Sunday, August 2, 2009

My New Best Friend...

is the freezer!

It's summertime, and so many wonderful fruits and veggies are growing in abundance! In the winter, it's so hard to find great, ripe, flavorful fruits and veggies (particulary tomatoes and any fruits at all, except maybe apples and bananas).

Jason and I have extremely limited freezer space, but we've recently been doing experimenting and researching online to see just what we can use our freezer for and how it will help us save $$$ - by saving food and by buying less.

One great way is to take advantage of "u-pick" farms. One such farm, obviously, is my grandparents' blueberry farm! I get a 100% discount so clearly, that's a great way for Jason and I to save money! This week, Jason picked almost 11 pounds of berries! He brought half home, and we froze the other half.

My grandma says the best way to do this is to put them on a cookie sheet, unwashed, in a single layer. Freeze overnight, then put the blueberries in freezer bags. Since our freezer is small, my mum did this for us, and the berries look great! We now have 4 1-qt. freezer bags full, and Jason will be going back soon to freeze 4 more bags! (As long as the crop is still there :))

Other items that seem to freeze well include asparagus. Jason's grandparents do that, I believe, every year, and today I learned that my grandparents have asparagus growing at their house in the spring! I am most definitely planning to make a trip next year to pick up all the asparagus I can to freeze.

So what else can you freeze? How about pasta sauce? Jason and I only ever use half of the 24 oz. jars we buy. Well, you can freeze the other half! How great is that? Organic Meijer pasta sauce costs $2.12 for a 24 oz. jar. Now that we can freeze the other half (instead of throwing it away like we always do), each time we eat pasta, we'll only be paying $1.06 per pasta meal for pasta sauce!

It's amazing, truly, how much you can freeze, and there are so many ideas on the Internet on the best way to freeze the fruits and veggies. I recommend doing initial research to get a feel of how to freeze food, but before ever doing so, talk to someone who has experience freezing that particular food item. I talked to my grandma about freezing blueberries since she freezes them every year and has done so for the last 50 years. When I'm ready to freeze asparagus, I would talk to Jason's grandparents. Those with experience will be able to give you the most thorough instructions and directions, and it will make the freezing experience even easier.

Happy freezing!

No comments: