by Jennifer B
If you have a garden filled with vegetables, or you have decided to buy a lot because they’re on sale, then there’s a huge possibility that you’re thinking of what can be done to avoid your excess veggies from getting wasted.
For fruits, there are a lot of best juicers on the market, that it’s not that difficult to use them all because you can simply turn them into fruit juices. However, it’s a different case for veggies. Thankfully, there are a number of ways on how you can make good use of this, and here’s how.
1. Don’t Be Afraid to Experiment
When you have excess veggies, then it won’t be bad if you’d let it lead your meal planning. For example, if there’s a big sale on pumpkins at the store, then be ready to experiment with pumpkins and see what you can make. Likewise, if there’s a great deal on carrots, then go prepare some meals that involve this.
Though, in order to successfully pull this off, you have to consider several things first. For on, you must have a broad sense of what kinds of things you can do to a specific vegetable. For example, aside from steaming your regular veggies, what else can be done to make them more exciting.
Don’t be afraid to experiment every now and then because you’ll never know what you might discover.
2. Whip Up a Hearty Vegetable Soup!
There are times that you’ll end up buying too many vegetables for your recipes, but you won’t be aware of this until it’s too late. Thus, they often end up inside the crisper and they start to get a little old.
You can chop these vegetables a bit and simply toss them in a freezer container that’s quite spacious. Then, once the container is almost full, you can proceed to make vegetable soup. Dump all of those frozen veggies, season with salt and pepper, and allow it cook slowly.
Another option that you can consider is making a ratatouille instead of soup. This one is quite easy to prepare as well. To ensure that you make the best dishes, you should also pay attention to what you’re going to use– always check the pots and pans reviews to see which one would work best for you.
3. Preserve Your Picking
No doubt, it takes a lot of time and effort to prep and process vegetables. However, you’ll be greatly rewarded once you see the results. You can put chopped or whole veggies in the can and they’ll last for several months. Aside from that, you can also freeze a number of items, such as tomatoes– these require lesser preparation time. Other food preservation options for you to consider includes fermenting, dehydrating, and quick pickling.
Pickling is one of the best ways to extend the shelf life of produce significantly. Thus, it’s a great way to use veggies that have already been numbered. Pickled vegetables are perfect in jazzing up salads, sandwiches, and many more.
Crunchy vegetables are perfect for pickling, and during cold winter months, you can pickle vegetables, such as beets, carrots, cauliflower, and onions. Then on warmer months, experiment with green beans, zucchini, bell peppers and the like.
4. Filling in Vegetable Turnovers
Saute whatever vegetable you like and use them as a filling for vegetable turnovers. You can try preparing spinach turnovers known as “spanakopita” and we’ll give you the assurance that everyone will love this.
Making a batch of these using excess vegetables is a great way to save some cash, because you can easily put the left over back in the freezer and consider using the, again the following day.
5. Veggie-filled Goodie Bags, Anyone?
If you’re having family or friends over, then you can consider this. Why not give them a bag filled with garden-fresh veggies? They would surely love a treat like this! Likewise, you can also send them your favorite recipes, or just print them out and include them in the bags that you’ll be giving away.
You can also consider donating your extra greens to a local pantry. However, do note that not all accept fresh produce. So, it would be better if you check your local first.
6. Have a Produce Stand in Your Frond Yard
You don’t have to be extravagant, but a simple “free” sign taped to a table or basket of tomatoes, zucchini, and peppers are actually a great way to put your excess veggies to great use. In case that you have a lockbox, you can also consider securing the table, then perhaps, solicit donations in exchange for the veggies and give the proceeds to a local pantry if that’s okay with you.
Additional Tip: You can also try asking your neighbors if they’d be interested in organizing a collaborative growing effort with you.
7. Make Stock and Compost
After everything has been done and you still have a few leftovers, don’t worry, there’s still something that you can do. You can chop up these vegetables until you end up with not perfect pieces, but still edible together with those that you won’t be interested in consuming. Basically, these would end back in the freezer to the point that they’re going to get freezer burn. What can be done once that happens?
If it seems like that vegetables are still a little edible, then you can consider turning them into vegetable stock. We advise that you put a container of remaining vegetable pieces in your freezer, and once the container is almost full, then put these vegetable scraps in a pot or slow cooker
What about the pieces that can’t be eaten?
This can help your garden the following year. Just have a barrel of composter behind your house, keep it moist, and roll the barrel once a week.
During the spring, you can empty out the composter then spread this material all over your garden. Believe it or not, this natural fertilizer can keep the soil in your garden rich. This would also help the plants grown abundantly.
There you have it. These are just some of the best ways to save money on excess vegetables. Give them a try and see which one works best for you.
Jennifer is a certified cook enthusiast and a legit photographer from Ohio, USA. She is a food lover and thus makes blogs about it at Imaddictedtocooking, which include her own photos for the demonstration of how the recipes are made. Contact her at @jenniferimaddi1