How to Tell if Eggplant is Bad? How Long Does It Last?

Eggplant has a lot of health benefits and is a delectable addition to any dish whether, steamed, fried, or baked. However, if you consume eggplant frequently, you know that it does not take long to go stale. It can keep for 2 to 3 weeks when stored appropriately.

The life span of an eggplant is determined by when it was purchased and how it was preserved.

How Long Does Eggplant Last?

At ambient temperature

When left out in the open, fresh eggplants rapidly shrivels. If you must keep the vegetables on the table, use them within three days. They can keep up to five days if they are firm. When cooked, ensure you refrigerate them within 2 hours of cooking.

In the Refrigerator

Store fresh eggplants in the vegetable crisper for like 5-7 days. Cooked ones can be kept in the refrigerator for up to three weeks if appropriately kept refrigerated.

In the Freezer

Cooked eggplant is also very short-lived. Refrigerated leftovers are only good for around five days.

When frozen, they last a year in good condition, just as blanched frozen ones. Raw ones can last up to 8 months in the freezer.

Indicators that Tell the Eggplant is Bad

  • Eggplant has lost its firmness and has begun to soften – The innards of the vegetable that has been stored for more than a year will be less solid and may break away from the skin.
  • Shriveled skin – Creased or shriveled skin and extreme tenderness when touched are prominent characteristics of rotten eggplant.
  • Slimy when chopped – Spoiled eggplant will change to brown due to oxidation and will be slimy to feel.
  • The slimy texture on seeds – Another sign the fruit is bad is when it feels soft, gooey, or spongy. Additionally, it becomes dull, and the seeds become more visible.
  • Rotting spots – It’s crucial to determine how green the flesh should be. Some eggplants have a reputation for going bad quickly, so look for one that isn’t drab in color.
  • Foul smell – If your vegetable has a distinctive smell, it means it is no longer safe to eat it.

Note
You can choose not to toss away the vegetable and instead deal with decaying eggplant by chopping out the rotten parts. It’s probably alright to do so.

Interestingly, even though the eggplant starts to turn brown on the outside, it is still safe to eat, particularly if you want to roast it. However, if you’re going to grate it into a salad, make sure it’s fresh and still white on the inside.

Tips for Storing Eggplant

Many people are unsure of how to store eggplant and keep it fresh for several days or weeks. If you’re one of these people, here are some invaluable tips

  1. It is not advisable to store eggplant in sealed plastic since it may deteriorate due to low air quality. Sufficient airflow regulates the temperature and eliminates contaminants. Inadequate airflow will cause rotten eggplant to continue to rot, which is why you should wrap it in a grocery bag.
  2. Within minutes of being sliced or cut, eggplants oxidize and change color to brown. As a result, utilize them as early as possible after cutting them. Dip in an acidic solution, such as lemon juice, as an alternative. It will keep them fresh for several hours.
  3. Once you chop the eggplant, try to cook it as promptly as possible. The rotting of the chopped eggplant happens quickly. The ideal temperature for preserving eggplant is 50-54 degrees Fahrenheit.
  4. Keep the vegetable separate from other fruits since if you store it near bananas, apples, or tomatoes (which produce ethylene, which helps in ripening), it may perish rapidly.
  5. Keep your vegetable out of direct sunshine as well. Place it in a well-ventilated area of your kitchen or pantry.

What Happens When You Eat a Lousy Eggplant?

After eating a dirty or spoiled eggplant, you are likely to experience a food-borne illness – just as you would with any other meal. Once an eggplant deteriorates, it becomes host to various bacteria that induce stomach distress, vomiting, or diarrhea.

That is why, other than maintaining its freshness,  it is important to keep your eggplant clean. Rinse the fruit carefully to remove any germs, chemicals, and fertilizer that may still be on it.

Botulism, another deadly condition, can also be contracted by eating raw fruit.

Can You Freeze Eggplant?

Freeze uncooked eggplant to prolong its storage life. It would be best to boil it first; otherwise, it will continue to discolor and lose flavor and texture value.

To blanch an eggplant, follow these steps:

  1. Over high temperatures, boil water in a large bowl.
  2. For every eight glasses of water, add some salt or pour 1/4 cup of lemon juice.
  3. Half-fill a large mixing container with chilly water and place it next to the heat.
  4. Only prepare and blanch a few chunks of eggplant at a time to prevent the waiting slices from browning.
  5. Cook the vegetable for 4 to 5 minutes, or until it is barely tender in the middle.
  6. To stop the cooking process, extract the slices using a slotted spatula or tongs and dip them in icy water.
  7. Continue until all of the vegetables have been blanched, re-icing the cold water as required.

To freeze the vegetable, make sure it is dry. Use an airtight sealer to pack it if you have one. Alternatively, while sealing the Ziploc bag, compress out as much air as you can. Frozen uncooked or prepared eggplant should be used within one year of freezing for the best quality.

Related: Vegetable Cooking Times: How Long To Cook Fresh/Frozen Vegetables

Conclusion

Eggplants are nutritious, tasty vegetables that you may use in a variety of cuisines. For prolonged preservation, you should blanch and freeze the vegetable.

Always be careful not to eat a rotten eggplant because it can lead to various health problems. Go through this article to determine how to detect if the fruit is still safe to eat.

We hope we have answered all of your concerns about how lengthy eggplant keep, but if you still have any, feel free to ask in the comments section below.

Read Further: Couscous Stuffed Eggplant Recipe: My Cooking Guide

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