The Ultimate Guide to Storing Your Veggies

At Straight from the Ground we try our best to stay away from plastic packaging on the produce we source for your veggie box each week. Sometimes we can’t get away with it and you may find a packaged item every now and then, but for the most part we avoid it. We’ve made this commitment to plastic-free veggies as a demonstration against our addiction, as humans, to the convenience of single use plastics. I’m not going to get into the details of why plastic is bad and how it has spread to every corner of our precious planet, from islands of it forming in the oceans, to microplastic particles being found in sea life, the soil, the air and even inside our own human bodies! That’s not what today’s newsletter is about.

How can you store the different kinds of gorgeous veggies, which our network of small-scale, non-certified organic farmers have lovingly grown for you? Not all veg is created equally and each has a preferred way in which it likes to be stored to maintain its freshness for as long as possible. We’ll cover some of the items you’ll be familiar with from our weekly boxes.

Store in an open container in the fridge and cover with a damp cloth. Beans can be pre-prepped, blanched*, and frozen for later use.

Remove the leafy tops as this will draw the energy out of the root and cause it to go limp (beet leaves can be prepared and eaten like spinach!) Beets can be stored in a cool dark ventilated cupboard, keep them unwashed. Or you can wash the beets and store them in an open container in the chiller draw in the fridge with a damp fabric towel on top.

Store in the chiller draw of your fridge in an open container or wrapped in a damp cloth. Consume within 7 days.

Store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, or it can be blanched and frozen.

Remove the carrot tops, these can be processed into a pesto. Wash and keep the root submerged under water in a closed container in the fridge. Be sure to change the water every couple of days to maintain freshness. They will store for 3-4 weeks.

Cooking greens
These vary from good ol’ spinach, kale to our mixed cooking green bunches. Perk them up by placing the stems in water and store on the counter or in the fridge, changing the water every 2 days. Otherwise, you can prep your greens for the week by giving them a wash, wait until they are dry and then cut them up and place in a damp cloth bag or airtight container in the fridge. If we’ve given you a generous bunch you can blanch and freeze for later use.

Potatoes & sweet potato
Store in dark, cool, dry place. They are happy in a paper or cotton bag. Store separate from onions.

If they are still a bit green, they can be left out on the counter/fruit bowl to ripen, this will enhance the flavour. Tomatoes can store on the counter for up to 2 weeks, if they are not gobbled up before then. If they are over ripened and begin losing firmness, place into the fridge in a material bag or open container in the crisper draw.

These usually arrive in your box in a small brown paper bag, if you would like to maintain their freshness, pop them into a cup of water and display on your counter like a bouquet. If you’ve gotten more then you’ll be able to get through, you can chop them up while fresh and combine with half a cup to a cup of oil and pour into ice trays for freezing. Alternatively, leave them in the brown bag in a dry place to dry up, once crispy store in an airtight container and use like any dried herbs.

Often your lettuce comes out of our gardens at Reea, it usually is washed before going into the box, but it’s always a good idea to give your produce another wash at home. Take off the rubber band, give it a wash, shake off the excess water and place into an airtight container for storage in the crisper draw for 7 – 10 days. Alternatively wrap in a damp cloth.

Store in a dark cool, ventilated cupboard. Cured onions (onions which have the outside layers dried) can be stored up to 6-8 weeks. If you have a peeled or chopped, unused onion, store it in an airtight container in the fridge. Do not store your onions near your potatoes as they can cause them to sprout faster.

Store in a cool spot in the kitchen, however if not possible, store in the warmer part of the fridge, not in the chiller draw.

*Blanching your veggies for freezing, prep them as you normally would for your dish by washing and chopping them. Bring a pot of water to boil, then submerge veg in the boiling water. For soft veg like leafy greens boil for about 30 seconds, for harder veg like beans and carrots boil for about 3 mins. Then plunge the veg into ice water. Pat dry and spread out onto a tray and freeze until solid. Transfer frozen veg into a container of your choice for storage in the freezer until use.

The produce in your boxes usually has been washed, however it’s best to always wash your produce regardless.

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