Category Archives: Tomatoes

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!

 

Getting Kids To Eat Their Vegetables

Getting Your Kids to Eat Vegetable

As an adult, going to the farmers market and picking out fresh and local vegetables with your EBT SNAP benefits card is exciting. Unfortunately, your children may not be as enthused. If your child is a picky eater, it can be challenge to get them to eat healthy. Make the most of your farmers market produce and try these tips and recipes to get your kids to eat healthy foods!

  1. Get them cooking

If your children are involved in the food preparation process, from start to finish, they will be more inclined to eat the healthy dish. Take them to the farmers market and help them pick out the produce. Cooking together will not only be a quality experience but it will make your child feel involved and proud of the finished product.

  1. Pair vegetables with their favorite foods

Children will be more willing to try a new vegetable if it’s paired with their favorite food. Try adding vegetable toppings to a pizza or taco or mix in vegetables with a pasta dish. If your child is resistant, don’t give up. Your child’s taste preferences will change as they grow. It could be helpful to serve a familiar vegetable with a new one so your child will be more likely to eat them.

  1. Don’t force your child to eat vegetables

Although it is frustrating when your child will not eat their vegetables, it is not productive to yell or make ultimatums. DO NOT force your child to eat any food. This can cause emotional trauma surrounding the food and have them avoid eating it, even as adults. The best strategy is to ask them to eat small portions of the food to try, not clean their plate.

  1. Put them everywhere

When children are hungry, they usually pick what is easy and accessible. Your job as a parent is to make fruits and vegetables reachable snacks. Cut them up and put them in containers on low shelves in the fridge. If healthy snacks are already cut and ready to eat, your children will be more likely to choose them. Also, have snack-sized dips like hummus or ranch available to pair with raw vegetables.

  1. Set a good example

Children mimic their parents’ behavior. If they see you eating healthy foods, they will eat them as well. Eat the foods you are asking them to eat and be a role model for them. Teach them about healthy foods and nutrition and they will most likely adopt your ways.

If none of these tips work on your picky eater, try hiding vegetables in plain sight. Check out this website with over 100+ recipes kids will enjoy but secretly contain vegetables.

Check out what is being picked this week*:

Tomatoes, Herbs, Blackberries, Peppers, Lima Beans, Rhubarb, Beets, Cabbage, Kale, Lettuce, Swiss Chard, Onions, Snap Peas, Broccoli, Beans, Zucchini, Cherries, Raspberries & Cucumbers

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

Recipe of the Week:

If your child is a chicken nugget fanatic, try this recipe for veggie nuggets. It may just get them to eat their vegetables.