Category Archives: Tips

Fall Produce Storage Tips!

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Arugula (5-7 days): Arugula is actually an herb in the mustard family. It is generally used similarly to salad greens, either as a substitute or as a complement. Arugula should be kept in a plastic bag to prevent moisture loss, and refrigerated. It will keep for just a few days. Arugula tends to be gritty, so don’t forget to wash it just prior to using. If cooked, it should be added in just the last few minutes to prevent flavor loss and overwilting. Arugula makes a great pizza topping!

Cabbage (2-3 weeks): If possible, do not remove outer leaves from cabbage. Outer leaves protect interior from damage and from moisture loss. However, if refrigerator space is an issue, you can remove the outer leaves, and will have a smaller head of cabbage, just know that it won’t keep quite as well. Cabbage can be used in portions, but once you cut into the interior of the cabbage, you will need to wrap the remaining portion tightly in saran wrap. Cabbage is a versatile vegetable that can be used raw as in coleslaw or cooked in a variety of ways. Cabbage is a food staple and is used in many types of cuisine.

Cucumbers (1 week): Cucumbers should be refrigerated and kept relatively dry. Over exposure to moisture can cause premature deterioration through mold. This is why English Cucumbers are commonly shrink wrapped, and grocery store cucumbers are often finished with a coat of wax. You can check the life of a cucumber by squeezing the ends. The ends generally turn squishy before the rest of the cucumber, so if they feel soft or start to look wrinkled, the cucumber is coming to the end of its storage life.

Lettuce, heads (5-7 days): Lettuce loves moisture. Remove any wilted leaves, and dampen interior remaining leaves. Place in plastic bag, and store in refrigerator. Hearty lettuces like romaine tend to keep the longest, thinner leafed lettuces tend to wilt faster. If lettuce becomes wilted, you can revive it to an extent in a cold water bath. Fill a sink with cold water and a little ice, and submerge the lettuce for 10-15 minutes. The water will be absorbed by the plant, and can revive leaves that are starting to dry out or wilt. However, watch the lettuce carefully to guard against oversaturation and wet-rot.

Spinach (7-10 days): Spinach should be stored in a plastic bag to retain moisture. Spinach is generally rinsed by the farm, so it should have some moisture, but check the bag to make sure that it is not sitting in water. If it is, punch holes in the plastic bag, and drain any excess water. Store spinach in the refrigerator. It will keep for up to a week.

Radishes (1-2 weeks): Remove tops from radishes to prevent moisture loss. Radishes should be stored in the refrigerator, and will keep for up to a week. Radishes have a peppery flavor that usually goes well in salads or in appetizers. The peppery flavor stimulated the production of saliva and rouses flavor, making them a good addition to pre-entree dishes. A simple radish appetizers includes sliced radishes served with melted butter and salt on the side. The peppery flavor is most concentrated in the radish skin, so they can be peeled for a milder flavor. Radish greens can also be used raw in salads, or cooked as you would other greens.

Bell Peppers (7-10 days): Bell peppers come in many varieties and colors. Most bell peppers start out green on the vine, then turn red, yellow, orange, etc. as they ripen. They can be picked early as green bell peppers, or they can be left on the vine and turn color. Since green bell peppers are picked at an earlier stage, they tend to keep longer than do colored peppers. Since colored peppers are left on the vine longer, they tend to have a sweeter more mature flavor than green bell peppers. Bell Peppers should be stored in the refrigerator, and kept dry to prevent mold growth.

Tomatoes, Slicing (1-2 weeks): Tomatoes are best stored at room temperature. Refrigerating causes them to become mealy and lose much of their flavor. Check tomatoes occasionally for softening, and use softest tomatoes first. Softness is a sign of ripeness. In good condition, tomatoes will keep for 2+ weeks, but keep an eye on any bruised or dinged spots, as these will deteriorate faster than the rest of the tomato.

Broccoli (5-7 days): Broccoli should be stored in the refrigerator where it will keep for 4-5 days. Like most vegetables, broccoli will lose moisture as it ages, which you want to protect against, but you also want the broccoli to be able to breathe, so it is not a good idea to enclose it in plastic. A perforated plastic bag, or just an open plastic bag are usually the best options. During commercial transport, broccoli is packed on ice which keeps moisture level high, and temperature as close to freezing as possible, while still allowing the broccoli to breathe. However, this usually isn’t practical at home. Broccoli takes very well to freezing (if blanched first), so you may consider freezing broccoli if unable to use it within a few days.

Baby Bok Choy (5-7 days): Bok choy is a very versatile green that is commonly steamed, boiled, or stir fried. Full sized bok choy stems should be removed from the leaves and discarded, but baby bok choy stems are usually tender enough for cooking. Baby bok choy stems will likely require a little longer cooking time than leaves, so it is usually a good idea to separate them and cook stems a little longer than bok choy leaves which will just need a few minutes. Boy choy should be refrigerated and will keep for 1-2 weeks.

Carrots (2-3 weeks): Carrots are hearty vegetable that will keep for an extended period of time. They will keep best if you can avoid moisture loss. Do this by storing carrots in a plastic bag, and by cutting off the greens about an inch or two above the carrots. Carrot greens will suck moisture out of the roots if they are left on. Carrots should also be stored away from fruits, which emit ethylene gas that may cause carrots to develop a bitter taste over time.

Beets (2-3 weeks): Like carrots, beet roots will keep best if the greens are separated from the bulbs. However, the greens will keep longest if kept on the bulb, which will provide the greens with moisture. It’s a judgment call as to whether you will do best to remove the greens, or leave them on depending on your uses and timeframes for each. Beet greens will keep for up to a week, whereas bulbs will keep 2-3 weeks, so if in doubt you are probably better off keeping the two together. Beet greens can be used similarly to spinach or chard, and are the most nutritious part of the plant.

Greens, Collards, Kale (7-10 days): Greens should be placed in a plastic bag, and stored in the refrigerator. If greens start to look wilted, you can revive them by snipping the base of the stems, filling a tub with ice, cold water, submerging the greens in the water, and placing the water tub in the refrigerator for 6-8 hours. The freshly snipped stems will soak up the cold water, and revitalize the greens. Grocery stores commonly use this trick before placing greens on their produce shelves.

