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Zero-waste Food Storage

August 16, 2016

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:

 

On counter

  • Onions and shallots

  • Lemons, limes, oranges, and other citrus with a thick pith

  • Pears, apples, and stone fruit

  • Avocados

  • Tomatoes (all varieties)

  • Butternut squash

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)

  • Scallions

  • Bell peppers

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)

  • Ginger root

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

Tips

  • 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

 

 

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