You know the importance of eating fruits and vegetables, but fresh produce can be expensive. Here’s how you can add fruit and vegetables to your menu without breaking the budget.
Produce is cheapest when it is in season; right now we are lucky to be able to enjoy locally grown cucumbers, tomatoes, blueberries, onions and many other delicious summer fruits and veggies.
You can take advantage of the in-season produce all year long by buying in bulk and storing for the future by freezing, canning and pickling. Freezing is a simple way that often requires only minimal preparation and storage in freezer bags. Canning and pickling require a bit more work and equipment. An online search or visit to the library will give you all the guidance you need for freezing, canning or pickling your produce.
When your favorite produce items are not available, try something new. You can find seasonal fruits and vegetables at farmers markets, some of which operate all year long. This is a great way to buy local fresh fruits and vegetables in season and support local farmers.
During the winter, beets, kale and winter squash are readily available. Even if you’ve never used them before, you’ll find lots of possible recipes online and maybe that strange, unknown fruit or vegetable will become a family favorite.
Here is a recipe to use during the summer season of peppers and tomatoes.
- 4 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped (the smaller they are, the hotter they are)
- 1 cayenne pepper, seeded and chopped
- 6 Roma tomatoes chopped
- 1 medium red onion, minced
- juice of 1 lime (heat it in the microwave for 30 seconds to get maximum juice)
- 1/3 c minced cilantro
Mix together and serve as a dip with your favorite chips.