The Road to a Healthy Life Through Fields of Spicy Peppers

Hot peppers are both wildly abundant this time of year and ferociously good for you in myriad ways. You’ve heard the old saying when you have a cold that you just need to “sweat it out”, or maybe when your sinuses are feeling congested you’ve gone for a spicy meal. It turns out there is truth behind that idea. The heat that can be both incredibly painful if you’re not used to it as well as somewhat addicting as you build tolerance is called capsaicin. Capsaicin is commonly used today to flavor foods and in dietary cleanses but Native Americans have been using it for 9,000 years for many different health reasons including relieving joint and muscle pain, lowering blood sugar, improving circulation, boosting metabolism, fighting colds and sinus infections, and aiding digestion. It is high in beta-carotene, which is converted to Vitamin A by the body for immune function as well as Vitamin C, an antioxidant. There are many home remedies you can make using hot peppers for illnesses. If you have a sore throat, simply mix a dash of cayenne into a glass of lemon water to break up mucous and relieve pain.  Of course it’s always important to be careful when handling hot peppers, wearing gloves if the pepper is very hot, never touching your eyes or your face before washing your hands several times. Now is the perfect time to try all those different pepper varieties you’ve never had before, just be sure to slowly work up your tolerance before even looking at a ghost pepper.

The most difficult part of buying hot peppers for me is finding interesting ways to use them. The Pioneer Woman is a blogger who posts about simple living. She wrote an article about roasting green chilies to showcase the amazing flavor that can be drawn from a hot pepper. Roasting a pepper creates a smoky flavor that highlights the spice in a pepper without being overwhelming. In this method you simply line a baking sheet with foil, put the peppers on it, and broil them in the oven. When one side becomes black and charred, flip the peppers over and allow the other side to char as well. This whole process should only take about 15 minutes. Then remove them from the oven and place in a plastic ziploc bag for 20 minutes so they steam further. Finally, pull them out and peel the charred skin off the top. There will still be dark spots on the pepper after this, which is where all the flavor is. Once peeled, you can cut the peppers open and remove the seeds.

roasted chilies 2

roasted chilies 1

 

 

 

 

 

I used anaheim peppers, which I did not realize are as spicy as they are, but they roasted beautifully. I decided to make nachos with guacamole, tomatoes, and cheese, which turned out to be the perfect balance for the smoky pepper flavor, and the cheese cut the spice perfectly (I’m a little bit of a spicy food wimp). If you are sensitive to heat I would recommend poblanos, which are slightly spicy, or even just bell peppers or cheese peppers. If you’re feeling adventurous, wander into the wide world of spicy peppers and reap their health benefits and palate pleasing tendencies. Bring on the poppers, hot pepper jams, pickled chilies, meat marinades, salsas, and jalapeño margaritas!roasted chilies 3

Summer Produce Storage Tips

Summer, the time of year we all dream about during winter once our toes don’t quite remember how to fully thaw before we go back outside, we begin to think of hot beaches and sunburn. Finally summer arrives and with it comes humidity that smothers your skin and mosquitoes that have taken quite a liking to you this year. But who can really be too upset about those things when the sun is out, the birds are singing, and the earth is truly bursting with generosity? The first day of summer this year is June 21, which is also International Yoga Day for all you yogis out there, and the veggies are beginning to tumble in. Many cultures have celebrated the Summer Solstice in different ways: The Egyptians celebrated their New Year at the Summer Solstice which coincided with the rise of the Nile and lead to annual flooding; the Irish would cut hazel branches on the even of the summer solstice that were then used to search for gold, water, and precious jewels. There are not many modern celebrations of the summer solstice, so I guess we can all make our own traditions. But with all of the vegetables coming our way, we can feast and learn how to store the summer produce so that it stays fresh for longer.

PICKLING CUKES 11Cucumbers: Cucumbers should be refrigerated and kept relatively dry. Over exposure to moisture can cause premature deterioration through mold. You can check the life of a cucumber by squeezing the ends. The ends generally turn squishy before the rest of the cucumber, so if they feel soft or start to look wrinkled, the cucumber is coming to the end of its storage life.

 

Growing tomatoesTomatoes: Tomatoes are best stored at room temperature. Refrigerating causes them to become mealy and lose much of their flavor. Check tomatoes occasionally for softening, and use softest tomatoes first. Softness is a sign of ripeness. In good condition, tomatoes will keep for 2+ weeks, but keep an eye on any bruised or dinged spots, as these will deteriorate faster than the rest of the tomato.

 

 

 

Fresh produceSummer Squashes: Summer squashes include a wide variety of squash like zucchini, yellow squash, patty pan squash, and eight ball squash. Summer squashes live close to the ground, and as such can get a little dinged up or scratched. It’s important to keep summer squash relatively dry, or mold may take form in any small damaged areas of the squash. Summer squash are relatively hardy, but should be stored in the refrigerator for best results.

 

 

Fresh colorful paprika isolatedBell Peppers: Bell peppers come in many varieties and colors. Most bell peppers start out green on the vine, then turn red, yellow, orange, etc. as they ripen. They can be picked early as green bell peppers, or they can be left on the vine and turn color. Since green bell peppers are picked at an earlier stage, they tend to keep longer than do colored peppers. Since colored peppers are left on the vine longer, they tend to have a sweeter more mature flavor than green bell peppers. Bell Peppers should be stored in the refrigerator, and kept dry to prevent mold growth.

 

cornCorn: Corn is best eaten soon after picking, when it will be at its sweetest. Corn slowly loses sweetness after picking, as the sugars begin to convert to starch. If you cannot consume immediately, store corn in the refrigerator, unshucked. Wait until you are ready to use sweet corn before shucking, as this will increase storage life. As the corn season wears on and temperatures rise, you may see evidence of corn ear worm in NC corn. This is a pest that all local growers have to deal with, and eventually takes over entire fields of corn. The corn ear worm generally enters through the top of the corn and stays in that area, so if you find worm damage, you can usually just cut off the top 1-2 inches, and still have a full ear of corn.

Blueberry backgroundBlueberries: Of all berries, blueberries tend to keep the longest. First check for any damaged or squashed berries, and remove those from the container, as they will accelerate deterioration of other berries if they are left in. Blueberries should be stored in the refrigerator, or also take very well to freezing for longer-term storage.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPeaches: It wouldn’t be summer in NC without fresh, tree-ripened peaches. Peaches are extremely delicate fruits, and sometimes only keep for a few days before going bad. This is why they are best purchased locally, as out of state peaches have to be picked unripe in order to survive the rigors of shipping, which means that they have not developed full sweetness on the tree.   Allow peaches to ripen on the counter, you will know they are ripe when the flesh starts to turn slightly soft, giving under light pressure. Once ripe, it is best to consume immediately, or to store them in the refrigerator. Allow refrigerated peaches to come to room temperature before eating, for optimal juice and flavor.

