Full of fiber, low in calories, and rich in nutritional benefits, it’s a sad day when an eggplant goes bad.
However, there are simple ways to keep eggplants good for longer, and below you’ll find a guide to help you tell if your eggplant is off.
The bad news?
Inevitably, like all other fresh vegetables (well, technically, it’s a fruit), eggplants go off pretty quickly, lasting about 7 days.
How Can I Tell If My Eggplant Has Gone Bad?
There are clear signs that an eggplant exhibits when it starts to go bad. For example, you’re likely to see wrinkly skin. Soft and squishy eggplants aren’t good for eating either.
You’ll find sources on the internet telling you it’s fine to cut the bad part off and eat the rest, but better be safe than sorry.
You might be wondering: is it okay that my eggplant looks a darker purple?
Yes, it’s fine! Your eggplant is likely to go slightly darker if it’s been sat in the fridge for a few days.
How To Pick Eggplants
Which eggplant to pick when you’re at the supermarket depends on when you need it for. For example, if you need an eggplant for a dish that evening, you should go for one that’s firm but not super firm. If you need an eggplant that will still be good in a week, find one that’s a bit firmer.
Never buy an eggplant that has bruises or soft spots. These signs of damage mean your eggplant will rot much quicker, due to the moisture!
How To Store Eggplants
Ideally, you’d store eggplants in a cool, dark, dry place, like a pantry or cellar that’s about 50°F (or 10°C).
However, assuming you don’t have a perfectly regulated pantry at hand, despair not. There are other effective options.
If you want your eggplants to ripen quickly, leave them on your kitchen counter, or even in your fruit bowl. Fruits like bananas are ethylene producers and speed up your eggplant’s ripening process.
You’ll want to keep an eye on your eggplant if you store it in the open – it’s likely to ripen very quickly, so make sure you don’t let it develop any soft spots. Eggplants will only last about 3-4 days like this.
Want your eggplants to last longer? Put them in the fridge, but don’t seal them, as sealing raw whole eggplants in the fridge causes them to decay faster.
As for cooked or cut eggplants, you should pop them in an airtight container before putting them in your veg drawer.
If you want to store eggplants for over 10 days, then you can freeze them. Either chop them up and use them as normal in a dish, then freeze the dish, or follow the steps below to only freeze the eggplant itself:
- Slice the eggplant into rounds.
- Blanche the eggplant rounds. Get a pan of boiling water, and drop the rounds in. Leave to boil for 4 minutes.
- Pat the eggplant rounds dry.
- Flash freeze the eggplant rounds. Spread them on a baking tray, cover with cling film, and pop in the freezer for 2 hours.
- Take the eggplant rounds out of the freezer and transfer them into freezer bags, so that the rounds are all lying flat. Squeeze the air out to create a vacuum, seal the bag tightly, and place it back in the freezer.
Although the above is a relatively time-consuming process, blanching and freezing your eggplant attacks and kills any looming bacteria with two extreme temperatures.
How Long Do Eggplants Last?
These are some rules of thumb on how long eggplants last, but it really depends on how they were stored before you purchased them. No one’s a stranger to veg that rots within 1-2 days of purchase!
- You can expect your eggplants to last 3-4 days if they’re left on the counter.
- Eggplants can last 7-10 days when stored in the fridge.
- Once cut, expect your eggplants to last 3-4 days in the fridge.
- Cooked eggplants will be good for 5 days, as long as you keep the dish in the fridge.
- Frozen eggplants, if you follow our instructions above, can last for up to 3 months.
Eggplants, like other perishable food, do go bad, and, unfortunately, they’re often not stored well before you purchase them.
However, this guide includes some easy ways to keep your eggplant fresh for longer, as well as how to tell if it has gone bad.