Monday, October 3, 2011

Save Some Green by Saving Your Greens

Dear Sisters,

I realize that I may be a little late catching this wave, but I'm glad I finally caught it nonetheless. We try to drink green smoothies with every meal. Because, seriously, YUM. And because in my opinion, there is no better way to get so much nutrition so easily.

My only complaint about making green smoothies is the cost. When available, I try to buy local at the farmer's market or use from our own garden, but there is a large part of the year here in Wisconsin when that is not possible. (Maybe I should look into winter greenhouse gardening...hmmm...) In an effort to cut down on the cost (especially the cost of greens), I try to buy most of our ingredients at a big warehouse store. I can buy organic in large quantities for much less than at the grocery store around the corner. Yes, yes, I local, support your neighborhood grocery store, yadda yadda yadda. I know. And I try to do just that. However, there are times when the item or items I am purchasing are so much cheaper that it justifies the long drive to the warehouse store. The downside to buying at such a locale is the sheer bulk of the purchase. We are only a family of four, two of which are quite small in stature. How do I keep the greens from going bad before I get a chance to use them?

Say hello to one of my favorite kitchen appliances: The FoodSaver. I'm so in love with this thing that it has a permanent home on the counter top in my butler's pantry. I can think of at least a million reasons why every home should have a FoodSaver (especially at the low price at which one can now purchase it), but the latest reason I love it is the Wide-Mouth Jar Sealer. Yep, for a little over eight bucks, you too can own this beautiful  little accessory.

All of those wide-mouth canning jars we all have piled up in our basement can now be put to good use besides canning. The jar sealer goes over the top of the sealing lid on the jar and sucks the air out while sealing the lid. I then use a screw on ring, even though it isn't necessary. It can't be used for canning, but it can be used to keep things fresh. I use it for nuts, specialty flours, raisins, bulk spices...the possibilities are endless.

But my new favorite use is for preserving greens.

I pre-wash my greens and pack them in jars, seal and refrigerate. Each day, we use one or two jars of greens. You would be amazed how much longer they stay fresh. I also use this method to prepare salads for Rit's lunches. She just grabs a jar and goes. It cuts down on waste from plastic bags and better preserves the food. The jars and the sealer lids can be washed and reused.
Now run out and buy one! You won't regret it.

Love, Kate


Molly said...

What a great idea! Where did you buy the actual food saver?

Kate said...

Actually, it's the same one we won on the Oprah Show many years ago. You can buy them practically anywhere now.Amazon, Costco, kohl's. Check around to get the best price.

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