GREENBEANS66Green Beans: Green Beans are a southern staple, best eaten fresh right after harvest. There are many different varieties grown on a bush or a climbing vine. Once they arrive in your care be sure to store them in the refrigerator and eat within one week for maximum crispness and flavor.

 

okraOkra: Okra are best known for their presence in gumbo or the crispy, fried okra you can get at most southern restaurants (or your grandmother’s kitchen). The biggest complaint about okra is its slimy texture, this can be remedied by soaking chopped okra in white vinegar for half an hour before cooking. Make sure to store okra in the refrigerator and eat within 5 days before it starts to brown and deteriorate.

 

 

Eggplants.Eggplant: Eggplants are in the same family as tomatoes, the nightshade family. So the best way to store eggplant is similar to storage for tomatoes: it does not like being cold, storing in the refrigerator causes it to lose its flavor and texture. The best place to store eggplant is in a cool place on your kitchen counter where it will remain fresh for about a week. Eggplant is delicious fried or sautéed with other vegetables, especially when paired with tomatoes!

 

 

“Eat a tomato and you’ll turn red
(I don’t think that’s really so);
Eat a carrot and you’ll turn orange
(Still and all, you never know);
Eat some spinach and you’ll turn green
(I’m not saying that it’s true
But that’s what I heard, and so
I thought I’d pass it on to you).”

–Shel Silverstein

2,000 Calories at Papa Spud’s

As you may have seen, the New York Times recently published an article about caloric intake. We are told that depending on gender and age, we need to eat between 1,600 and 2,400 calories a day. But how many of us actually know what 2,000 calories look like? Despite how arbitrary it may sound, paying a little more attention to calories may actually do you some good, especially when you’re eating out. The article goes on to show how difficult it is to eat 2,000 calories a day if you’re eating at a restaurant. Shockingly, there are meals at many different restaurants that are around 2,000 calories themselves: Louisiana Chicken Pasta from Cheesecake Factory, one Peanut Butter Caramel Pie Milkshake from Sonic, or a Carnitas Burrito, Chips and Guacamole and a Coke from Chipotle. The whole point of the article is not to terrify or guilt trip you, but to point out that when you cook at home you are in control of your calories. They end the article with a whole day’s worth of home cooked meals all of which equal, you guessed it, about 2,000 calories. This begs the question: what are those restaurants putting in their meals to make them 2,000 calories? I wish I knew the answer to that.

So what does 2,000 calories look like at Papa Spud’s? I’ve compiled a day’s worth of meals for one person with food that is available through Papa Spud’s. I used calorieking.com to estimate calories for each food item.

breakfast collage

Breakfast:
-1 cup of coffee 2 calories
-Breakfast sandwich: 2 slices of La Farm Bread 200 calories, ¼ of an avocado 69 calories, tomato 4 calories, 1 fried egg 78 calories
-1 pear 103 calories

456 Calories

lunch collageLunch:
Butternut Squash Soup (one bowl) 203 calories 
-Roasted Scallions and Arugula Salad Recipe Kit (1 serving) 225.5

428.5 calories

dinner collageDinner:
Grilled Cilantro Lime Chicken (1 serving) 465 calories
-Grilled Peppers and Onions 71 calories
-Wild Rice (1/4 cup) 41 calories
-1 Beer 155 calories

732 calories

STRAWB SHORTCAKE RECIPE KIT

Strawberry Shortcake Recipe Kit (1 serving) 334 calories

Total Daily Calories: 1,950.5 Calories

Since I’ve started eating more vegetables and unprocessed food, I have realized among what true abundance we live. One onion, one bunch of kale, a bag of carrots all go a long way—and there is so much you can do with them. Eating at home does not mean not eating adventurously or deliciously. There are plenty of recipes for quick and delicious meals; it just takes practice and a little willingness to be creative and soon you’ll be cooking up a storm! None of this is to say that you should never eat out—treat yourself sometimes! It is just important to not make it a frequent habit. I have become a fan of eating whole foods and avoiding processed foods, as Michael Pollen famously suggests: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” If you haven’t read In Defense of Food, I highly suggest it. This book made me rethink everything I was eating and helped me to shape a more healthful diet—and it turned out that eating at home was also a lot cheaper. There are plenty of resources out there to help transition from a quick and convenient lifestyle of eating to one of relationships and intentional time in the kitchen. Something tells me, though, if you’re reading this blog you’ve already begun that journey.

If you have any tips or recipes for quick and delicious meals that you have come across, please send them to us and we will share them on Facebook or the blog!

Spring Storage Tips

As spring continues to blossom, more varieties of vegetables begin to line our counters and fill our refrigerators. Strawberries make their bold entrance with a burst of color and sweetness that cannot be replicated, arugula reaches upward with fervor and spice, asparagus pushes from it’s network of roots to reign over our meals for its short existence. The spring vegetables demand to be noticed and appreciated. The gray hue of winter departs from our eyes as we fill our stomachs with flavorful, new life. Our kitchens become art studios, sacred spaces of creation with the finest supplies; as Douglas ponders in his grandmother’s kitchen in Ray Bradbury’s Dandelion Wine:  “Grandma, he had often wanted to say, Is this where the world began? For surely it had begun in no other than a place like this. The kitchen, without doubt, was the center of creation, all things revolved about it; it was the pediment that sustained the temple.”

However, with increasing abundance can also come a feeling of being overwhelmed. We don’t have to eat everything at once but we do need to be able to store it well. There are tricks with each vegetable that can make it last longer. So, sit back, don’t let the freshness overwhelm you, and enjoy these tips for fresh vegetables all week long:

ArugulaArugula (5-7 days): Arugula is actually an herb in the mustard family. It is generally used similarly to salad greens, either as a substitute or as a complement. Arugula should be kept in a plastic bag to prevent moisture loss, and refrigerated. It will keep for just a few days. Arugula tends to be gritty, so don’t forget to wash it just prior to using. If cooked, it should be added in just the last few minutes to prevent flavor loss and overwilting. Arugula makes a great pizza topping!

asparagus3Asparagus (3-5 days): Cut ½ – 1 inch off of the base of the asparagus. Place asparagus stalks in a glass with water and refrigerate. Asparagus is best used within a few days, so try to use it at it’s freshest.

