sunflower

It’s been almost a month since I last wrote a blog post: I don’t think I’ve ever taken this long of a break! Why the silence? No particular reason except that I’m having a fun summer ;)

I haven’t taken any big trips or done anything super exciting: I’ve just been tending to (and eating/cooking from) my garden,

evening garden | healthy green kitchen

borage

cukes, tomatillos, pattypan

harvest

flowers

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The strawberries I recently planted haven’t fruited yet, but that hasn’t stopped me from eating a whole lot of local strawberries this season already. Lately I am buying them from a few different farm stands in my town and they are fabulous.

strawberries | healthy green kitchen

I love eating them “as is,” but use them in all different recipes, too.

Strawberries are pretty fragile: in the past, I’ve sent far too many to the compost because I didn’t store them properly. But that was before I was really tuned into the food waste issue…things are different now! Since I’ve been writing posts to help promote Glad’s #SAVEITSUNDAY program, I’ve really learned a ton about food protection, including how best to store strawberries.

How to Prep and Protect Strawberries:

When you get your berries home from the grocery store/market, or even if you pick your own, you want to avoid washing them before you store them (wash them right before eating/using in a recipe instead). This helps stave off the molding that can happen due to the moisture the strawberries soak up when you wash them. Place the unwashed berries in a single layer in a bowl, on a plate, or in a glass or plastic food protection container, like GladWare, that you’ve lined with a tea towel (or paper towel).

protecting strawberries | healthy green kitchen

Seal the container and keep on the countertop if it’s not too hot in your kitchen and/or it’s just for a few hours. Otherwise, store them in the refrigerator. (Source: Glad)

Before you even head out to purchase your strawberries though, it’s a good idea to have a plan for how to use them. This will allow you to buy the proper amount! (But if you end up with too many, never fear…just trim them and freeze for adding to smoothies and such).

What To Do with Strawberries:

Here are some of my recipes that use strawberries along with recipes from blogging buddies. And scroll down for a simple strawberry jam recipe that you’re going to love.
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I am so happy to finally give you a little peek at my 2014 garden, the place where my husband and I have been working our butts off most weekends for the past few months.

garden lead photo

Here’s what it looked like earlier this spring…
March 21, 2013:

march garden 1

April 20, 2013:

april garden 1

april garden 2

The top photo in this post and the photos below show what it looks like this morning!
June 23, 2014:

garden in bloom 1

garden in bloom 2

garden in bloom 3

(Want to see what it looked like 5 years ago when we got started? Check out this post.)
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