This past Saturday I was blessed with an opportunity to teach shoppers at the Coppell, TX Farmer's Market on proper food storage techniques. We discussed the best way to maximize your local produce purchases once you get them home, nutritional information, and some unorthodox cooking methods to get the most out of the whole piece of produce (more on that awesome subject in another blog post!).
The sign in the middle of the market and my zero-waste prop setup.
This is information from the handout I provided the attendees, with some notes added from attendees who were kind enough to share their practices with me after the presentation:
Onions and shallots
Lemons, limes, oranges, and other citrus with a thick pith
Pears, apples, and stone fruit
Tomatoes (all varieties)
Refrigerator – in BPA-free green bags, which elongate the lifespan by about 5 times the normal length with conventional bags
Squash and zucchini (unless being used within 48 hours of picking or purchasing)
Lettuces, spinach, and cabbage
Cucumbers and okra (once sliced, wrap a damp cloth around the cucumber to keep fresh in the fridge)
Carrots (greens clipped and stored separately to be used within 48 hours of purchase)
Fennel (frawns clipped and stored separately)
Refrigerator – in containers
All berry varieties (don't use the sealing lid; instead, place a light cloth over the top to allow breathing)
Grapes (open to allow for mindless snacking and circulation)
Mason jars filled with enough water to cover stems
Cilantro – kept in the fridge with a bag loosely over the leaves
Basil, parsley, thyme, oregano, sage, rosemary, and other herbs– kept at room temp
Freezing techniques – keeps produce for up to 1 year after freezing
Chop basil and place in ice cube trays. Cover with water and freeze, then pop out and place into freezer bags and label for a year from today
Place hot peppers and tomatoes in freezer bags whole after a thorough cleaning with water
Chop parsley, sage, oregano, thyme, and other leafy herbs and place into freezer bag without air
Keep potatoes separate from onions, which will dry the potatoes quickly (about a foot away)
Garlic needs to be in a dark and aerated canister to keep it fresh (such as a garlic keeper)
Bananas need to be hung in order to avoid bruises
One attendee told me she uses 1 part apple cider vinegar to 2 parts water to clean her produce, and particularly her strawberries. I'm definitely going to try this technique!
Chatting it up with other like-minded localvores prior to my speech.
I hope this list helps you with your food storage! I'd love to know what tips and tricks you use in your home. Sound off in the comments below!
Till next time,
Dallas Farmer Gal