How to Store CSA Veggies

Are you a CSA member yet? If not, check out my posts on why I joined, and a sampling of my fave CSA recipes!  If you are, and you’re anything like me, you have a ton of fresh veggies and fruits and are constantly learning new tips and tricks for storage. I’m talking which fruits and veggies stay on the counter and which head straight to the fridge. Also, which ones can you freeze?! For all the answers, keep reading!

How to Store CSA Veggies

Wash & Prep 

After my weekly CSA pick up, I ready the sink, drying mat, colander and scrub brush and get to work! I like to prep my veggies and fruits all at once, this way they’re ready to eat for the remainder of the week. This gives me extra time to make dinner, since I spend less time prepping prior! (say that 5 times fast) I scrub the mushrooms with a scrubber, rinse all fruits, rinse beans and root veggies and set aside to dry.

Design Mom has a great in depth guide to washing produce. I especially love her tip for greens: wash greens in a big bowl of water with a little white vinegar added. Gently swish to remove dirt and bugs. {yum} I haven’t used vinegar before, but I’m going to try that this week! I then spin my greens extra dry and store them in plastic bags, instant salad in a bag! Design Mom also suggests adding a damp paper towel, something else I will be trying!

Shelf Life

In doing research for this post, I learned a lot about the shelf lives of some items! Granted, a lot of these lists are for store bought items, and CSA is straight from the farm. Like, literally, sometimes you pick it up at the farm. So I find that I get a few extra days if not a week longer added onto any shelf life recommendations I see. Also, keep in mind, these are recommendations: if your fruits or veggies look rotten sooner, toss them. If they’re still good longer than you thought they’d be, use them quick, lest not tempt fate!

Of course, BuzzFeed is the all time winner ever for infographics! I’m linking to their fully comprehensive pictorial of shelf lives and storage tips for every type of food, not just veggies! I hope it helps! Did you know that a whole melon will last 5 days once ripe, but then another 7-10 days halved, wrapped and stored in the fridge?! Talk about a super fruit!

Warm Storage

A lot of fruits and veggies can be kept right on the counter, which I love, instant kitchen decor! Here are a few that are best left on the counter:

Avocado to ripen (fridge after) Banana, Melon, Tomatoes (store stem side down to reduce bruising), Peaches

A few items should be kept in a dark pantry, so get your baskets ready for: Garlic, Onion, Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Winter Squash

This list is super in depth and should answer any additional storage questions you might have!

Cold Storage

Here are a few that are best stored in the fridge:

Apple, Berries, Citrus (I used to leave mine out!), Grapes, Asparagus, Beets, Peppers, Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrots (cut off tops to prolong life and nutrients), Cauliflower, Celery, Cucumber, Greens, Mushrooms, Onion (cut), Radish, Summer Squash

Deep Freeze

Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you will not eat all of your fresh produce! Enter the deep freeze! This resource from Design Mom is awesome, and includes a list of which fruits and veggies are better left whole or chopped up! I remove my spinach and kale from the stems and freeze those in freezer baggies to use in smoothies. The leafy green taste is seriously toned down after freezing! I freeze berries, bananas (peeled and chopped), and peaches for smoothies, and these can last in the freezer for up to 1 year!

Another great tip is to trim those CSA herbs, and combine with olive oil or butter in ice cube trays. Then you can reach in any time you’d like and grab a flavor cube for any dish!

Things like asparagus, corn, green beans and spinach will last up to 8 months when frozen!

Enjoying

I’ve already introduced you to 3 of my favorite CSA recipes, and I’ve got another post on the way with 3 more.  A quick Pinterest search will be the quickest way to find something to do with that strange ingredient, or use the recipe book included in your CSA welcome packet!

Here are some more tips and tricks for enjoying your CSA fruits and veggies!

Several fruit and veggies faves are high Ethylene producers, meaning that they will ripen or even spoil other fruits and veggies they come in contact with faster. Keep these items away from other fresh produce to be safe: Apples, Apricots, Cantaloupe, Figs, Honeydew, Tomatoes, Bananas, Avocados Nectarines, Peaches, Pears, Plums.

Mushrooms and Okra are best stored in paper bags, while Broccoli, Cauliflower, Green Onions and Radishes are best stored unwashed in a plastic bag. I totally have been washing my radishes when I’ve been getting them home from my CSA pickup!

I hope these tips and tricks have been helpful, feel free to pin the image below to save this post!

How to Store CSA Veggies- Pin this now, Come back later!

How to Store CSA Veggies- Pin this now, Come back later!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s