vegetables http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/4501/all en-US 10 Surprising Foods You Can Turn Into Chips http://www.wisebread.com/10-surprising-foods-you-can-turn-into-chips <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-surprising-foods-you-can-turn-into-chips" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_67550617_MEDIUM.jpg" alt="sweet potato chips" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There are few things I like more than a good chip. Crunchy, salty goodness &mdash; perfect for dunking into a bowl of ranch dip. You've heard of banana chips and potato chips, but what about tomato chips? Or zucchini chips? Turns out, there are many unexpected foods that can be turned into chips. Here's how to get your crunch fix while getting a few healthy servings of fruits and veggies, as well as a few other surprising foods, at the same time. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-popular-snacks-you-can-make-at-home?ref=seealso">14 Popular Snacks You Can Make at Home</a>)</p> <h2>1. Tomatoes</h2> <p>Soft, juicy tomatoes aren't usually what you think of when you picture crispy chips. This <a href="http://www.sugarfreemom.com/recipes/crispy-parmesan-tomato-chips/">tomato chip recipe</a> takes slices of tomatoes and smothers them with parmesan and seasonings. After they crisp up in the oven, you've got perfectly seasoned, crunchy little mini pizzas made of tomatoes.</p> <h2>2. Zucchini</h2> <p>If you're going to be making a lot of chips, it's a great idea to invest in a mandoline slicer. This super-sharp kitchen gadget slices almost anything up into thin, even, rounds. I don't know how low-calorie these <a href="http://rasamalaysia.com/parmesan-zucchini-chips/2/">zucchini chips</a> are after being coated in breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese, but they certainly look delicious. Use your mandoline to thinly slice the zucchini, cover them in breadcrumbs and cheese, and bake until crispy.</p> <h2>3. Cucumber</h2> <p>Cucumbers are a delicious and crunchy dip-vehicle even when freshly sliced, but if you want to shake things up, turn them into <a href="http://www.hellonatureblog.com/easy-cucumber-chips/">cucumber chips</a>. This recipe calls for baking them at a low temperature for several hours, and is customizable with the seasonings of your choice.</p> <h2>4. Prosciutto</h2> <p>Vegetables typically get all the glory when it comes to chip alternatives, but here's a delicious method for turning thinly sliced prosciutto slices into <a href="http://nomnompaleo.com/post/25437941473/porkitos-aka-crispy-prosciutto-chips">prosciutto chips</a>, or as this cookbook author calls them, &quot;Porkitos.&quot; Simply layer the thin slices of meat onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake at 350&ordm; F for 10-15 minutes until crunchy. Serve as a garnish on a salad, or munch on them straight up.</p> <h2>5. Beets</h2> <p>Beets are extremely good for you, but not necessarily crowd-pleasers. Downplay the natural earthiness of beets and increase the sweetness and crunch by turning thinly sliced beets into these rosemary-infused baked <a href="http://minimalistbaker.com/baked-rosemary-beet-chips/">beet chips</a>. Beet chips are delicious in a salad, where they add extra nutrition and crunch, but are just as good eaten by the handful.</p> <h2>6. Brussels Sprouts</h2> <p>If you have a hard time getting kids to eat super healthy Brussels sprouts, having <a href="http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/brussels-sprouts-chips-51230230">Brussels sprouts chips</a> in your arsenal might just revolutionize your game. Remove all the leaves from the Brussels sprouts, toss them with olive oil and salt, and after a few minutes of baking you'll have a bowl of chips that your kids won't even recognize as healthy.</p> <h2>7. Pears</h2> <p>Pear chips are a great alternative to apple chips, and they make a sophisticated cracker substitute on a cheese plate. Imagine a crispy pear chip topped with goat cheese and drizzled with honey. Delicious! Try this recipe for <a href="http://www.marthastewart.com/1080799/slow-roasted-pear-chips">slow-roasted pear chips</a>.</p> <h2>8. Pineapple</h2> <p>Make pineapple portable and easy-to-eat by drying <a href="http://www.thisdiabeticlife.com/2013/04/oven-made-pineapple-chips.html">pineapple slices</a> in the oven. For a spicy and unconventional kick, try seasoning the apple slices with chili pepper. Just be sure to store the crunchy slices immediately after they cool to prevent them from softening.