Storage + Cooking Tips

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.

Storage

Green onions are onions that have been harvested young, usually before they develop a bulb. They have a milder flavor than mature onions. Green onions are a living plant, so the best way to store them is in a jar with enough water to keep the roots wet. You can keep the jar in the refrigerator or on the kitchen counter, just make sure to change the water every couple of days. If the outside layers start to get slimy, peel them away as needed.

Recipes

Top off soups or salads

Green Onion Pancakes

Green Onion Hash Brown Potatoes

Potato, Green Onion, and Goat Cheese Frittata

Rice Noodles with Green Onions and Herbs

Beef and Green Onion Stir Fry

Preservation

To preserve green onions, you can freeze them simply by chopping to desired size and placing in a freezer-safe airtight container or plastic bag. Keep in mind that they will lose their crunch when defrosted, so plan to use in dishes that require cooking.

Storage

Many people give eggplants a bad rap for their bitter taste or rubbery texture, but both of these can be avoided with freshness and proper storage. Eggplants are sensitive to cold temperatures, so storing them in the cold parts of your refrigerator for long periods of time can damage the tissue which results in an unpleasant taste and texture. Instead, store eggplants on a shelf in the front of your fridge or in a cool spot on your kitchen counter, out of direct sunlight and away from tomatoes, bananas, apples, and other ethylene-producers that will accelerate spoiling. Either way, eggplants have the best taste and texture when used within 1-2 days.

Another trick for improving the taste and texture of eggplants is sprinkling them with salt to extract moisture before cooking. After washing your eggplant, slice it to the desired thickness, sprinkle both sides with salt, and place in a colander or perforated bowl for 10 minutes. Rinse away excess salt and pat dry. This allows the eggplant to soak up the liquid in your recipe, reducing any bitter taste or mushy texture.

Recipes

Ratatouille

Creamy Eggplant and Caramelized Onion Dip

Eggplant Parmesan

Eggplant Parmesan Pizza

Roasted Eggplant Bruschetta

Zucchini Eggplant Lasagna

Eggplant and Goat Cheese Sandwiches

Preservation

There are a few ways to freeze eggplant depending on what you want to do with it afterwards, but keep in mind that freezing and defrosting eggplant will result in a softer texture.

To freeze for general use, slice your eggplant to the desired size and blanch in boiling water for 4 minutes. Immediately place in a bowl of ice water, then drain and transfer to a freezer-safe airtight container for freezing.

For eggplant that you plan to roast after defrosting, you can go ahead and roast it before you freeze. Wash eggplant and slice to desired size, then drizzle with olive oil and seasonings and roast at 375-400 degrees for about 30 minutes. Allow eggplant to cool, then transfer to a freezer-safe airtight container for freezing.

Storage

Store mushrooms in a paper bag in the refrigerator for up to one week. Just prior to using, wipe off any dirt with a damp wash cloth, sponge, or paper towel. Do not run them directly under water as they will absorb moisture and become soggy.

Recipes

Garlic Sautéed Shiitake Mushrooms

Fettuccini with Shiitake Mushrooms and Basil

Quinoa Fried Rice with Shiitake Mushrooms

Mushroom Ragu

Pecan Mushroom Burgers

Preservation

Shiitakes can be preserved by drying or freezing. To dry, first wipe off any dirt with a damp wash cloth, sponge, or paper towel. Thinly slice mushrooms and arrange in a single layer on a dehydrator tray. Dry for a couple of hours or until completely dry (this will depend on the thickness of the slices and how moist the mushrooms were to begin with). If you do not have a dehydrator, arrange in a single layer on baking sheets and cook at 150 degrees (or your lowest temperature setting) for one hour. Remove from oven, turn over, and blot up any excess moisture with a clean kitchen towel or paper towel. Cook for another hour and repeat steps as necessary until completely dry. Dried properly, mushrooms will stay good for a year or longer and can be reconstituted with boiling water.

