This time of year many of us have problems getting enough fresh produce. If you are in California, Florida or some of the bigger cities, it is easier. But many folks have to store their fruits and veggies. Some fruits and veggies can be stored for only a short time. Since fruits and vegetables are such great high potassium foods, without them you can fall short of the goal of 4700 mg a day just because there are no stores nearby with these powerful foods.
Here are some tips on some high potassium fruits and vegetables that can be kept for long periods and how to help them last.
Having 107 times as much potassium as sodium, apples are a great high potassium food. A cup of apple slices will give you about 140 mg of potassium. Their macronutrient values are in a table of fruit here.
Store the whole apples at 30 to 32 degrees. They can last for weeks if put in a plastic bag and stored separately from other vegetables and fruits. The ethylene gas they give off will make the other veggies and fruit ripen quicker. There are some green plastic bags and containers that let the ethylene pass through so the apples will last longer. The bigger apples spoil quicker so eat them first.
Beets have over 4 times as much potassium as sodium and have over 440 mg of potassium in a cup of beet slices. You can find their macronutrient and potassium and sodium values in the vegetables table. If you like juicing, we talked about how beet juice can improve athletic performance here.
Beets are a great veggie to store, lasting for 2 to 4 months in the fridge. Put them in a perforated bag in the crisper.
Raw cabbage has 9 times as much potassium as sodium and gives you 150 mg of potassium in a cup of chopped cabbage. It is one of the foods that lose more sodium than potassium when boiled. A quarter head of boiled cabbage will give you over 600 mg of potassium.
Wrap the heads in plastic and store in the crisper. They can last 2 months. You can use cabbage fresh in salads instead of lettuce, as well as cooked as a side dish or stuffed as a cabbage roll.
A cup of chopped raw carrots will give you over 400 mg of potassium, and more than 4 times as much potassium as sodium. Their macronutrient values are in the vegetables table.
When storing them, if you keep the carrots dry they will last longer. They give off a lot of moisture, so use a perforated plastic bag and place a paper towel in the plastic bag and change it as it gets wet. You may be able to get a few months storage this way.
Onions are a great source of potassium. Like cabbage their ratio of potassium to sodium increases when cooked by boiling. The ratio improves from 36 to 55. A cup of chopped raw onions will give you 234 mg of potassium and a cup of cooked onions will give you 349 mg.
Under the ideal environment they can last a year. They need to be dry with the temperature between 30 and 50 degrees, good air circulation, dark and no other ethylene producing produce nearby. But even putting them in a dark cabinet will give them about a month of life.
With a fantastic ratio of more than 23 mg of potassium for every mg of sodium, garlic is a great choice. A cup of raw garlic provides 545 mg of potassium.
Garlic likes to be stored at 60 to 65 degrees, darkness and a moderate humidity. If kept in the cold, it will start to sprout in a few days if brought to room temperature. So if you store it in the fridge, don't bring it out until it is to be used. Also don't store cut garlic in the fridge unless you want all your other food in the fridge to taste like garlic.
Pumpkins and winter squash
With potassium to sodium ratios running from over 30 to over 100, they can provide 300 to 900 mg in a serving, depending on whether you are using acorn, butternut, hubbard or spaghetti squash. Pumpkin is a super potassium source, providing over 560 mg of potassium in a cup of cooked, mashed pumpkin. Watch out for pumpkin pie mix, though. So much sodium has been added that there is more sodium than potassium in the mix.
Keep the pumpkins or squash in a cabinet in single layers allowing air circulation. They can last from 2 months to as long as 6 months under ideal circumstances.
Potatoes are one of the super potassium foods. With a ratio of potassium to sodium of between 70 and 80, a large raw potato can provide over 1500 mg of potassium. If the potato is baked, the ratio remains high and gives just as much potassium.
Potatoes can last 2 to 4 months if stored at 40 degrees and in the dark. Onions and apples give off ethylene which will make the potatoes ripen and rot quicker. So store your potatoes away from them.