September 28, 2010
VEGGIE STORAGE TIPS
Most of these tips shamelessly copied from my wonderful farm mentor Hilary Moore @ Teamwork Farm in Lanark, ON
Tomatoes - Taste best & continue to ripen if left out at room temperature. They are easy to freeze if not made into salsa or sauces. Pop them in a freezer bag, whole or sliced, squeeze out the extra air and you are done. They will be perfect for cooking rice in, or in stews.
Onions/Garlic – should be stored in a dry, cool, dark place. Not in the refrigerator, or under the sink - think paper bag or cardboard box to allow for air circulation.
Summer Squash - keep in plastic in the fridge, or slice & grate to freeze, no need to blanch them
Winter Squash Keep at at room temperature (not exceeding 17C) to finish ripening; different types of squash reach maturity at different times over the winter. If you are squaring off an Gargantuan Guatemalan Blue Banana or Humongous Hubbard, you can freeze it - baked or raw.
Cabbage, Leeks, Turnip, and Beets Store in a plastic bag (allowing some air in) in the fridge. All prefer a somewhat damp, cool environment - a dirt floor basement is ideal, especially for leeks.
Potatoes like it it dark, cool, and somewhat moist - store in a breathable cardboard box or paper bag, as touching moisture (like condensation in plastic bags) will lead to rot. We leave the soil on your storage roots as it helps to keep the moisture in, which will allow them to store longer as well.
Get Gorgeous Greens! (did we mention this enough in the spring?)
1. Keep greens in a plastic bag in the fridge. Drain any excess water or they may turn to mush.
2. Rotate your greens, making sure to finish your older stuff first. It should all last for quite a while (i.e. weeks).
3. Save the turnip and beet greens that come with the roots. Cook & add them to anything— pasta sauces, rice dishes, hamburger patties, butter..
4. If your family isn't keen on greens, try creamy pasta sauce or look up baking recipes that sneak vegetables in to the mix.
5. Greens shrink a lot when cooked -- Follow the steps below to set aside some in the freezer & you will thank yourself come February!!!!
Steps for Blanching and Freezing Greens
Freezing greens (such as spinach, chard, beet greens, pac choi, kale, to name a few… ) is a quick and easy way to save those greens that are piling up in your fridge!
You will need:
A pot of boiling water, a sink of cold water (with a few ice cubes)
Clean dish towel
Colander & bowl
Ziploc bags & slotted spoon
1. Add your greens to the boiling water for 2 minutes.
2. Removed with slotted spoon and put in colander to drain.
3. Quickly submerge into cold water and let cool.
4. Transfer to dish cloth, squeezing out the liquid as you go. Pack into a Ziploc bag. Remove excess air before sealing bag.
5. Put in the freezer immediately – label and date them too!
at 12:46 PM