Month-by-Month Guide to Healthy Vegetables
A monthly guide to harvesting and enjoying your favorite vegetables.
January: Butternut Squash
Tip: Store unwashed winter squash in a cool, dry, well-ventilated area for up to 4 weeks. To prepare: Wash squash, then pat dry. Use a sharp knife to cut an inch from the top and bottom. Use a sharp vegetable peeler to peel away the thick skin. Slice in half lengthwise and use a spoon or melon baller to scoop out the seeds and membranes. Dice and slice according to the recipe directions.
Tip: Store garlic in a cool, dark, well ventilated dry place for several weeks. Do not store in the refrigerator unless it has been peeled, sliced or chopped.
Tip: Store unwashed asparagus in a sealed plastic bag in the refrigerator crisper drawer for up to 4 days.
Tip: Store unwashed artichokes in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. To prepare: Rinse and cut off stem at base of artichoke. Cut 1 in. from the top. With scissors, snip the tip end of each leaf. Remove outer leaves. Rub cut ends of leaves with lemon juice to help prevent browning.
May: Bell Peppers
Tip: Store unwashed bell peppers in the refrigerator crisper drawer for up to 5 days.
Tip: Store unwashed spinach in a sealed plastic bag in the refrigerator crisper drawer for up to 5 days. To prepare: Cut off tough stems. Wash several times in cold water to remove dirt or sand; drain well and pat dry.
July: Summer Squash
Store unwashed summer squash in the refrigerator crisper drawer for up to 4 days. Wash but do not peel unless squash is mature. Remove stem and blossom ends.
August: Green Beans
Tip: Store unwashed green beans in a sealed plastic bag or covered container in the refrigerator crisper drawer for up to 3 days. To prepare: Snap off the stem end and the other end if desired.
Tip: Keep unwashed tomatoes at room temperature until ripe. Store out of direct sunlight. Tomatoes can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Tip: Store unwashed eggplant in an open plastic bag in the refrigerator crisper drawer for up to 3 days. To prepare: Wash and cut off stem and peel if desired. Once cut, eggplant discolors quickly so slice before cooking. Salt eggplant slices at least 30 minutes before cooking. This draws out moisture, giving the flesh a denser texture. Rinse, drain well and pat dry. Cook according to recipe directions.
November: Sweet Potatoes
Tip: Store sweet potatoes in a dark, cool, dry, well-ventilated area for up to 1 week.
Tip: Store unwashed broccoli in an open plastic bag in the refrigerator crisper drawer up to 4 days. Blanch 3-4 minutes before freezing. Freeze for up to 1 year.