Eggplants are delicious and healthy fruit that you can eat raw or cooked. It’s packed with minerals and vitamins, yet low in calories. Unfortunately, with this fruit, they tend to not last very long once it’s picked from the garden. You’ll need to eat or use the eggplant as soon as possible once it’s harvested.
Does Eggplant Go Bad?
Yes, eggplant does go bad, and much sooner than you hope. After it’s picked from the garden, you have about five days before it starts to go bad. If the temperature is extremely hot, you can expect it to go bad within a couple of days.
When it goes bad, the eggplant will turn mushy. The inside will become brown, and it will be slimy and soft.
How Long Does Eggplant Last?
Eggplant is one of those fruits that doesn’t have a very long shelf life once it’s harvested. Depending on how you store them will determine how long they last.
At room temperature, the whole eggplant will last for 4-5 days. For cut eggplant, they will last for about 30 minutes. If it’s extremely hot, expect them to last for about 15-20 minutes.
In the refrigerator, the whole eggplant will last for 2-3 weeks. Eggplants that are cut will last for 3-4 days in the fridge.
In the freezer, the whole eggplant will last between 9-12 months if it’s blanched first. Otherwise, unblanched whole eggplant will last for only 2-3 months.
For cut eggplants, they will last 9-12 months in the freezer if it’s blanched first. If not, they will last for 2-3 months in the freezer.
8 Tips To Tell When Eggplant Goes Bad
Freshly picked eggplants from the garden will have a lovely, plump, and firm texture. The color of it will be darker purple.
After a few days after it’s picked, the fruit will start to deteriorate. Below are eight things to look for when the eggplants go bad:
1. Eggplants are soft
Fresh eggplant will be firm to the touch and has no soft spots either. Once the vegetables start to go bad, they will become soft.
2. The color becomes dull
As the eggplant starts to deteriorate, it will skin will no longer be shiny. Instead, it will become dull, and you’ll be unable to see your own reflection.
3. The skin starts to shrivel
Fresh eggplant will have smooth skin all around. As they start to go bad, the skin on the fruit will start to shrivel. A small area that is shriveled means the fruit is still safe to eat.
On the other hand, eggplants that have many areas that are shriveling usually mean the fruit is bad.
4. Eggplant is slimy
When you cut open the eggplant, if the flesh is slimy, it means the fruit is spoiled. You should discard it when seeing this.
5. Flesh is turning brown
Another thing to look for when cutting the eggplant is to check the color of the flesh. The color of it should be white. If it’s brown or any darker color, the eggplant is bad and should be thrown own.
6. Seeds are slimy
After the eggplant is cut open, check the seeds. Seeds that are slimy mean the eggplant is bad.
7. Rotting spots on the fruit
Eggplants that are left at room temperature for too long will starts to have rotting spots on them. If there are just a couple of rotting spots, you can cut away the area. Make sure to cut the fruit open first to make sure the inside has not spoiled yet.
8. It smells rotten
The last thing to check is the smell. Fresh eggplants should not have any smell to them. If it starts to smell rotten or gives off a bad odor, the eggplant has gone bad and should be discarded.
5 Tips To Store Eggplants
Eggplants don’t have a very long shelf life once it’s picked from the garden. To keep them lasting as long as possible, proper storage is recommended. Below are 9 tips to store eggplants:
- Avoid storing whole eggplants in the fridge. When the fruit is in the fridge, it will start to develop brown spots.
- While the eggplant is stored in the pantry, keep them away from other fruits like bananas, apples, and tomatoes. These fruits produce ethylene, which will cause the eggplant to ripen faster.
- Place the eggplants away from direct heat and appliances.
- If the eggplant has been cut, place them onto a plate and cover it with cling film. Then place them into the fridge.
- For storing eggplants in the freezer, make sure to blanch the fruit first. Blanching will ensure the texture and taste of the fruit remain unchanged while it’s frozen.
The Risk Of Consuming Spoiled Eggplants
Like any other food, consuming bad eggplant could make you sick due to food-borne infection. As the fruit starts to deteriorate, it will have harmful bacteria growing on them. This can cause you to have diarrhea, an upset stomach, and vomiting.
For raw eggplants, there is a danger of botulism, which is a more serious disease.
Therefore, to prevent any health issues, it’s important to care for the eggplant from the day you picked them from the garden. This means properly handling and storing the fruit.
Can You Freeze Eggplant?
Yes, you can freeze eggplant, and they freeze extremely well. By freezing, the fruit will last for up to 1 year.
There are many ways to freeze eggplants, but the most popular method is to peel the skin off them and blanching. By blanching, it will help lock in the texture and flavor of the eggplant during freezing.
Below are the steps to freezing eggplants:
Step 1: Peel and Slice
With a sharp knife, peel the skin of the eggplant. Then slice it into half-inch round slices. You can slice them to your preferences, but don’t make them too thick. Thick slices will freeze just fine, but will take longer to defrost.
Step 2: Blanching
In a pot, pour water half full. Then add a tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice to the pot. Heat the water until it starts to boil.
Drop the eggplant slices into the pot and cook it for about 10 minutes, or until the eggplant slices become translucent.
Step 3: Cool In Ice Water
Remove the eggplant slices and drop them into a bucket of ice water. This will help prevent the fruit from cooking any further.
Step 4: Dry the Eggplant
Remove them from the ice water and into a colander. Let it sit for about 10 minutes to dry. To speed up the drying process, you can use paper towels. Gently pat them on the eggplant slices until they are dry.
Step 5: Freezer Bag
Once they are dried, place them into a freezer bag. If you have a lot of eggplants to store, use several freezer bags. Avoid putting too many of the fruits in a single bag.
Then press on the freezer bag to remove any excess air and seal the bag tightly.
Step 6: Label and Freeze
With a marker, write down the content and date of freezing on the freezer bag. Then place them into the freezer for storage.
Eggplants are healthy and can be used to make delicious dishes. This fruit tends to not last very long once it’s harvested. For the best quality, pick the eggplant from your garden on the day you are about to use them. If you have to pick them first, make sure to store them in a cool and dark place, like the pantry. Also, make sure to keep the eggplants away from fruits like bananas, tomatoes, and any other fruit that produces ethylene.