Growing your own food can be a lot of fun, and a great way to save money on food if you have the space. Some years, you might not produce much, but there are also times when you can experience a bumper crop. When you suddenly have a lot of vegetables, fruits, herbs or whatever you’ve chosen to grow, you need to find ways to use it all up before it’s no longer edible. That can seem pretty difficult when faced with the idea of eating dozens of cabbages. Fortunately, there are various ways to cook with your harvest or find other ways to ensure it doesn’t go to waste.
Make Simple Sides
One of the easiest ways to use up food you’ve grown yourself is to come up with some simple sides. When you have vegetables to use, they can most likely be turned into a delicious side to accompany any meal. Zucchini plants will often give you a large crop, but learning how to make perfectly grilled zucchini will help to make sure it’s used up in no time. It could also be easy to make sides using potatoes, eggplant, lettuce and cabbage, and various other things you’ve chosen to grow in your garden.
Do Some Batch Cooking
When you have a bumper crop of one particular ingredient, you can get pretty sick of eating at all at once. If you want to make it last longer, one option is to do some batch cooking and refrigerate or freeze what you make. You can then avoid having to eat the same ingredient for weeks or even longer. You can freeze pretty much anything, whether you do it as individual portions or larger amounts that you can take out for a family meal. Pick a day when you’re free to spend some time batch cooking.
Preserve for the Winter
Many things will preserve well, and you can use different methods to make sure they last. Some things you grow, such as potatoes or onions, could last for months by just storing them in the correct way. Other things might need to be preserved by canning them or using other preservation methods such as freezing to make them last longer. You can consider what types of preservation work for you and how you’re going to plan to use everything. For example, maybe you’re in the mood for making some jams or pickles.
Give Away Your Extras
Sometimes you just don’t want to keep everything you’ve grown. If you want to be neighborly, giving away some stuff to neighbors or to friends and family is a good way to ensure nothing goes to waste. And if you know people who also grow or make their own foods or other things, you can often find that you will get something in return. Your extra pumpkins could be traded for some freshly-laid eggs or some homemade soap.
When you’ve had a bumper crop, start thinking of ways to use everything up so it’s not wasted.