A few months ago I signed us up to get a weekly organic produce box from Abundant Harvest Organics. To be honest, I don’t buy a lot of organic just because it’s not in the budget right now. But I wanted to give this a try because you don’t get to pick what you get each week. Why? I tend to stick to what I know. I tend to cook similar meals several times a month and I stick to ingredients I’m familiar with. Over the last few months we’ve worked through all sorts of produce that I don’t use regularly or at all and I love that I need to go research produce and recipes we’ve never tried. I love that it encourages me to try new things and come to terms with the fact that it’s not the end of the world if I don’t love a recipe, which is a fear of mine when it comes to trying new recipes.
When we first started getting to box I was overwhelmed. I already buy a lot of produce, but it was just a lot to work through in one week before it went bad or we got another box and got overloaded with produce again. Over the last few weeks I’ve figured out a balance between skipping some boxes (putting it on “vacation” every other week) and researching how to store produce. Our first few boxes I was frustrated because everything was going bad so quickly. Then I learned a few tricks for storing things and the life of most of my produce more than doubled.
A few storage tips I learned:
- Store lettuce heads in a large, airtight tupperware with a damp paper towel. I had several that lasted about 2 weeks!
- Store carrots with the tops cut off, submerged in water, in a tupperware in the fridge. I kept mine in there for about 2 weeks and they were still perfectly fresh when I took them out to make a carrot cake
- Tomatoes don’t need to be refrigerated (mind blown.)
- Zucchini/squash wrapped in a dish towel and put in the vegetable drawer didn’t start going bad until 7-10 days after I put them in there
- Greens like kale and collard greens can be stored like fresh cut flowers in water
I’m sure there’s more. I also found out that I needed to eat a lot of the fruit quickly (nectarines, plums, apricots, mostly) because they always included a lot and with it getting hot they’d go bad within a week. Fruits like apples stayed fresh longer.
I’ve actually put our subscription on pause for a few weeks while we catch up on all the food we have in the house. Do you subscribe to a produce or CSA box?