: The first step when preparing to freeze eggplant is to boil a large pot of water. You should add a small amount of salt to the water or add some lemon juice (1/4 cup lemon juice to 8 cups of water).
Step 2- Prepare Ice Water: You will be using ice water to chill the eggplant slices immediately after boiling to preserve them. Set a large bowl of ice water next to your stove.
Step 3- Slice and Boil Eggplant: Cut the eggplant into a few slices at a time to avoid the rest of the eggplant from turning brown during preparation. Boil the slices until their centers become soft. This should take about 4 or 5 minutes.
Step 4- Chill, Dry, and Freeze: After the slices have been boiled, put them in the ice water to chill them. Once they have cooled, dry them out. Put the slices in a vacuum sealed bag and place them in your freezer.
How to Thaw Eggplant?
Thawing your eggplant is not difficult. In fact, frozen slices of eggplant can be cooked directly from the freezer! If you prefer to bring them to room temperature, however, you can always use one of the methods below.
Use the fridge: Just put your eggplant in the fridge overnight to let it thaw. If you are thawing an eggplant puree for use in some kind of dip or related dish, thawing it in the fridge allows it to defrost.
Cook your eggplant slices: You can skip the defrosting process entirely when dealing with your frozen eggplant slices. Just put the slices in a pan or a pot and begin cooking.
Your eggplant may not taste or feel the same as unfrozen eggplant, but if it was stored properly, it will still be good to eat!
Frequently Asked Questions About Eggplant’s Shelf Life
Is unripe eggplant dangerous to eat?
While eggplant is part of the nightshade family, it does not contain the levels of solanine needed to poison someone, even when unripe. To cause any kind of real damage to somebody, they would need to eat at least 36 raw eggplants. So while raw eggplant does not taste good, it will not kill you.
How do you pick the best eggplant at the store?
If you are able to pick the best eggplant at the store, it will have the best chance of lasting longer in storage. It is imperative that you do not come home with an eggplant that has already started going bad. To pick the freshest eggplant, find the densest specimen you can. You can also look for any kind of damage or softness on the skin of the eggplant.
Eggplant is a meaty, tasty ingredient that can provide variety and nutrition to any dish. By keeping your eggplant stored in the right way, you will be able to enjoy your eggplant for up to ten days after purchase! Always buy the freshest and plumpest eggplants at the store and keep their temperature between 50 and 54 degrees to keep your eggplant in the best condition.