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Topic: Fresh produce tips for a little family  (Read 3777 times)
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TheBon
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« Reply #10 on: June 02, 2006 10:39:12 AM »

You can keep them in the fridge. I find they keep better in a little bit of their liquid, but if you're going to eat them within a day or two, you can just put the can in plastic bag.
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« Reply #11 on: June 05, 2006 05:19:25 PM »

Don't store ANYTHING in the fridge in opened cans - ever!  Nasty metallic taste, spoilage risk, the lot.  Tip the contents into jars or plastic containers - they will keep just fine and will close up better than an opened can ever will.  And you won't cut your finger on the edge either.
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« Reply #12 on: June 05, 2006 05:21:36 PM »

Don't store ANYTHING in the fridge in opened cans - ever!  Nasty metallic taste, spoilage risk, the lot.  Tip the contents into jars or plastic containers - they will keep just fine and will close up better than an opened can ever will.  And you won't cut your finger on the edge either.

I have found that if it is going to stay in the fridge for a short period of time 24-48 hours there is no reason to dirty a dish because the can does not impart its metallic taste that quickly.
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« Reply #13 on: June 06, 2006 12:16:22 PM »

Quote
Some kinds of vegetables rot faster than others. I only buy greens that live longer. Letuce is allways the first to go bad.

Yeah, living by myself and only cooking for one or two people, I always seem to have this problem! But the veggies that last the longest (carrots, cabbage, etc) are also a lot cheaper. I also started growing leaf lettuce in pots on my apartment balcony, so I can just cut what I need for that particular meal. And it's cheap!
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knitrat
« Reply #14 on: June 09, 2006 10:06:07 AM »

Another trick to keep those veggies from growing fur.. at health food stores you can find these green plastic bags which are meant for veggie storage. they are porous so they let out the gasses that cause veggies to rot but keep in the moisture. When I switched to organic veggies, they went bad so much faster than ones with preservatives I was wasting alot of food. Now we put everything in these bags (and wash and reuse them when we are done of course!) and they last as long as supermarket veggies.
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craft-matic
« Reply #15 on: June 18, 2006 10:15:24 AM »

Here's a tip from Alton Brown:  cheaper and easier than a vacuum sealer, which are too much trouble for everyday use, and expensive too.  When you put anything in a ziploc bag, use a small drinking straw to suck out the extra air.  Simply put the straw in the corner of the bag, seal the bag up to the straw, suck out the air, and pull the straw out and seal quick.  Takes a time or two to get the timing right, but it works swell. 

Lemon juice and vinegar are also very good ways of keeping pre-cut fruits and veggies, respectively.  The acid keeps bacteria and mold from growing.  Just splash it on liberally, then store.  For fruit, especially berries, a little honey is good, too; mix it with lemon first, then toss to coat. 

To keep celery fresh, cut it into sticks as soon as you get it, then set them upright in a drinking glass with a couple inches of water.  They will absorb the water through their veins for days, which will keep them fresh and living.  You might want to use filtered water for that, though.  Carrots and radishes also do well submerged in clean water for storage.  This will keep them tasting very fresh.  You can use lemon or vinegar in the water, too. 

As for cans, the fear of storing in cans comes from botulism danger, but it's unfounded; the botulism has nothing to do with the can itself, it's in the food if it's in the food.  85% of cans in the US are internally coated with bisphenol A (a plastic that is potentially hazardous, which is totally beside the point for this conversation).  The upshot is that no metallic taste will seep into your food from the can.  The real problem with can storage is not being able to make them airtight.  If you remove the whole lid, and use cling wrap and a rubberband to seal them, making sure the olives are covered in their water completely, you should have no problems.  I've eaten olives stored in the can for years.  Probably don't want to store them more than a couple days, though.
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« Reply #16 on: June 22, 2006 07:24:19 AM »

When you put anything in a ziploc bag, use a small drinking straw to suck out the extra air.

I love Alton, but my dad's way ahead of him.  Every sandwich I've brought for lunch since preschool has been perfectly straw-airtight.  If you're lazy (me) you can always just suck the air out directly from your mouth.
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« Reply #17 on: June 22, 2006 11:23:13 PM »

Don't buy more than you can eat. Even if it is cheap.
WHOLEHEARTEDLY agree. My dad has ALWAYS had the problem of buying the extra bag of spinach or celery when I say I want a salad for dinner. It's sweet but I know I won't eat two bags, hence asking for one. I've noticed that if you buy because it's on sale, you won't force yourself to eat it because you saved so much on it. I'm a huge fan of buying only my staples and buying the special stuff later.

I buy what I want when I want it. Fresh produce is key. Potatoes, sweet potatoes, garlic and onions are always around because they keep forever. The big ticket items are best fresh, like fresh apples for an apple pie or fresh salad greens for a salad. Since me and my mom and my brother are sensative to pretty much all preservatives, we can only have fresh greens, things in bags are out and should be for most people.

There are a few things that I've noticed are okay to have frozen. Broccoli, carrots, green beans, green peppers are all things that I use in smaller quantities when I eat them and are very good in stirfrys. Frozen fruits are also a good thing, instead of canned with sugar and the possible metal tinge you get only the taste of the fruit. Perfect for toppings for pancakes and shortcake.

Some fruits and vegetables don't taste good frozen or can't be found frozen at all. Mandarin oranges, bean sprouts, water chestnuts, chopped olives, tomato (chopped, sauce, paste, seeded, etc,) jalapenos. I like to buy special items, like coconut milk, in cans so if I'm looking through my pantry I can see it to use it.

For vegetarians or bean-lovers, the debate between dry and canned beans is pretty much nonexistant because neither is really "fresh." The extra work evens out on both accounts. With dry beans, you have to rinse and soak and boil and rinse some more. With canned beans, you have to drain and rinse and rinse and cook. Canned aren't prone to spilling hazzards, either.

I recommend shopping in ethnic stores for tiny portions of specialty items and buying half-cans or small bags of things you don't devour quickly. And clutter isn't good, either. A deep freeze and two fridges and a pantry full of JUST staples won't do you much good, either. Fresh herbs are great, but too many will get slimy before use.
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« Reply #18 on: June 29, 2006 04:26:07 AM »

Green leafy vegetables last much longer if tightly wrapped in newspaper, then put inside a plastic bag and into the crisper.

Also, if someone doesn't like vegetables, it's entirely possible that it's how it's prepared.  I hate cauliflower under most circumstances, but since coming to Sri Lanka and eating it the way the locals prepare it, I love it.  Get creative with cooking the veggies and see what happens.  Try spicing things up in curries and the like - the seasonings may hide what they hate and bring out what they love but don't know is there.

To go along with an earlier comment, I also hide healthy stuff in food that's well loved.  Like chile - I'll peel carrots into it, add brown rice & lentils, that sort of thing, and NO ONE can tell.  Except those others who do the exact same thing I do.  Cheesy  It really works.
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jillianb
« Reply #19 on: July 06, 2006 09:17:27 AM »

A little menu planning goes a long way.  Consider setting up your meals (loosely, anyway) so that the quick to go veggies are used early in the week, while using the more hardy veggies later.  If your veggies have started to go soft but not moldy, they can still be used in stocks.  You may, too, want to reconsider the prospect that fresh is always better.  Between the irradiation and processing that is done to some supermarket veggies in order to get them to keep long enough to be sold, sometimes veggies that are frozen are much fresher than "fresh" ones.
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