It’s summer time and fresh fruit and veggies are in abundance. Often the best deals are for large amounts leaving you with more than you can consume before they go bad. Below are some easy ways to use or store your extra fruits and veggies before they pass their prime. Be sure to wash and dry your fruits and veggies first.
1. Use in a Recipe
Yeah, I’m sure this seems like a no brainer but sometimes we forget that you can toss fruits and veggies into a variety of recipes. Use one or a combination of berries, carrots, zucchini and/or bananas to make delicious, moist breads and muffins. Finely chop carrots or zucchini and sneak it into your tomatoes sauce. Have a make your own salad dinner with all the fruits and veggies displayed so each person can make their own salad filled with fresh berries and veggies.
Taking the moisture out allows you to store fruits and veggies in a cool, dry pace without refrigeration for months. Add them to trail mixes, cereals, soups and sauces. The most common ways to dehydrate are in the oven or a dehydrator. Dehydrators are a good choice if you don’t want to have your oven on for hours during the summer.
3. Fridge Pickling and Canning
For those of us without the patience to pickle veggies or can jams the old fashion way, there is the option to pickle and can in your refrigerator. Canning and pickling in the fridge will keep your items good for 2 or 3 months. They are great items to give as gifts or take to cover dish dinners or cook outs. There are a wide variety of options for flavors in pickling and fruit combinations for jams.
4. Make stock
Making stock in a crock pot or electric pressure cooker required minimal effort. All you need is water, some seasonings and your vegetable. You can also add beef, chicken or turkey scraps if want. You will be surprised how much tastier homemade stocks are when compared to store-bought.
5. Freeze it
I freeze berries and bananas whole. The bananas turn black but they’re still good to use. When I have leafy green veggies like kale or spinach, I like to put them in a blinder with a little water, blend until smooth and pour into ice cube trays. Use small freezer bags or jars to create your own smoothie mixes with berries, some banana and a few of the green cubes. And you can also freeze the breads, stocks and dried fruits mentioned in the previous suggestions. Another great option, make frozen fruit pops. This is a great option for watermelon and cantaloupe.
Written by Louise Rizzo