August just started, so we know it might sound a little hasty to start preparing for winter. But the early bird gets the worm, and there’s no harm in starting to stock up for the colder months. Curious what we mean by stocking up?
Saving Fresh Herbs
Nothing is more annoying than when you start preparing a recipe and realize halfway through it that you don’t just have fresh basil. It’s definitely annoying to have to go back out to the store to get one small, but very important ingredient. What happens in the middle of winter when you realize you’ve been following a recipe that calls for fresh basil and the local grocery store doesn’t have any? But do not fret! Stock up on your fresh herbs grown from your lovely summer garden by freezing or drying them out while they’re fresh. Freezing fresh herbs can last you well into the winter months and still give that zest and flair herbs offer our favorite dishes. Drying out your extra herbs is another method that could keep your cabinets stocked until next summer’s yield! Both are very easy to do, and could also save a bunch of money on having to buy fresh or dried herbs!
Freezing Your Best Fruits and Veggies
Much like herbs, fruits and vegetables can also be frozen! This is a great trick to extend the shelf life of any produce if you’re concerned you may not be able to use all the produce in time. But if you have a lovely garden you’re picking from or you’re looking to savor those yummy seasonal strawberries, just freeze them! Again, with proper packaging this should last you well into the winter months, and yet another way to save money! The only thing worse than getting through a recipe only to realize you’ve forgotten an ingredient is paying double the price for fruit that tastes half as good from the summer. Many fruits and vegetables are seasonal, meaning even if you live in an area where you can buy the produce in the winter, it’ll cost you a pretty penny and won’t taste nearly as good. Why waste your money? Stock up now and save those frozen berries for overnight oats or a yummy smoothie when you’re waiting around for warmer months later in the year!
Consider an Indoor Garden
While you can’t grow too many fruits and vegetables inside, indoor herb gardens are great anytime of the year with a well-lit window. This is the perfect way to brighten up any kitchen as well as keep your own stock of herbs all year. Growing an indoor garden can increase your access to herbs you like to cook with and you’ll never forget the basil again! Indoor gardens can not only bring some green in the middle of winter, which is often much needed, but is also another way of saving some green in your wallet.
Stocking the kitchen for winter can be easy when getting a little creative. One last tip – remember you can always make jam if you find yourself with an overload of fruit, vegetables or herbs! Never to early to prepare for a well balanced winter meal plan!