Save the Veggies!
According to WiseGEEK.com, Americans through away nearly a third of all the food they buy and about 11 billion pounds of that amount are fruits and vegetables. Now that is some scary number. While we argue over organic, non organic, GMO, or no GMO, we are wasting 11 billion pounds of fruits and vegetables. We are throwing away 11 billion pounds of food that nourishes our bodies and our children’s bodies. Not only are we throwing away and wasting all that food, we are wasting all the money that bought the food we throw away. Something has to change. As I said before the number itself is frightening.
I wrote a blog called “Save money by checking those refrigerator veggie bins” addressing this very topic as a way to save money. You can find it here at http://wp.me/p3d1GR-cN. I try to follow through with checking the status of the fruits and veggies, but I still have ended up throwing away so many perishable foods. No more!
I have decided to check my fruit and veggie bins every week, on Thursday, as I write out my grocery list. This will familiarize me with what is in the bins and what needs “saved”. Last Thursday was my first week attempting the new way of doing things and it helped. I found cilantro, parsley, oranges, zucchini, quarters of a yellow pepper, and red pepper. I also realized the cantaloupe and yellow melon sitting on my counter needed to be used. I placed everything on the kitchen counter next to my knives, got out the cutting board, the trash bowl, citrus juicer, mandolin, freezer bags, and a permanent marker.
I started with the oranges. I juiced them as that was all they were good for. I froze the juice by pouring into an ice cube tray and froze. Once the juice cubes were frozen I place in a marked freezer bad and I now have orange juice for whatever I need. I can use the ice cubes for use in recipes or just thaw them out for orange juice or use them as ice cubes in a drink you want to add a bit of citrus to. Oh and the orange peels are sitting in jars with white vinegar waiting to be used as an all purpose cleaner.
The herbs were next. I washed them and dried them with a clean tea towel. I then chopped them into pieces. The cilantro, I put on my scale and divided into two freezer bags. I actually used one of those bags in my husband’s salsa on Friday. Yes it had been frozen, but put in the food processor with the onions, jalapeño, and the garlic it made no difference. The parsley I chose a whole different idea. I chopped the parsley into pieces. I then took a clean, empty ice cube tray and put the parsley in each compartment. I then poured Olive oil in the ice cube tray. I had seen this done on various Pinterest posts. I ended up using more olive oil than I thought. It actually used an entire wine bottle of Olive oil. I store my olive oil in a green wine bottle. It has a drizzlier with a lid as a stopper. I froze this also in the freezer. Once it was done it was put into a freezer bag. Now I have a bit of olive oil and parsley to sauté foods in.
The zucchini was sliced, using the mandolin, into thin slices and the peppers were diced. Each were put into freezer bags and frozen. The cantaloupe was diced and the majority was frozen. The yellow melon is being eaten with my home made yogurt. The next time a recipe calls for zucchini or I want some cantaloupe I already have it on hand and won’t have to pick any up.
Each freezer bag has the name of what is in it and the date it was frozen. What you do after this point is up to you! The truth is if you want to save money you can’t waste it. When I was a child the local veterinarian’s parents employed my mother to clean their home. They wasted nothing. They owned real estate, had investments, and lived very well off of those investments, but they lived frugally. The wife used to say those who have money never flaunt it and those who want money flaunt it so everyone thinks they have it. What an interesting thought.