Green Onions (1-2 weeks): Cut off any damaged greens from the green onions bungreen onionch. You might also consider removing the rubber band, which can damaged the onion tops. Store green onions in a plastic bag to retain moisture and refrigerate.

 

BUNCH SPINACH 11Spinach (7-10 days): Spinach should be stored in a plastic bag to retain moisture. Spinach is generally rinsed by the farm, so it should have some moisture, but check the bag to make sure that it is not sitting in water. If it is, punch holes in the plastic bag, and drain any excess water and refrigerate.

strawberriesStrawberries (5-7 days): Check for any damaged or bruised strawberries, and remove them from the container. Damaged fruits release ethylene gas which signals other fruits to ripen at a faster rate. Berries can go bad quite quickly, so make sure they are covered, and store them in the coldest part of the refrigerator. However, strawberries will be at their juiciest at room temperature, so if possible bring them to room temperature prior to consuming.

Bunches of fresh herbsHerbs, bunched: Commonly bunched herbs include basil, cilantro, and parsley. Remove band or tie, and pick out any stems or leaves that have been damaged from banding. Snip the base of the stems, wrap in damp paper towels, and store in plastic bag in the refrigerator. This will help herbs to retain moisture, and extend storage life.

MUSTARD GREENS 22Mustard Greens: Mustard greens are considered to be just as healthy and nutrient packed as other cruciferous vegetables, like collards and kale, but haven’t gotten the same kind of press for it. They can be prepared as you would other greens, sauteed, boiled, or steamed. For more interesting options, consider taking a look at Indian or Chinese cuisine where they are use frequently. Like other greens, it’s best to store mustard greens in a plastic bag to prevent moisture loss and refrigerate.

BREAKFAST RADISHES 44Radishes (1-2 weeks): Remove tops from radishes to prevent moisture loss and refrigerate. Radishes have a peppery flavor that usually goes well in salads or in appetizers. A simple and delicious appetizer is just sliced radishes served with melted butter and salt on the side. The peppery flavor is most concentrated in the skin, so they can be peeled for a milder flavor. Radish greens can also be used raw in salads, or cooked as you would other greens.

PICKLING CUKES 11Pickling Cucumbers: Pickling Cucumbers are a shorter, thicker skinned variety of cucumber that as the name suggests are commonly used for pickles. However, pickling cucumbers are also consumed raw as well, and tend to have significantly more flavor than the long green cucumbers most of us are accustomed to in the grocery store. Cucumbers should be refrigerated and kept relatively dry. Over exposure to moisture can cause premature deterioration through mold.

With these tips you can move forward and allow your creativity to flow through your fingers and your spatulas. Enjoy the flavor the spring has to offer and keep it fresh for as long as possible.

Seeking An Earth Day Lifestyle

Earth Day summons ideas of planting trees, tie-dye and hula hooping, music outside, and sunshine. It begs for bare feet and green grass for one day but does not often extend much past the celebrations. But Earth Day has an amazing history, so why not use Earth Day to remind us of the incredible world we live in and take steps to protect it? The fact that you’re reading this means that you already buy or are interested in buying local food, an incredibly huge step in protecting the environment. So when that defensive guilt kicks in about how hard it is to live sustainably, let go, you’ve already started! I’m not asking you to go completely waste-free or to start washing your clothes in your bathtub, just take a minute on Earth Day to step outside and enjoy the lush greenery that has finally returned.

The first Earth Day was April 22, 1970 when Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson earth dayorganized an environmental teach-in after an extremely destructive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California in 1969. As politically aware and active as the ‘60s were, there was very little conversation about the environment; pollution and gas-guzzling were considered the norm, a sign of progress. Rachel Carson’s release of Silent Spring in 1962 slowly started the conversation and Nelson’s teach-in jumped onto that momentum and propelled it forward. He worked across party-lines, class-lines, and managed to unite people of all walks of life in a drive to protect the environment. On the very first Earth Day 20 million people took to the streets in protests and demonstrations to fight for a more sustainable and environmentally friendly economy. It then lead to the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency and the passing of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and the Endangered Species Acts. Today there are events and festivals organized around Earth Day to bring people together and raise awareness about environmental issues, children go on field trips to plant trees, and more events have sprung up involving farmers and farming communities.

So, I have compiled a simple list of things you can do to live more sustainably. These are just a few ideas, take them and make them yours, no one formula is going to work for everyone.

  1. Shop Local—from local food to drink to clothing to your local hardware store, when you buy local products from a small local business you are positively impacting the environment. Your products did not have to travel as far to get to you and you are investing in a system that can greatly change the way we interact with each other and with consumer goods.
  2. Buy bulk items when you can—Buying in bulk cuts down on both packaging and cost. You can even bring your own container to put whatever you’re buying in bulk into so you don’t have to waste a plastic bag.
  3. Carry a reusable water bottle and travel mug, reusable shopping bags, and Tupperware in your car—buying water bottles is one of the most wasteful things you can do; bring a water bottle with you to refill and that will make a huge difference. Also if you know you are going out to eat you can bring your own Tupperware to put leftovers into so as to not use plastic or Styrofoam.
  4. Unplug electronics from the wall when you’re not using them—When you are done charging your laptop or your phone, unplug the charger from the wall. Even if the charger is not attached to an electronic, it is still using electricity when plugged in.
  5. Observe an eco-sabbath—This idea is from Colin Beavan, or No Impact Man, who took a year to learn how to live without creating any waste. He recommends to take a day once a week and use no electronics, instead go outside, read a book, or volunteer somewhere!
  6. Carpool, walk, bike, scooter, rollerblade—there are always innovative ways to get places; if you don’t have to drive, don’t!
  7. Mange your thermostat—keep your house at a reasonable temperature, open your windows when you can, put on a sweatshirt before you turn up the heat, etc.
  8. Educate yourself—A huge part of living more sustainably is being aware of the impact we are having on the earth and those around us. There are plenty of books, documentaries, clubs, and websites about all of the different aspects of the many environmental issues we are facing today.
  9. Plant a garden—Any kind of garden, vegetables, flowers, trees, herbs, bushes, it doesn’t matter! Supporting any kind of life is good for the environment and good for you.
  10. Get a rain barrel—You will inevitably have to water something at some time, so get a rain barrel to catch rainwater instead of using water from the sink!

earth day 2

The most important things to remember are to be creative and to be patient with yourself. Living more sustainably is not going to be an easy, overnight change – it’s going to be a process full of baby steps. It’s important to do one thing at a time and do it in a way that works for you and fits your personality. It’s not meant to cage you in, it’s about creating a lifestyle. Pick one of these things and figure out how to make it work for you, figure out how to do it well, and then move onto another. Pretty soon the momentum will build and you will find yourself gravitating toward a more holistic and sustainable mindset.

