kale in water 2

Tips for storing and preserving your vegetables

Come and visit this page soon for some great ideas about how to keep your FarmShare vegetables fresh and happy!

I found the following general tips in a booklet from the lovely folks at the Unicorn Grocery co-op in Manchester (go and visit if you find yourself there) :

Produce to store cold and dry (fridge/paper bag): Beetroot, Swede, Jerusalem artichokes, Mushrooms, Peppers, Courgette, Aubergine, Cucumbers, Broad Beans.

Produce to store cool and dry (in a cool room such as a pantry): Potatoes (keep in the dark!), Onions, Garlic, Shallots (best hung in nets for airflow), Squash, Pumpkins.

Produce to keep cold and moist (in a plastic bag, not tightly sealed, allow some air and space!): Broccoli and cauliflowers, Leafy cabbages and sprouts, Lettuce and salad leaves, Spinach and beet leaves, Celery, French beans, Rhubarb, Asparagus, Fennel, Radish, Leeks, Spring onions.

Of course nothing lasts for ever but here are our own tips on seasonal eating, storage and preserving gluts etc by produce name below (in more detail):

Beetroot
from BBC Good Food: “Is of exceptional nutritional value; especially the greens, which are rich in calcium, iron and vitamins A and C. Beets are an excellent source of folic acid and a very good source of fibre, manganese and potassium. The greens should not be overlooked; they can be cooked up and enjoyed in the same way as spinach.
Juice it: you’ll want to keep the fibre in to retain the most nutrient value so use a high power nutri-blender.Pickle it: in vinegar, as we have done centuries.

Kale
A fantastically nutritious food high in iron and vitamin K, C and Calcium to name but a few.
In Water (on the stalk): When Kale comes, as it did this week, still on it’s stalk you can simply take a thin slice off the end of the stalk to re-open the water channels and then stand it in a bowl of water on the window. Hey presto, it looks as in the photo above after a whole week!
Freeze it: Kale will freeze well fresh, as a future ingredient of whizzed-up foods (it may not look great once it’s thawed but is still a great ingredient).  Also try freezing it in soups or raw juices and smoothies – tasty and nutritious.
Kale pesto/nutrient juices etc

Mushrooms
It’s a good idea to bring paper bags as well as plastic bags to the hub as Mushrooms especially will spoil quickly in a plastic bag. If you do collect in a plastic bag then make sure you transfer them to a paper bag as soon as you can once you get home.

Pumpkins
These store really well in a cool dry room (a pantry is ideal, out of the sun) and will do so for up to 3 months! So if you have too much produce one week you can store them until a leaner week (say in the ‘hungry gap’ Jan – May)

Salad leaves
These store best in a plastic bag in the fridge.
In Water: Our best tip is that wilted leaves will magically come back to life (and freshness) by putting them in a bowl of water for an hour, simple!
Whizzed up: Alternatively use wilted leaves in soups, stir fry dishes (great for the oriental leaves) or nutrient smoothies/juices.