Where fresh produce is concerned, the eggplant is a worldwide favorite. It is often used as a replacement for meat for those who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet and can be cooked in various ways. Owing to its popularity, it is important that, when storing eggplant, it is done correctly to ensure that it stays fit for consumption for longer. But there is a limit, so how long does eggplant last?
Eggplant, when stored correctly, will last for between two and three weeks. However, there are many variables on this depending on when the eggplant was picked, and how ripe it was when you purchased it.
How Long Does Eggplant Keep In The Refrigerator?
It may come as a surprise to learn that the eggplant is indeed a fruit since most people treat it in the same way that they would a vegetable. But knowing this can alter how you might store it; after all, you wouldn’t store strawberries in the same way that you would store carrots, for example.
If you purchase an eggplant and don’t need to use it for some time, it can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three weeks. However, it is important to remember that this applies only to eggplant that has not yet been cut. If you’re storing some leftover eggplant that has already been sliced, you can wrap it and store it in the fridge for up to four days.
However, like many fruits, eggplant will keep well out of the fridge, before it has been cut. An uncut eggplant will last for up to five days at room temperature, so if you’re short on fridge space, all is not lost!
Conversely, the moment you slice into the fruit, leaving it at room temperature will see it beginning to degrade very quickly. After just half an hour, you will begin to notice that the fruit starts to turn brown.
How Do You Store Eggplant For A Long Time?
In modern society, there is a big focus on reducing food waste, and rightly so. But this means that a lot of people have started bulk buying and storing for in new ways to ensure that it keeps for longer. The good news is that this is perfectly possible with eggplant and it can be frozen.
That said, we wouldn’t advise putting a whole eggplant directly into the freezer. You will first need to slice and blanche it. Freezing chopped fruit and vegetables this way does come with the risk of the food sticking together so you should place the slices on a tray with a 2cm space between them and place this into the freezer. Once the fruit is frozen, you can transfer it into a freezer bag or container.
When frozen, you can expect your eggplant to remain good for eating for up to eight months.
How Can You Tell If An Eggplant Has Gone Bad?
The dark purple skin of the eggplant should have a shiny and tight appearance. As the fruit begins to deteriorate, the skin will give you some good visual clues that it is no longer suitable for eating. If the skin looks wrinkled then this is a good sign that the eggplant has started to go bad. Although, it may still be OK to eat at this point, checking for further signs of degradation will give you a better idea.
The skin will also begin to feel much softer and less tight but the inner part of the eggplant will give you the best clue to its current condition. When an eggplant starts to rot, the off white flesh on the inside will start to develop black or brown spots. Over time, these will take over the entire fruit, leaving nothing but a soft, mushy, slimy mess. Of course, at this point, most people wouldn’t want to attempt to eat it but in any case, it should be thrown out.
Can You Get Food Poisoning From Eggplant?
There are rumours that raw eggplant is toxic; this is not strictly true although eating a lot of it could cause problems. But whether raw or cooked, it is possible to get food poisoning from bad eggplant. Many people believe that foodborne illnesses come from meats and dairy products but any food that is rotting will contain harmful bacteria that can cause havoc in the gut.
Can you use overripe eggplant?
During the early stages of deterioration, when the eggplant’s skin begins to wrinkle and a few brown spots appear on the flesh, it should be OK to eat. This is provided that there are no signs of severe rot or mold. In this case, discard it and buy a new eggplant.
Is Eggplant Good For You?
One of the greatest benefits of the eggplant is that it is incredibly high in fiber. This is important for a functioning digestive system. If you have problems with constipation and other issues related to a slower gut, this is an excellent solution.
There are a lot of foods that claim to have cancer fighting properties, and this proves that eating a healthy diet can contribute to your overall health. In the case of eggplant, these fruits contain solasodine rhamnosyl glycosides which have been proven in studies to help reduce the risks of certain cancers.
Another clear benefit of the eggplant is that it is very low in calories. If you are looking to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight, this is a food that will provide a filling yet low calorie meal. Moreover, eggplant is known to help to lower blood sugar which is ideal for those altering their diet as a result of diabetes.
Eggplant, known as aubergine depending on where you are from, is a versatile fruit that is widely loved around the world. However, the way that it is stored will affect how long it will last. If you intend to use the eggplant within a few days of buying it, you can leave it at room temperature. Alternatively, it will keep for up to three weeks when kept in the vegetable drawer of the refrigerator. If you want to preserve the egg plant for as long as possible, you can blanch it and store it in the freezer for as long as eight months.