While being in self isolated and staying at home as much as possible, I try to limit my grocery shopping to no more than once a week. This means that I am now buying more than I usually would at one time which requires a bit of planning in terms of how to use things up before they spoil.
One of the challenges that I’m facing is all the produce I receive from my FoodShare Good Food Box every two weeks. I buy the smallest box and even that is a challenge for me to eat my way through in two weeks. Since produce is highly perishable, I was having trouble finding way to get through it all before it went bad. The great thing is that I found out about these useful resources on the Half Your Plate website on how to store and freeze fruits and vegetables.
There are certain ways to store fruits and vegetables so they last longer (e.g. storing apples in the fridge instead of room temperature, keeping potatoes and onions in a dark, dry place and keeping lettuce and leafy greens in the crisper drawer). A big hint is to see how these items are stored in the grocery store and do the same at home (i.e. tomatoes do not belong in the fridge).
I didn’t realize that I could also blanche and freeze many vegetables. The Half Your Plate website has comprehensive resources and information on how to handle, store and freeze fruits and vegetables during this time.
I do try to use up the ingredients I have, but if I think that I might not be able to use them all up in time this is a good resource to use. I also have a Food Saver so what I’ve been doing it dicing up onions, carrots and celery, vacuuming packing and freezing them for when I want to make soup, tomato sauce or any dish that calls for mirepoix.
Check out the COVID-19 resources section on the Half Your Plate website.