Picture this: You've just opened your box brimming with fresh, organic produce and the possibilities feel endless! The leafy greens are speaking to you about hearty salads and the vegetables are prompting thoughts of healthy side dishes or vegetable-forward main courses. Now's the time to make that all happen by doing some planning and processing to make the most of your bounty!
Here are some tips for making the most of your produce deliveries:
Visualize your meals.
When you get your box, unpack it, grouping items that you want to put into a meal together.
Keep in mind which vegetables might wilt or age faster than others when deciding which days you’ll make each meal. Think about which produce you’d like to cook and which you’d prefer to eat raw.
Write down how and when you'll use each produce item, making a list of the meals you’d like to prepare. There are lots of great ways to convert the side of your refrigerator into an organizer.
One easy tip is to put a magnetic dry erase board on your fridge and write out what produce you receive in your box each week. This will help you plan out your meals, and it also helps ensure that you don't forget about the broccoli or collard greens that might accidentally get pushed to the back of the fridge.
We’ve pinned a few other ideas on our Pinterest Page.
Take inventory of your pantry.
Your well-stocked pantry is your best friend when it comes to both menu planning and last minute what-can-I-make-for-supper-tonight nights. Make note of which grains, beans, and other pantry staples you have on-hand so you can easily incorporate them into your meals. Having a robust pantry will mean that you can skip the grocery store when you need to adjust your plans or forget that Tuesday exists. See our suggestions for a Healthy Spring Pantry here. Your produce bin + your pantry can be a match made in heaven!
Prepare ahead When possible.
While processed food isn't our thing processing food from your box so it's ready to go sure can be! If you've got the oven on for dinner why not throw some beets on to roast while you're at it? Beets take a long time to cook but once they're roasted you're ready to throw them in a salad or grain bowl or for gnocchi. Or cut-up your root vegetables and start them roasting for dinner or lunch one day during the week. Not sure what to do with your hearty leafy greens this week? Stem and blanch them in boiling water then freeze for another day or toss them with some warmed olive, minced garlic and red pepper flakes for a delicious accompaniment to meats, fish and even eggs. Some customers find it helpful to bundle each meal’s produce separately so you can just grab and start cooking when you’re ready. If it helps, you might want to peel, cut or otherwise prep a meal in advance.
Keep in mind that not all produce can be prepared in advance and most are best if cooked the same day. Other items can be prepped ahead of time and tucked into the fridge or freezer to be used at a later date.
Make large batches of meals and pre-portion the leftovers.
Our fresh, organic vegetables translate beautifully into delicious soups, stews and chilis, all of which freeze well. They can be prepared in big batches and frozen into smaller portion sizes in plastic containers or bags.
Find your go-to recipes.
Everyone has their go-to meals for leftover produce. We like to call these "Bottom of the Bin" recipes. Here are a few simple ideas for using whatever produce you have left over:
- Use veggies - raw, cooked or a combo - as pizza toppings
- Make a stir-fry with whatever you've got on-hand
- Sautee and toss with pasta
- Make soup, stew, or veggie stock
- Use veggies in a frittata or egg scramble
For more inspiration check out our Storage Tips and Recipes page and search by produce item.
If you have tips you’d like to share with us, we’d love to hear them!