You’ve probably used to your onions getting moldy and your garlic growing a little green sprout out of the top of it. If you’re planning on planting it, it’s a good thing when garlic sprouts, but it can be a problem if you are planning on eating it.
Here is a very inexpensive and simple way to keep your garlic and onions fresh for months:
- A Hole punch.
- Garlic and onions that are firm and blemish free.
- Paper clips for holding the bags closed.
- Brown lunch paper bags.
How to make:
- Punch the bags. You can do this any way you think suitable, even randomly all about the upper half of the bags. Usually you should punch the holes by folding the bag a few times and then punching in a row, spacing the punches an inch or so apart. Another method that is quite effective is to fold the bag in ½ lengthwise, punch along one edge, then turn the folded bag around and punch along the other edge, approximately 1″ between punches. It mustn’t be perfect, so simply punch holes for ventilation. The result should be multiple rows of holes.
- Fill the bag up to half full (at first punched holes or just below them), fold over or close the top, put a label on it and paper clip it to hold the top down.
And you can store your bags in the same drawer in the kitchen as before. It’s important not to put a lot of bags in a small area. There must be enough room for the air to circulate around the bags – which is the whole point of punching the holes. You can use the same plastic bins as before; they will help keep the bags orderly and upright and are roomy enough for the air to circulate between the bags. The bins can also be placed on cabinet or pantry shelves.
The life of shallots, onions and garlic should be extended with this punched paper bag method, in most situations. However, their specific life may vary depending on the light conditions, temperature and humidity where the bags are stored.
No potatoes nearby: Onions and potatoes should not be stored together. They give off gases that are harmful and accelerate spoilage of each other.
Temperature: These will last the longest in a dry, dark, cool (but not cold) storage area. You can successfully keep them in your 65 – 70ish degree kitchen drawer for up to 3 months. If you happen to have one, a dark, cool basement is a good choice. Onions should not be stored for a longer period in the refrigerator because the cold temperature will soften their texture; plus, onions will spread their flavor on other products surrounding them.
No plastic bags: Remember do not ever store onions in plastic bags. That will accelerate spoilage and sprouting because of the lack of air circulation.