How to Store Your Vegetables Without Waste

I used to bring produce home from the market and throw it in my refrigerator unwashed. Unfortunately, after one day, ready to eat a salad, I would pull my lettuce, kale, or spinach out and it would be wilted and crunch-less. The technique I am about to show you keeps my leafy greens fresh and crunchy longer than any other storage method I have tried and it is completely waste free!

Step 1: Wash your greens and leave them to dry in a colander 
Step 2: Lay out a cotton/linen napkin and put your greens in the bottom right corner
Step 3: Fold the bottom right corner of the napkin and tuck the greens in
Step 4: Begin to roll the greens towards the top right corner
Step 5: Roll until you meet the top left corner of the napkin and put the corner on top
Step 6: take the two outer edges and bring to the center
Step 7: Knot the outer edges of the napkin and pull tight and you are done!
Storage Option 1: Store on your shelf in the refrigerator
Storage Option 2: Store in your humidity controlled crisper drawer

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A Week of Organic Food for Under $40.00

I have made a decision to only bring Organic, fresh food products into my home to decrease the amount of synthetic pesticides and herbicides and plastic I am exposed to in my daily life. Many people get the impression that comes with a very high price tag, especially in New York City. However, with some preparation, some kitchen staples, a good market, and a little bit of effort you can easily feed yourself for the week without draining your bank account.

**Please note, I am a vegetarian which cuts my grocery costs exponentially**

Here is what I recommend as Kitchen staples:

  • Bulk Brown Rice. There are lots of different shapes and sizes, I like short grain sweet
  • Bulk Quinoa 
  • Bulk Beans: black beans are my favorite
  • Olive Oil 
  • Apple Cider Vinegar 
  • Salt (I buy this in bulk too)
  • Pepper (I buy this in bulk and put it in a grinder)
  • Eggs – good protein, perfect for breakfast!

Kitchen Luxuries (but staples for my home):

  • Bulk Coffee- I love Equal Exchange
  • Bulk Tea- I use chamomile
  • Bulk Sugar
  • Honey- while not necessary, I think it adds something extra special to salad dressing

This is what I bought this week:

  • Kale– Lacinato
  • Kale– Green
  • Spinach
  • Mushrooms
  • Avocados (3) 
  • Carrots 
  • Tomatoes 
  • Green Beans
  • Apples
  • Bananas 
  • Grapes
  • Ginger
  • Dried Cranberries 
  • Almod Butter 
  • Bread
  • Garlic (left over from my dad’s house!) 

Watch throughout the week as I transform these ingredients into my daily meals!

***Note: I saved $3.53 because of a student discount that the store I shop at offers***

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Zero Waste Shopping: The Essentials.

Is it possible to shop without putting something in the cart that will not end up in the a landfill? YES. It has a lot to do with buying only fresh and bulk food and takes a little bit of planning and a little extra effort, but it makes shopping so much easier and in my opinion more organized and aesthetically pleasing. Here are my essentials that I take with me when shopping for food.

  • Mason jars or any type of canning jar with lid
  • Reusable Bags (cotton or canvas is best because it is washable)
  • A lightweight cotton bag incase you have extra bulk that you don’t have a jar for (mine is just a bag I reused from a sheet set I purchased)
  • To carry my jars I use a reusable wine carrier (mine is from Trader Joes) and it really helps to keep the jars separated so they are not bouncing around when I carry them home from the store
  • A sharpie or erasable marker to write the tare of the jar on the lid as well as the bulk item number to make checking out easier for you and the checkout person. With ball jars the small jar (pictured) has a tare of .6 lbs and the large wide mouth ball jar (pictured) has a tare of 1 lb. You should either know the tare beforehand and have it written, tare the jars right when you enter the store, or bring an extra of each jar that will remain empty to tare at the time of checkout (this is best if it is your first time and then you can just write the tare down to remember for next time)

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Zero Waste To-Go Cup

I LOVE smoothies, iced coffee, and juices and I would always put them in a mason jar and drink them with the top off causing the occasional spill. Sometimes I would even use a plastic straw to avoid the mess. I was sick of the waste and feeling guilty when enjoying some of my favorite things and was SO lucky to find EcoJarz on Vegancuts.com.

These tops are so perfect. Not only do the stainless steel straws that come in the drink top and straw kit feel so great when cold smoothies run through them, they are so practical, lightweight, and easy to clean! They even come with a really cute straw cleaning brush! Even better, this lid is made to fit standard canning jars and because of that they can fit onto any glass jar and turn it into an upcycled drinking vessel (think coconut oil, nut butter, salsa, jam… the possibilities are endless!) It is totally safe and made from stainless steel and is surrounded by a silicone gasket to keep your favorite drinks from leaking. I still want to try out glass straws, but have to get over my fear of breaking them!

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