Resources:
-Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan
-Cradle to Cradle: Remaking The Way We Make Things by Michael Braungart
-trashisfortossers.com
-www.zerowastehome.com
-www.sustainablebabysteps.com
-No Impact Man—Documentary
-Dirt!—Documentary
-Tiny—Documentary

On Winter Months and “Gross” Veggies

gross foodWhy is it that the winter vegetables are the ones that get the most criticism? How often have you heard someone say: “I pretty much like all vegetables except…beets, or turnips, or cabbage, or especially brussels sprouts”? We think of winter vegetables as bland and boring, remember their strong smells from childhood forced dinners, and we all collectively shudder. But, I’m here to tell you that you should push those prejudices aside and embrace the smelly, weird-looking winter vegetables that are so abundant in these seemingly barren months.

“We kids feared many things in those days—werewolves, dentists, North Koreans, Sunday School—but they all paled in comparison with Brussels sprouts.”—Dave Barry

Let’s start with brussels sprouts, the ones with the worst reputation for their smelliness and their bitter taste. Both of these unfortunate aspects can be avoided by cooking them correctly and, most importantly, not overcooking them. The health benefits of Brussels sprouts are myriad: they are chock full of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, folic acid, and dietary fiber, not to mention the fact that they are thought to help prevent colon cancer. They were likely cultivated in Ancient Rome and then became popular in Belgium in the sixteenth century and began to spread. Now we grow Brussels sprouts here in the cold months and once we learn to cook them correctly, we can actually enjoy their many benefits. The following is a delicious recipe from a cook at the Morning Times in Downtown Raleigh named Tommy.

Pan-Seared Brussels Sprouts in a Balsamic Reduction
-Thinly slice Brussels sprouts
-Sautee in a pan on high heat with just enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan
-When starting to brown and are slightly soft pour the balsamic reduction over them and salt and pepper to taste
-To make a balsamic reduction boil a cup of balsamic vinegar, to know when it is ready dip a spoon in the balsamic, while holding vertically swipe your finger down toward the bottom of the spoon to make a streak, turn spoon horizontally and when it doesn’t run, it is ready to use

“The beet is the most intense of vegetables…Slavic peoples get their physical characteristics from potatoes, their smoldering inquietude from radishes, their seriousness from beets.”—Tom Robbins, Jitterbug Perfume

As a child I associated beets with the canned pickled beets my grandmother would serve for Sunday dinner. It was not until college that I had the pleasure of tasting a roasted beet and it changed everything. Historically beets were used primarily for their medicinal purposes to aid in digestion, reduce fevers, and cure wounds and skin problems. Beets became very popular in the 1600s in Eastern and Central European cuisine. Its popularity only grew and they were even used as a sweetener in puddings and desserts. Another fantastic aspect of the beet is that when you cook with it the whole dish turns pink! You can boil beets and then use the water to make pink rice for picky children. My favorite way to eat beets is simply to roast them with garlic and onion. I like to slice them in thin medallions, toss them in olive oil, salt, and pepper along with chopped onion and garlic, and bake on a cookie sheet at 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

“The turnip is a capricious vegetable, which seems reluctant to show itself at its best.”
–Waverley Root

The dislike of turnips might be rooted in history. It was the primary food of the peasants in Ancient Rome and Greece, it has been traditionally used as livestock fodder, and apparently Romans threw turnips at people that they disliked. The traditional southern way to eat turnips is to boil and mash them, like potatoes, which I actually like.; but there are many different ways to use turnips. A delicious recipe I found online (actually from a list of 18 different turnip recipes) was to roast turnips and then make a mustard sauce to pour over them. Incredibly simple, just chop up turnips, roast with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and while that’s cooking mix 1 T of spicy brown mustard, 1 T apple cider vinegar, 2 T of olive oil, and 1 T of maple syrup (optional).

“The time has come…to talk of many things: Of shoes–and ships–and sealing wax–of cabbages–and kings–And why the sea is boiling hot–And whether pigs have wings.”—Lewis Carroll

Cabbage has been around for centuries, it can be found in Greek mythology in which “Diogenes advised a young man, ‘If you lived on cabbage, you would not be obliged to flatter the powerful.’  To this, the courtier replied, ‘If you flattered the powerful, you would not be obliged to live on cabbage.’ ” While I’m not sure what exactly to do with this myth, it is safe to say that cabbage has been with us for most of history all over the world. You can find cabbage in almost every cuisine. Unfortunately cabbage is remembered mostly for its pungent smell, which actually comes from the sulfur in the cabbage, an important nutrient that helps the body fight off bacteria. Cabbage is incredibly rich in Vitamin C, fiber, iron, calcium, and potassium. Basically it’s amazing and you should eat it all the time (it is present in so many different cuisines that you can’t even get tired of it)! Here’s an intriguing sounding recipe for fried cabbage: Shred some cabbage, chop up and fry a few pieces of bacon, chop a yellow onion, add to the bacon, and sautee in butter, finally add the shredded cabbage and cook for 30 minutes, At the end add a little more butter, a dash of apple cider vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste and enjoy!

Winter seasonal vegetables collection including potatoes, parsni

I know that February is a hard month physically and emotionally–the bitter cold has begun to sink into your bones and the soil is basically barren, we all may have forgotten what flowers actually smell like. February seems to be the month of waiting for winter to end. The best way to fight off that winter depression is to get into the warm kitchen and try new recipes with what is available. Hopefully you’ll be delighted by the delicious abundance that is readily available in the winter.

Storing Your Vegetables

As we begin to enter the colder months, storage will become important. Back in the day when we didn’t have the luxury or ability to eat food out of season, people became dependent on canning and freezing vegetables for the winter. We’ve lost our knowledge of how to stock a pantry for the winter, a skill that I would love to relearn. However, that is just not practical for everyone, for one it is incredibly time consuming. But knowing how to store a little bit of food long-term is very handy. Fortunately, here in NC, we have a fairly long season and quite an abundance of local farmers (and regional suppliers), so storing is not quite as necessary as it once was. But it is still valuable to know different ways to store your produce, how often do you have a little bit too much of something and you can’t finish it before it goes bad? Some common ways of storing produce are freezing, canning, and drying. Freezing and drying herbs are considerably easier than canning, but all are doable for anyone willing to take the time.

