How To Extend the Life in your CSA Veggies

This chopped lettuce is 2 weeks old! No brown edges, green crunchy leaves…it’s a miracle!

Preserving Lettuce in Mason Jars_3

2 months ago I signed up with a CSA (I pimp my CSA goodies enough that you probably know this). I get a Regular sized box every two weeks, but I quickly found that the fruits/veggies would go bad within a week. This was disappointing because I didn’t want to purchase a weekly box, but I was throwing food out every week since it would go bad before I could finish it all.

The easy answer would be for me to get the small sized box every two weeks, but doesn’t have all the stuff I was really interested in and again, it’s only 1 week of food. Before I succumbed to buying a smaller box (or cancelling all together ::GASP::) I decided to try out a technique I found on Pinterest.

This post by Salad In A Jar showed me how to can lettuce which I thought was genius, but I was still hesitant that it would really last the full two weeks. I was also a little apprehensive since I had never canned or ‘saved’ food before.

Tools:

All the items are completely reusable and rechargeable which I love. The Handheld Vacuum Sealing system also woks great with the Ziploc Bags which I also found at Target.

The process I followed is simple.

Step 1:

First I wash the lettuce in a water/white vinegar mix to remove any dirt and bugs. I found a snail in ahead of lettuce once so I never skip this step nowadays. I dry the lettuce using a small salad spinner and lay it out on a terry cloth to get rid of the excess moisture. Then I chop the lettuce and fill the jars, leaving some room at the top. For the purposes of this step by step, I resealed some chopped up cabbage since I didn’t have any extra fresh lettuce on hand for this post.

Preserving Lettuce in Mason Jars_4

Step 2:

Place the seal lid onto the jar and then add the wide mouth jar sealer.  Place the handheld vacuum onto the top of the sealer, over the hole, and activate for 10-12 seconds (according to the instructions that came with the product).

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Step 3:

Remove the vacuum and jar sealer, add the canning rim and place in the fridge.

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*Disclaimer – I’m sharing with you a process that worked for me. I’m not an expert in canning or ‘vacu-saving’ so please be sure to follow the instructions included with any products you purchase. Please use your best judgment when consuming a product that has been ‘saved’. Mine did last 2 weeks, but I cannot guarantee that everyone will experience that same result.

 

Now through the magic of television the internet I can show you lettuce that has been sealed for a full two weeks. Both the lettuce in the jar and the bowl is two weeks old. If I didn’t know that it was jarred lettuce, I would never had known the difference. While there were a few slimy pieces, it was only 2-3 and easy to pick out. The rest were crisp and fresh.

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As you can see from a picture above, I did also successfully jar Kale and Cabbage with similar results. I’ve also used this method to save fresh green beans and snap peas that came in the CSA box as well. I ate those within a week so I don’t know how they would have fared at the 2 week mark. 

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Like I said above, the handheld vacuum also works with the special Ziploc bags, which means I’ve been basically vacuum saving everything in my house lately…new fun gadget and all…

As 1 person, I can’t eat a whole loaf of bread before it goes bad. I also have been purchasing block cheese from Costco, then vacu-saving and freezing the excess to use in future weeks.

 

I have one other trick up my sleeve that is fairly inexpensive and can be useful for the fruit and herbs that come in the CSA Box, but that will have to be for another post.

 

What do you do to keep your CSA bounty lasting longer?

6 responses

  1. Pingback: CSA Box #6 | Changing My Destiny

  2. Pingback: A Look Back at 2012 | Changing My Destiny

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