Frozen mushrooms will maintain a better texture if they are first cooked. Wipe mushrooms clean with a damp wash cloth, sponge, or paper towel, then cut away the stems and slice to desired size (the stems are often tough but you can reserve them to flavor a soup or stock). Heat a large pan over medium-high heat and add olive oil, mushrooms, and desired seasonings. Sauté until the mushrooms turn golden and slightly crispy, then remove from heat, allow to cool, and transfer to a freezer-safe airtight container. Use frozen mushrooms within two months.

Storage

Store fresh ginger in a plastic bag or airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week. When cooking with ginger, use a metal spoon to remove the outer skin, then chop or grate to desired consistency.

Recipes

Gingered Carrot and Kale Ribbons

Stir-Fried Bok Choy, Carrots, and Kohlrabi with Ginger

Carrot Apple Ginger Soup

Tofu with Peanut Ginger Sauce

Ginger Honey Chicken Wings

Roasted Squash and Coconut Soup with Ginger

Maple Ginger Apple Pie

Preservation

Ginger can be stored in the freezer with little to no loss of flavor or texture.

Storage

Store kale in a plastic bag or airtight container in the refrigerator. To regulate moisture, wrap leaves in a damp paper towel and do not wash until just before use. Kale is a relatively hearty green and will stay fresh for a week or longer if stored properly.

Recipes

Basic Sautéed Kale

Kale with Apples and Bacon

Gingered Carrot and Kale Ribbons

Kale Chips

Kale Apple Smoothie

Sausage Kale Bean Soup

Portuguese Kale and Red Bean Soup

Kale and Walnut Pesto

Kale Caesar Salad

Butternut Squash and Kale Lasagna

Kale and Caramelized Onion Grilled Cheese

Garlic Roasted Kale

Squash Hash with Kale and Baked Eggs

Preservation

To freeze kale, wash leaves thoroughly and cut away stems. Blanch in boiling water for three minutes and immediately place in a bowl of ice water. Drain leaves and transfer to a freezer-safe airtight container for freezing.

Kale can also be dehydrated and crushed or ground into a powder for sauces and smoothies. To dry, wash leaves and cut away stems, then place in a single layer on dehydrator trays and dry for 2-3 hours. If you don’t have a dehydrator, dry kale in the oven by baking at the lowest temperature setting for 60 to 90 minutes or until dry.

Storage

Store summer squash unwashed in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. Wrap tightly to minimize contact with air, and be careful not to bump or scratch the squash as this will cause it to bruise more quickly. Use squash within 3-5 days.

Recipes

Grilled Summer Squash

Sauteed Baby Squash with Basil and Feta

Summer Squash Pizza

Chicken and Summer Vegetable Tostadas

Tomato, Squash, and Red Pepper Gratin

Zucchini Boats with Ricotta Basil Mousse

Summer Vegetable Frittata

Zucchini Eggplant Lasagna

Grilled Zucchini Caprese Stacks

Creamy Zucchini and Ricotta Spread

Zucchini Fritters

Zucchini and Yellow Squash Gratin

Zucchini Quesadillas

Pickled Summer Squash

Preservation

To freeze summer squash or zucchini, first wash the squash and slice to desired thickness. Blanch in boiling water for 3 minutes, then transfer to a bowl of ice water. Drain and place in a freezer-safe airtight container for storage.

An alternative method for freezing is to shred the squash and freeze without blanching. The shredded squash can be used for baking, soups, or fritters.

Squash and zucchini can also be preserved by pickling. For this method, use the recipe above or another trusted pickling recipe.

Storage

To store herbs in the refrigerator, first place them stem-side down in a jar of water like you would with fresh flowers. This keeps the herbs hydrated and prevents them from wilting in the bag, allowing them to stay fresh much longer

Keep in mind that basil should not be refrigerated, but most other herbs should be stored in the fridge.

Recipes

Different herbs may be used in different recipes to bring out their flavor, but here are a few that can be used with almost any herbs:

Herb Butter

Herb-Roasted Vegetables

Herb-Roasted Whole Chicken

Herb Vinaigrette

Herb Mashed Potatoes

Preservation

Most herbs can be preserved well by drying. To do so, lay them flat on a baking sheet and bake at the lowest possible temperature setting. Leave the door slightly open for air circulation. Check herbs at 30 minutes and turn over if necessary. Most herbs will be dry after about one hour.