Having a CSA gives allows us the opportunity and pleasure to eat with the seasons!
Summer fruits, as the name implies, are seasonal fruits, with a short growing season and even shorter shelf-life.
Below are 3 of the most common mistakes we see with summer produce storage.
Here’s how to NOT make those mistake,s so you can keep your fruits and veggies tasting great all season long!
And if you have already made these mistakes, at the bottom you’ll find some great recipes to use so your food doesn’t have to go to waste!
1) Keeping Tomatoes In The Fridge
Keep those tasty, red fruits OUT of the fridge if you want a more complex taste and better texture.
Refrigerating tomatoes dramatically reduces levels of flavor and fragrance chemicals known as ‘volatiles’. These volatiles are responsible for giving tomatoes a sweeter, more complex taste.
Refrigerating tomatoes also increases the possibility of the fruit getting too cold and the cells bursting, leaving you with a mealy texture.
It’s best to store these on the countertop, especially heirloom tomatoes!
2) Keeping All Your Fruit Out
Stone fruits—like peaches, plums, nectarines—are often picked on the verge of ripeness (so they don’t get bruised in transport), and then need a couple days on the counter to ripen to perfection.
However, if you keep all your fruits on the countertop, they’re likely to all ripen simultaneously leaving you with TOO much ripe fruit at once (which will turn overrripe verrrry quickly, especially if it’s hot and or humid in the kitchen!)
When you get your CSA box, we recommend keeping half your fruit on the counter to ripen, and half in the fridge so you can pull some out mid week.
You’ll know when a peach or a nectarine is fully ripe by the fragrant smell and the feel of the flesh. It’ll be soft but firm and give a little bit when you press it gently, usually about 36-48 hours out of the fridge.
3) Letting Cucumbers Get Too Cold
Similar to tomatoes, allowing a cucumber to get too cool will turn to mush. And too wet and it can start to get moldy!
The ideal temperature for storing cucumbers is actually around 55 degrees- somewhere between room temp and a refrigerator… so cucumbers can be stored in a cool place on your counter or wrapped in a cloth, placed in a breathable food storage bag or tupperware, and then kept a drawer in the fridge.
Cucumbers are best if used within a few days, as more time at low temperatures can damage them.
Resourceful Recipes To Prevent Food Waste
Mushy tomatoes? Try Shakshuka– it’s a quick and easy breakfast, lunch or dinner
Overripe peaches? Try a Stone Fruit Galette or Stone Fruit Melts
Cucumbers that need a little love? Deli-Style Cucumber Salad or Refrigerator Pickles