Storage + Cooking Tips

Josh at Laughing Sotck Farm delivers Galangal to Summer CSA.
The picture on the left is fresh galangal root harvested yesterday (August 6, 2017) from LSF. Galangal is also know as Thai ginger or Siamese ginger (because it resembles fresh ginger so much), but it really is its own ingredient. It’s commonly found in Thai, Indonesian, and Malaysian cooking. The skin of galangalis smoother and paler than ginger and its flesh is much harder. It can’t be grated like ginger can, but instead must be sliced. The flavor of galangal is much stronger too; it’s earthy, sharp, and extra citrusy.

How do you store galangal?
Galangal can be stored in the vegetable drawer of a refrigerator for two to three weeks. First wrap the galangal in plastic wrap or, preferably, wrap the root first in a damp cloth, then in a plastic bag. Galangal can be frozen without losing any flavor. Cut the unpeeled root into slices a quarter-inch thick, wrap in plastic and freeze for up to three months. Unlike ginger, galangal does not need to be peeled. Thoroughly rinse the root under cold water, rubbing away any dirt, and pat dry.

How do you prep galangal?
Galangal has a strong, aromatic, punchy flavor that can be overwhelming, so use the root sparingly. When cooked, galangal does not soften; it should be either left in large slices so it can be strained prior to serving or very finely chopped so the texture does not interfere with the resulting dish. To infuse soups, stews or teas with galangal, cut into quarter-inch-thick slices, simmer over low heat then strain prior to serving. A slice or two of galangal perks up plain steamed rice. For other types of dishes, such as stir-fries and salads, slice it thinly, stack the slices and cut them into a very thin julienne. For curry pastes, chop finely, and then mash with the other flavorings in a blender or with a mortar and pestle. (It is essential for Thai curry pastes, where it does not get lost among the pronounced flavors of lemongrass, chili peppers and dried shrimp.) Galangal’s spicy mustard flavor highlights all types of seafood, whether incorporated into a marinade, vinaigrette or poaching liquid. Try steaming fish or clams, mussels or cockles cooked in an aromatic broth of a few slices of galangal and a little sake or white wine. Or add a few slices of galangal to a tomato-based seafood stew during simmering for an interesting twist. Galangal adds character to long-simmered beef stews, but it is also good when it’s finely chopped and used with a little garlic in a quick beef stir-fry. Raw galangal makes a great addition to shellfish and calamari salads when combined with fish sauce, Thai chili peppers and lime juice. And for an extra pop, add raw galangal to your favorite salsa. The root may also be used as a tea, extract or capsule!

What’s the difference between galangal and ginger? 
Both galangal and ginger are rhizomes, a type of underground creeping stem of a plant that sends out shooters to create new plants, in the ginger family (turmeric and cardamom are also in this family). Their biggest difference is their taste: galangal has a sharp citrusy, almost piney flavor, while ginger is fresh, pungently spicy, and barely sweet — that means that they cannot be used interchangeably.

Benefits of galangal root:
Apart from its culinary uses, galangal is extremely useful medically. Galangal oil has been commonly prescribed by homeopaths and herbalists for its medicinal uses. Consuming galangal regularly can aid the digestion process, and reduce constipation and vomiting. It has been found effective as a remedy for ulcers and inflammation of the stomach. Galangal has been known to improve blood circulation, especially in the hands and feet, thereby improving oxygen supply and nutrient supply to these parts. It can also aid respiratory problems like congestion and helps regulate breathing rate. The galangal herb is used extensively throughout the East as a snuff for nasal infections. A mixture of galangal and lime juice is used as a tonic for cough and cold. Additionally, galangal powder is used against bad breath as a mouth freshener.

Once galangal has been dried and crushed and kept in boiling water, one can make galangal tea. This tea can be consumed regularly to produce a soothing and calming effect on the body. Galangal possesses tonic and antibacterial qualities and can be used to heal minor cuts and wounds. Powdered galangal made into a paste can be rubbed onto the body to ease aches and pains. In India, galangal is valued for its use in perfumes and deodorants. It is occasionally used as an aromatic stimulant in atmospheric purifiers as well.

Storing Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are cured when packaged in y our CSA boxes. The curing time will range from 15 to 35 days. During the curing processes, the sweet potatoes will develop a more pronounced taste that is very sweet.

Select a cool and dry area to store your potatoes. If proper environmental storage is not met, your potatoes are more likely to sproImage result for sweet potatoes storage tipsut and rot. We recommend storing your sweet potatoes as is (do not wash them before storing). The dirt on this root crop acts a shield. Washing could easily lead to rot, with too much moisture left on the sweet potatoes. If the dirt on the sweet potatoes is an issue with storing, use a dry cloth to remove any excess dirt after harvesting. If you have mistakenly pierced any of your potatoes while harvesting, do not fret. The potatoes will naturally heal themselves while in the curing process.

 

 

 

Try These Recipes!

