Prepping and Storing CSA Shares

Washing spinach in the sink

I believe I mentioned someone told me at my last CSA pick up that their spinach had gotten slimey in the refrigerator before they had a chance to use it.  This can be a common problem when you have a ton of greens you are waiting to eat and little time to deal with properly storing what you bring home.

I got in the habit of cleaning on properly storing all of my CSA basket items as soon as I get to the house.  I recommend making whichever day of the week is your pick up day, usually a Saturday, CSA day in your house, or at least most of the morning anyway.  It takes me a few hours to wash and put away everything even after I have spent a few hours at the farm.

First I wash all the greens in batches in a clean sink.  Just fill it up enough so the greens are in standing water and the dirt has room to fall to the bottom of the sink without still touching the leaves.  I use my hands to shake them around in the water some then let them sit for about five minutes in the water.  I take them out of the water, making sure not to stir up the dirt from the bottom of the sink, and put them directly in my salad spinner.  Once dry, I dump them out on paper towels.

Kale on top, spinach and mustard greens underneath

After everything is washed, spun, and laid out on paper towels, I use clean kitchen towels to press the leaves together and get any excess water still on the greens.  I use fresh paper towels to layer the greens on top and bottom, then slide into a gallon size resealable bag.  You can also use your green stay fresh bags here.

You can use this method for any kinds of greens including your lettuces.

For asparagus, basil, green onions, radishes, carrots and other root type produce, you can place in a container that will allow the root ends to sit in a small amount of water with the veggie standing upright, just like you would fresh flowers.

The most important tip I can give to help keep things from going bad is eat what you can’t freeze first.  Lettuce has to be eaten before the greens you can saute and asparagus for example.  That doesn’t mean I don’t eat the other things at all if I don’t want to.  But if I have a ton of greens and lettuce, I’m going to eat salad twice a day in some form until it’s gone before I eat anything else.  I will saute and freeze the rest for later.

What tips do you have for helping to prep and store your fresh produce?


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