The Produce Doctor Part 4

June 4, 2020 | Lauren Widawsky, RDN
frozen veg

The best vegetables to consider freezing contain a more rigid structure such as peas, corn, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, kale or squash. Steer away from waterier vegetables like mushrooms, cucumbers or lettuce as they will become waterlogged and mushy upon thawing. Blanching before freezing is helpful and this can be done by...
  • Chopping vegetables to uniform sizes and then briefly boiling them in salted water for just enough time for them to wilt slightly and turn a vibrant color
  • Immediately transfer into ice water as this stops the cooking process
  • Strain, dry and freeze (ideally on a sheet pan) directly after
  • Store in a freezer-safe container or resealable bag for up to ten months
Some vegetables can be frozen directly without blanching like onions, peppers or celery. I personally like to use these veggies for smoothies or soups. Don’t forget to label and use within eight to ten months.
Herbs should be treated a little differently when it comes to freezing as they are more susceptible to freezer-burn than vegetables. Chop up finely and fill an ice cube tray pocket about ¾ of the way full. Then top with either olive oil or water and freeze. Simply add the frozen cube directly when cooking your next meal. If the herbs were frozen in oil, there should be no need to add additional oil. Hopefully you found some of these tips this helpful. In the meantime, stay fresh everyone!

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The Produce Doctor Part 2

June 3, 2020 | Lauren Widawsky, RDN
pineapple

It’s all about fruit! As far as pineapples go, cut the leafy top off after purchasing and store upside down. Not only will this prolong the life of the pineapple but it will help redistribute the sugar evenly throughout. To delay mold from growing on more fragile fruits like berries, store them in the refrigerator right away and wait until you are ready to eat them to wash them. If your grapes are looking a little dehydrated, try putting them in a covered container with water in the refrigerator and watch them magically come back to life. Stop by tomorrow for another quick tip. In the meantime, stay fresh everyone!

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The Produce Doctor

June 2, 2020 | Lauren Widawsky, RDN
Catering SS 2019

When it comes to storage, not all fruits are created equal. Some fruits like avocados, bananas, melons, peaches, pears and apples emit ethylene gas as they ripen. Ethylene gas will cause other produce in close proximity to ripen quicker. In result, gaseous producing fruits should be stored separately from produce you don't want to be affected. Once ripened, place in the refrigerator as this will essentially press pause for about another week. Citrus fruits on the other hand keep best in a cool, dark place but moving them to the refrigerator will also elongate their lives. Come back tomorrow for another quick tip. In the meantime, stay fresh everyone!

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