We visit our local produce department or farmers market with the best intentions. We see the colorful collection of fruits and vegetables and are inspired to add them to our basket. Then we hope that the enthusiasm is still there when we’re home, managing more and possibly tight on time. Let’s bridge the distance from the produce section to our home kitchen with clever tips and inspiration that reduces waste and ensures that produce makes it to your plate.
Produce departments entice us with pretty presentations, while farmers markets inspire us to support our local growers. It’s easy to get caught up and return home with bundles of produce we aren’t sure when or how we’ll use. While the intention should be celebrated, an honest conversation with yourself about the week ahead is essential. Plan a menu that matches your needs to ensure the produce purchased is used and not wasted. Maybe you need pre-cut veggies, bagged lettuce or possibly a visit to the freezer aisle for frozen vegetables. Or possibly you do have time to roast golden beets and an array of squash. Pause and think before you buy.
Slice & Dice!
We all benefit from a moment to prep and plan. When we use this time to wash lettuce, slice carrots, dice peppers, and take on other tasks, we ensure that salads come together quickly, that veggies are on hand for packed lunches and ultimately make it far more likely that we’ll enjoy the produce we purchased.
Think outside the salad bowl
Grill your romaine, roast your cabbage, ferment your cauliflower, and try other ways of enjoying produce. Indeed, our fruits and vegetables are far more versatile than most of us realize. When we use produce for more than just a salad, we waste less and create dishes we’re excited about.
Pair produce with every meal
Spinach in your omelet, cucumbers on your sandwich, butternut squash in your casserole, and grilled fruit with dessert. Easy additions and simple swaps mean that you can enjoy produce with every meal, meet your daily fiber goals and ensure your day is full of antioxidants.
There’s a tool for that
When you have the right tools, you can prepare produce in a variety of ways and add it to numerous dishes. Spiralize, grate, use a mandolin and even puree to place in smoothies, oatmeal, casseroles and more. When you have kitchen tools on hand you can make unique sides, add unexpected color to dishes and more.