Making foods last longer is easy when you incorporate proper storage tips. Whether you are freezing foods or filling your refrigerator, Registered Dietician, Olivia Wagner (MS, RDN, LDN) has been sharing some of her favorite kitchen hacks for making food last longer. We have already covered freezing foods and refrigerating foods, now Wagner discusses her top tips for saving produce that is past its prime.
Berries are a delicious fruit that can be enjoyed on their own or on top of your favorite baked goods or breakfast recipes, but if you have a surplus of berries, consider freezing them for homemade smoothies. Get creative and cook them down on the stove top with a spoonful of chia seeds to create a quick homemade chia seed berry jam. All you need is one cup of berries and one tablespoon of chia seeds. Enjoy on muffins, toast or scones. Store any leftovers in 6-8 ounce glass mason jars then place in the freezer. You can also blend berries to create a simple salad dressing. All you need are the following ingredients:
-⅓ cup berries of choice
-⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
-3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
-2 tablespoons water
-1 tablespoon raw honey or maple syrup or smart sweetener
-½ teaspoons sea salt
-Pinch black pepper
-Any loose herbs that may be turning. Think of things like basil, mint or rosemary.
Blend all of the ingredients together then enjoy on a bed of your favorite leafy greens with a side of your favorite almond flour crackers or sprouted seed crackers.
As herbs begin to turn, chop them up then mix them together with your favorite cooking oil. Pour into ice cube trays or silicon molds then freeze. When you are looking to add a splash of fresh flavor to your favorite recipes, simply pop one or two ice cubes into a saute pan to melt then incorporate into your recipe. You can also include other aromatics like chopped garlic, lemon zest or shallots.
As fresh vegetables start to turn and reach past their peak, Wagner suggests five different ways to salvage them.
-Chop greens finely and combine them with a mix of fresh herbs and spices to use in homemade burgers, meatballs or meatloaf.
-Cook vegetables then freeze in labeled containers. Use later in a recipe for homemade soup or Savory Veggie Muffins.
-Finely chop vegetables then saute them with garlic and onions and use as a filling for an egg frittata, Mini Veggie Quiche or warm quinoa salad.
-Gather greens like arugula, kale or spinach and whip up a batch of homemade pesto sauce. Combine greens with garlic, lemon, olive oil, toasted nuts or seeds and sea salt then pulse in a blender or food processor and enjoy as a flavorful dip or sauce.
-Roast four cups of vegetables with one onion and two garlic cloves at 400 degrees F for 25-35 minutes or until vegetables are caramelized. Blend with six cups of bone broth and any herbs and spices you have on hand for an easy and flavorful pureed vegetable soup. Top with a protein of choice like a handful of beans for an easy and delicious meal. Any extras? Store in your freezer to enjoy at a later time.
Saving produce that is past its prime is simple when you get creative with these easy dietician approved tips.
Tag us @SimpleMills and show us how you save produce that is past its peak.