Food Budgets

How to Make Use of Abundant Seasonal Produce [Video]

Welcome back to the collaboration between Mint and Brewing Happiness. I’m Haley, the girl behind Brewing Happiness – a blog about celebrating the small healthy choices we make in our lives, complete with recipes for everybody!  I’m here to give you tips on living a healthy, happy life on a budget.

Summer is in full swing and ripe with fresh produce! This is my favorite time of year to shop seasonally, because there is an abundance of fruits and vegetables in season all at very low costs. Walk into any grocery store and there are likely to be sales galore. If you’re anything like me you can walk out with more fresh fruits and vegetables than you know what to do with.  

You’ve been there before, buying two baskets of strawberries because they were 2 for $5 or carrying a case of mangos because you couldn’t pass up the deal! I fall prey to this overzealous grocery shopping all the time. Luckily, I’ve mastered the ways to utilize my produce to keep it from going bad. I am going to share those secrets with you. 

Budget-wise, I actually think it’s very smart to buy large quantities of produce at the peak of its seasonality, as long as you don’t allow it to go to waste. There are plenty of ways to preserve and utilize fruits and veggies so that you can take advantage of the sales.   

For the sake of this article, I am going to focus our preservation efforts on berries – strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries – because I know they often are in overwhelming abundance all at one time. However, these ideas, recipes, and principles can apply to most seasonal produce.  

 

How to Make Use of Your Produce Abundance 

 

BERRIES (ie. Strawberries, blackberries, blueberries and strawberries) 

#1 Go for the classics. 

Make muffins, pies, galetts, cobbler, or tarts. Berries are incredibly delicious in desserts, and you can always freeze extra muffins or treats for later.  

Recipes to try: Whole Wheat Blueberry Blackberry Muffins, Healthy Berry Cobbler, Date Blueberry Bran Muffins, Small Batch Raspberry Rose Muffins 

 

#2 Make savory recipes.

Adding berries to savory meals is a great way to incorporate them into more of your life. They make a great sweet note on salads, grain bowls, pizzas or even gazpacho.  

Recipes to try: Vegetarian Blueberry Cobb Salad, Strawberry Balsamic Summer Flatbread, Blueberry Cucumber Salsa 

 

#3 Add them to breakfast. 

Breakfast is a quick an easy place to use up extra berries. Add them to yogurt bowls, pancakes, granola bars, biscuits, etc. The possibilities are endless here.

Recipes to try: Single Serve Blueberry Pancakes, Blueberry Almond Overnight Oats, Blueberry Crisp Granola Bars, Lemon and Berry Chia Seed Pudding 

 

#4 Make sauces or jam. 

Sauces, jams, and jelly can use up tons of your extra berries and condense it down into a delicious spread for your food.  

Recipes to try: Strawberry Chia Jam, Orange Blueberry Balsamic Sauce 

 

#5 Freeze them. 

Blend them and put them in popsicle molds for a natural fruit pop, or freeze them whole in freezer-safe bags and save them for smoothies.  

Recipes to try: Raspberry and Cream Popsicles, Calming Blueberry Smoothie, Blackberry Acai Frozen Yogurt 

 

#6 Make cocktails or mocktails! 

This might be my favorite way to use up extra fruit. Mojitos, juice, sangria, kombucha or tea – adding fruit to your drinks is a fun way to make use of that abundance.  

Recipes to try: Blueberry Mint Matcha Latte or 5 Minute Faux Kombucha

 

No matter if you go strawberry picking, or simply just buy more than you need at the grocery store – never let that beautiful produce go to waste! 

 

(PS. If you need a quick reminder on how to pick out the best produce check out this guide.) 

 

Follow along! 

Over the next few months I’ll be covering a variety of ways to be healthy on a budget. Keep an eye out for those and head over to Brewing Happiness for healthy recipe inspiration in the meantime!