Jalapenos feel really firm to touch when fresh but they become soft and wrinkled really fast if left at room temperature. It is therefore advisable to keep them refrigerated or frozen to lengthen their shelf life. If you grow your own jalapenos, you can leave them on the tree until you are ready to use them.
Did you know that leaving jalapenos to ripen on the tree intensifies the flavor? Well, now you know. To keep that heat and flavor intact read below to know how best you can store your jalapenos for longer.
To prolong the shelf life of jalapenos, put them in a plastic bag, and store them in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator for up to 7 days. For long term storage, flash freeze, put them in a zip lock bag, and freeze for 10-12 months.
Best ways to store jalapenos
Once you bring jalapenos home from the store or harvest your own, sort them out depending on how you plan to use them. Store those that you intend to use in one week’s time in the fridge and those that you intend to keep for longer in the freezer.
Leaving jalapenos at room temperature will only turn them soft making them spoil faster.
Avoid washing jalapenos before refrigeration. Instead, wash them only when you are ready to use them as Introduction to excess moisture before storage encourages mold growth hence speeding up the rotting process.
No preparation is needed whatsoever to refrigerate jalapenos not even cleaning. As a matter of fact, cleaning jalapenos before storage will only do them more harm than good. Therefore, all you need to have is your fresh jalapenos and a plastic bag.
Put your fresh jalapenos in a plastic bag then store in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator. Jalapenos will stay fresh in the fridge for up to 7 days if stored this way.
Freezing jalapenos is easy since no blanching is required unlike most vegetables. However, you will need to freeze them immediately after harvesting for them to retain the best quality throughout the freezing period.
Here’s how to freeze jalapenos:
- Sort out any bruised, soft or wrinkled jalapenos. The fresher the jalapeno the longer the shelf life.
- Rinse your jalapenos under clean running water
- Dry them with a paper towel
- Remove the stalk and cut them open to scoop out the seeds.
- Cut jalapenos into small pieces of your choice If you wish to freeze them sliced. You may need to wear gloves while cutting jalapenos to prevent the burning sensation on your skin.
- Spread them on a baking tray in a single layer whether whole or sliced ensuring they don’t touch.
- Put them in the freezer for 2-3 hours or until completely frozen. Flash freezing jalapenos makes it easy for you to reach for the amount you need without having to defrost the entire package.
- Transfer the frozen jalapenos into zip lock bags
- Seal the bags ensuring to squeeze out excess air possible to prevent freezer burns.
- Label the bags to avoid over-freezing or mistaking them for any other pepper in the freezer.
- Put them in the freezer.
Jalapenos will retain their best quality in the freezer for 6 months but remain safe to eat through out the year.
How to use frozen jalapenos
Frozen jalapenos retain their flavor so well but not the crunchiness when thawed. It is therefore advisable to use them in cooked recipes rather than raw salads. In that case, they will require no thawing prior to use just pop them in the pot straight from the freezer and you are good to go.