Using all of your produce from the farmer’s market can be challenging. Whatever your farmer has that week is what’s on the menu — and it doesn’t always go together. Plus, if you buy a big batch of herbs, it can be difficult to use all of them before they go bad. Luckily, all you have to do is get creative in your storage and cooking methods to get the most out of your haul.
Some items should never go anywhere near your refrigerator as cool air can ruin their texture or kill the plants entirely. Martha Stewart categorizes tomatoes as one of these plants and recommends keeping them on your countertop out of the sun for best results. If you got your tomatoes on the vine, keep them there until you’re ready to eat them, that will keep the plants good for longer. On the other hand, corn stalks should go straight to the fridge with the stalks still on, according to the outlet, you’ll get an extra week out of them that way.
From here, your pesky greens may be the most difficult to store. Mindbodygreen suggests pooling them together, then spritzing them with water to make them damp before you wrap them in a tea towel or cotton storage back. When you refrigerate them like this, they’ll retain their moisture for much longer, keeping them out of the garbage can and on your plate. The outlet even claims that this method will help your greens maintain their crispness for weeks!
Squash can last longer than you think
There are a few types of foods that don’t perish too quickly that can give you the most for your dollar. Squash and zucchini, for example, are a couple of them. Martha Stewart recommends choosing smaller variations of these plants since larger options often dilute the flavor. Once you’ve brought them home, toss your squash into a crisper drawer. Here, they’ll stay good for two weeks, the outlet notes.
Furthermore, if you have a few leftover vegetables that you don’t know what to do with, pickling can be an easy, healthy way to preserve them. Fermenting your own foods has a variety of health benefits, namely their impact on your microbiome. You can make real pickles from cucumbers or opt for a new recipe with radishes, carrots or onions for a long-lasting snack. Plus, all they require is a glass jar, some water, salt and sugar.
Mindbodygreen suggests making batches of sauces with your herb haul — then putting them in the freezer. Instead of using a handful of an herb one night and throwing the rest of the bunch away, this allows you to make the most of them for a longer period of time. Plus, when you don’t feel like cooking next month, you’ll be happy you planned ahead.
Eating fresh, healthy food for weeks on end is possible — you just have to plan ahead.
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