PESTICIDES AND WAXY RESIDUE WITH MY APPLE? NO THANKS.
Fruits and vegetables have pesticides, dirt, waxy film, not to mention they’ve been handled by everyone from farmers, pickers, and store stockers. It’s recommended to wash your fruits and veggies and we’ve got some tips for you on how to pick, clean, store and cook with your seasonal produce.
Chemicals to wash off chemicals? Did you know that the majority of commercial produce washes are filled with chemicals and it’s recommended to wash the produce after you use their products? How does this make any sense?
We didn’t think so either. We are avid fruit and veggie eaters (and juicers) at Better Life so we developed a produce wash that is made of citrus extracts, natural cleaning agents and minerals work to loosen wax, film and other residues. Not to mention it’s formulated with organic ingredients.
To Clean: Spray on your fruits or vegetables and rub with hands or a produce brush to remove wax, dirt and residues. Don't forget to clean the rinds and skins, even if you don't plan to eat them. Berries and other small fruit may be placed in a colander, then sprayed and agitated. Rinse thoroughly with cold water. To soak, add 2 tbsp. to a bowl of cold water. Swish the produce and rinse thoroughly with cold water.
5 TIPS FOR BUYING FRESH PRODUCE AT A FARMERS MARKET
- Be the early bird or fashionably late. Right when the market opens it tends to be less crowded, of course there are exceptions to every rule, but generally speaking just as the market opens the crowds are thinner. In addition to fighting the crowds you’ll have the best selection of produce and goods. If you’re more flexible with your shopping list and are looking for good deals go late. Most farmers will discount items rather than pack it back up. Remember these farmers make their living selling their hard earned goods so often they won’t discount deeply (and even some markets have rules against end of day discounting).
- Best Deals are in Bulk. You’ll get the best deal when you buy more and why not? If it’s fresh and in season save some money and experiment with new recipes highlighting that delicious find. You can always freeze, can or dry your seasonal deals.
- Go all the way. Whole foods, like carrots, radishes, and beets, are sold whole (greens attached). Make sure to get the whole vegetable, root to greens. Not only do they last longer but the greens are healthy and delicious when washed and prepared correctly (great for juicing or used in place of chard and kale).
- Take a walk. Before you buy walk the market evaluating the best produce for the best price. There’s nothing like that feeling of buying a big carton of strawberries only to find cheaper and riper ones at the next vendor.
- Be adventurous. Having a list is important, especially if you’re planning out specific meals for the week, but keep an open mind and allow for some chance produce purchasing. Don’t know what that interesting fruit is? Ask the farmer. They will not only explain but using tell you how to prepare it and their favorite recipe too.
5 PRODUCE STORAGE TIPS
- Keep tomatoes, cantaloupe, honeydew melon, avocados, pineapple, potatoes, winter squash should stay out of the refrigerator until cut. Wash with Produce Wash and a scrub brush to remove an microbes or dirt (lots of people touched your produce before you got it home!). Bell peppers, grapes, all citrus, and berries should be refrigerated when you get home.
- Mold spreads quickly on berries. When you get home remove any berries that are turning or are rotten. Keep berries dry until you’re ready to eat. Soak in our Produce Wash and then lay the berries out on towels or paper towels to absorb the moisture. When dry store in an air tight container.
- Cut off the bottom ¼ of asparagus and set them upright in a little bit of water.
- Deep greens like kale, chard, leaves of beets, carrots and radishes, should be cleaned thoroughly then stored with a damp paper towel.
- Do not store fruits and vegetables together. Fruits give off ethylene (which makes them ripe) and can spoil vegetables surrounding them.
Enjoy all the best the season has to offer. Here is one of our favorite seasonal recipes (and for more fresh farm recipes head to our Pinterest page).
ROASTED BEET SALAD WITH BEET GREENS AND GOAT CHEESE CRUSTINI
- 4 golden beets, with greens attached
- 4 red beets, with greens attached
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- 1/4 cup chopped yellow onion
- 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 6 slices sourdough bread, toasted
- 3 ounces goat cheese (I used a garlic and herb blend)
- micro greens, cracked black pepper and chopped parsley (for garnish)
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F and line a large baking sheet with foil. Spray it with a non-stick spray.
- Cut the greens off of the beetroots, and peel the beetroots with a vegetable peeler. Set the greens aside, and cut the beetroot into 1 inch pieces. Place the beets on the prepared baking sheet and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and black pepper. Roast the beets for 40-45 minutes or until fork tender.
- While the beets are roasting, prepare the greens. Cut the stems off and loosely chop the greens. Set aside. To a large saute pan, heat the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and crushed red pepper. Cook until tender and fragrant. Add the greens and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 5-6 minutes then remove from heat. Toss with the red wine vinegar and transfer the greens to a serving platter. Set aside.
- Once the beets have roasted, transfer them to a boil and toss them with the orange juice. Layer the beets on top of the greens.
- Spread the goat cheese on each slice of sour dough bread. Place them along side the beets and beet greens. Sprinkle with micro greens, cracked black pepper and chopped parsley.
- Enjoy immediately!
Recipe and Image courtesy of CookingandBeer.com