Hydroponic Picking Farm Fresh Greens

This is what happens when a greens-lover discovers a local hydroponic picking farm with all-you-can-pick greens.

She goes buck-wild. And the last time I did anything buck wild was probably college, so that’s saying a lot. ;)

I used to buy greens by the bunch. Now I hoard¬†buy them by the pound. At around $1.50 a pound, I stock up until my little heart is content. Since the farm is about an hour drive for me, I’m sticking to bi-weekly trips.

And this time around guess what was finally ready to be picked?

Some beautiful New Zealand-variety spinach. Gorgeous vines of sweet and glorious green leaves…

I think I have enough spinach to live off green smoothies for the rest of the month. Heh ;)

Some friends and family have asked me recently if it’s okay to freeze your greens. Freezing produce comes in handy when you encounter a good sale on items in bulk, or if it’s a seasonal item that you want to enjoy throughout the year. And my answer is, yes!

Why yes, yes you can.

Kale freezes especially well, and it’s actually known that freezing the green produces a sweeter and more tender leaf.

Some tips for freezing greens:

  • Wash thoroughly
  • Allow greens to air-dry on paper towels (completely!)
  • Chop as desired and store in quart-sized freezer baggies (gallon baggies will work but then you have to use it all at once when it comes time to thaw).
  • Remove when ready for use, and allow to thaw for 20-30 minutes until softened
  • Add to soups, stir-fries, casseroles or smoothies

Obviously you no longer have a “fresh green”, so adding to a salad will create a bit of a soggy mess. But otherwise previously frozen and thawed greens are perfect for cooking up or enjoying raw in a green smoothie. I’m guessing you could probably even juice them… but don’t quote me on that one, I’ve never tried it.

Since I’ve been stocking up on greens by the bucket-load, I’ve also been enjoying lots of yummy green juice with my new Omega juicer. This week I tried a new combo and added some green juice that I had made the night before and stored in a mason jar to my morning green smoothie.

Let me just say that I don’t think this one can be beat. Green juice + Green monster smoothie = deliciously yummy

I used: 8 oz. green juice (kale, collards, apples, pears) 2 c. fresh spinach, 1 c. strawberries, 1 frozen banana, 1/2 c. soy yogurt, 1 tbs. flax oil

Blend on high until completely pulverized and smooth, pour and enjoy! The juice adds a sweetness to the smoothie that I really like. Plus it’s a great way to use up any leftover juice from the day before.

This is what happens when I cook up entirely too many grains and beans…

Instead of just one dish…

I made two! I whipped up two different barley and garbanzo bean salads to be enjoyed throughout the week for lunch and snacks. Each salad is completely different in flavor and texture.

The first one is a spicy spanish-style salad with hulled barley, garbanzo beans, carrots, zucchini, red pepper, onion, jalepeno, cumin, paprika, olive oil and balsamic vinegar. I was out of fresh cilantro but I plan on grabbing some tomorrow to add to this salad. Check out the recipe here.

The second is sort of a spin-off on Waldorf salad. I used my garbanzos and barley, and added fresh apples and carrots, dried cherries, walnuts, Vegenaise, and a bit of cinnamon and curry.

This salad gets better with age. Okay, not too much age obviously, but an overnight in the fridge allows the beans, grains and veggies to fully soak up the sauce and brings it to a whole new level. The cinnamon and curry give it just the right kick. I’ve posted the complete recipe here.

You can make either of these salads gluten free by either omitting the barley or substituting brown rice or quinoa.

Setting out to make one, but winding up with two… makes me and the fridge happy =)

14 comments

  1. Brooke says:

    I always freeze my spinach! I buy it in bulk and there is just no way possible for me to get through it before it goes bad, so freezing it is! It works out, especially for my green smoothies… makes it more creamier and frosty! LOVE IT!! Glad you are enjoying that Hyrdo Farm :)

    • Lindsay says:

      Ohh a creamier green smoothie? Sounds perfect! I found the best way to get mine creamy is with frozen bananas and mango!! I just started freezing my greens this season and I’ve been pleasantly surprised with the results. I usually have fresh ones close buy but it works well when I buy in bulk :)

      • Brooke says:

        Oooh Yes.. I also freeze my bananas, with the frozen greens.. it’s soooo delicious! I also just started freezing my greens not too long ago-My Mom shared with me that tip and I couldn’t believe I never thought of freezing my spinach! So. Frick’n. Good.

    • Lindsay says:

      It works really well Lauren. But make sure you dry them first otherwise the water freezes and they stick together. But they hold up really nicely!

  2. Athena R says:

    Everything looks great! I can’t wait to try your salad recipes. I think I’ll make the waldorf-like one this weekend. :-)

    • Lindsay says:

      It’s really tasty, I hope you like it! I put both salads in some collard wraps for lunch today with a little hummus and they were sooo yummy!

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