This time of year, there’s always so much going on! Kids heading back to school, sports leagues starting, maybe even one last vacation during all the madness. I think it’s the perfect time to share one of my favorite time-saving tips with all you busy people!
You may have started to catch on that we eat A LOT of fruits and vegetables in our house (if the creation of Veggie-Go’s wasn’t enough of a clue, read my other posts about incorporating fruits and veggies into all kinds of recipes). The one thing about eating fresh like that is that it tends to take a good chunk of time to prepare things – washing greens, peeling veggies, chopping fruit. I know this is a huge reason why most people opt for easy solutions like Veggie-Go’s! But, despite my strong conviction that everyone should eat Veggie-Go’s for every meal (just kidding) I also know of a terrific way to have fresh fruits and veggies easy and ready to go, whenever you need them!
Do it all at once!
I spend twenty or thirty minutes after I get a big bunch of produce (either from the supermarket, farmers market, or our own garden!) and get it all ready at once. This works for two big reasons:
- It takes a few minutes now, sure, but will encourage healthy cooking and eating later on because it’s so much easier. I won’t have to make time in the morning to get veggies ready for lunches, or spend time when I get home at night to dice onions up for dinner!
- It makes me think of uses for things ahead of time. For example, should I cut up these carrots into sticks for snacks? Medallions for soup? How ‘bout a little of both – and now I know what I’m cooking one night too! It’s so much easier to get through the week (and the produce before it goes bad) when you already have a plan.
Of course, we all know some produce fairs better untouched, so what are some of the preparations that are good to do in advance?
- Rinsing and chopping greens
- Peeling and chopping melons
- Peeling and chopping onions and squash
- Slicing and dicing snack fruits and veggies
- Washing root veggies and tubors like beets and potatoes
- Washing apples, grapes, celery, peppers and similarly skinned produce
- Slicing citrus for snacks or to put in infused water
- Cutting tomatoes
- Washing and trimming asparagus
- Chopping green beans or snap peas
And what should you avoid doing in advance to keep things fresh and appetizing?
- Peeling and cutting apples or potatoes
- Washing berries (unless you have a really good container to keep them in that lets them drain but doesn’t dry them out)
- Doing anything at all to bananas or avocados (they’re very fragile beings)
What are your time-saving tips for eating fresh, healthy produce even when your life is crazy?