Ah- summer where the living is easy and the eating delicious! I always look forward to the summer because my local farmers market is just so filled with goodies. Even if you don’t have a farmers market in your area for local fruits and veggies, I am sure your local grocery has a wide array of local produce. From local cherries that just cry out for a pie to corn on the cob that have even kids loving their veggies, summer is the perfect time to eat in season. If you play your cards right it can also be thrifty.
Eat in Season at Farmers Markets
I know plenty of people who argue that eating in season from the farmers market is too expensive for their family. But a little can go a long way when buying at the local market. If you are watching the dollars, ask the vendor about bruised fruit you can stew for a dessert treat over pudding or ice cream. Often I will go at the end of the day and get bargains from vendors who are prepared to reduce the price in order to not take back home fruits and vegetables that have been sitting in the summer heat all day.
So you are thinking that you will have a hard time getting your kids to try out the veggies you just bought from the local market. Why not get creative, and add a sauce to carrots like the one we make in our yummy Bourbon Glazed Carrots. There are tons of great recipes online you can find that will dress up those veggies for the kids.
Keep Them Fresh
One of the challenges for buying fresh produce is keeping it fresh throughout the week when you use it. Here are a few tricks I use. When you bring home carrots or radishes, clean and trim them and put them in a jar of water in the fridge right away. The little roots will still soak up the water, keeping your root veggies fresh and crisp. You can do a similar thing with celery by standing the bottom of the plant in a couple inches of water.
Don’t throw Those Tops Out!
Don’t toss the trimming from your veggies, keep them in a paper bag in the freezer. Come fall you will have the makings of a wonderful soup! Just chop up, put in a pot of boiling water and add seasoning for yummy and cheap veggie soup. As you can see when you buy local, eat fresh and act smart, there are plenty of great ways to save money and eat well.