I had a request to do a few posts featuring my Bountiful Basket each week. I thought I could post what I got today and talk about what I'm thinking about doing with everything in it, then as the week goes on I'll post the recipes that I actually use.
A lot of people are afraid to try a basket because they don't think they'll use it all and/or they don't know if they'll like what they get. Using everything can be a challenge, especially if your family is small like ours. A lot of people can make their produce stretch for two weeks. I've tried to do that, but by the middle of the second week, I run out of everything and I get mad that I have to buy produce at the store because it's so expensive. One important tip is to plan your meals around your basket. Don't already have your meals for the week planned and then try to fit your basket items into your menu. You'll get frustrated and you'll never use it up.
Don't be afraid to try new things! You will get fruits and vegetables you've never heard of in your basket. If you don't know what it is, look it up on the internet! The Bountiful Baskets facebook and Pinterest pages are great resources. I never would have bought brussels sprouts, but a couple months ago I got them in a basket. My husband wrinkled his nose when he saw them. I looked up a few recipes on the internet, and checked the BB facebook page to see what everyone else was doing with them. The general consensus seemed to be that roasting them was the was to go, so that's what I did. Bud tried one to humor me, and he actually like it! They turned out to be delicious! If it weren't for Bountiful Baskets, we never would have tried them, and now they are one of our favorite vegetables. If you do get something you don't like, it's no big deal. Even if you don't eat that particular thing, you're still getting a great deal on everything else.
Figure out the best way to store your produce to make it last, especially if you're going to try to make a basket last for two weeks. There are tons of resources on the internet about how to store every fruit and vegetable. A couple years ago I had a Tupperware party and bought a few Fridge Smart items. Those things have been great! They're not cheap, but after using them to store Bountiful Basket produce for a year now, they have definitely paid for themselves. I've had bell peppers stay good for three to four weeks in a Fridge Smart container. If I had just left them in my fridge, they would have gone bad after a week, if not sooner.
Do any prep work that might help you ASAP. For example, with a melon, the best way for me to use it up is to cut up the whole thing the day I get it and store it in the fridge. That way I can give it to Bonnie Mae as a snack whenever I want, without having to cut it each time she wants some. Pineapple is the same way. If it's already chopped and in the fridge, all I have to do is throw a couple pieces into the blender for a smoothie or set it out on the dinner table with cottage cheese.
I got an awesome basket today! I also got a tortilla pack and a Mexican pack. Later this week I'll probably post a couple recipes that feature Mexican pack items. My regular basket had bananas, oranges, green apples, a canary melon, potatoes, carrots, cabbage, green onions, salad savoy, romaine lettuce, tomatoes, and English cucumbers. I didn't take a picture of my Mexican pack, but it had Anaheim chiles, poblano chiles, jalapenos, avocados, limes, onions, green onions, tomatillos, garlic, and cilantro.
Back to the regular basket. Here are a few ideas for each item:
Bananas: smoothies, banana cake, banana bread, frozen chocolate and peanut butter covered bananas
Oranges: smoothies, fresh squeezed orange juice
Green apples: apple pie, apple crisp, smoothies
Canary melon: cut into chunks and eat
Potatoes: roast, french fries, cheesy potato chowder
Carrots: roast, cheesy potato chowder
Cabbage: Asian chicken salad
Green onions: Asian chicken salad
Salad savoy: last time I got this, I thought it was kale, so I made kale chips out of it and they were good, so I guess this week I'll be making salad savoy chips...
Romaine lettuce: Frito salad
Tomatoes: sandwiches, Frito salad
English cucumbers: sandwiches, Frito salad, cucumbers in vinegar