Small Pantry

Freezing:

Before you freeze any vegetable it is very important to blanch it, which means you boil it for a certain amount of time (it’s different for every vegetable) and then put it in an ice bath. “Blanching slows or stops the action of enzymes which cause loss of flavor, color and texture. Blanching cleanses the surface of dirt and organisms, brightens the color and helps retard loss of vitamins. Blanching also wilts or softens vegetables and makes them easier to pack.” source. Bring the water to a boil, add the vegetables to the water, start timing when the water begins to boil again.

Once the vegetables have cooled in the ice bath, take it out to dry on a towel, pack it into plastic bags (try to get as much air out as you can), or whatever container you want to use, and freeze it! Don’t forget to put the date on it in case you find it in the back of your freezer several years down the road.

Blanching time for specific vegetables:
freezing
Broccoli: 3 minutes
Cabbage: 1 ½ minutes
Carrots (diced): 2 minutes
Collards: 3 minutes
Kale: 2 minutes
Potatoes: 5 minutes
Sweet Potatoes: cook completely
Pumpkin/Butternut Squash: cook completely
Rutabagas: 3 minutes
Turnips: 2 minutes

Freezing Fruit: When freezing fruit, blanching is not necessary. You can pack fruit in water, simple syrup, sugar, or dry. I’ve always frozen fruit dry, which means you wash it and cut it into smaller slices, then pack it into the container and freeze. Easy as pie. Go to this website for more information.

Canning:

Canning is a more complex process, but is better than freezing for certain vegetables and if canningyou already have an overstocked freezer, canning could be something to look into. There are two ways to can: water bath and pressure canning. Water bath canning is a slightly simpler method and can be used for jams, jellies, salsas, pickles, relishes, and different kinds of condiments. The food must be more acidic for water bath canning to be safe. Pressure canning is for low-acid foods such as green beans, corn, squash, etc. For in-depth descriptions and video tutorials about canning check out this website.
The great thing about canning is that you can find tons of interesting recipes for different kinds of pickles, fermented foods such as kimchi or sauerkraut, and jams and jellies. These are the best recipes to start canning with because they’re easy and do not require a pressure canner.

Drying Herbs

dryingDrying herbs is almost laughably easy, and fresh herbs go bad so quickly that this can be a very valuable skill to have. Dry herbs retain flavor for 6-12 months and are stronger than fresh herbs. Simply tie the stems together with a twist-tie (so you can tighten it as they begin to shrink), wrap a paper bag with holes in it around the herbs, and hang them upside-down in a warm, well-ventilated place. Check out this article for a more in-depth description and other ways to dry herbs.

Short-Term Storage

ArugulaArugula: Arugula should be kept in a plastic bag to prevent moisture loss, and refrigerated. It will keep for just a few days. Arugula tends to be gritty, so don’t forget to wash it just prior to using. If cooked, it should be added in just the last few minutes to prevent flavor loss and overwilting. Arugula makes a great pizza topping!

lettuceLettuce heads : Lettuce loves moisture. Remove any wilted leaves, and dampen interior remaining leaves. Place in plastic bag, and store in refrigerator. Hearty lettuces like romaine tend to keep the longest, thinner leafed lettuces tend to wilt faster. If lettuce becomes wilted, you can revive it to an extent in a cold water bath. Fill a sink with cold water and a little ice, and submerge the lettuce for 10-15 minutes. The water will be absorbed by the plant, and can revive leaves that are starting to dry out or wilt. However, watch the lettuce carefully to guard against oversaturation and wet-rot.
spinachSpinach: Spinach should be stored in a plastic bag to retain moisture. Spinach is generally rinsed by the farm, so it should have some moisture, but check the bag to make sure that it is not sitting in water. If it is, punch holes in the plastic bag, and drain any excess water. Store spinach in the refrigerator. It will keep for up to a week.

Baby Bok ChoyPac Choi/Bok Choi: Bok choy is a very versatile green that is commonly steamed, boiled, or stir fried. Full sized bok choy stems should be removed from the leaves and discarded, but baby bok choy stems are usually tender enough for cooking. Baby bok choy stems will likely require a little longer cooking time than leaves, so it is usually a good idea to separate them and cook stems a little longer than the leaves which will just need a few minutes. Boy choy should be refrigerated and will keep for 1-2 weeks.
RED & GOLD BEETS11Beets:
Beet roots will keep best if the greens are separated from the bulbs. However, the greens will keep longest if kept on the bulb, which will provide the greens with moisture. It’s a judgment call as to whether you will do best to remove the greens, or leave them on depending on your uses and timeframes for each. Beet greens will keep for up to a week, whereas bulbs will keep 2-3 weeks, so if in doubt you are probably better off keeping the two together. Beet greens can be used similarly to spinach or chard, and are the most nutritious part of the plant.
Growing head of broccoliBroccoli:
Broccoli should be stored in the refrigerator where it will keep for 4-5 days. Like most vegetables, broccoli will lose moisture as it ages, which you want to protect against, but you also want the broccoli to be able to breathe, so it is not a good idea to enclose it in plastic. A perforated plastic bag, or just an open plastic bag, are usually the best options.
Fresh aromatic herbsBunched Herbs:
Commonly bunched herbs include basil, cilantro, and parsley. Remove band or tie, and pick out any stems or leaves that have been damaged from banding. Snip the base of the stems, wrap in damp paper towels, and store in plastic bag in the refrigerator. This will help herbs to retain moisture, and extend storage life.

cabbageCabbage
: If possible, do not remove outer leaves from cabbage. Outer leaves protect interior from damage and from moisture loss. However, if refrigerator space is an issue, you can remove the outer leaves, and will have a smaller head of cabbage, just know that it won’t keep quite as well. Cabbage can be used in portions, but once you cut into the interior of the cabbage, you will need to wrap the remaining portion tightly in saran wrap. Cabbage is a versatile vegetable that can be used raw as in coleslaw or cooked in a variety of ways. Cabbage is a food staple and is used in many types of cuisine.
close up of a row of celeryCelery:
The best way to store celery is to wrap tightly in aluminum foil and refrigerate. Alternatively you can cut off the bottom, wrap in a paper towel, and store in a plastic bag. Celery will remain crisp for 2-3 weeks when stored correctly.


