What do to with all those garden goodies

Written By Elsie Velazquez Cert. Personal Trainer Prescription Fitness

You were blessed with a green thumb and you have spent the entire summer taking care of the vegetables in your garden, and now you have so many tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and leafy greens that you don’t know what you will do with it all since opening your own produce store is not an option.

Below is a list of 20 ways to use up your garden goodies:

  1. Can them. If you have tomatoes, peppers, berries, beans, carrots and even peas, canning and freezing are two ways to preserve these items for use throughout the winter months.
  2. Gift/Donate them. Contact your local churches and/or food pantry for suggestions on how to gift and/or donate to families in need.
  3. Instead of bread, use lettuce leaves to make healthy lettuce wraps.
  4. Pack them into pasta. Vegetables such as mushrooms, onions, and peas can amp up the flavor and nutrients.
  5. Blend them into your favorite smoothie.
  6. Start your morning off right…add them into eggs. Vegetables make excellent additions to omelets, frittatas, and breakfast sandwiches.
  7. Sneak them into your morning muffin. Zucchini muffins make a delicious breakfast on-the-go.
  8. Use them in stir-fry
  9. Stir them into a stew or soup.
  10. Stuff them into sandwiches. Rich in vitamins and antioxidants, vegetables also add nice crunch and flavor to sandwiches.
  11. Turn them into chips. You can make healthy homemade chips with zucchini, beets, or sweet potato.
  12. Get creative with salads.
  13. Snack on them as you cook. Toss potato, carrot, and parsnip peels with a little oil, salt, and pepper, and bake at 400°F for 10 minutes or until browned and crisp.
  14. Stuff them into lean cuts of meat.Stuff chicken breasts with veggies before baking.
  15. Go frozen.You can use them all winter long.
  16. Make over your lasagna. Add veggies instead of meat.
  17. Grill them. Grilled fruits and veggies are fabulous.  .
  18. Dunk them in your favorite dip…LIGHTLY.  Instead of reaching for chips, try dipping carrots, broccoli, and bell peppers, into hummus, homemade salad dressing, pesto, or peanut butter.
  19. Mash them…make mashed potatoes healthier and creamier by adding roasted cauliflower.
  20. Swap your spaghetti. Zucchinni noodles are a wonderful alternative to pasta.
  21. Rethink your rice. Cauliflower “rice” delivers a light and fluffy texture that you’ll love. Dish it up as a side, serve it with stir-fry, or mix it with homemade sushi.