The other week I talked about the reasons I love getting my fruit and veggies delivered, but I know for some people they can feel a little overwhelming. So, today I thought I would share some tips for making the most out of your vegetable box. I’d love to hear your tips as well!
First things first, sort everything out
The first thing I do when my veggie box is delivered is take everything out to see what is in there. I lay everything out and group by type – leafy greens, root vegetables, herbs, fruits etc and then make a list of what I have. I do this by group but also make note of the quantity of each item so I have a good sense of what I have to cook with.
Prepare and store appropriately
The next step for making the most out of your vegetable box is ensuring everything can stay fresh for as long as possible. Until you have decided what you are going to use things for I don’t recommend cutting anything up, so instead just store in the way that best suits each item. Check the ripeness of things like fruit, avocados and the like to determine whether they should go in your fruit bowl or the fridge. I use Swag Bags which I find keep refrigerated things super fresh for longer.
Plan out your meals
Once you have assessed everything you have, including how ripe each item is, you can set about planning what to use them in and in what order. This can sometimes feel a bit overwhelming if you aren’t used to it, but it definitely gets easier. I love pulling out my recipe books and flipping to the index to find options that suit the ingredients I have, but you can do similar things on websites as well. I mark things off the list as I have accounted for them in a recipe which helps me visually narrow down what else I have to play with. Don’t be afraid to substitute ingredients in recipes to better match what you have on hand too.
Get creative with using things up
If you find yourself with lots of one item, or something you just can’t work in to your meal plan then see if you can get creative with it instead. For example, if you just cant use up any more red cabbage then try pickling it to change its flavour and allow it to last longer. Preserve, jam, ferment, freeze – there are all kinds of ways you can use excess ingredients to extend their life and keep them on hand for later.
When in doubt, make a soup or roast them
At this time of year one of the easiest ways to ensure I’m finding a delicious way to use everything in my veggie box is to make a soup. You can basically turn anything in to a soup, and when you throw in some beans or lentils you’ll find yourself with a hearty, delicious winter lunch option. The same goes for roast veggies – chop things up, drizzle with oil, top with your favourite herbs and spices and pop in the oven. Then you’ve got lots of options on hand, and roast veggies are hard to beat in my books!