Save money by checking those refrigerator veggie bins in your house!s,

Good morning everyone!  I am enjoying one of my last cups of coffee that I haven’t roasted this morning.  My coffee should be here by Saturday.

Have you ever opened up the veggie crisper in your fridge and found that it has some pretty sad looking veggies in it?  I did that last night.  I found a 2 pound bag of carrots that I bought thinking I would make some carrot soup, a few sad looking zucchini and part of a green pepper that was not looking very happy either.  The carrots had black spots and sadly I had only enough carrots that could be saved out of that entire package to make 3 cups of shredded carrots.  Just enough to make a carrot cake.  I felt terrible about wasting a perfectly good vegetable!   The zucchini fared much better.  I had enough to make the 2 loaves of bread and a small amount of sliced zucchini for freezing.  I also froze diced green peppers for cooking.

I love purchasing fresh veggies, but don’t always pay attention to what I have on hand. Or I will buy it and then forget why I did.  I hate letting them go to waste.  With my biweekly grocery trip almost upon us, I decided to find out what was in the crisper and save what ever I can.  I baked the zucchini bread and carrot cake. I will be freezing one loaf of zucchini bread and 2/3’s of the carrot cake.

This is the zucchini bread recipe I use:



   
   

Ingredients:
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups grated raw zucchini (peeled)
3 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3 teaspoons cinnamon
1 cup raisins

Instructions:
Beat eggs until light and foamy. Add sugar, oil, zucchini and vanilla. Mix lightly, beat well.
Combine flour, salt, soda, baking powder, cinnamon. Add to egg mixture. Stir until well blended.
Add raisins and pour into two 9x5x2 3/4-inch pans.
Bake at 350º for 1 hour.

Zucchini Raisin Bread Recipe



Ingredients:3 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups grated raw zucchini (peeled)
3 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3 teaspoons cinnamon
1 cup raisins


Instructions:
Beat eggs until light and foamy. Add sugar, oil, zucchini and vanilla. Mix lightly, beat well.
Combine flour, salt, soda, baking powder, cinnamon. Add to egg mixture. Stir until well blended.
Add raisins and pour into two 9x5x2 3/4-inch pans.
Bake at 350º for 1 hour.


You can freeze shredded zucchini and shredded carrot in the amount that you will need for your recipes.  Just make sure you write how much there is and what it is that you are freezing. I froze some white rice and thought it was pizza dough.  I thawed it out and my pizza was not a happy camper with frozen rice as the crust.

You can take a mandolin and slice the carrots and zucchini, put individually onto a baking pan and freeze for an hour or so, then put into a freezer bag for soups or veggies this winter.  I hope at some point to get a food dehydrator to save more foods in a smaller space.  Living here in Central Florida, we don’t get large enough quantities to can and my freezer is only so big.

Did you know you can freeze watermelon and cantaloupe too?  I did not, but just found out that I can.  Guess what I froze last week?  My watermelon and the cantaloupe that was in my fridge.  You just cut the fruit into small cubes and freeze on a cookie sheet for an hour or so.  This would make great slushies.  I can just see this on a cool winter’s night and a bright happy piece of summer in a glass!

To make it clear, one way to save money on a tight food budget is to not let things go to waste. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to purchase food on the cheap and then just let nature destroy what you bought.  I mean you don’t go out and buy a bottle of perfume then leave the top off so that it evaporates do you?

 To prevent fruits and veggies from going bad.  Freeze, dehydrate, can, make jelly, curds, bake them or make a pot of soup using what veggies you have on hand.  Season with your favorite seasoning and you have a meal.  I also freeze my milk, cheese, sour cream, cream cheese, and even jams or curds.  Please just don’t freeze mayo!  Not a good idea.  Kind of gross too.  🙂

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