Earlier this season, I wrote about planting herbs and vegetables for a simple way to eat healthy and save money. Well, here we are in August and I am raking in the veggies and herbs! What can I do with all this? The good news is that you can never have too much.
My garden includes tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchinis, lettuce, parsley, dill, scallions, butternut squash and basil. I planted one of each and now I have an abundance of produce. I planted this to help save money and I don’t want to waste it. Luckily for me, I have learned some tricks along the way to keep my garden supply throughout the winter, and that means more “cha-ching” in my pocket.
Let’s begin with step one: Wash everything. You want to make sure your veggies and herbs are ready to be used when you are ready to use them.
- Parsley: This is one of my favorite herbs. I chop it up and put it into a zip lock bag or plastic container and then toss it in the freezer. It stays green and great for cooking or garnish.
- Scallions: Chop them up and again put into a zip lock bag or plastic container and store in the freezer. They keep their great green colors and are wonderful in winter soups or those morning omelets.
- Dill: After finely chopping the dill, I separate it into sandwich bags and add water to the top of the herb before placing in the freezer. Once this freezes, it is easy to drop into winter soups. Yummy!
- Tomatoes: These can just be thrown in a bag and put into a freezer. Once you need them, you can defrost them. Quick boil, peel the skin, and voila! You have fresh tomatoes for that homemade sauce or soup.
- Zucchinis: I use my food processor for this one. I have the food processor do all the work to chop it finely. Put a cup of the zucchini mush in a sandwich bag and freeze. Now it’s on hand to make Grandma’s amazing zucchini bread.
- Butternut squash: This can be diced up and placed in a freezer bag. Add to soups or save it for Thanksgiving dinner.
- Basil: Dry basil leaves on a tablecloth or careen and then put them in a glass airtight container or ziplock bag.
- Cucumber: Hmm, other than using them on my eyes, I love to eat these with hummus or put them into my drinking water for a refreshing and detoxifying drink. So there isn’t much of this left in my house after the summer. If you find you have a little extra, try pickling them.
- Lettuce: Again, this one doesn’t make it to the winter because I have salad for breakfast. Hey, they do say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so why not start by adding veggies? Add a boiled egg and bacon bits. Yum!
What about you? Do you have tricks for using those extra vegetables from your garden? Share your veggie advice in the comments below.