Each season brings with it an abundance of produce of different kinds and if you are sticking to a budget not only does the variety excite your taste buds but your wallet as well.
We love mushrooms but when you do the math they’re expensive! That small container is usually around $1.50 and it is just 8oz. That’s over $3 per pound and my budget is closer to $1 a pound for vegetables so we rarely get them. But, my whole family loves mushrooms and so when I see a great deal on them I like to stock up and save and freeze them. A few weeks ago a local store had 8oz containers of either cap or sliced mushrooms for just $.49. I bought 30 containers. Here’s the math:
30 containers x normal price of $1.50 = $45
30 containers x $.49 = $14.70
That’s why I have a freezer and like to stock up but if you simply freeze things in a bag they’ll all get stuck together and be unusable which is why I flash freeze. Flash Freezing is simple and you can do it with meats, vegetables and fruits.
How to Flash Freeze
Simply lay the fruit or vegetable cut up or diced the way you will use it on a cookie sheet. Freeze fruits and vegetables for 1-2 hours and meats for 2-3. Once it’s slightly frozen remove from the tray and place in a freezer Ziploc bag. Label and place back in the freezer. Now when you want a few you can simply grab them.
The other reason to Flash Freeze is cost. Quite often I see one onion for around $.50 or 3# for $.99. I know we won’t eat 3# that quickly but they are nice to have on hand so I cut them and freeze them for later. It makes it easy at meal times.
As summer comes to a close so will cheap strawberries, pineapples, tomatoes and more. I like to try and purchase USA produce and to do that I have to find alternatives during the winter like the fruits and vegetables I’ve frozen. This week I’ve been flash freezing red and orange peppers, cauliflower and even tomatoes from my garden that we can’t eat right now. I’ll use them to make this Spaghetti Sauce when we need it.
As corn is inexpensive right now, I highly recommend grabbing some and making freezer corn to take you through the winter. Find my recipe for it here: Freezer Corn.