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You know when you're watching Food Network and Ina Garten just casually turns to her window-side garden, picks a few herbs, and continues like "Oh, no big, here's my convenient backyard produce station"? Meanwhile you're sitting there, simultaneously impressed and depressed because, welp, you just don't live on a dang farm. You've got to haul your goods from the grocery store back to your home, losing an hour of freshness just in transportation. Daily, fresh-picked herbs? Meh, more like weekly herbs, fresh-picked from aisle 9.... Or pulverized in a little shaky container. Am I right?
If you're a foodie follower on MyNorth.com, you're most likely familiar with our friend and local food blogger Kristin Celeste.
She's the self-trained creator of the farm-to-table cooking blog The Intentional Minimalist, wherein every week she features simple seasonal recipes for her readers to follow at home. But don't let the simple fool ya. While her ingredients are typically few in number, they're exploding in flavor. Like, party-in-your-mouth kind of flavor.
But the point we're making today is that Kristin does not live on a farm. She's in a minimalist, microwave-less house and just knows a lot about produce storage and preparation. She buys locally, stores smart, and creates sustainable meals all year-round. How the heck does she do it? Here's a few words of encouragement from the talented mastermind herself:
My refrigerator contents are replenished each week from my 9 Bean Rows Community Supported Agriculture farm share, from ingredients sourced from regional farms and from locally produced artisan products. Seasonal cooking sources sustainable food from your community, eliminates environmental shipping damages and supports our farmers and artisan producers by keeping your money local.
Produce Storage Tips
I use Ball glass jars, glass vases and baskets for produce storage. I enjoy seeing the endless daily inspiration of seasonal produce on display in my refrigerator for spontaneous healthy cooking.
It is possible to store your farm fresh produce without plastic for weeks on end. Some of my favorite produce storage tips are to trim herbs and store them individually in Ball glass storage jars with a little water and they will last for two-three weeks. Simply change the water a few times per week and store the jars in the side door of your refrigerator.
Store seasonal greens upright in 32 ounce Ball wide mouth glass storage jars with a sprouting lid. Do not pack the jar and shake the jar every few days to have your greens last up to two weeks in your refrigerator.
Trim the stems of kale, poc choi, chard and other stemmed greens and store in an open glass vases with a little water and they will be perky for two-three weeks in the refrigerator (remember to change the water a few times per week). Store raw nuts and seeds in the refrigerator in Ball glass jars with sealed lids for months of freshness.
Cooking with what is on hand paired with striving to create new farm-to-table recipes each week leads to creative recipes as well as reaping the benefits of good health through nutrition from eating fresh, unprocessed, seasonal and sustainable produce.