A while back a reader asked how I store our greens. She was looking for a way to not store hers in a plastic bag or plastic container. We are an everyday green smoothie kind of family here (well, Emily not so much, but Adam and I... yes!). We hope one day she learns by our example of making fabulous choices. ;)
It would be kind of a pain to take out the big bunch of greens to wash and chop every morning in the midst of showering, dressing, lunch packing, and just the general business of a weekday morning. I can't really add much more to the list. So every few days I wash, chop and store fresh greens so they are ready to go by the handful each morning. Into the bender also goes fresh apple, frozen strawberries, water, and a drizzle of maple syrup.
Wash the greens first and drain/dry a little.
Remove the stems with a knife or tear the leaf off the stem by holding the stem end and pushing the leaf off with the other hand in the opposite direction. Similar to taking thyme leaves off their stem.
Give it all a rough chop.
This was a small bunch, it will only last (maybe) two days.
Now, the part I really wanted to share with you. I worked at a restaurant for several years while Adam was in law school (mama by day, wait tables at night sort of thing...) and I would always ask the chef if I could take home the gallon sized glass jars that all of those Italian condiments came in; artichokes, marinated mushrooms, roasted peppers, etc. They otherwise would have been tossed in recycling but they are perfect for pantry storage. I have well over a dozen of these and keep everything from oats to dried beans to granola to leftover soups to GREENS in them! They have a really wide mouth at the top for easy access. Check out your local deli or restaurant. Be really nice about it and just ask... "Does your kitchen order any food items that come in those wonderful gallon size glass jars? Would it be any trouble to set them aside for me and I could pick them up once a week?" It never hurts to ask. I made sure the guys knew not to feel troubled by washing them, I'd do it at home. They just gave a quick little rinse and that was it. Ask around in your area, you might get lucky!
Note: Our favorite greens are kale and collard greens. Both are really sturdy and can hold up to being washed and store for a 2-3 days just fine. Spinach or swiss chard is a little more tender, but with really fresh greens and careful, thorough draining, it can be done.
At the top of my "hope to find" thrift list right now are a few of those square/rectangle enamel, lidded containers. The big ones. I passed over a couple at the flea market last year and am kicking myself still. They would be great for all kinds of produce storage.
Do you have a favorite method for storing produce that doesn't involve plastic?