|Grow little plants! Grow!|
|Zucchini season only last through about 2 months of a 12 month year - enjoy them now.|
We are reminded, however, that most share holders can only get through so much produce in a given week. We recognize that extra produce received isn't always viewed as a 'bonus.' Instead, it might be an additional stress during a busy time as you ask yourself, "How do I deal with all of this produce?" But, we don't want you to feel this way. We'd like you to celebrate Summer and the strong harvest portion of the growing season with us. So, here are some tips that we use and that other share holders have used with success:
1. Cook a BIG stir fry now and reap the rewards of soup in January!
There are only two of us in our household, but we have successfully consumed a large share (plus some) with reasonable success. Granted, as the farmers, we can (and do) customize our share to go with our favorites and to dovetail with our available time. But, that doesn't mean this approach is not valid.
|Pok choi may seem a little strange at first, but it isn't hard to use.|
When we have a great deal of things like zucchini, summer squash, onion, pok choi, kale, chard, eggplant and peppers, we find ourselves making a stir fry with some or all of these items. The trick is to not expect to eat anything more than a normal serving as a part of that meal. The rest goes into quality freezer bags. They get a label that says "soup starter" and they are put into our freezer. When January comes around and fresh produce is no where to be found, use these bags to start a fabulous soup or stew that can go in whatever direction you prefer. These vegetables could be added to a creamy base, a tomato base or... well, use your imagination. It works great and doesn't take much more time beyond what you would normally use to make dinner with fresh vegetables.
2. Vegetables for Breakfast are OK
Tammy and I will admit that we do not associate the use of vegetables with breakfast. Fruit, yes. Veg, no. It's a social norm that should not stop us from using vegetables in our breakfasts. We have the benefit of farm fresh eggs and farm fresh vegetables - which makes it a good time to do a frittata!
Easy vegetable dish for breakfast or dinner. Experiment with additional vegetables, spices or meats. This is REALLY GOOD!
1 summer squash or zucchini, sliced
(or about 1 cup of any sauteed vegetable)
1 sm onion, chopped
½ c sliced mushrooms
2 cloves diced garlic
1-2 sweet peppers, chopped (or a hot pepper if you want spicy)
1-2 T butter or olive oil
1 c chopped kale - or chard - or pok choy
1/8 c. chopped basil (if you like)
4 lrg eggs
1/3 c shredded cheese
Sautee vegetables in skillet with oil until tender (use 2-3 T water to help steam veggies). Add chopped basil and stir. Don’t over cook vegetables. Make sure some oil remains in skillet so eggs won’t stick.
Whip eggs until fluffy. Add shredded cheese. Pour into skillet, cover and cook approximately 5 minutes over medium heat or until eggs fluffy and cooked through.
|Kale in frittatas, stir fries and soups. Yep, that'll work.|
3. Freezing some of your veg during peak season is not hard
There is a myth that if you are going to process food for long-term storage that it is requires you to invest great amounts of time and effort into it. This is not a 'go big or go home' proposition. You can put a surprising amount of food up for later use in small increments.
For example, if two people can only eat a half bound of green beans and you have a full pound of green beans, cook up the half pound to eat. Then, freeze the other half pound.
1. put the half pound of green beans into 1-2 inches of boiling water (do not fully immerse them) for 4 minutes
2. remove the beans immediately and get them into ICE COLD water to stop the cooking (the beans are now 'blanched').
3. once cold, put the beans into a freezer bag.
4. Fill the bag with cold water to remove the air pockets.
5. leave the water in and seal the bag.
6. place the bag in the freezer.
|Broccoli holds its flavor and substance well when frozen.|
When you want beans in February, take the bag out, open it up and put the whole block of frozen beans into the pot and cook them as you would normally. While they aren't quite as good as they were fresh out of the garden, they certainly do well enough!
You can use a similar process for broccoli, cauliflower and peas (for example).
|It can be easy to see why your farmers enjoy harvesting peppers.|
Some veg you can simply cut up and freeze without blanching (peppers and basil come to mind).