Forgive my reference to Comedy Central’s Kroll Show. Really not all that funny, but for some reason the “Oh, Hello – Too Much Tuna” prank show sketch just cracks me up.
Here’s a link for a snippet of the sketch: http://www.comedycentral.com/video-clips/0hxb8c/kroll-show-oh–hello—too-much-tuna
Now we can get to the real point of my post… Too much produce. We’ve all done it, gone grocery shopping (with or without a set list in mind) and have gotten mesmerized with the beautiful greens, yellows, oranges, and reds of the produce department. “Ohh look ______ are in season, I’m sure I can find something to do with them!”
Well I’m a sucker… every damn time. I always buy too much produce. Some weeks I’ll intentionally buy less because I bought too much and wasted the week before, but I always end up running out too soon and fall into the same trap the following week.
So here are some tricks I’ve learned when you’ve bought entirely too much produce:
Whether you juice or make smoothies (or make hybrids like me), drinking your produce is a great way to use too much produce. The last day before grocery shopping day I take inventory – whatever produce is still good, but at the end of its life will go into either the juicer or the blender. Dylan and I make an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink smoothie once a week. Usually it will substitute one of our meals on the weekend and surprisingly it has led to some of our most tasty concoctions.
Hybrid Recipe: Juice your produce (ex: carrots, cucumbers, lemons, apples, peppers, etc) and then put the juice in the blender with your greens (ex: Kale, Spinach, Chard) and fruit or unjuice-able produce (ex: bananas, pineapple, mango). Add ice and blend!
Have cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, peppers, etc etc etc? Throw it on a roasting pan, drizzle with a little oil, salt, pepper and spices (or leftover herbs you haven’t used up) and stick in a 500 degree oven for about 20 minutes. Look at that, another quick, easy and money/produce saving meal.
You could also toss the roasted veggies into a blender and make a vegetable soup puree. Leave some bigger pieces for more texture.
So you don’t want to use it all right now? That’s fine, let’s freeze it! Got ripe bananas, make ice cream? Or freeze the peeled bananas whole to make into ice cream or banana bread later. Herbs or greens that are about to go bad? Blend or juice them and then freeze in ice cube trays for later use. Love making tomato sauces? Boil, peel and puree your ripe tomatoes and then freeze in tupperware. The possibilities are endless!
This one may be a better tip for when you first purchase the produce to prevent from wasting – take the time to prepare it for the week. I’ve found that if I have a date with my mandolin (food slicer) once a week and slice up radishes, peppers, onions, and other delicious veggies that I’m much more likely to throw together a healthy, nutritious and exciting side salad. Have a salad bar in your fridge, it’s much easier than preparing the vegetables every day.
Unfortunately the stuff that’s good for you has an expiration date and doesn’t last forever *cough cough*, twinkies. But that doesn’t mean you should be scared away from making the healthy decisions at the grocery store. You just have to make an effort to do more planning (coming soon in a new post: how to plan your grocery list) and get more creative (another soon to come post: breaking the recipe mold).
Do you have any tips on how to use up too much produce? I’d love to know!