One of the most frequent questions i’ve received lately is how to use up produce before it goes bad. Well, I got a few tips and tricks to help you out that I’ve learned by experience. I really hope these tips can help because the amount of people asking me this question is likely wasting a good amount of produce and NO one wants to do that. With the cost of living so high, we need to make what we buy last and not got to waste. We are a one income family in a high cost of living state, so this is something so imperative for our family to be extra conscious and observant of. Leave notes on the fridge of things that need to be used, keep the recipe book open on the counter, keep consistent and make mental notes along the way. Ill also add pictures of what products I use exactly. so here goes…
1)Be A Conscious Eater: Remove all the “junk food” from your home and you’ll find yourself nibbling on more fruits and vegetables instead of turning to convenience foods for a quick snack. always keeping in mind that every bite you take is either preventing diseases or feeding it.
2) Eat More Plants: Make plant based alternatives using fruits and veggies. IE: quinoa and zucchini meatballs instead of animal products, queso with potato & carrots, etc.. there are so many easy ways to turn a recipe plant based. utilize pinterest and search vegan or plant based “insert meal here”.
3) Be a Conscious Shopper: Pay attention to what you buy and when and use things that are ripe first. Depending on the climate of the area you live in things can last or run out faster then others so be mindful of your climate and be conscious of what seems to get ripe faster then others. This will help you with meal planning which is even more conscious shopping because you will buy only what you need and eat. You can never have enough fruit.
4) Smoothies & Juicing: This is such a great way to use up what could go bad and nourish your body all in one. I start my day off with juice, generally 20-48oz of orange juice and have a green smoothie in the middle of the morning or during lunch. If you live on the go and your used to grabbing an acidic coffee or a processed energy drink This is the absolute best switch you can make. If you need energy I highly recommend sustaining yourself with vitamins and nutrients found in plant foods and finding a green juice recipe you will enjoy.
5) Freeze: everybody clap your hands…. for who ever came up with the idea of freezing produce. Meal plan and make smoothie bags, if you don’t use them right away itll still make the fruit and veggies last longer, freeze bananas for “Nice Cream”, Freeze your veggie broth. utilize the storing options you have and don’t forget about your freezer.
6) Veggie Broth: I mentioned above to freeze your veggie broth. This is such an awesome and easy way to utilize your vegetables that you need to use up and also have a plant based broth for different recipes like soups, cheese, chilli, rice, etc. I usually base mine off of carrots celery, garlic & onion and add any other veggies that need to be used, pick your herbs and fill the pot with water, bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer for 2-3 hours. Strain & Pour into jars, let cool and freeze.
7) Utilize Your Fridge: There are veggies I always keep in the fridge like carrots, greens, zucchini, mushrooms, etc but once your fruit like apples, pears, lemons, limes, etc ripen put them in your fridge to slow the ripening process and utilize these first.
8) Separation: NEVER store fruits and veggies together, simple as that.
9) Go Green: Use reusable produce bags or cotton market bags. Don’t be embarrassed, bring them with you and utilize them. I Love storing in mesh bags because after taking ties off of my greens it still keeps them nice and airy but protected without all that extra plastic. If you don’t know how plastic effects the environment I highly recommend watching YouTube videos or utilizing Google. I order mine from amazon and they are fairly cheap.
10) Glass: I swear, Glass makes food last longer. There may not be anything to prove it (or there may be) but my personal experience but glass is also better for the environment so I cant encourage removing plastic enough. We do still use some plastic because we aren’t perfect and still on our journey but I always feel so much better utilizing more glass, stainless steel and wood products instead of plastic products. We check out Marshalls for our wood products or utilize amazon prime. We got our glass containers at Costco (two sets) and we love them and use them avidly. They have awesome lock lids to make sure everything stays sealed & secure.
I really hope this helps to clear up some questions and concerns from people and encourages you, the reader to eat more plants! Thank you so much for reading!
and don’t forget…..
xo, Mrs. Medicinal