3 Ways to Keep Your Garden Veggies Fresher for Longer
May is the month of gardening. From planting summer vegetables to harvesting the season’s fastest growers, we’re beckoned to the garden. This is why May is known as Gifts from the Garden Month. It’s an offbeat month-long event that celebrates gardening in all its forms, including flower gardening and vegetable gardening. May is also when you may be ready to pick various leafy greens, broccoli, peas, and turnips. Of course, what’s ready can vary depending on where you live, when you first planted, and weather conditions. But who knows what May surprises your garden has in store for you! As you pick the season’s first vegetables, you undoubtedly want to make the most out of your harvest, keeping your veggies garden-fresh for longer. Here are a few tips to help.
Use Veggie-Friendly Food Storage Options
Depending on the size of your first few harvests, you might be able to get to all the fresh veggies before they start to over-ripen. To help you put a pause on over-ripening, store them in plastic food storage containers with lids designed to keep veggies fresh for longer. Storing fresh produce in zip-top bags or unsecured containers can lead to quicker spoilage. But containers that let you regulate things like airflow and moisture can help make a difference as you enjoy the season's first bounty.
Choose the Right Sized Food Storage Options
As you begin to harvest veggies like lettuce, cabbage, spinach, and broccoli, it’s tempting to toss them into just any available container. But using the right-sized plastic food storage containers can be beneficial. When you use a large container for leafy greens, you promote greater airflow between leaves. This allows you to manage moisture levels, helping them stay crisp. Using too small containers can also squish your fresh veggies—and no one wants squished veggies! Give them plenty of room to “breathe,” and they’ll be better protected as you use them in our favorite dishes.
Explore Freezing Options
Some veggies, like broccoli, can be frozen until you need them, helping you preserve them for weeks or months. Simply cut up the larger washed broccoli head into smaller florets, blanch in a large pan, boiling for about 2 to 3 minutes until they just start to get tender (they should be nice and bright green). Submerge in ice water after each batch is blanched to stop the cooking process. Let it cool, drain, and dry. Then lay the blanched broccoli on a lined baking tray and place them in the freezer to freeze completely. Once frozen, you can store your frozen broccoli in a plastic container for up to 6 months or longer. You can use a Tupperware organizer made specifically for freezer storage to maximize your frozen veggie mileage!
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