How the Heck do I Store This Veggie?

How the Heck do I Store This Veggie?

Oct 14, 2016

Let's not forget about all the veggies in season right now such as Butternut Squash, Brussels Sprouts & Turnips to name a few! 

Some of these may be available year round, but when it comes down to what to do with them once you get them home...well it can be a bit overwhelming if you aren't used to preparing them.   

Here is a list of some seasonal Fall/Winter veggies and how to ripen, store, and prepare if you aren't sure just what to do with them!

 Brussels Sprouts.jpg

 How to Select, Ripen & Store Fall/Winter Seasonal Veggies:

Acorn Squash (a Winter Squash):

  • Acorn squash is at its’ peak from early Fall through Winter.
  • Choose a squash that feels heavy & has a hard, smooth surface with a bright colored rind.
  • Squash can be stored in a paper bag in the fridge for up to 1 week or in a cool dry place for a few weeks.  Don’t store in a plastic bag, it can trap moisture & spoil your squash.
  • Wash the outside of the squash just before use.  Acorn squash can be baked, steamed, boiled or stuffed.
  • Slice it in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds – Place flesh side down on a baking sheet sprayed with olive or canola oil and bake until soft.  Can be made sweet or savory.

Brussels sprouts:

  • Brussels sprouts are available from late August through March. Look for small, compact sprouts that have bright green leaves and are free of blemishes and yellowing.
  • Store Brussels sprouts wrapped up tightly in plastic wrap or in a bag in the fridge for up to 3 days.
  • Wash sprouts well and trim off their ends. 
  • They can be boiled, roasted, grilled, or shaved and eaten raw!

Butternut Squash (a Winter Squash):

  • Butternut squash peaks from early Fall through Winter.
  • Choose a squash that feels heavy & has a hard, smooth surface with a nice tan brown colored skin.
  • Squash can be stored in a paper bag in the fridge for up to 1 week or in a cool dry place for a few weeks.  Don’t store in a plastic bag, it can trap moisture & spoil your squash.
  • Wash the outside of the squash just before use.  Butternut squash can be baked, steamed, boiled or pureed as a sauce.
  • Slice it in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds – remove skin, cube butternut squash and boil in a large pot of water then drain and puree squash with low sodium chicken broth, parmesan cheese and spices to use as a pasta sauce.

Kale:

  • Kale is available year-round, but is the most flavorful & tender during the Winter months.
  • Clean kale just before using by dunking it in slightly warm water several times then rinsing it well under cold running water.
  • Kale should be a dark bluish-green color with dark leaves that are not wilted or yellow.
  • Baby kale tends to be milder in flavor compared to mature kale (larger), which has more of an earthy flavor. 
  • Store kale in a perforated plastic bag in the vegetable crisper in the fridge for up to 2 days.
  • Kale can be boiled, sautéed, added to soups, eaten raw in salads or added to smoothies.

Leeks:

  • Available year-round, but peaks in the Fall and Winter.
  • Just before use cut off roots, slice lengthwise from top to bottom, and run cold water over leeks with green end facing down to remove dirt from leaf layers.
  • Choose leeks with bright green leaves without any wilting or yellowing.
  • Smaller leeks tend to be tenderer than the larger ones. Store leeks in a plastic bag in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Turnips:

  • Turnips are at their peak from December to February.
  • Smaller turnips are sweet in flavor and are not as “woody” in texture like the larger ones.
  • They should have a smooth skin and not have any blemishes.
  • Scrub turnips with a vegetable brush just before preparing & trim off the leaf end and slice off the root end.  Large turnips should be peeled, but baby turnips can be cooked with their peels.
  • Store turnips in a perforated plastic bag in the fridge crisper for up to 1 week.

Turnips.jpg

 Melanie Kluzek, Registered Dietitian for County Market

 



Category: Recipes

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