June 20, 2024

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Stocking Up on Produce – 24/7 Moms


By Trisha Novotny

My family stocks up on extra food including everything from canned goods to boxes of cereal. Recently, we even began stockpiling fresh produce! Below are a few simple tips I’ve found to help save money when stocking up on produce:

  1. Add freezer space: Consider investing in an extra freezer, separate from your kitchen fridge. This will give you the room you need to store extra produce, as well as any additional frozen food items. 
  1. Buy in-season and on-sale: Check your local grocery stores weekly ads for produce specials. Also, look for reduced priced items, usually found in the front and back section of the store’s weekly ad. 
  1. What to buy: Purchase produce that can be frozen until it’s ready for use. You can freeze just about any fruits or vegetables and use them to make smoothies, juices, or toppings for desserts. Here are a few of my go-to freezer items: 

Fruits: 

  • Blackberries, blueberries, raspberries
  • Strawberries
  • Cherries
  • Peaches, nectarines, plums
  • Bananas  

Vegetables: 

  • Asparagus
  • Bell peppers
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Carrots
  • Corn
  • Green beans
  • Peas
  • Zucchini & summer squash
  1. How to freeze: There are a number of ways to go about freezing different types of produce. I’ve included a few tips and next steps according to the product type below. 

Fruit: 

  • Berries: Wash and pat dry, flash freeze by placing fruit on a cookie sheet and placing in your freezer for 2 to 3 hours. Next use a spatula to place into Ziploc® Brand Freezer Bags 
  • Strawberries: Wash, dry, remove stems and hull. Keep whole or slice and flash freeze using the same method above and place frozen fruit into Ziploc® Brand Snack Bags.

 

  • Peaches, Nectarines and Plums: Cut in half, remove pit, then cut into fourths, sixths or eighths depending on your preferred size. Store in Ziploc® Brand Snack Bags.

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  1. Vegetables: There are two options when freezing vegetables. 

You can wash, dry, trim and slice as needed, or for best results I blanch them using the below instructions.

  • To blanch: In a large pot bring one gallon of water to a boil. Add one type of vegetable, then cover and continue to boil. Blanch the following vegetables for the specified amount below.
    • Asparagus: 2 to 3 minutes
    • Bell Peppers: Remove seeds and slice into ½ inch strips, blanch for 2 to 3 minutes 
    • Broccoli: Cut into florets, blanch for 3 minutes
    • Cauliflower: Cut into florets, blanch for 3 minutes
    • Brussels sprouts: 2 to 3 minutes
    • Carrots: slice in ¼ to ½ inch chunks, blanch for 2 minutes
    • Corn: Husk the corn and remove kernels, blanch for 2 minutes
    • Green Beans: 3 minutes
    • Peas: 1 to 2 minutes
    • Zucchini & summer squash: Slice in ½ inch chunks; blanch for 2 to 3 minutes

Once blanched, remove from boiling water and place in a large bowl of ice cold water until the vegetables are completely cool, drain and dry. Place vegetables onto a cookie sheet in a single layer and flash freeze using the method outlined above. Once frozen, place in Ziploc® Brand Freezer bags 

Now that you have a freezer full of stockpiled fruits and vegetables, your family can enjoy fresh produce all year long!

What fruits or vegetables have you previously stockpiled? 

 



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