How to Store: Greens
How to Store your Greens
Especially during the spring season, your Harvest Day boxes will be bursting with greens! Leafy greens, as you may well know, don't last forever, but here are some tips to keep your greens as fresh as possible for as long as possible.
Keep them cool, quickly!
Almost any leafy green, whether it's a hardier green like a kale variety or a tender butterhead lettuce, will do best if stored in your fridge. As soon as possible after receiving your Harvest Day box, remove the leafy greens and stick them in your fridge.
Keep them contained!
Now that we all agree greens go in the fridge, let's consider the containers to keep the greens in.
Herbs like coriander and parsley can be stored in a glass of water, stems down like a bouquet of flowers. This will keep them fresher in the fridge than if you simply kept them in a plastic, reusable bag.
Lettuce heads can also be stored in water - simply place the base of the head in a shallow dish of water before storing on the shelf in the fridge. With proper air flow, storing your lettuce in the fridge can keep it fresh for about a week.
Loose-leaf greens like spinach, chard, kale, and rocket can be stored a variety of ways. To protect the more tender leaves, like spinach, from bruising, keep them in a food storage container with a damp paper towel or puff some air into a resealable plastic bag to act as a cushion. The paper towel in the container will provide enough moisture to keep the leaves happy while the carbon dioxide from your puff of breath in the plastic baggie will help reduce the rate at which your greens ripen.
The hardier the green, the longer it will last in the fridge. Curly or cavelo nero kale varieties will last longer, averaging 1-2 weeks, while spinach and rocket may only last 5-7 days.
Clean them up!
The best way to clean your greens partly depends on the type of green and how you want to store it.
If you're storing a whole lettuce head in water, maybe you don't want to bother washing it first. If you don't have room for that and want to chop up your lettuce, submerge it in cold water and jostle it around to shake loose any dirt or grit hiding in the leaves. Then gently pat dry, chop, and store in a container with a paper towel.
Loose greens can be cleaned much the same - submerge in a cold water bath and shake loose any dirt then dry and store. Most of your greens will survive just fine if you store them without washing them, just remember to wash them before you eat them!
Keep them separate!
As fruits and vegetables ripen and age, even while in storage, they release certain gases. For most varieties, the gases of fruits and veg don't mix well and can cause the other to ripen and then deteriorate faster. To slow down the process, keep your fruits and veg separate whenever possible - store them in different shelves or drawers in your fridge.
Eat them first! (our favourite part)
Most greens don't last very long in storage, so we always recommend you eat them first to reduce any potential food waste if they go bad. All the greens in your boxes are freshly harvested, so they taste best when eaten sooner than later anyway!
If you need ideas on how to use your greens, visit our Seasonal Recipes page packed with recipes for all types of Irish produce!