Posted by Tara on Monday, May 12th, 2014
Welcome spring and welcome the return of Lester Farms CSA boxes! One again Lester Farms, which brings the finest locally grown produce to this area, has partnered with TaraCooks.com to provide tips and recipes for using items in those CSA boxes. Be on the lookout for the sweetest, juiciest, and tastiest strawberries in Tennessee from Lester Farms, along with other garden fresh goodies like spinach, kale, and Swiss chard.
- Storing Swiss chard and Spinach: Do not wash leaves before storing. Place Swiss chard leaves or spinach leaves in a 1 or 2 gallon Zip-Lock bag. Press and squeeze all the air out of the bag before completely sealing the bag. Place bag in coolest part of refrigerator. Wash leaves prior to consumption.
- Storing Kale: Do not wash leaves before storing. Wrap leaves in paper towels then place wrapped leaves in a 1 or 2 gallon Zip-Lock bag. Press and squeeze all of the air out of the bag before completely sealing the bag. Place bag in coolest part of refrigerator. Wash leaves prior to consumption.
- Storing Lettuce: Whole heads of lettuce may be placed in a 1 or 2 gallon Zip-Lock bag. Washed lettuce leaves may also be stored in plastic bags or air tight containers along with damp paper towels to retain crispness. Store in coolest part of refrigerator. Wash leaves prior to consumption.
- Storing Fresh Strawberries: Do not wash berries before storing. Place berries in a large storage container lined with paper towels. Cover berries with air tight lid or plastic wrap. Wash berries prior to consumption.
- Strawberry Stems: Did you know strawberries can be tossed into breakfast smoothies with the stems? Those stems have extra vitamins and fiber and blend very well with other fruits in a food processor.
- Strawberry Cubes: Toss some fresh strawberries into food processor and puree until smooth. Pour puree into ice cube trays and freeze. Remove frozen strawberry cubes from trays and store in a gallon size Zip-Lock bag. Fruit cubes can be used to make smoothies, or to add flavor to lemonade and teas, or to make infused water with other fruits and herbal leaves, or thawed later to make jams and preserves.
- Flash Freeze: can be easily flash frozen. Place berries about an inch apart on a cookie sheet, pop the cookie sheet into the freezer for about 30 minutes, or until berries have started to harden. Berries can be transferred to Zip-Lock bags. Flash frozen fruit tends to stay separated while frozen, making it easy to remove a few pieces at a time for snacking or to use in shakes and smoothies.
Strawberry Protein Smoothie
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
1/2 cup fresh or frozen strawberries
¼ cup fresh or frozen pineapple pieces
½ cup oranage juice
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
Suggested recipes this week at www.taracooks.com:
Fresh Strawberry Poppy Seed Dressing
BLT Pasta Salad
Parmesan Kale Chips
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