Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Rescued Produce Makes Great Canned Goods

canned goods
Although I don't buy all of my produce from a CSA, I do like to can and freeze large quantities. On this particular weekend I bought 60 pounds of fresh produce for $10 from a "border rescued produce" CSA. I sliced and bagged 3 gallons of squash for the freezer, sliced and breaded another three gallons of egg plant for quick egg plant Parmesan and canned 9 pints of tomato sauce from grape tomatoes.

tomato sauce
The grape tomatoes were easily cooked down in the crock pot with onions, garlic, carrots, zucchini and a little oregano. Don't add salt because when you can them you will need on average 1 teaspoon per jar. Remember you can always add seasoning later when you cook with this basic sauce. I didn't add very many spices either because I want to be able to use my sauce for enchiladas or pizza.

Once the tomatoes cooked down I allowed them to cool and processed them in the blender. The last batch was very watery so we made fresh tomato soup with that.

Rescued produce comes in all shapes and sizes depending on your state regulations. It is simply produce that the grocery stores and other retailers have turned away because they bought too much or it isn't pretty enough. It is usually perfectly priced for preserving.

How I became Considering frugal

Fueled by the growing list of pollution related allergies my family suffered from each day, and inspired by my 97 year old grandmother who could recycle ANYTHING before recycling was cool, back in 2011, I decided (in the spirit of the Julie/Julia Project...) to embark on a journey to see just how much one family could do to change our planet. I didn't consult any other parties before I launched this idea. Thankfully my husband, daughter and son are usually my biggest supporters. Here is the catch; as I'm normally very thrifty (you can note from early blog posts), I was looking for ways that I could reduce our carbon footprint and make socially responsible purchases without increasing our spending. Mmmmmm. We succeed in changing some of our habits a bit and finding ways to reduce our footprint. There were lots of fun epic fails alone the way too! But the biggest change we have made over the course of the last six years, was to move from the mega city of Phoenix to Wyoming. You can read my full bio on my About Me page.

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frugal advice

"...for your Father knows what you need before you ask." Matthew 6:8