Cooking Local, Seasonal Foods – Week 4


Week 4 CSA Box (Photo by Alice Henneman)

It’s been 4 weeks since I started receiving Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Boxes from my farmer Pekarek’s Produce.

Whether you have a farmer delivering a CSA box, are shopping at a farmers’ market, growing a garden or getting fresh, local produce at a grocery store … follow along as I share quick, simple (and good-tasting!) recipes you can make from ingredients you probably already have on hand.

Before I start posting some more recipes this week, I’d like to share a few tips on washing fresh produce for best taste and food safety.

How to Wash Fresh Produce


(Photo by Alice Henneman)

  1. Wash produce before using it, NOT when you obtain it. Fresh produce has a natural protective coating that helps keep in moisture and freshness. Washing produce before storage causes it to spoil faster. Don’t use soap or detergent as it can get into produce and make you sick. Remove and discard outer leaves of produce such as cabbage and lettuce.
  2. Rub firm produce briskly, scrubbing with a clean brush or hands, to clean the surface. Dry with a clean cloth or paper towel. Moisture left on fruits and vegetables helps bacteria grow. Dry them if you won’t eat or cook them right away. Cut away bruised and damaged areas.
  3. Bacteria on the outside of produce can be transferred to the inside when they are cut or peeled. Rinse produce even when the peel is removed ― such as for melons. Once you have cut through the protective out skin, bacteria can enter.
  4. Refrigerate cut or peeled fruits and vegetables within TWO hours!

Directions for washing fresh produce are adapted from a PowerPoint by Amy Peterson and Alice Henneman, “The Garden Grocery: Food Safety & Selection at the Farmers Market.” View a slideshow of the entire PowerPoint, download a related handout and even download a FREE copy of the PowerPoint at: 


My husband and I enjoy eating healthy foods, but they must taste good and be quick to prepare.

My goal with Cook It Quick is: Making you hungry for healthy food!

Follow along as I share recipes and kitchen tricks that help you enjoy the same types of foods. And though I am a registered dietitian and University of Nebraska-Lincoln extension educator, all my recipes must pass inspection by my toughest critic … my husband!

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