One thing we know for certain, is that life can keep us pretty busy. This rings true particularly around the holidays. During this time, tasks and projects often get set on the back burner because other demands take precedence. Sometimes we just need to nod our head in recognition that the laundry didn’t get done, and that thank you note to aunt May, was never written or sent. And that is okay, because we all know life happens. However, when we just didn’t have time or energy to prep our veggies for the week and they start losing their luster, it feels like a direct hit to the wallet. There is no need to throw out money with the loved, yet neglected vegetables. There are quite a few techniques that can help you revive those wilted stems, and provide you with the delicious goodness that you’ve come to know and love from Blue Sky Organic Farms.
Give your veggies a little TLC when they come in! You can start by washing your greens in whatever manner suits you. Give them a good whirl in your salad spinner, and or pat dry. Spread two connected paper towels on your counter, pile the dry leaves on one end of the towels, and begin to wrap the paper towel around the pile. Then add some more leaves, wrap, and repeat like you would when making cinnamon rolls. Its important to wrap the leaves tight. Once done wrapping, place rolls in a large Ziploc bag and close with minimal air trapped inside. Lastly, store in the crisper drawer. However, we don’t always have the time to give them this attention. And if that is the case for you, check out technique #2.
If you do not have time to wash and prep your veggies right away. You can simply moisten a paper towel, and wrap it around the stems to help maintain their hydration. Another option would be to cut approximately 1 inch of the bottom of each stem, place the bunches in a glass with a couple inches of water, and store them directly in your refrigerator. This is just like the technique we use to keep flowers in vase, but in the refrigerator. I personally love this technique for keeping my herbs (I’m crazy for dill) hydrated, and ready to use in a moment’s notice.
Lastly, one of the easiest techniques of all, addresses the issue of greens that have already gone limp. Fret not, all you need to do is fill a large bowl, or a clean sink with cold water. Then add a few ice cubes and let those greens take a cold bath for an hour or more. You’ll be surprised to see them come back to life. This technique also works well for most herbs.
What is the reoccurring message here? Just like us, vegetables need water. Fresh produce continues to lose water after harvest, but unlike the growing plant it can no longer replace lost water from the soil and so must use up its water content remaining at harvest. Harvested plants respire just like us, too! That is why we harvest less than 24 hours prior to you receiving your CSA Farm Box. This ensures maximum freshness, and maximum nutrient content.
In looking at the needs of the harvested plants, we see that their needs are very similar to ours. No wonder we need vegetables to maintain good health. And this leaves little to question when thinking of the famous quote by the father of medicine, Hippocrates “Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.” Eat well friend, and be well. Cheers to health!
Here is a quick and easy soup to keep you warm, as AZ cools down.
Creamy Cauliflower Soup
- 2 heads of Blue Sky Cheddar Cauliflower, broken into florets
- ¼ cup of Olive Oil
- Olive Oil to drizzle
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 6 cloves of Garlic, chopped
- 3 cups of water
- 3 cups of stock (chicken or vegetable)
- 2-3 tsps. of Curry Powder
- Salt and Black Pepper to taste
- Place the cauliflower florets into a large bowl of lightly salted water; allow to stand for 20 minutes. Drain well, place florets back in bowl, drizzle with olive oil, and toss to cover cauliflower. Arrange florets on a sheet of aluminum foil lined baking sheet.
- Preheat the oven’s broiler and set the oven rack about 6 inches from the heat source.
- Broil the cauliflower until browned, 20 to 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large soup pot, and cook the onion until translucent, about 5 minutes; stir in the garlic, roasted cauliflower, and curry powder.
- Pour in the water and stock. Season with salt and black pepper.
- Simmer until all the vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes. Blend the soup in the pot with an immersion hand blender until creamy and smooth. Or carefully place cooked ingredients into a blender to emulsify. Make sure to take precautionary steps to when blending hot contents! Fill the blender less than halfway, place lid onto blender. Important: remove the center insert of the blender’s lid, hold a kitchen towel over the top, and then blend. Repeat this process with remaining cooked ingredients if it all did not make it into the half-full blender.
- Place in bowls and enjoy!