In the past year, many of us have been spending more time in our kitchens. We’re paying more attention to the food we purchase and prepare for our families. We’re learning new recipes and acquiring skills that can help us cook healthier, tastier meals at home. For those of us who are just starting to discover (or rediscover) cooking at home, the Pure Flavor® Cooking Academy is here to help sharpen your skills and become more confident and creative in the kitchen. The Cooking Academy is for amateur, at-home chefs of all ages and skill levels. Our hope is that you will be equipped with the knowledge and skills cook your own flavorful, healthy meals for years to come.
How to Pick the Freshest of the Fresh
– Buy whole vegetables when possible to save a little money and enjoy great flavor. Pre-cut veggies are a convenient option when you’re pressed for time.
– Inspect each veggie for bruises that may have occurred during transportation or on the grocery store shelf
– Color tells a story: pick tomatoes and peppers that are vibrant and evenly colored
– Think about presentation for each meal you’ve planned: there are times when Tomatoes on-the-Vine are best and times when a simple Beefsteak Tomato will do the trick, like when you’re slicing some to top a hamburger
– If in doubt, get a variety of options to try yourself so you have a better idea of what flavors your family enjoys the most. Pure Flavor® has 15 different tomato varieties, including all-new Cloud 9® Bite-Sized Fruity Tomatoes, four different cucumber varieties and four different pepper varieties – and that’s not even including the lineup of organic vegetables!
– Always wash fresh vegetables under cold running water
– Buy a good chef’s knife and take care of it. It’s safer, easier and quicker!
– On that note: when slicing tomatoes, use a serrated knife. You’ll be amazed at how easy it is cut thin slices for burgers or sandwiches.
– The easiest way to cut up a Sweet Bell Pepper is to cut it in half lengthwise first and then clean out the core and seeds before chopping pieces into your preferred size. You may want to also remove the pulpy white flesh inside, although it can be eaten and actually contains healthy (and tasty) flavonoids.
– To ensure you’re not wasting, make sure to cut all around the stem to get every bit of flavor out! The rest can be tossed in a composter.
– There are a million ways to prepare cucumbers in all shapes and sizes. Have fun with flavor by buying a mix of different sized cukes – from Long English Cucumbers, to Mini Cucumbers, to Poco Bites® Cocktail Cucumbers, to Uno Bites™ Nano Cucumbers. Try slicing them in every way, shape and form.
– Tip: a spiralizer with different settings can help you make salads exciting with ribbons, noodles, coins, spears and more!
– Never keep tomatoes in the fridge. The only exception is after you’ve already sliced a tomato and want to keep the rest for another time.
– Fun fact: Researchers have found out that tomatoes’ flavors change at a genetic level once they are refrigerated at home. That’s why ensure all our tomatoes stay at a consistent temperature from the time they’re picked until they reach grocery store shelves
– Tomatoes and cucumbers should be sliced right before consuming for the best flavor and juicy texture, but peppers can be chopped and stored in the fridge for hours to include in tacos, on a salad, or with a snacking tray
– Long English Cucumbers always come wrapped in a plastic that seals in the moisture. Without it, they would dry out quickly. So, make sure to keep your cucumber wrapped. If you’ve cut your cuke and want to keep the rest fresh for another day, seal it well with cling wrap.
– If you want your cucumbers to last much longer, try pickling them!
– If your fridge isn’t stuffed to the brim, try and store cucumbers near the door, which is usually the warmest spot in the refrigerator. If they get too cold (below 50 ℉) they can soften. Stored properly, cucumbers should last about a week.
We hope these simple tips and tricks for how to pick, prepare and store fresh vegetables will help you Live Deliciously™ every day. To test your chef skills on some trendy and tasty recipes, click here to see some of our favorite recipes you can make at home tonight!
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