</p> <h2>9. Tofu</h2> <p>Now that you know you can turn vegetables, fruit, and even meat into chips, next you'll be making chips from&hellip; wait for it&hellip; tofu! Yes, this bland and sometimes spongy food can be turned into crisp, flavorful, protein-rich <a href="http://www.food.com/recipe/tofu-chips-341819">tofu chips</a>. Since tofu absorbs flavors, slices of extra-firm tofu can be seasoned to perfection before being baked into crispy chips that can be used to scoop up hummus or guacamole.</p> <h2>10. Parmesan</h2> <p>If your favorite part of cheese and crackers is the cheese, why not ditch the cracker and make cheese chips instead? These <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/parmesan-crisps-recipe.html">parmesan crisps</a> are full of flavor and crunch. They make a delicious appetizer or garnish on a salad, as well as on a sandwich or burger.</p> <p><em>What other surprising foods can be turned into chips? Share with us!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/camilla-cheung">Camilla Cheung</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-surprising-foods-you-can-turn-into-chips">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-delicious-ways-to-prepare-a-humble-head-of-cabbage">15 Delicious Ways to Prepare a Humble Head of Cabbage</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-delicious-and-easy-ways-to-enjoy-canned-peaches">15 Delicious and Easy Ways to Enjoy Canned Peaches</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/end-potato-prejudice-10-reasons-why-you-should-eat-potatoes">End Potato Prejudice: 10 Reasons Why You Should Eat Potatoes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-healthiest-grocery-stores">The 6 Healthiest Grocery Stores</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-fall-groceries-to-add-to-your-list-asap">9 Fall Groceries to Add to Your List ASAP</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink chip recipes chips DIY chips freshly baked chips frugal living healthy eating healthy food recipes vegetables veggie chips Thu, 21 Jul 2016 09:00:06 +0000 Camilla Cheung 1756334 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Decorative Plants You Can Eat, Too http://www.wisebread.com/6-decorative-plants-you-can-eat-too <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-decorative-plants-you-can-eat-too" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_holding_artichoke_16187019.jpg" alt="Woman finding pretty landscaping plants she can eat" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When it comes to home landscaping, why not kill two birds with one stone? Up your home's curb appeal this summer with plants and vegetation that can also stock your pantry. Use strawberry plants as ground cover. Edge a garden with colorful rosettes of lettuce. Or infuse your backyard flora with some of the other beautiful and utilitarian plants on this list.</p> <h2>1. Sunchokes</h2> <p>A member of the sunflower family, sunchokes produce chirpy yellow flowers that can add a pop of color to any landscaping design. This staple food can also keep you well-fed through the winter. Alternatively known as Jerusalem artichokes, sunchokes are tubers that resemble a ginger root but taste more like a savory potato. Widely harvested in temperate regions, sunchokes are ready for picking after the first or second frost of the season. They make for a great base ingredient in purees, soups, hashes, and mashes. That&rsquo;s not all: When sauteed, sunchokes can contribute a&nbsp;<a href="http://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1014360-fettuccine-with-sunchokes-and-herbs">slightly nutty flavor</a> to any sauceless pasta dish.</p> <h2>2. Serviceberry</h2> <p>Native to every state but Hawaii, the serviceberry plant produces lacy spring flowers in white, pink, yellow, or red, as well as purplish-red berries infused with a <a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2008-05-28/entertainment/0805230407_1_crust-pie-pan-serviceberry">tart flavor reminiscent of blueberries</a>. In addition to eating them raw, the berries, which fruit for about two weeks per year, can be tossed in salads, baked into pies, or smashed into jams. Also known as amelanchier or Juneberry, this member of the rose family comes in about 20 varieties of small trees and large, deciduous shrubs. To grow well, the plant requires moist soil with good drainage. Other than that, it&rsquo;s not particularly fussy, making it a great selection for the novice gardener.