Tuesday, July 24, 2012

It's Veggie Time!

Eat Well,

What can be done with all this great, local produce?

Live Well.

OK.  I know I'm not the only one.  The summer harvests start to hit my local farmer's market and I go bonkers.  The prices can't be beat and the vegetables are simply gorgeous.  I get sucked in and buy way more than Ken and I can eat before they all start to go bad.

Plus, I can't forget all the awesome veggies my gardening and farming friends throw my way.  What can be done?  It's great to be blessed with a bounty of free, fresh, whole foods.  But, how on earth do we take advantage of all these super, sustainable eats without wasting most of it? 

The first thing that comes to mind is canning.  It's really not that involved of a process, but it does take a little bit of an investment to get going.  If that's an option for you, you can make soups and salsas to perk things up during the winter months.  It is also a more sustainable process because the jars can be reused.

If you don't have the time or the resources, I have found freezing to be a great way to go.  Here's what I did with the veggies in the picture up above.

Roasted Veggies
Simple as can be!  Cut the vegetables in to chunks, put them in a baking dish with whole garlic cloves and chopped onion (I added some carrots and celery too).  Drizzle with olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper.  Bake for forty minutes at 350 degrees.  Stir every fifteen minutes or so.

When they are finished roasting, let them cool then put them in freezer bags.  I split them up into smaller bags filled with double servings and then put those bags in a larger bag.  The smaller sizes make it a snap to get dinner on the table and the double bagging means I can keep them in the freezer for up to five months without worrying about freezer burn.


Remember the beautiful peppers in the first picture?  All I had to do was wash, dry and cut the tops off the jalapeños.  Then I put them in a freezer bag.  That's it.  The peppers didn't freeze together.  I just opened the bag and pulled out what I needed. (I cut the pablanos into chunks before I froze them.)

This was super easy and I didn't have to buy jalapeño peppers again until the following spring.
I'm sure you'll come up with some great ideas of your own.  Feel free to share here or on Facebook and Twitter.  I'd love to hear from you :)

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