Wednesday, March 10, 2010

show you produce some love

We love vegetables here at Z&H. That said, there's no denying that we are much more likely to reach for greens and colorful produce when the greens are their leafiest and produce their brightest. With busy schedules making your produce last as long as possible at home by storing them properly is good money sense.

Broccoli -
Broccoli will last up to a week in your refrigerator. Tip, keep your broccoli heads wrapped loosely in a plastic bag in your vegetable drawer. Don't keep it in an airtight container, it will go bad faster.

Brussels Sprouts-
If the option is available, try to buy Brussels sprouts on the stalk. They will stay fresh longer on the stem, and can even last up to a month if kept in a cool, dry place. Trick, they will also last in your fridge for 7-10 days in a closed plastic bag to slow their respiration.

Chard & Spinach
Chard is best kept unwashed and dry in a sealed plastic bag or container in your refrigerator. A sturdy green like chard or kale will last up to two weeks, but more delicate greens like spinach will only last a week.

It is hard to use an entire head of garlic at once (not for everyone, but some) . Remember to keep them in a cool, open, dry place. Unpeeled garlic can last up to 3 months if properly stored. Trick, if your garlic starts to sprout green shoots, simply cut off the bitter green part before you start cooking.

Mushrooms can be difficult to store since they benefit from cool air circulation, but can also dry out or suffocate easily. Tip: store them in a paper bag in your fridge; they will last 3-5 days.

You've probably heard never to refrigerate tomatoes and the reason is that your Fridge will rob them of any flavor. If you absolutely must refrigerate, let your tomato sit and return to room temperature before using, it will help restore any lingering flavor. Trick, if your tomato is under-ripe, try storing it in a paper bag stem side down for a few days to accelerate the ripening process. Storing them stem-side down will also help maintain that the taut skin of a healthy tomato. If your tomato is on its last leg, for goodness sake, make chutney or salsa.