</p> <h2>3. Sage</h2> <p>With its silvery-green, low-to-the-ground leaves, sage makes for a wonderful front-row ornamental. Tricolor sage, which also has brush strokes of purple and white, is a particularly terrific variety for edging the garden. Not only is sage a delicious herb that can spruce up any meat, stir fry, or pasta, it&rsquo;s also deliciously fragrant &mdash; a welcome addition to any yard. Easy to grow, a backyard mound of sage is a chef&rsquo;s dream.</p> <h2>4. Small-Fruited Tomatoes</h2> <p>Small-fruited tomato varieties, such as the Cuban yellow grape, elfin, or sugar lump, produce plentiful yields of sweet tasting, gumball-sized fruit that can be eaten right from the garden &mdash; or added into salads, pastas, or veggie platters for dipping with vinaigrettes or hummus. Outside the kitchen, small-fruited tomatoes also make for a colorful, perky addition to the yard. Since keeping them on the ground will increase the risk of rotting, these attractive edibles can best be grown with stakes, in raised beds, or on trellises. Sunny spots are optimal.</p> <h2>5. Globe Artichokes</h2> <p>Easy to grow and <a href="http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/videos/techniques/how-prepare-globe-artichokes">easy to cook</a>, the globe artichoke is a perennial species of thistle that produces large flower buds with thick, tender, geometric scales that are both ornamental and edible. In flavor, the antioxidant-rich globe artichoke is nutty and tangy. You can prepare them raw, grilled, boiled, sauteed, or stuffed. Our recommendation: Chop the heart into pieces, then marinate and <a href="http://www.abc.net.au/local/recipes/2007/08/26/1993966.htm">toss them into a risotto</a> or salad &mdash; or simply eat them as they are.</p> <h2>6. Paprika Peppers</h2> <p>This mild variety of the pepper has a striking, shiny red color that can add a bit of flash to any home garden. In the kitchen, they can be dried, ground, and used as a spice in mayo-based salads, goulash, or chorizo, or as a deviled egg garnish. These vitamin C-rich peppers can also be eaten raw straight from the garden. Paprika peppers thrive in fertile, well-draining soil with plentiful access to sunlight. Harvest time extends from summer to fall.</p> <p><em>Do you have any edibles in your pretty garden?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-decorative-plants-you-can-eat-too">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-most-valuable-things-to-plant-in-your-garden-this-spring">10 Most Valuable Things to Plant in Your Garden This Spring</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/17-cheap-ways-to-dress-up-your-garden">17 Cheap Ways to Dress Up Your Garden</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cooking-for-beginners-10-recipes-for-kitchen-newbies">Cooking for Beginners: 10 Recipes for Kitchen Newbies</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/garden-ideas-for-small-spaces">Garden Ideas for Small Spaces</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-simple-gardening-skills-anybody-can-master">13 Simple Gardening Skills Anybody Can Master</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Home Cooking curb appeal edible gardening herbs landscaping plants vegetables Thu, 30 Jun 2016 10:00:06 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1740460 at http://www.wisebread.com Is a Farm Share a Smart Buy for Your Household? http://www.wisebread.com/is-a-farm-share-a-smart-buy-for-your-household <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/is-a-farm-share-a-smart-buy-for-your-household" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_fresh_veggies_000080643373.jpg" alt="Man deciding if a CSA is a smart buy for his household" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>CSA is the acronym for Community Supported Agriculture. For about $400 to $650 a season (usually June to October), you can purchase a &quot;share&quot; of vegetables and fruits from a local, most likely organic, farm or group of farms. Payment is usually due up front, which is a financial help to small farmers. In return for this payment, you receive a weekly box of fresh produce. In some areas, you can also buy smaller half-shares for less cost. You support local agriculture, you eat <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-buy-organic-and-still-be-frugal" target="_blank">farm-fresh produce</a>, and it can be a lot of fun to try new foods.