Loving your greens
Don't let your salad fixings go to waste. Try these practical tips and handy products to keep your greens fresh!
"Ideally you would harvest right before you use," says garden coach and landscape consultant Beuna Tomalina at GardenInspire.com. "But when that's not possible, you need to know how to store your produce."
Copy the produce aisle
Tomalina recommends storing your veggies the way your grocery store displays them in the produce section. "The wrong type of storage can reduce the time your harvest will last and may affect the flavor," says Tomalina.
For short-term storage:
- Refrigerate spinach, lettuce, arugula and other leafy greens, most herbs, cabbage, asparagus, sprouts, sunchokes, berries, cherries and rhubarb.
- Do not refrigerate onions, garlic, potatoes, avocado, apples, oranges, lemons, limes, pears, peaches or grapefruit.
For long-term storage:
- Utilize root cellars, freezing, canning or dehydrating, depending on the type of product and how you intend to use it later.
Canning 101 >>
Wash, wash, wash!
The news stories about contaminated produce — lettuce, tomatoes, spinach and more — are frightening. Even if you're using organic produce, the veggies you buy have been touched by many hands — from farm to market to table. Tap water alone isn't always enough to wash away the pesticides, germs and residue on our produce.
Consider using a fruit and vegetable cleaning system. Fit Fruit & Vegetable Wash is a 100 percent natural produce wash that will help you feel good about the produce your family eats. The spray, soaker and colander are available as a set. (Amazon.com, $26)
Sack it up
Our ancestors had to keep their veggies fresh for as long as possible, and the Orka by Mastrad Vegetable Keep Sack is a modern take on their handiwork. The double-drawstring cotton sack safely and conveniently stores and preserves garlic, onions and potatoes. The sacks are machine washable and can be hung on a wall or kitchen rail for handy access. (ReUseIt.com, $8–$10)
Kill two birds with one stone
Charis Freiman-Mendel, the SAT Gourmet, recommends the Salad Sac as "a practical storage solution for keeping vegetables fresh." Simply place washed and slightly damp greens in the bag, refrigerate, and enjoy crisp veggies for days. Freiman-Mendel placed collard greens, dandelion greens, lacinato (dinosaur) kale, spinach and celery together into the Sac. "The veggies took on a perfectly crisp texture and stayed that way for days!"
The Salad Sac, which resembles a terrycloth towel, also eliminates the need for a salad spinner or paper-towel drying and allows you to prepare salads ahead of time (without the dressing, of course). (Organize.com, $10)