Healthy rewards from small spaces
We live in a rural area that is categorized as a food desert, so when the local produce season is over, finding good quality veggies can be a challenge, even in chain supermarket stores.
It is not uncommon to see grocery store produce coolers practically empty, so stocking up on fresh veggies is a must. Problem #2 is when there are veggies at the local stores, they rarely are fresh. So when we do find a bargain featuring quality veggies, we stock up and freeze for the future.
As seasonal produce becomes available at our local farm markets, we take some extra time to preserve those good finds for the upcoming winter season. Gorgeous snowy white heads of cauliflower get riced, those extra-large zucchini get shredded, and the colorful red, yellow, and orange bell peppers get chopped.
Prepping and freezing extra veggies is quick & easy
Its so easy to freeze fresh veggies, with no blanching required. Our winter supply of the colorful bell peppers just ran out, so when our nearby Kroger store ran a thrifty sale, it was time to freeze more. Just cut off the top of the pepper, clean out center seeds, and chop by hand into desired size, or use the chop setting on a food processor.
Store chopped veggies in a glass jar or bowl, plastic bag, or deli style containers like we buy at our bulk food store. The fresh veggies last about a week in the fridge and at least three months in the freezer.
We have been enjoying a Ketogenic diet for about three months now, so having these prepped veggies available to make homemade food has been really handy. Just this morning, we made Jim's KETO turkey burger for our brunch and the bell pepper really makes the taste stand out.
We had a fun surprise this morning when checking out our greenhouse for receding water from the winter thaw we are currently experiencing. Our spinach we left in the raised bed from last year was ready to harvest, so we added fresh chopped spinach to our burgers.
For dinner, just riced some cauliflower for the freezer and pulled out a frozen shredded zucchini container. Add that to a fresh eggplant, and we have the makings for eggplant lasagna.
Thinking ahead for future meals helps us control the quality of food we use in our home cooking. This is an important part of our lifestyle, and sometimes on hectic days, having some food items already prepped can encourage us to make meals at home and avoid resorting to fast restaurant food.
Author: Cathy LeValley
Hello gardeners. We are James LeValley and Cathy LeValley, owners of New Earth Micro Farm and passionate gardeners of fast and easy growing using small spaces. Waiting 3 or 4 months for a vegetable to grow - not for us. Growing micro and mini vegetables in 10 to 60 days provides a quick turnaround to support organic growing methods for greater nutrition.