</p> <p>CSAs are a great concept. However, before you jump in, ask yourself: Would a share be a smart buy for my household?</p> <h2>1. Are You a Fan of the TV Show, <em>Chopped</em>?</h2> <p>Odds are, if you love <em>Chopped</em>, you'll love a CSA box. It's kind of like that. You get a mystery box of ingredients, and you need to make something tasty. It's actually better, because you don't get stupid things like orange gummy worms or vegemite. A CSA box can bring some serious fun back to cooking.</p> <h2>2. Are You Ready to Embrace Your Inner Pioneer?</h2> <p>Food preservationists, rejoice! If you buy a CSA share, you probably can't eat it all in a week, and you'll need to preserve some of your bounty. If your idea of a good time involves canning, dehydrating, blanching, or making freezer meals, a CSA share is ideal. Bonus: It's really nice, in mid-winter, to pull some blanched corn out of the freezer or open a bag of dehydrated berries.</p> <h2>3. What If You Hate Some of the Box Contents?</h2> <p>That is indeed part of the &quot;danger,&quot; which is a strong word, but you get my meaning. Personally, I abhor breadfruit, no matter what is done to it, including adding gobs of mayonnaise and calling it &quot;almost like potato salad.&quot; I ask around to see if anyone wants my giant breadfruit and if not, well, I throw it into the compost, where it will still do some good. It's fine to ask your share organization what sorts of produce you might expect to receive.</p> <h2>4. Do You Have Time for Food Prep?</h2> <p>Once you pick up that box, it's time to deal. You will need to sort through your produce and determine what needs to be used first. I have had fruits that needed to be eaten right away, some vegetables I could refrigerate, mushrooms that were a tad limp, and others that needed to be washed and stored, like leafy greens. This isn't something you will feel like doing on a Wednesday night. Some nights I just want to eat a hamburger and watch <em>House of Cards</em>. It's best if you can get your box on a weekend, when you have time to sort and clean. Ask about what days your CSA delivers or is available for pick-up.</p> <h2>5. Do You Eat Out a Lot?</h2> <p>If you do, this is not the program for you. Shares are for people who cook and eat at home most of the time.</p> <h2>6. Do You Like to Learn New Recipes?</h2> <p>My CSA helpfully includes recipes, but not all do. You may need to dig through cookbooks or hit the Internet for answers to your questions such as &quot;how to cook a parsnip&quot; or &quot;things to do with kale.&quot; Winging it isn't a good use of the money you have spent (witness my Okinawan sweet potato fries &mdash; yuck).</p> <h2>7. What Kind of Food Does Your Family Like?</h2> <p>Just because you feel like your family &quot;ought&quot; to be eating more fruits and vegetables doesn't mean that they will. My kid still won't touch a tomato, not even one of the pretty heirloom purple ones. The point is, just because you bought the box, your family may not be thrilled about eating the contents.</p> <p>If a CSA share is too much of a commitment, consider instead supporting local agriculture by shopping at farmers markets, or patronizing grocery stores that feature local produce.</p> <p><em>Have you ever belonged to a CSA? What was the hardest produce to use up?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/marla-walters">Marla Walters</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-a-farm-share-a-smart-buy-for-your-household">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-produce-workers-guide-to-choosing-fruits-and-vegetables">The Produce Worker&#039;s Guide to Choosing Fruits and Vegetables</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-off-season-foods-that-are-destroying-your-grocery-budget">5 Off-Season Foods That Are Destroying Your Grocery Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/buy-this-not-that-at-the-farmers-market">Buy This — Not That — at the Farmer&#039;s Market</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/wise-bread-reloaded-is-eating-more-produce-the-secret-to-happiness-and-wellbeing">Wise Bread Reloaded: Is Eating More Produce the Secret to Happiness and Wellbeing?