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  • Mary-Catherine Stockman

Using Your Produce before It Spoils

These days, grocery trips are few and far between. You may be tempted to either buy 1) no produce at all or 2) way too much.


If you’re in the second group (or maybe need to be convinced to at least start buying some fresh produce), here are some easy ways to use up your produce before it goes bad.


Leafy greens

Use them beyond salad! For longer storage, blanch greens by briefly submerging in boiling water followed by an ice bath. Definitely time to use them up? Add them to a soup or saute with olive oil and garlic. Beef up your DIY Chinese food by adding to a stir fry. Add to your favorite smoothie - a great way to incorporate veggies and color! Cooked greens can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days, or frozen for up to 1 month.


Herbs

Fresh herbs add so much flavor to dishes! A great way to repurpose fresh herbs is to make a pesto - and it doesn’t have to just be basil-based! Pesto can be made with parsley, cilantro, or tarragon. After making the pesto, freeze in an ice cube tray to later use in sauces and marinades. If you’re past the “using them fresh” stage, DIY dry your own by placing in a single layer on a cookie sheet and baking for 2-4 hours at 180*. This aroma will invigorate your house!


Tomatoes

There are so many options for using up tomatoes - from homemade salsa to tomato sauce. You can also preserve them in jars following these simple steps.


Bananas

Bananas can be made into so much more than banana bread! Use in place of butter in a baking recipe, blend with your favorite cocoa powder and powdered peanut butter to create “nice cream” (after freezing, of course!) or peel and freeze them for an easy addition to smoothies.


Berries

Berries are a great source of antioxidants, though they do tend to spoil quicker than most foods. For longer storage, only wash them right before serving. Need to use them? Place in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze. Once frozen, transfer to a freezer-safe bag for longer storage. You can add to yogurt or smoothies or make a quick berry sauce for pancakes!



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