OK, so we have all done it. We spend our precious minutes at the grocery (sometimes multiple times a week – god bless you) and waste a ton of produce.
I get it! Time wasted! Money wasted! Big frustration. So, I have figured out a few things to do with “very ripe” produce to save time, money and the pain in throwing things away.
Remember – Zip lock freezer bags are your friends! Get them in a few sizes.
Here are a few ideas, share yours with us!
Bananas – never eat a “green” or bright yellow banana. They aren’t ripe, the nutrients haven’t all come in and they just aren’t great for the digestion. Wait until the freckles come! If you can’t finish them in the “window” between freckles and rotting, peel them and stick them in a zip lock freezer bag. Then, freeze them. Or cut them down the center, slather it with almond butter and freeze them. I always have frozen bananas on hand. I use them in smoothies. Kids love them!!! When they need a snack or a treat, break off a bit of the banana and nut butter sandwich and let them eat away. If you have a yonanas machine, you can make some major ice cream.
Grapes – freeze them. Use in smoothies or pop them in your mouth frozen.
Strawberries – These seem to turn in a day, right? Wash them, cut off the greens and put in ziplock bags and freeze. Use in smoothies or juices.
Lettuce – When I see them going bad, I cut off brown spots and put in smoothie. Lettuce does not freeze – bummer!!
Herbs – I love fresh herbs. In fact, I love them so much that I do get carried away at times at the store. They are so beautiful and aromatic, my mind goes into overdrive and I buy way too much to use. Wash them and lay them on paper towels. I usually turn them over daily just so that they dry evenly and there are no brown spots. Then, I crumble and put in baggies or jars.
Pineapple – de-skin it, cut it into chunks and stick in zip lock freezer bags.
Tomatoes – We can only get gorgeous, tasty tomatoes this time of year it seems. Did you know that tomatoes are bred for color not taste? Thus we have the “potato-y tomato” yuck!! So, what I do is buy a bunch, cut into chunks and freeze at is. I also make gazpacho and freeze. Not as delicious as fresh, but when I want a beautiful tomato taste, and it is winter, it beats getting the ones at the grocery store.
Fresh Juice – put it in ice cube trays and stick them frozen in club soda for the kids. They love this!! It is beautiful too!
Grains – any kind of rice or quinoa can be tossed into vegetables, made into a “burger” and cooked, put into soup or even added to eggs.
Oils – These MUST be thrown out. Always smell oil before you put it in your food. Even a hint of rancid oder means it is not suitable and must be tossed. Sorry. Rancid oils are highly toxic, especially to the little ones. This goes for nuts and seeds as well.
If you are busy, like me, then you know you need to make the most out of shopping, cooking and storing. Create “systems” to make it work. Don’t give up on preparing your own meals, but rather take baby steps to make it work better for you.
Got any ways to preserve the fresh food? Would love to hear them! Below is how I dry dill!