Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Washing and storing greens

Yesterday we picked greens, lettuce and choy from our garden -- that is the easy part. The hard part is what to do with it when you get it back from the garden. Above is a basket brimming with freshly picked kale.

We also had a basket filled with freshly picked lettuce of several different varieties. I picked green leaf and red leaf lettuce and even some mesclun that I cut and added to my basket between the lettuces.

This is the other side of the lettuce basket with my favorite, red leaf lettuce.

I use the kale mostly for my green smoothies. I add the kale, frozen fruit, maybe a carrot and some flax seed and blend it until it is the consistency of a milk shake. I have learned to really enjoy the taste of the greens in my smoothies. I was kind of surprised that I liked it, but I think the kale, and sometimes spinach give the smoothies a fresh taste that has really grown on me. I often have this for breakfast.

Back to washing and storing greens. As soon as I get the greens home, I dump them in the sink and start washing. If the kale is fairly clean, I might only wash it three times, but it usually needs to be washed at least three times. Sometimes there are a few green worms that need to be eliminated -- time consuming but worth it to me.

This is after a couple of washes. Still not perfect.

When I am finished washing, I like to put the greens on a large, clean white towel and allow them to drain a bit. With the kale, I like to de-stem the larger pieces.

I did a similar thing with the lettuce and bok choy.

I then insert a paper towel into the bottom of a gallon baggie.

And fill the bag with lettuce or greens. It is best to get the air out first, then close the bag. I store these bags in the refrigerator. Because they are so fresh, they will last quite a long time in the cooler temperature of your fridge.

I had at least three gallon baggies of kale after I was finished. I could cook some of the kale and I might do that in the future, but right now I need the kale for my great shakes. One thing, the kale shrinks up so that it looses much of it's volume if you cook it. I really like it cooked but I probably like smoothies even more.

I would like to tell you how long the vegetables last when using this method but the answer would be different for each vegetable. I know they are fresher right out of the garden than in the supermarket. I think it is obvious to everyone this is true. That is why buying local or raising your own greens is such a good idea.

1 comment:

  1. Please let me know when Williams Farmer's Market opens. You folks should do a booming business!