Sausage, Kale & Sweet Potato Skillet

Super Veggie Power Bowl

Storage:

Short-Term Storage: Carrots can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a month if stored properly. Cut off carrot greens, place carrots in a containers with lid and cover completely in water. Keep container in the refrigerator, changing the water ever 4-5 days. Do not store carrots next to ethylene gas producing fruits, such as apples and pears. The ethylene gas they release speeds up the ripening process of other fruits and vegetables.

If you purchase carrot roots with attached green tops, the tops should be cut off before storing in the refrigerator since they will cause the carrots to wilt prematurely as they pull moisture from the roots. While the tops can be stored in the refrigerator, kept moist by being wrapped in a damp paper, they should really be used soon after purchase since they are fragile and will quickly begin to wilt.

Long-Term Storage: Carrots can also be stored unwashed and covered by sand. If stored in this manner in a dark, cool, well ventilated area, the carrots will last up to 5 or 6 months. They can also be left in the ground, covered with mulch, and used as needed until the ground begins to freeze. Carrots can also be peeled, cut up, blanched, and then frozen to preserve them for approximately a year.

 

Recipes

Spring Veggie Roast

 

 

Week 4 of New South’s Summer CSA

Another summer favorite included in this weeks box are freshly harvested shiitake mushrooms! These gems came from Sweden Creek Farm up in Northwest Arkansas. Sweden Creek grows edible herbs, and flowers as well as organic mushrooms. You can read more about Carol Anne and Curly HEREImage may contain: text and food

We found a lovely recipe for our mushrooms this week. It’s simple, easy and low calorie!

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. fresh sliced shiitake mushrooms (ideally organic)
  • 3 Tbsp. low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional: 2 Tbsp. each of fresh rosemary, oregano, or feta cheese

Directions

  1. Chop garlic and let sit for 5 minutes to enhance its health-promoting properties.
  2. Remove stems from mushrooms and slice.
  3. Heat broth in a stainless steel skillet. When broth begins to steam, add mushrooms and cover for 3 minutes.
  4. Remove skillet cover and let mushrooms cook for 4 more minutes.
  5. Toss with olive oil and season with salt and pepper and whatever optional ingredients desired.

If you’d like to learn more about shiitake mushrooms, check out our shiitake mushroom storage tips & recipes for more info!

Blueberries

Washing:

Blueberries are a delicious summer fruit that can be eaten pain as a healthy snack, tossed into yogurt or a salad, or used in baking. Unfortunately, improper storage can result in blueberries that are anything but tasty. In some cases, it can result in berries that are mushy and moldy.

Sort the moldy blueberries from the fresh ones. Look for berries that have white, fuzzy mold and toss them out. The mold can be found around the stem area. You will also want to discard any berries that are too soft or wilted looking; they are too ripe and will rot quickly. Sorting the bad berries from the good ones will prevent mold from spreading.

Pull off any stems. Most of the stems should have fallen off on their own, but it would be a good idea to go through the berries again and pick off any remaining stems. They won’t harm you if you eat them, but they will taste bitter.

Consider raising the blueberries with one part vinegar and three parts water. In general, you should not wash berries until you are ready to eat them. Washing them too soon can lead to mold. Washing them with vinegar water, however, can kill mold spores and prevent from mold growing in the first place. Put the berries into a colander or strainer, and dunk them into a bowl filled with the vinegar water. Shake colander or strainer, then pull it out. Rinse the berries using cool water; this will get rid of any vinegar flavor.

Storing:

Find a basket-like container and wash it well. You can use a ceramic bowl with slits in it, or you can use the original plastic basket that the blueberries came in. The container will need to have small holes in it to provide adequate ventilation.

  • Avoid using anything made from metal. Blueberries can react with metal, leading to discoloration and stains on both the berries and the metal container

Fold a paper towel into quarters and place it in the bottom of the basket. If you are using a larger container, such as a bowl, then use several sheets of paper towel; you do not need to fold them.

Store the blueberries in the refrigerator. Avoid keeping them in the coldest part of the fridge, or they will get damaged from the cold. The best place to store the berries is on the middle or bottom shelf. Try not to keep them in the crisper. Most crispers are too humid and do not provide enough circulation. This could lead to mold. When kept in the fridge, blueberries can last five to ten days.

  • The coldest part of the fridge is the top

Storing Blueberries in the Freezer

  1. Spread the blueberries in a single layer across a shallow tray.
  2. Place the tray into the freezer and wait until the blueberries are frozen.
  3. Transfer the blueberries to freezer-safe Ziploc bag.

Click here for healthy blueberry recipes

Blackberries:

It might seem counterintuitive to wash your berries before you’re ready to eat them. One of the cardinal rules of keeping berries mold-free is to leave them unwashed until the moment before consumption.

But by washing your berries in a solution of vinegar and water, you can extenImage may contain: foodd their shelf-life by days (sometimes even weeks!). In a large bowl, make a diluted vinegar bath—1 cup vinegar, 3 cups water—and give your berries a dunk. The vinegar will eliminate any pesky mold and bacteria.

