Hello, friends! Happy #PlasticFreeJuly! In honor of this, I thought I'd share with you a little bit about my trips to farmer's markets this summer. Farmer's markets can be one of the easiest ways to shop no waste, here's why:
- Fresh produce from local farmers is unlikely to be stored in plastic bags/containers.
- It's convenient to bring your own bags when you're walking from home or nearby (and you feel less awkward because everyone seems to be doing it!).
- The produce is SO fresh! Why wouldn't you rather shop there than at the grocery store?
On top of this, shopping sans plastic makes it easier for you to prep nourishing food for the week! As soon as I get home with my new goodies, I know they need to be stored properly if I'm going to use them throughout the next several days. This farmer's market haul was probably one of my biggest yet, so I'll take you through a little tour of how I like to shop for and store my goods. I've found this to be one of the most challenging and daunting experiences if you're new to farmer's markets -- fresh produce can go bad within a day of purchasing it if you don't store it properly! (I've learned this from experience, of course).
First things first, gather your reusable containers and bags! A few brands I love include:
- Stasher bag - These are my favorite for storing fresh berries and smoothie ingredients! You can also freeze or cook right in the bag after prepping your goods. They come in so many different sizes and colors, they're always one of my go-to's.
- ECOBAGS - In my opinion, they're one of the best produce bags for shopping. They replace the little plastic bags you find at the grocery store if you want to protect your veggies, especially lettuce. They're also a B Corp!
- Beeswax wraps - Like plastic cling wrap, but eco-friendly. I use these for fastening over open drinks and produce containers I don't have lids for. (Try Bee's Wrap, Abeego, or SuperBee and tell us your favorite!)
Ready to shop with me? During this haul, I purchased tomatoes, spinach, zucchini, portobellos, blueberries, black raspberries, cucumbers, green leaf lettuce, eggs, red onions, basil, squash blossoms/edible flowers, and rhubarb. All of the produce is super easy to buy, I just ask the farmers to throw it in my reusable bags or do it myself.
How to Store Your Produce for Maximum Shelf Life
The more time-consuming portion is next, prepping and storing your goods.
- Tomatoes - Set these out on your kitchen counter in a basket away from direct sunlight.
- Spinach + Green Leaf Lettuce - Rinse and store in an air-tight container with a clean cloth to absorb excess water.
- Zucchini - Rinse, dice or spiral, and then store in an air-tight container or stasher bag. I like to steam and freeze half for smoothies and spiralize the rest for zoodles!
- Portobellos - I do not wash these until I'm ready to eat them, they don't like excess moisture. Throw them in a bowl and cover loosely with beeswax wraps.
- Berries - Rinse and toss them in a stasher in the fridge.
- Cucumbers - Wrap in beeswax wraps or a stasher and toss in the fridge.
- Eggs - Place them in a bowl or egg rack if you have one and store in the fridge.
- Onions - Either leave on the counter or rinse, dice and store in a glass container in the fridge. The smell leaches, so I try to only use glass for these!
- Basil - I let this guy breathe in an open half-gallon stasher with a little water at the bottom. Store on your countertop and NOT in the fridge as it will wilt ASAP.
- Edible Flowers - These are best placed on top of a wet cloth in an air-tight container and stored in the fridge. Use as soon as possible!
- Rhubarb - Rinse, dice, and store in an air-tight container or stasher.
I hope this was helpful and you enjoyed learning about #PlasticFreeJuly! Have fun at your farmer's markets this summer!