Making the Most of Your CSA Produce
You're considering getting a CSA share for the 2020 growing season but you're worried it might be too much food. Guest blogger, Holistic Health & Nutrition Coach and long-time CSA member, Patricia Boisvert teaches you how to make the most of your CSA share produce.
How to Make the Most of Your CSA Produce
Blog Post by Particia Boisvert
I’ve been a CSA member for a few years now. I love the variety of fresh produce I get every week. I remember feeling a little overwhelmed my first year. There was so much produce and I didn’t want any of it to go to waste. Here is what I’ve learned over the years to make the most of the beautiful harvest.
Prep and Plan
When you bring your vegetables home, wash and trim them so they are ready to be used throughout the week. Allow them to dry completely before storing them. A salad spinner is a great kitchen tool for extracting all the moisture from leafy greens.
Take inventory of what you have. Make note of which fruits and vegetables should be used first such as leafy greens and berries. Others such as root vegetables, onions and apples can stay fresh for longer periods of time. Then plan your meals accordingly.
Set aside a few minutes to chop some veggies for use later in the week. For example, chopping up carrots, onions and turnips make it easy to roast on a baking sheet with some avocado oil, salt and pepper. Having carrot and celery sticks ready for snacking means you’ll be more likely to eat them.
Freeze for Later
As the harvest becomes more abundant, freezing is a great way to reduce waste. Some can be frozen raw, such as leeks, kale and green onions, while others do best when blanched. I like to freeze carrot peels, onion skins and celery tops to use when making stock. Always make sure to label your containers with a storage date. There are even some handy apps that can help you keep track of what is in your freezer and when to use it to minimize loss.
Use Those Greens
Don’t love raw kale or swiss chard? Try cooking them with olive oil, garlic and balsamic vinegar. You can also add them to soups and stews for an added nutrient boost. Think you can only make pesto with basil? Think again. You can use pretty much any leafy green, like kale, carrot tops and even radish leaves. Freeze pesto in small serving sizes, like using an ice cube tray, to use on pasta, pizza and casseroles.
Makes Sauces and Soups
Stocking your freezer with pre-made soups and sauces will be a lifesaver on busy weeknights. When tomatoes are in season, roast them with some garlic. Once cooled, blend and freeze. This makes a great base for spaghetti sauces and soups. Throw together herbs and vegetables that need to be used up in some stock to make a quick soup.
Use in Smoothies
Adding vegetables to your smoothies will increase the nutrient content. Trust me you won’t even taste the difference. Leafy greens like spinach, kale and collard greens are great either fresh or frozen. Steamed then frozen cauliflower or zucchini will create a creamy texture. Beets will add a lovely shade of pink.
Patricia is an Ottawa-based Holistic Health & Nutrition Coach who is passionate about helping busy women increase their energy and improve their mood. Connect with her by visiting her website www.wellnesswithpatricia.ca