carrotsCarrots:
Carrots will keep best if you can avoid moisture loss. Do this by storing carrots in a plastic bag, and by cutting off the greens about an inch or two above the carrots. Carrot greens will suck moisture out of the roots if they are left on. Carrots should also be stored away from fruits, which emit ethylene gas that may cause carrots to develop a bitter taste over time.
CucumbersCucumbers
: Cucumbers should be refrigerated and kept relatively dry. Over exposure to moisture can cause premature deterioration through mold. This is why English Cucumbers are commonly shrink wrapped, and grocery store cucumbers are often finished with a coat of wax. You can check the life of a cucumber by squeezing the ends. The ends generally turn squishy before the rest of the cucumber, so if they feel soft or start to look wrinkled, the cucumber is coming to the end of its storage life.
greensCollards/Kale
: Greens should be placed in a plastic bag, and stored in the refrigerator. If greens start to look wilted, you can revive them by snipping the base of the stems, filling a tub with cold water, submerging the greens in the water, and placing the water tub in the refrigerator for 6-8 hours. The freshly snipped stems will soak up the cold water, and revitalize the greens. Grocery stores commonly use this trick before placing greens on their produce shelves.

green onionGreen Onions: First, go through the bunch of green onions and cut off any smashed or damaged tops. Tops are often damaged in the fields, or during transport, but it is important to “prune” them before storage so that they do not accelerate deterioration on the rest of the bunch. Green onions will start to lose moisture and wilt in just a few days, so it is best to store them in a plastic bag, prior to placing in the refrigerator.
potatoesPotatoes/Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes and potatoes should be stored at room temperature. They often keep for over 6 months, just don’t forget about them!

 

Selection of pumpkin and squashPumpkin/Butternut Squash: Squash will quickly go bad if stored in temperatures lower than 55, it is best stored in a cool, dark place like a cabinet. Length of storage life varies for different varieties; acorn squash will last about a month, butternut 2-3 months, spaghetti 4-5 weeks, pumpkins 2-3 months.

radishes from gardenRadishes
: Remove tops from radishes to prevent moisture loss. Radishes should be stored in the refrigerator, and will keep for up to a week. Radishes have a peppery flavor that usually goes well in salads or in appetizers. A simple radish appetizers includes sliced radishes served with melted butter and salt on the side. The peppery flavor is most concentrated in the radish skin, so they can be peeled for a milder flavor. Radish greens can also be used raw in salads, or cooked as you would other greens.
Swedes at the Greengrocers.Rutabagas:
Rutabagas have a sweet taste, without the peppery undertones of turnips. They should be refrigerated, and generally last longer than turnips as their thicker skins protect better from moisture loss. Rutabagas should be peeled before using. Roasting will concentrate their flavor, while boiling will dilute it. Look to Northern and Eastern Europe for inspiration on rutabaga cuisine.
Fresh white turnipTurnips:
Turnips have a sweet, slightly peppery taste. They should be stored in the refrigerator, in a plastic bag to prevent moisture loss. Smaller turnips are sweeter, and more tender, but tend to lose moisture and go bad the quickest. Use small turnips first. Larger turnips are not quite as tender, and will need to be peeled, but will keep for 1-2 weeks. If the greens are attached, remove them and store them separately, as they will suck moisture out of the turnip root.
applesApples:
Each variety of apple will have a different storage life, some will stay crisp longer than others. Apples will keep longest when stored in the refrigerator. To prevent moisture loss while in the refrigerator, store apples in a plastic bag. Most varieties will keep 2-3 weeks if stored in the refrigerator. Apples can also be stored at room temperature, but may only keep up to 7 days before they start to turn soft or mealy.
strawberriesStrawberries
: Check for any damaged or bruised strawberries, and remove them from the container. Damaged fruits release ethylene gas which signals other fruits to ripen at a faster rate. This means that one bad apple really does spoil the bunch. Berries can go bad quite quickly, so make sure they are covered, and store them in the coldest part of the refrigerator. However, strawberries will be at their juiciest at room temperature, so if possible bring them to room temperature prior to consuming.

The Beauty of Artisanal Pasta and Cheese

This week we have insight from two of our artisanal suppliers, Melina’s Pasta and Hillsborough Cheese Company, on their preferred methods of cooking and/or using their products.

melina's fresh pasta
Photo by Melina’s Fresh Pasta

Melina’s Fresh Pasta is based in Durham, NC. Carmella, the head pasta-maker and owner went on a culinary tour of Italy that ended at an Italian pasta making school. “I have a passion for my heritage, culture and especially the food. My goal is to teach people about authentic Italian food” while, of course, providing delicious pasta! Check out her website for more information about her story, her company, and her pasta (she even offers pasta making classes)! I called Carmella to get some tips on the best ways to cook her different kinds of pasta as well as what to pair it with and here is what she told me:

Firstly, Italians don’t put much sauce on their pasta, Americans tend to drown pasta in sauce, so she recommends not using much. The pasta you get from Melina’s is so flavorful that not much is needed other than oil, butter, or a little bit of tomato sauce for savory pasta. Italians also don’t use a lot of cheese (unlike the pasta smothered in cheese at Olive Garden), just a little bit to add flavor!

Fettuccini or Gnocchi: After you cook the pasta save a few tablespoons of pasta water (because it’s starchy) and sauté pasta, goat cheese, and pasta water to make a thicker sauce. Herbed goat cheese would be particularly good in this recipe.

ravioli
Photo by Melina’s Fresh Pasta

Sweet Ravioli: Use browned butter as a sauce for the sweeter ravioli. I had never heard of browned butter before this morning and I’ve quickly become excited about it—it apparently has a very delicious nutty flavor. I found this recipe online, but it seems pretty simple. The key is keeping your eye on it and removing the butter from the pan when it is about a shade lighter than you think it should be to make sure it doesn’t burn.