Next, drain your berries in a colander and rinse them under cool running water. This guarantees that you won’t be able to taste any lingering traces of vinegar later on.

Now that you’ve washed your berries, it’s time to dry them as thoroughly as possible. Do not be fooled: Moisture is still the enemy. The same salad spinner you use to dry off greens can be used to wick the water from your berries. Line it with about 3 layers of paper towels in order to create a pillow for your berries, then spin your berries for about 15 seconds, or until they are completely dry.

But what if you return from the store with pints of berries only to realize there’s no vinegar in the pantry? A quick bath in hot water will also work to destroy bacteria and mold spores.

Dunk your berries in water between 120 and 140°F for approximately 30 seconds. Dry and store them in the same way you would after a vinegar wash.

 

Recipes

Blackberry Crisp

Grilled Chicken & Polenta with Nectarine-Blackberry Salsa

Unicorn Smoothie

Radishes

Fresh cut radishes can be kept in plastic bags in the refrigerator, but to prevent them from drying out, either wrap them in moist paper towels or store in cold water. Loosely cover the water to ensure no debris gets into the water, but don’t use an airtight container.

Radishes do not freeze well, cut or uncut.

 

Recipes:

Ingredients

Directions: In a large bowl, toss together the spinach, tomatoes, cucumber, radishes, feta and red pepper. Top with dressing of choice and enjoy!

Storage

Fill the sink or a large bowl with cold water, then wash the lettuce leaves gently to clean and hydrate the leaves. Spin dry in a salad spinner or between two clean kitchen towels. Wrap clean lettuce leaves in a paper towel and place in an airtight container or plastic bag.

Store in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator and use within 2-3 days for maximum freshness.

Be sure to remove any sad, wilted of yellow leaves from the bunch as leaving them in will have a negative impact on other leaves.

 

 Recipes

Enjoy a fresh salad with local carrots, cucumbers, peppers and feta cheese from our farmers.

 

Storage

Place ears of corn in your refrigerator as soon as possible. Leave the husk on, if possible, and let the corn sit in the fridge uncovered. Keep the temperature at or below 40 degrees to reduce the amount of natural sugars in the corn from turning to starch at higher temperatures

Recipes

 

Grilled Corn

Fresh Corn Salad

Preservation:

Freezing Procedure

Don’t freeze more than 2 pounds of food per cubic foot of freezer capacity per day. To package whole-kernel or creamstyle corn:

  • Fill pint or quart plastic freezer containers, tapered freezer jars, or zip-type freezer bags. Squeeze air from plastic bags, seal, and label.

If using rigid freezer containers, allow ½ inch of headspace for whole-kernel corn and 1 inch of headspace for quarts of cream-style corn.

To package corn-on-the cob, fill into quart or half-gallon freezer bags. Squeeze out air, seal, label, and freeze.

Canning Procedure

  1. Corn must be processed in a pressure canner.
  2. Wash jars. Prepare lids according to manufacturer’s instructions.
  3. Whole-kernel corn may be canned in pints or quarts. Cream-style corn must be packed in half-pint or pint jars only.
  4. If desired, add 1 teaspoon of salt per quart, ½ teaspoon per pint, or ¼ teaspoon per halfpint jar.

For raw-packed

  1. Whole-kernel-style corn, fill jars with cut product, leaving 1 inch of headspace.
  2. Add boiling water over the corn in each jar, leaving 1 inch of headspace. Remove air bubbles.
  3. Wipe sealing surface of jars with a clean, damp paper towel, add lids, tighten screw bands, and process.

For hot packs

  1. Add 1 cup of hot water for each quart of whole-kernel corn or 1 cup of hot water for each pint of cream-style corn, and heat to a boil.
  2. Fill jars with hot corn and cooking liquid, leaving 1 inch of headspace. Remove air bubbles. Wipe the sealing surface of the jars with a clean, damp paper towel, add lids, tighten screw bands, and process.

To Process in a Pressure Canner

Corn must be processed in a pressure canner.

  1. Wash jars. Prepare lids according to manufacturer’s instructions.
  2. Whole-kernel corn may be canned in pints or quarts. Cream-style corn must be packed in half-pint or pint jars only.
  3. If desired, add 1 teaspoon of salt per quart, ½ teaspoon per pint, or ¼ teaspoon per halfpint jar.

Storage

To store turnips, first separate the greens from the bulbs. Store the greens separately in a plastic bag in the refrigerator, and do not wash until just before use. Store the roots in a loose plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to a month or longer.

Recipes

Substitute for potatoes in almost any potato recipe

Turnip and Potato Pancakes

Turnip and Potato Soup

Roasted Turnips with Parmesan

Turnip and Sweet Potato Gratin

Shredded Root Vegetable Pancakes

Roasted Turnips and Greens

Preservation

To freeze turnips, first wash and slice to desired size. Blanch in boiling water for 2-4 minutes depending on size, then transfer to a bowl of ice water. Drain and place in a freezer-safe, airtight container for storage.