Spring is here (or quickly approaching). This means there will be a steady increase in the variety of locally-grown and -produced foods that will be at local farmers markets and many grocery stores over the coming months. If you’ve got a little extra cash or free time to put to good use, consider stocking up on more produce, dairy, bread and/or grains than what’s needed for a single week of meals, so that you have a consistent amount of nutritious options readily available — a simple prep solution when the need for fast healthy eats arises. Then try one or more of these tips on how to store and get the most use out of what you’ve purchased:
- Prioritize buying produce with a longer shelf life. Apples, pears, broccoli and cabbage are all items that are more resistant to spoilage.
- Freeze what you can. Most fruits and vegetables can be frozen after being washed properly (and cut and/or peeled if need be). Be sure to store them in air-tight bags or containers to prevent freezer burn. Also, keep in mind that there are several other foods that can also be frozen for later use. So if you happen to notice your favorite cheese or tortillas are on sale, grab an extra package — or two — to stash away for a fraction of the usual cost.
- Get non-perishables like rice, oatmeal, pasta and peanut butter in bulk, especially if your household includes more than two people.
Once you’ve procured a haul you’re proud of, peruse recent issues of TOPS News to remind yourself of recipes you’ve been meaning to try. And why not make it a ‘group project’ by asking family, co-workers or fellow chapter members if they would be willing to sample any dishes you decide to make? Then use the feedback to narrow down which meals should earn a regular place of honor at your dinner table.
Be well this Wednesday!