If you’re anything like me then gardening can be fun and an excellent hobby. If you are skilled, you might end up with more than you can use. Did you do some gardening this summer and now find yourself left with an abundant harvest and no idea what you will do with it all? Today I’m sharing my thoughts and some Frugal Ways To Use Up Extra Garden Produce.
Frugal Ways to Use Up Extra Garden Produce
Chop finely in a food processor and add to sauces. This is especially good for thick sauces that won’t be affected by color like tomato sauce. Adding spinach, carrots, broccoli and even cauliflower will not usually be easily detected in it and it only adds to the nutrition.
Freeze leftover vegetables like onions and celery is great for adding to soups later on. Since the texture of a soup is somewhat soft and mushy anyway, it won’t matter that these get soft when they thaw. You can also add frozen vegetables to omelets.
If you still have babies at home or know someone who does, why not make some baby food out of your leftovers? You don’t need much and the only tool you need is a food processor or high powered blender to get it smooth enough.
If you have leftover apples, make applesauce. It is super easy to do and can be used not only for a snack, but also as a baking substitute. It makes muffins, cakes and even brownies super moist!
If you have extra strawberries or blueberries, freeze them in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Doing so will help them freeze quicker. When they are all frozen, place in serving size bags in your freezer and add them to smoothies, deserts and pancake batter!
Extra herbs can be dried out quickly and used as needed. Just lay them on a single layer on a cookie sheet and leave in a cool, dark place. In a day or two, they will be dried out. Alternatively, you can set your oven on “warm” and set them in there for a couple hours. Make sure you watch them as some herbs dry faster than others.
Pickle some of your extras. You don’t have to have cucumbers to make pickles. Many types of produce taste amazing when they are pickled. Try green beans, asparagus, carrots, peppers, radishes or even mushrooms. All are made in about the same way.
Dehydrate what you can for the best snacks. You don’t need to have a dehydrating machine, either. Most produce can be dehydrated in your oven on a very low setting for several hours. Not all types can be dehydrated, but tomatoes, apples, strawberries, and even peppers work well when dehydrated.
Make infused oils and vinegars. If you have peppers, they make amazing additions to salad oils. Just cut them up and add them into your container. Allow them to sit for a while and let the natural flavors pop out.
If you still have more than you can try finding a local food pantry to take them to. Many local food banks will take gardener’s abundant harvests and pass them onto their clients. This is an excellent way to know they will be used.
So tell me… What do you usually do with your extra produce? I’m always looking for new and creative ways to use mine.