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Tips for spring eating and storage

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Spring is in full swing! To make sure you get the most flavor out of this season, here are some fresh tips for your favorite spring ingredients, and how best to store them.

Artichokes:

Artichokes are a great ingredient to incorporate in your meals. Roast your artichoke hearts, and serve with a lemon-mint dressing for an easy yet flavorful springtime side.

Freeze whole cooked artichokes for later use. Make sure bag is air-tight and freezer friendly.

Strawberries:

Whether baked, roasted, grilled, and served fresh with balsamic vinegar, strawberries are the gem of any meal. Purchase strawberries that are shiny, firm and very fragrant. A strawberry should be almost completely red.

Do not wash strawberries until you are ready to use them. Refrigerate until needed in a resealable container.

To freeze sweetened strawberries, slice strawberries into a bowl. For each quart of berries, add ½-cup sugar and gently stir until sugar is dissolved. Lightly crush berries if desired. Spoon into a freezer bag or container, seal tightly and freeze.

Asparagus:

Look for firm, straight, uniform-size spears. To keep them fresh longer, place the cut stems in a container of cold water—similar to flowers in a vase. Store the asparagus in the refrigerator, changing the water at least once every 3 days.

Don't throw away those tough ends when trimming fresh asparagus. Cook and drain the ends, then puree them with a bit of water or chicken broth in a blender until smooth. Freeze in a resealable freezer bag for future use in soups and casseroles.

These tips are courtesy of Taste of Home.

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