Saturday, 11 January 2014

Fridge full of veggies

If you aren't experienced with having your own garden, being a member of a CSA, or have a busy lifestyle, it can be challenging to figure out what to do with a regular supply of vegetables stuffing your fridge.

The first important thing to do is properly store your vegetables and greens so that they do not spoil. While we do our best to ensure that the produce and greens are clean, we recommend that you take a few minutes to rinse greens before putting them away. Soak greens in a bowl or the sink with a splash of vinegar, or a dash of salt, or nothing. Let any debris sink down or insect visitors float to the top. Remove your new friends then drain out the water and spin greens and lettuces in a salad spinner.

For beets, carrots, and other vegetables sometimes we will give them with the greens still attach. You can remove these and store separately to avoid moisture leaching from the root into the leaves. They can be eaten or used separately.

As we do not spray any fungicide or sprout deterrents root crops like potatoes do not have as long a shelf-life. This is especially true if the top layer of protective bacteria is removed so we do not give washed potatoes. It is best to keep them in a cool and dark place that is not air-tight.

The next important thing is to eat your veggies everyday by incorporating them into your diet. We will send a weekly e-mail of what will be in the box. We try to give a few days notice so you can plan your meals.

Besides the traditional protein (meat!) - starch (potatoes!) - side vegetable structure of a meal there are plenty of interesting ways to work more vegetables into your diet without too much work.

First thing I would recommend doing is storing away vegetables for use at a later date. This will help you free up some space in your fridge and avoid spoilage. Last fall I blanched  and froze several bags full of chopped kale and Swiss chard to be used over the winter. Canning batches of salsas, pickles, pesto, and sauces is a bigger process, but worth it down the line.

Next for using the fresh vegetables look up recipes for 'hidden vegetables'. This technique is not just for picky eaters.  Once you have done it a few times, you can get creative. I like pureeing vegetables and adding them to soup or spaghetti sauce.

 This WebMD article has some great ideas on incorporating vegetables into your diet.

The Kitchn also has this quick guide to eating more vegetables.

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