It is very easy to let some of our produce to go bad before we get to them. I am going to provide you all with some tips on how to divvy up your CSA and get the most out of them. (Through out this week, I will also show how you can preserve some of the veggies for later dates).
When you get your bags, check what you have and divvy up what produce you know you can use in a meal and how much in each meal you would use. This helps figuring out how many meals you can get out of the bag. (For example, if you get beans-how many will you need for a side dish for one meal)
Make a list of meals you may want to make with your produce and then figure out what other items you will need to make that meal happen! (Meals may change through out the week).
Tips for CSA:
Strategize: Not all vegetables and fruits last as long as others. So it is important to use those first to prevent any waste later in the week.
- Lay the vegetables out on a table to assess the content
- Roughly divvy them up into side-dish sized portions.
- Make a rough schedule of meals
- Before storing vegetables, remove all rubber bands
- Before storing vegetables, clip greens from radishes, beets, carrots etc. and save the greens when appropriate (stay tuned we will be sharing some recipes using some of the greens from vegetables).
Tire Quickly Vegetables:
- Some Greens
- Eggplant (sometimes)
- Cucumbers (Sometimes)
Keep Well Vegetables:
- Sweet Potatoes
- Butternut Squash
- Acorn Squash
- Garlic Scapes
- Beets (sometimes)
(**Do not wash your greens before you put them in the refrigerator, I know this may be hard, but they can break down faster when washed. Instead wash them before you eat them**)
Raw vs. Cooked: Try eating different greens, raw. I love sauteed kale, swiss chard, spinach etc. but when making these for a family they saute down to pretty much nothing. So try having them raw in a salad or using them as wraps for sandwiches.
Revivving Tired Greens: Sometimes no matter what we do, some greens will start wilting and shriveling up. But here is one way we revive our greens.
Place your greens in a large bowl and fill it with cold water that it is submerged. Add a tablespoon of vinegar. Let it sit at least 30 minutes. (if it does not revive, then it probably has gone bad) (for lettuce, you can also cut the end of the head, and set in cold water. I usually splash some cold water over the leaves and then let it sit for 15-20 minutes).
Best Taste: Tomatoes! We all know this is a popular item in your CSAs through out the summer, our tip to keeping these tasting their best. Do Not put these in the refrigerator, they tend to loose their taste. Keep them on the counter, let them ripen and enjoy!
Some other ways to use up your veggies, are to roast them or pickling them. (stay tuned for this week to see how to do these.
(You can also find some more tips from alexandracooks.com, we enjoyed reading her post and a lot of our thoughts were similar with one another! )
Themes: Once you have gotten a hold on your CSA share, try different recipes -keep checking back to see some of the recipes we love. Make each weekday a different theme for your dinners-meatless mondays, taco tuesdays etc. and try and find new recipes for each that you can add your CSA items to it!
Different Ways of Using: Think out of the box! A lot of the items in your shares, you may think of only eating in certain recipes or that they can only be eaten raw/cooked. But there can also be a few different ways to enjoy them and use up the extra you may have.
- Smoothies-these have become more popular the past few years. Add some of your extra greens to them. (Spinach, parsley, kale etc.) Make sure to mix these with some delicious fruits (peaches, watermelon, cantaloupe etc.)
- Omelets: I tend to add almost all of my left over items to my omelets (and I eat these not only in the morning, but also for dinner) I add spinach, kale, swiss chard, onions, garlic scapes etc.
- Pasta Sauces: Collards and kale can cook down and soften during the simmering period. You can also use a lot of items in pestos too.
- Soups & Stews
- Shredded-You can add these to garnish other dishes, like mashed potatoes or make up some coleslaw.
- Wraps- Crunchy greens such as swiss chard, bok choy or romaine lettuce make amazing wraps for different fillings and sandwiches!
Hope some of these are helpful tips for when you open up your CSA bags start preparing what you will be having. We are getting excited for August to arrive, when produce will be at its peak! We will be having a lot more recipe posts and pictures will be coming of the farm!
Please let us know if you have a question about a vegetable that you might of gotten and don’t know much about and also share some of your recipes!
Eagle Point Farm