Pierogi: There are two different ways to cook pierogi: you can boil them first and then sauté in a pan with butter and onions until they’re crispy, or you can just pan fry with butter to make them extra crispy. Carmella tends to cook pierogi the second way when she serves it and sometimes she cooks her ravioli this way as well.

cindy & Dorian in cheese shack
Photo by Hillsborough Cheese Company

Hillsborough Cheese Company is based in Hillsborough, NC and focuses on “the art of cheesemaking”. The head cheesemaker, Cindy, is a French-trained chef who makes mostly European-style goat’s- and cow’s-milk cheeses. “She earned a culinary degree from the Memphis Culinary Academy and spent a year at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, France where she graduated second in her class with honors and earned a Grand Diplome in Cuisine and Pastry.” Check out their website/blog for more information about their company and their cheese and this article in the Chapel Hill Magazine: Chapel Hill Mag. article on HCC. Also watch this quick video to see a little bit of what their cheese-making process looks like.

I spoke with Dorian on the phone to hear what he likes to do with their cheese and what to pair it with.

All of their cheese (except feta and mozzarella) are delicious simply by themselves with a baguette or water crackers to accentuate the flavor of the cheese. Wine, of course, is fantastic to pair with all cheese.

Farmer’s Cheese and Brie: Great with fruit compote, pepper jelly, or jams.

Farmer’s Cheese and Labne: Drizzle honey or olive oil on top before serving.

Bloomy Rinds: Bloomy rind cheese is cheese that has a rind around it and is softer in the middle, brie cheese is the most well-known of this kind. Hillsborough Cheese Company makes three different kinds of bloomy rinds and all are great with thinly sliced apples or pears. You can also bake the fruit on top of the cheese if you’re feeling adventurous, recipe here.

Grilled Cheese!: The aged cheeses (such as gouda or manchego) with mozzarella make a fantastic grilled cheese—the aged cheese gives it a good sharpness and the mozzarella gives it the stretchiness we all crave in grilled cheese.

Goat Cheese: Great in Mexican dishes, folded into omelets, on top of a burger, or even stirred into grits for all you southerners out there!

One of their favorite things to do is to cut a baguette in half, butter the bread, and add ham and either brie or farmer’s cheese for a simple but delicious treat.

Finally, what’s a pasta dish or a cheese platter without a good wine? For a hearty red wine such as Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon it is best with an aged cheese or pasta with a light tomato sauce. Semi-sweet white wines such as Reisling, Chignon Blanc, or even Champagne are great with brie and bloomy rinds as well as pasta with oil-based sauce. For a guide to pasta and wine check out this website and a guide to cheese and wine here.

White wine, brie, caembert and grape on the wood surface

Pasta dinner with bread and wineHappy wining and dining!

Storage Tips for Late Summer/Fall Crops

RED & GOLD BEETS11Beets: Beet roots will keep best if the greens are separated from the bulbs. However, the greens will keep longest if kept on the bulb, which will provide the greens with moisture. Beet greens will keep for up to a week, whereas bulbs will keep 2-3 weeks. Beet greens can be used similarly to spinach or chard, and are the most nutritious part of the plant.

 

Arugula

Arugula: Arugula is actually an herb in the mustard family. It is generally used similarly to salad greens, either as a substitute or as a complement. Arugula should be kept in a plastic bag to prevent moisture loss, and refrigerated. It will keep for just a few days. Arugula tends to be gritty, so don’t forget to wash it just prior to using. If cooked, it should be added in just the last few minutes to prevent flavor loss and overwilting. Arugula makes a great pizza topping!

sweet potatoesSweet Potatoes: Sweet potatoes should be stored at room temperature. They attain maximum sweetness 1-2 months after being pulled from the ground and stored above 45F. Sweet potatoes often keep for over 6 months, just don’t forget about them!

 

greensGreens, Collards, Kale, Chard: Greens should be placed in a plastic bag, and stored in the refrigerator. If greens start to look wilted, you can revive them by snipping the base of the stems, filling a tub with ice, cold water, submerging the greens in the water, and placing the water tub in the refrigerator for 6-8 hours. The freshly snipped stems will soak up the cold water, and revitalize the greens. Grocery stores commonly use this trick before placing greens on their produce shelves.

 

applesApples: Each variety of apple will have a different storage life, some will stay crisp longer than others. Apples will keep longest when stored in the refrigerator. To prevent moisture loss while in the refrigerator, store apples in a plastic bag. Most varieties will keep 2-3 weeks if stored in the refrigerator. Apples can also be stored at room temperature, but may only keep up to 7 days before they start to turn soft or mealy.

Colorful Organic Heirloom TomatoesHeirloom Tomatoes: Heirloom tomatoes should be stored at room temperature, and will be at the juiciest, most flavorful if you allow them to ripen until they are very soft. Heirlooms have great flavor, and are best used fresh on burgers, sandwiches, etc. Heirlooms are very delicate, so keep an eye on any damaged or bruised spots.

Growing tomatoesSlicing Tomatoes: Tomatoes are best stored at room temperature. Refrigerating causes them to become mealy and lose much of their flavor. Check tomatoes occasionally for softening, and use softest tomatoes first. Softness is a sign of ripeness. In good condition, tomatoes will keep for 2+ weeks, but keep an eye on any bruised or dinged spots, as these will deteriorate faster than the rest of the tomato.

 

Rows of Young, Fresh Mustard GreensMustard Greens: Mustard greens are considered to be just as healthy and nutrient packed as other cruciferous vegetables, like collards and kale, but haven’t gotten the same kind of press for it. They can be prepared as you would other greens, sauteed, boiled, or steamed. For more interesting options, consider taking a look at Indian or Chinese cuisine where they are use frequently. Like other greens, it’s best to store mustard greens in a plastic bag to prevent moisture loss, and they should be refrigerated.

Fresh white turnipTurnips: Turnips have a sweet, slightly peppery taste. They should be stored in the refrigerator, in a plastic bag to prevent moisture loss. Smaller turnips are sweeter, and more tender, but tend to lose moisture and go bad the quickest. Use small turnips first. Larger turnips are not quite as tender, and will need to be peeled, but will keep for 1-2 weeks. If the greens are attached, remove them and store them separately, as they will suck moisture out of the turnip root.

fresh Pea pods in a bowl on wooden TableSnap Peas: Snap peas should be stored in a paper bag and refrigerated. Snap peas only keep for a few days, and have the best flavor when used very fresh, so use them as quickly as possible.

 

 

winter squashWinter Squash (Acorn, Butternut, Spaghetti, Pumpkin): Squash will quickly go bad if stored in temperatures lower than 55, it is best stored in a cool, dark place like a cabinet. Length of storage life varies for different varieties; acorn squash will last about a month, butternut 2-3 months, spaghetti 4-5 weeks, pumpkins 2-3 months.