We've all been there, you stocked up on lots of exotic fruits and veggies at your local farmer's market over the weekend only to have everything smelling rotten and looking wilted by the end of the week. The worst! We love eating fresh and and shopping from local farmers so we've discovered a few tricks of the trade over the past several years that have our veggies lasting longer and saving us both time and money! We also hate running to the store every day so in true RG fashion, we've learned to make our produce last.
Spinach, Lettuce, & Kale ||
Anytime you buy lettuce, kale or spinach and place it in your fridge you should always place one or two paper towels in the packaging with it. This will save it from going bad for weeks. If you buy it fresh, chop it up so it's ready on the go and place it in big gallon freezer bags with a paper towel on each side. This helps soak up the moisture and keeps them vibrant and fresh. This is probably our favorite tip and has saved us so much money. Wilted, brown lettuce is gross and we promise this will elongate the life of those leafy greens.
Mushrooms are best kept in a brown paper bag, loosely rolled closed, in your refrigerator.
A brown, cardboard container works just as well. Target sells portobello mushrooms in them and we've used the same container for months each time we make a new mushroom purchase.
Just place the mushrooms in this container and loosely cover with plastic wrap. Either way, these two methods are sure to keep those mushrooms lasting longer.
Best kept in your refrigerator, with the ends in a couple inches of a water and the tree top part facing up. The easiest way to do this is place a couple inches worth of water in the bottom of a cup and drop your asparagus, end side down, into the cup. They'll keep longer like this and you can take as many out as you need and keep the rest in there until you're ready for more.
Green Onion ||
Did you know you can re-grow your green onions? How often do you only use one or two stems and the rest sit wilted and untouched in your fridge? Leave a little over an inch of the green stem attached to the bottom root and sit out on your counter in a glass of water. You will be amazed at the growth after only a couple days!
Fruit can be a tough one. We've all been there, you go to eat a banana you bought only two days ago and it's brown and looks rotten. Almost all fruits can be stored in the refrigerator to extend their shelf life. However, produce that's best to NOT put in the refrigerator are bananas, tomatoes, potatoes, lemons and limes. These forms of produce will experience strange texture changes at cooler temperatures. Garlic and onions should also be kept at room temperature.
If you truly clean house at the farmer's market and have a ton of fruit don't forget about freezing it!
It's best to use wax paper. First, cut up the fruit and lay flat on wax paper and then place in freezer. Once frozen throw in a freezer Ziplock bag to store. Then you can take out as many or as few as you need. If you throw them in the freezer as is, without first laying your fruit out on the wax paper, the fruit will all freeze together in a giant ball. If you're feeling really adventurous here is a great way to dry your own fruit.
We have to say we are a little sad that summer is so quickly fading. As much as we love flannels, apple cider with cider mill donuts, and sweater weather (yeah, we're basic) we have to say lazy Saturdays spent buying fresh produce and plants from local farmers, antiquing and eating ice cream cones are some of our favorite past times. Shopping at places like Eastern Market or local Amish stands (yes, we're from the Midwest) or picking blueberries straight from a farm takes you back to a simpler time. When it's twenty below with the windchill and we're pulling strawberries out of the freezer for Saturday brunch it will take us back to those sunny, lazy days.
We hope your summer was filled with all the things you love and if not there's still time left to squeeze them in!