Category Archives: Potatoes

Freezing Fruit

How to Stockpile Your Produce Without the Hassle of Canning

With the outdoor farmers market season coming to an end, everyone is looking for ways to stockpile their fresh produce. To maximize your SNAP EBT benefits and utilize your farmers market produce several months from now, try preserving your produce!

The most traditional way to preserve your produce is by canning. Canning, however, can be very difficult for beginners and can be a long and tedious process. Here are three stress-free alternatives to canning that guarantee your produce’s freshness long after harvest.

  1. Freezing

Freezing is a great alternative to making jam and canning if you want your produce to be accessible in the middle of the winter. You also can do it easily in your own home with a standard freezer. You can freeze fresh fruit, vegetables, and even herbs in olive oil in an ice cube tray. Full recipes here:

How to Freeze Fresh Fruit, How to Freeze Zucchini, How to Freeze Fresh Herbs in Olive Oil

  1. Drying

Drying is another canning alternative that can preserve your best fruit. Although drying typically involves a dehydrator, it can easily be done in your own oven. Try drying your own fruit for your trail mix this fall. Full recipe here: How to Dry Fruit Without a Dehydrator

  1. Jamming

Although jamming is still done in a can, it is a much simpler process. Making jams and preserves is a great way to reuse extra fruit and can also double as a great gift. The difference between jams and preserves comes from how they are made. Jams use mashed up fruit whereas preserves use chunks of whole fruit. Full recipe here: How to Make Jams and Preserves

Check out what’s being picked this week*: Pumpkin, Cauliflower, Beets, Cabbage, Broccoli, Beans, Peppers, Eggplant, Potatoes, Winter Squash, Onions, Raspberries & Collards

*Availability will vary by market due to differences in growing zones.

Recipe of the Week:

Cozy up this fall with this seasonal soup recipe!

 

plastic containers for storing food in the fridge

How-to Keep Your Produce Fresh: Shelf-life 101

Everyone loves to enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables, but it can be difficult to keep produce fresh without spoiling. Each year, Americans dump $43 billion worth of spoiled food. To save your SNAP EBT benefits and the environment, use these tips to maximize your produce’s shelf-life and minimize waste.

Location of Produce

To lengthen the shelf-life of your produce, you must slow each food’s respiration using cold temperatures, typically using the refrigerator. Warmer temperatures speed up the rate of respiration. Some fruits release ethylene, a gas that’s speeds the rate of respiration and spoiling. To maximize your produce’s freshness:

  1. Refrigerate these ethylene releasers: Apples, Apricots, Cantaloupe, Figs, and Honeydew
  2. Do not refrigerate these ethylene releasers: Pears, Plums, and Tomatoes
  3. Keep these away from ethylene releasers: Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Lettuce and other leafy greens, Parsley, Peas, Peppers, Squash Sweet Potatoes, and Watermelon

Always make sure to never store produce in airtight bags or containers, lack of air flow accelerates decay.

Secret Tips

Specific fruits and vegetables last the longest when stored in particular ways. For example, berries last longer when rinsed in a one-part vinegar, three-part water mixture. Some other tricks to fresh produce are:

  • Store lettuce in a bowl with a paper towel and a dash of salt. The paper towel and salt absorbs the moisture and wetness from the lettuce
  • Store carrots in a bowl of water and seal with plastic wrap to keep them moist
  • Wrap onions in pantyhose to allow the right amount of air to circulate to keep the vegetable fresh
  • Store apples with potatoes to keep your potatoes from sprouting
  • Soak apple slices in salt water to prevent them from browning
  • Wrap celery in aluminum foil to allow ethylene to escape

What to Eat First

Although storing your fruits with the correct vegetables and following these secret tips help lengthen your produce’s shelf-life, you still must eat more perishable produce first. Delicate fruits such as raspberries are never going to last regardless of your storing techniques. Follow this guide to know how to prioritize your produce:

Eat on Day 0 – Day 2: Artichokes, Asparagus, Basil, Broccoli, Cherries, Corn, Dill, Green beans, Mushrooms, Mustard greens, Strawberries, and Watercress

Eat on Day 3 – Day 5: Arugula, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Grapes, Lettuce, Lime, and Zucchini

Eat on Day 6 – Day 7: Apricots, Bell peppers, Blueberries, Brussel sprouts, Cauliflower, Grapefruit, Leeks, Lemons, Mint, Oranges, Oregano, Parsley, Pears, Plums, Spinach, Tomatoes, and Watermelon

Eat on Day 8+: Apples, Beets, Cabbage, Carrots, Celery, Garlic, Onions, Potatoes, and Winter squash

Check out what’s being picked this week*: Grapes, Kale, Apples, Brussel Sprouts, Beets, Cabbage, Broccoli, Beans, Zucchini, Tomatoes, Herbs, Peppers, Eggplant, Potatoes, Squash, Sweet Corn, Raspberries, Okra & Collards

*Availability will vary by market due to differences in growing zones.

Recipe of the Week:

Looking for a last minute side dish for dinner tonight? Try this recipe!

 

Potatoes at Farmers market

One Potato, Two Potatoes, Bad Potato, Good?

Did you know that potatoes are actually good for you? Sadly, most people assume they aren’t good for them and with good reason. The truth is America’s obsession with junk food is to blame for potatoes getting a bad rap. According to the USDA/NASS approximately 65% of the potatoes consumed in the United States per year are in French Fry or Potato Chip form. Obviously, when you fry or process a potato and add fatty oils and high levels of sodium to them it’s going to do more harm than good.

Nutrition experts are trying to dispel the unhealthy potato myth by educating the public about the nutritional benefits of the potato. One medium baked potato gives us almost 30% or our daily-recommended value of both vitamin B6 and vitamin C. Potatoes are also high in both fiber and potassium which most of us do not get enough of on a daily basis. A baked potato is an excellent addition to a well-balanced meal if you go easy on the sodium and fatty toppings.

By now most of us are aware that we don’t have to sacrifice taste when it comes to eating healthy. Some alternative healthy toppings that go great on a baked potato are scallions, Greek yogurt, curry, tomato-pesto, salsa, low fat sour cream and chives. Can’t imagine your spud without butter and salt? Just remember less is more.

Don’t discard the skins. Eat them! Potato skins are packed with potassium, iron, and niacin. What does that mean for you? Potassium fuels your metabolism and assists in your muscle movement. Iron supports healthy red blood cells, which carry oxygen throughout your body. And Niacin or vitamin B3 is important for healthy new cell development and assists in recovering from stress.

Recently, the Institute of Medicine put white potatoes back on the eligibility list for the WIC program. They discovered that women and children weren’t meeting the recommended daily intake of starchy vegetables and potatoes are a simple and beneficial solution.

For all of you spud fans it’s time to bring the potato back into your diet. Remember, the potato on its own is healthy, just be aware of how it’s been prepared and what’s on top of it.

Check out what’s being picked this week*: Raspberries, Okra, Beets, Cabbage, Broccoli, Beans, Zucchini, Cucumbers, Tomatoes, Herbs, Peppers, Lima Beans, Eggplant, Potatoes, Squash, Sweet Corn, Blueberries, Pears

*Availability will vary by market due to differences in growing zones.

Recipe of the Week:

Here’s a great way to load up your baked potato without the added fat and calories: Try this recipe

Photo Credit: Nick Saltmarsh Via Flickr Creative Commons