Monday, February 15, 2016

6 Tips On How To Make The Most Out of Your Fruits and Veggies

A trip to the country's summer capital will not be complete without a visit to the infamous Baguio City Public Market.  It has been years since I last visited the public market and I don't know about you, but there's just something about it that makes a Manilena like me feel euphoric.

Perhaps, it is the wide array of goodies for pasalubong - Good Shepherd Ube, Romana Peanut Brittle, Garcia's Benguet Mountain Coffee, and oh, the abundance fresh produce that are so cheap compared to Manila prices.  

I remember asking for the price of Romaine lettuce. The friendly ate told me it's 80 Pesos to which I replied, "per head?" She said, "Hindi po, per Kilo." I was amazed. 1 Kilo is 3 huge heads of Romaine. Whereas in Manila, a small bunch of not-so-fresh-looking lettuce would cost about P100. Needless to say, I hoarded on fresh produce. How could I not, when a kilo of it is like the price of 1 piece in the supermarket? P20 per Kilo for cucumber, P40 for a Kilo of carrots P120 for a Kilo of fresh strawberries. P80 for zucchini.  Ahhh.. It was produce heaven!!!

So with the load of fresh produce we brought home came the dilemma of how to make the most out of the veggies I've hoarded. It has been 3 weeks since our Baguio trip and I'm proud to say that none of it had gone to waste. And mind you, I did not force my family to eat salad all week. 

With some creativity and online research, allow me to share some tips on how I've managed to make the most out of our fresh fruits and vegetables.

1.  Store vegetables properly.  Keep them away from extra moisture in the chiller.

I've stored them separately in manila paper and wrapped them tightly in sturdy plastic bags.

2.  Separate broccoli florets from the stalk.  

Consume the florets within a few days after purchase. Cut stalk into small pieces, wash and blanch if desired (optional). Place in small containers and store in the fridge.

Blanching is the process of quickly plunging vegetables in boiling water for 2-3 minutes and shock it in cold icy water to stop the cooking process.

3.  Serve veggies the way you enjoy best.

That way, eating veggies won't be such a chore, especially for your kids. Personally, I like to stir-fry veggies in a wok, add some ham and tofu. Voila! Fast and nutritious meal for your family.

 4. Store herbs in ice cube trays. Drizzle with Extra Virgin Olive Oil. 

Now you have available herbs anytime you need them for cooking.
Fresh Wansoy/ Cilantro for Asian dishes and Rosemary herbs for
chicken and meat dishes

5.  Make infused water and fruit-veggie smoothie. 

Infused water is known to have a number of health benefits including ridding our bodies from toxins, boosting our metabolism and satisfying our sweet cravings.  How I wish I can buy a kilo of Lemon for just P100 so I can put as much lemon in our water everyday.

For the fruit-veggie smoothie, I combined carrots, strawberries, cucumber and malunggay, added soymilk and put them in the freezer. Instant fro-yo for my kids to enjoy as snack.

Infused Water:  Cucumber, Lemon slices, Mint Leaves
Fruit-Veggie Smoothie:  Carrots, Cucumber, Strawberry, Malunggay and
Silk Soymilk

6.  Make your own ready-to-cook frozen meal.

Preparing your own frozen meal will surely come in handy when there's not enough time to prepare lunch or dinner. For vegetables, I chose to prepare lumpia or spring rolls. 

When it comes to lumpia, you don't have to limit yourself to the same old boring mung sprouts (togue) and cabbage. I've created my own recipe by mixing all these vegetables:  Zucchini, sayote, carrots, Kani crabsticks and Cilantro (wansoy).  I stir-fried them with garlic and onions and drizzled some sesame oil.

Hope you like these tips. Let me know if you have something to share. I can't wait to go back to Baguio and panic buy fruits and veggies again. 


  1. wow! amazing tips for veges! il try to do no.1, placing them in shopping bags then plastic.. i usually just dump them in the chiller...hehehe

  2. A lot of my friends have been going up to Baguio also this past few weeks. :) These are great tips that I really need as I often end up with rotten veggies.

  3. Thank you for this. Very helpful. Not totally aware re blanching and how you keep your veggies fresh (with the manila paper then plastic bag). And got a number of ice cube trays here and they are perfect for those little herbs. Great! Super thanks.

  4. I love going to the market also whenever we go to Baguio. The last time I went there, my P350 yielded a sack full of veggies. :)

  5. Great tips! I watched a video about no 4 which is a great help for saving time on cooking.

  6. wow didn't know there are better ways to store vegetables in the fridge. These are really helpful. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Very helpful tips! We dont really buy veggies in bulk but when we do, they get bad in the chiller lang since we tend to forget they're there.

  8. I'm currently catching up on the teleserye Forevermore so I'm pretty psyched about going to Bagiuo soon, ahaha. Super true about the veggies in Manila supermarkets as super expensive and not so fresh, kainis. We're trying out green grocer soon. Hopefully that improves the quality of our veggie supply here at home.

  9. Thank you so much for these tips! It is important to preserve fruits and vegetables and I really needed this. Thank you!

  10. Ang galing ha! I learned a lot from this post. Using Manila Paper for my veggies na.

  11. These are very helpful. I'm don't really eat veggies but I have to. It's a fun way of eating and storing them.

  12. Thanks for sharing these uber practical tips. I've learned a lot from reading your post.

  13. Great and interesting ways to storeveghies! Love the ice cube idea!

  14. Great and interesting ways to storeveghies! Love the ice cube idea!

  15. Thanks for these suggestions! It's true, veges in Manila are expensive! :(

  16. I like the ice cube idea! :)

  17. I have a tip for you! Save the ends/roots of carrots, peppers and onions, and also the skins of garlic for vegetable stock. I keep a baggie in the freezer for my veggie scraps, and once the bag is full I have enough to make a cup or so of stock. :)

  18. Very useful tips! My husband though doesn't like storing veggies, meat or fish. He always wants them fresh.