Minimizing Food Waste
This week, we’d like to address the elephant in the room…food waste. Part of our sustainability goal here at SLO Veg is to minimize our environmental impact, we do this by using recyclable and compostable packaging when we can, but this also means minimizing wasted food. Knowing our farmers means knowing how much work and planning goes into each of their crops. With that, we aim to honor our farmers, and our values by doing our part in cherishing and utilizing all the food that we purchase from them. Because our boxes are full of so many amazing things each week, we know firsthand that using everything up at peak freshness is sometimes a challenge. This is feedback that we’ve been getting for a while now and we’d like to share some tips and tricks with you to best ensure you’re getting the most out of your harvest and fruit boxes.
First off, we want to say that we get it! Food waste happens to even the best menu planners, and it never feels good. In the case that your food does go past its prime before you get to it, we highly encourage that you compost your waste. Composting is super easy and helps to return healthy nutrients back to the earth. Pro tip, if your compost is causing your kitchen to smell a little funky, try storing in a bag or container in the freezer before taking it out and discarding it in your compost bin.
We also want to remind you to check out our storage tips! These are included in every newsletter and…they work! Storing your produce correctly will help ensure a long and healthy shelf life.
Get Your ‘Sauce’ On
Juicing and “sauce-ing” your produce is another fun way to extend the life of your produce. Sauces and marinades are so flavorful and can totally change the flavor profile of a dish, they are a super fun and easy way to get creative in the kitchen and make something deliciously unexpected. This goes for salad dressings too, our citrus pairs really well in simple vinaigrettes. Juicing is a great option for people who want quick nutrients. For readers that do not have a juicer at home, you can blend your juice in a blender or food processor and strain it through a fine mesh strainer, or a cheesecloth and then compost the leftover fiber. A lot of people like to use celery juice variations as a pre-workout beverage to help them stay energized and fueled during exercise. (we have also heard that celery juice is amazing for clear, hydrated skin!)
Pickled beets, carrots, onions, and peppers are awesome ways to brighten up a dish. Pickling is also a great activity to do with kids and helps them breathe new life into their vegetables. Go check out our marketplace for at-home pickle kits!
Elevate the Staples
There are certain meals that are easier to dump a ton of vegetables into and involve a few pantry staples. This includes things like fried rice, frittata, pastas, or burritos. These meals come together quickly and are great for using up the last little bits and scraps of leftover produce. These are also great places to throw in extra greens, like the leaves of your beets or the stalks of your fennel.
Stay in the Loop
Lastly, be sure to check out our Instagram and YouTube channel for video content on more creative ways to use up your food. We are in the planning stages of some fun videos and will keep you posted on when they go up!