Style My Soul explores how to combat the all-too-common issue of perishable greens and vegetables expiring unused in your fridge, we’ve gathered seven innovative solutions from food enthusiasts and health experts.
Ensure Proper Storage for Extended Veggie Life
Storing greens and vegetables properly can extend their shelf life. Rinse and dry leafy greens, then wrap them in a paper towel and place them in a ziplock bag in the fridge, or in an airtight container. I also rinse, dry, and store raw carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower in an airtight container, as the original packaging is not ideal for long-term storage. I enjoy making salads with a variety of veggies, topped with bacon, hard-boiled eggs, and other ingredients. Additionally, I often cook raw carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower in the air fryer with a bit of olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. This method is quick, easy, and the vegetables taste great when air-fried. - Matt Taylor, Youtuber/Food Blogger, Ringthorn Productions
Create Tangy Pickles from Expiring Produce
Pickling greens and vegetables is an excellent solution to prevent waste and create unique, tangy flavors. To pickle, soak the greens and vegetables in a mixture of vinegar, water, sugar, and spices. After a few days, they will turn into delicious pickles with an extended shelf life. For example, pickling cucumbers, carrots, and onions will result in crunchy and tangy pickles that can be enjoyed as a snack, added to sandwiches, or paired with charcuterie. This method not only preserves the greens and vegetables but also introduces a burst of flavor that can enhance various dishes. - Roy Lau, Co-Founder, 28 Mortgage
Transform Veggies into Nutritious Juices
Juicing is a fantastic solution for utilizing those greens and veggies before they go bad! Not only does it provide a delicious way to use up leftovers, but it also gives you an additional nutrient boost. Simply gather all your veggies, throw them in a juicer, and voilà — you have a vibrant and nutritious drink ready to enjoy. - Diane Howard, RN and Founder, Esthetic Finesse
Craft Homemade Vegetable Stock
To maximize the use of greens and vegetables before they expire, one effective method is to prepare a versatile vegetable stock. This involves simmering a mix of nearly expired vegetables and greens in water, along with optional herbs and spices, to create a flavorful broth. The beauty of this approach is its flexibility; almost any combination of vegetables can be used, making it a great way to utilize odds and ends that might otherwise go to waste. This stock can then serve as a base for soups, stews, sauces, or even as a cooking liquid for grains, infusing dishes with added nutrients and flavor. Not only does this method reduce food waste, but it also offers a homemade, healthier alternative to store-bought broths, which often contain added preservatives and sodium. - Danielle Gaffen, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN), Eat Well Crohn’s Colitis
Whip Up Versatile Green Sauces
A creative and practical solution for using greens and vegetables before they expire is to make a versatile green sauce or pesto. This can be done by blending greens like spinach, kale, or herbs with garlic, nuts, olive oil, and Parmesan cheese. The beauty of this approach is its flexibility; you can use almost any combination of greens and herbs. This sauce can be used as a pasta dressing, a marinade for meats, a spread for sandwiches, or a dip. It’s a delicious way to reduce waste and add a nutritional boost to various meals. Plus, it can be frozen for future use, extending the life of your produce. - Einav Biri, CEO, FARUZO
Blend a Nutrient-Packed Green Smoothie
One cool trick I always share with my clients at Total Shape is to whip up a quick and versatile green smoothie. Throw in those greens, some veggies, maybe a banana or two for sweetness, and blend it up. Not only does it rescue your produce from the brink of expiration, but it’s also a powerhouse of nutrients. You can even freeze the smoothie into ice cubes for later use in other recipes or as a refreshing snack. It’s a win-win for your health and reducing food waste.
- James Cunningham, Senior Coach, Total Shape
Make a Quick Stir-Fry to Prevent Waste
Consider preparing a stir-fry using your greens and vegetables before they spoil; it’s a swift and effective way to utilize ingredients that might otherwise be wasted. Stir-frying blends various vegetables and proteins, enhanced with diverse seasonings. This cooking method preserves the nutrients in vegetables better than alternative techniques, thanks to minimal water usage and high cooking temperatures, offering a health-conscious meal option. Its versatility allows for ingredient additions based on what’s in your fridge, catering to diverse taste preferences.
- Lisa Young, Nutritionist and Author of Finally Full, Finally Slim, Dr. Lisa Young Nutrition