A funny thing seems to happen with backyard veggie gardens –either they don’t yield much or you end up with an over abundance of zucchini and cherry tomatoes. This year, if you’re experiencing the latter, don’t worry, you are not alone. This is actually a relatively common problem that many home gardeners will face.
With that in mind, eieihome.com is sharing 5 things you can do with extra garden vegetables to ensure that absolutely nothing goes to waste.
- Help out friends and family: Vegetables are the most important foods for human health, and we all know that health is wealth so why not spread the wealth to those you care about most, or foster new bonds with neighbours by offering up some of your excess produce.
- Help those in need: There is probably no greater thing you can do with your extra produce than helping things in need. Local institutions such as the North York Harvest and Ontario Vegetarian Food Bank are two great options that will get your extra food into the hands of people who need it most. You can also consider giving some produce away to local institutions, or even making a posting on a classified site such as Kijiji or Craigslist.
- Can them: Canning is an increasingly popular practice to preserve produce, especially with items such as tomatoes which can be used to create sauces. Although canning can be a safe and effective practice when done correctly, precautions must be taken. Have a look at the following Government of Canada resource to ensure you are doing it right.
- Blanch and Freeze Them: Freezing is probably what most of you were already thinking, but storing certain vegetables in an optimal way may also require blanching (briefly boiling before freezing). Have a look at the following resource to learn how to blanch before freezing and why it is so important to do so.
- Try a new recipe: If options #1-4 have been exhausted or just don’t appeal to you, the best advice I can give you is to use whatever excess you have in creative ways. Google up fun and exciting vegetable-based recipes that you might not otherwise consider making and eat until your heart’s content.
Following these five tips will help ensure that your extra veggies are being utilized to the fullest and that not a single one of those delectable gems goes to waste.
Andy De Santis RD MPH
Andy is a Toronto-based registered dietitian and nutrition writer who holds a master’s degree in public health nutrition. You can learn more about Andy and his services at AndyTheRD.com.