vegetables

Storing Fresh Produce

vegetablesYou’ve just come home from the farmers’ market and now you need to know how best to store them.

Most leafy veggies like kale, spinach, escarole, and chard as well as broccoli should be used within three to five days. You’ve got five to seven days to use arugula, bell peppers, green beans, zucchini and summer squash (all of which you can find at the market right now!) You’ve got more time to use up cabbage, carrots, turnips and beets, as they have a shelf life of two weeks or more.

A few tips for storing your fresh treasure:

  • Store fruits and vegetables separately; some foods can make other fruits and vegetables ripen or rot faster
  • Keep broccoli, cauliflower and cucumbers away from other produce
  • Wash your leafy produce and dry well; wrap in a dishtowel or paper towel, and put in a plastic bag (poke some holes in it first!) and then store in the vegetable drawer
  • Remove the greens from carrots, turnips, beets and parsnips and store them loose in the crisper drawer. But keep the greens. They are tasty too!
  • Store most other vegetables in plastic bags with holes in them

Blueberries, the Super Food!

They’re showing up at the farmers’ market now – blueberries! Loaded with antioxidants, potassium and vitamin C, blueberries are one of the healthiest fruits you can eat. Just one-half cup of blueberries a day can lower your cholesterol and lower your risk of heart disease and cancer. They also are a natural anti-inflammatory. When buying, pick the darkest blue fruit – the darker the fruit, the more health benefits they have. Frozen blueberries are just as good as the fresh ones, so be sure to pick up extra at the market now and freeze them for later!

To get a healthy start to your day, here’s a Wake-Up Smoothie recipe from the eatingwell.com test kitchen:

Ingredients

1¼ cups orange juice, preferably calcium-fortified

1 banana

1¼ cups frozen berries, such as raspberries, blackberries, blueberries and/or strawberries

½ cup low-fat plain yogurt

Directions
Combine orange juice, banana, berries, and yogurt in a blender; cover and blend until creamy. Serve immediately.

Photo Credit: Free-Photos Via Pixabay

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