So, you’ve received your very first Real Food Grocer box – hooray! Now what to do with all that goodness? In today’s Real Food Grocer blog, our team make a few recommendations to ensuring your box goes the distance, works to your schedule, keeps fresh and allows you the opportunity to get creative in the kitchen. Read on!
First up, get prepared. Seek out any rot or mould that may have reached older produce in your fridge or fruit bowl. Clean out these storage spaces to start fresh. Rot and mould spread via spores, so one bad item lurking around can compromise your new order.
The night before your order arrives, we recommend having an all-the-veggies-in-one-go meal to ready your fridge. Soups, stews and stir-frys are all great options to clear out your stocks.
When it comes to unboxing, we suggest separating your produce into two piles; what you know you’ll use in a recipe, and what you’re a little unsure about. Spend some time considering the ‘unsure abouts’ – perhaps you can make the eggplant the hero of a meal and the spinach an amazing side dish.
Do not wash your produce before you put it away. Bacteria can regrow just 20 minutes after washing, so it’s a little pointless. Refrigerating your produce while wet can also reduce its life-span. Wash it immediately before you use it instead.
You can also do some research on which veggies ‘like’ each other and which do not. This has to do with the release of ethylene, so have a browse and store your goodies where they will be most happy.
Remember to send us a snap of the good, the bad and the ugly – we love hearing how your delivery went!
Going the distance.
It’s time to consider the life cycle of the fruit and veggies you have received.
Prioritise your softer foods to cook first – and keep your eye on their produce daily. Bananas, tomatoes and avocados might benefit from a few days to ripen, whereas some of your leafy greens may taste best in the first up!
Fruit and veggies run to their own timelines, it’s a natural thing and might not work to your meal plan schedule. If you notice the zucchini looking a bit wrinkly, use that instead of the broccoli you had planned for your meal.
While you’re chopping up items for meals you can always portion extras for freezing. Especially those you don’t see yourself using right away. There is a great ABC article on this here.
Prepare to eat seasonally. What comes in your box is a great guide to what’s good for the season. These items will be the tastiest and last the longest.
Remember, if you have had a challenging week and can’t be bothered with creativity in the kitchen, you can always customise your box and pick exactly what you need for the week. No problem!
For those looking for extra projects and creative activities in the kitchen, we’ve got some recommendations for you, too.
This ABC Life article shares tips on growing your own fruit, vegetables and herbs from kitchen scraps. Great for the environment and your pocket. This one shares tips on pickling some of your juicy, fresh produce. This could also be a new and delicious way to enjoy your Real Food Grocer box.
Lastly, team Real Food Grocer love a battle in the kitchen and the ‘Weird Combo Challenge’ is the result of this. Player One picks three produce items that don’t traditionally ‘match’ and Player Two whips up something incredible. Nelle’s best ever creation worked to Scott’s combination of oranges, ginger and beetroot. Find a similar recipe here!