As gardeners, we love having an abundance of veggies but don’t always know what to do with them. Here are a few creative ideas on how to ensure none of it goes to waste.

1. Freeze the bounty
Spinach, chard, kale, peppers all freeze well with a light blanching. Peppers are great if the skin is charred and then removed before freezing. Freezing is great for people with enough freezer space and who want to enjoy the taste of summer all winter long.

2. Dehydrate the extras
Herbs, chili peppers, roma tomatoes all dehydrate very well. The best thing is that the dehydrated food takes up less space, doesn’t require freezing, refrigeration or electricity to store, has a very long shelf life, and rehydrates beautifully. Dehydrating can be done outdoors on a sunny/warm day, using a convection oven on the lowest setting, or by purchasing an electric dehydrator.

3. Cook/bake/fry/steam the produce
Ever tried zucchini chocolate carrot cake? What about fried green tomatoes? These are just a few options of creatively using your veggies in addition to popular dishes like kale chips, salsa (using ripe or unripe tomatoes), and swiss chard spanakopita. Cooking/baking/frying/steaming your extra produce is great for creative chefs and eaters who aren’t too picky about every ingredient that goes into the dish. The only limit is your imagination!

4. Pickle your veggies
Asparagus, beans, garlic, even green tomatoes pickle very well. All you need is some vinegar, salt and jars and you’re good to go!

These are just a few suggestions for utilizing the produce from your garden. Once you start imagining, the possibilities are almost endless! You’ll surprise yourself at how many different ways you can use your veggies.

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