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fresh-fruits-and-vegetables-by-the-month">Fresh Fruits and Vegetables, By the Month</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Shopping buy local community supported agriculture CSA fruit healthy produce vegetables Thu, 31 Mar 2016 09:30:25 +0000 Marla Walters 1677897 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Off-Season Foods That Are Destroying Your Grocery Budget http://www.wisebread.com/5-off-season-foods-that-are-destroying-your-grocery-budget <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-off-season-foods-that-are-destroying-your-grocery-budget" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_fresh_strawberries_000067876803.jpg" alt="Woman eating off-season foods that destroy her grocery budget" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Maybe you get a craving for strawberries in the dead of winter, or fresh tomatoes in early spring. While you can most likely find these items at your grocery store year-round, prices (and not to mention taste) will fluctuate greatly based on the season. In particular, these five off-season fruits and veggies can really destroy your grocery budget.</p> <h2>1. Tomatoes</h2> <p>In season: June through November. Want those delicious, deep red tomatoes on the vine? You&rsquo;ll need to buy them in season. What you&rsquo;ll get otherwise are sickly-looking tomatoes that have travelled from afar to get you. They are also upwards of triple the cost of a local, in-season tomato. Cut into one of these to find pale flesh, bland flavor, and a watery, mealy consistency that is definitely not worth the price. In addition, tomatoes coming from Mexico and Florida tend to have more fungicide and pesticides than the California variety we tend to eat in-season.</p> <p>Instead: Buy crushed or whole tomatoes in cans for your soups, stews, chilis, and sauces. February's not a great time for Caprese salad.</p> <h2>2. Berries</h2> <p>In season: late spring through summer. While tomatoes are also technically berries, we&rsquo;re focusing on blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, and raspberries here. There&rsquo;s nothing better than sinking your teeth into a fresh berry pie, or eating them whole with a pile of fresh whipped cream &mdash; but that&rsquo;s gonna cost you outside of their growing season. Blueberries in particular have <a href="http://www.wbez.org/sections/food/should-you-pay-10-pint-blueberries-maybe-108512">gone up in price</a> even when in-season. Also, strawberries and blueberries get flown in from countries that may not have the same labor and growing regulations as the U.S., which can pose environmental and health risks when buying out of season.</p> <p>Instead: Use frozen berries for your desserts and breakfast smoothies to avoid the extra cost and negative impact on the planet.</p> <h2>3. Peaches</h2> <p>In season: May through October. Like berries, peaches are beloved for being juicy and sweet with an almost creamy texture when ripe. You&rsquo;ll lose of a lot those qualities when buying out of season, and pay a lot more &mdash; at least double the price. Again, those out of season peaches are coming from South American countries with fewer growing and labor regulations than the U.S. &mdash; noticing a pattern?</p> <p>Instead: Buy canned and frozen peaches for cooking. If a recipe calls for fresh peaches, save it for the summer.</p> <h2>4. Asparagus</h2> <p>In Season: February through June. Except, this year&rsquo;s rainy season has led to a delay in the asparagus growing season, sending the <a href="http://www.thepacker.com/news/asparagus-prices-top-40-limited-supplies">prices past $40 a box</a>. You&rsquo;ll definitely see that cost brought to the customer in grocery chains, with prices above $1.20 per pound. And after June, almost all asparagus you find in your local shops will be coming from &mdash; you guessed it &mdash; Mexico. You won&rsquo;t only be paying double or more, but the asparagus will likely be lacking in that firm, snappy texture you get in asparagus grown during the right season.</p> <p>Instead: Buy frozen or wait until late March or early April to load up on asparagus.</p> <h2>5. Grapes</h2> <p>In season: July through November. America loves grapes, and American grape growers are fully aware of it! There are more varieties being developed all time time, but the most popular varieties such as Cotton Candy, Thompson, Princess, and Holiday seedless grapes keep going up in price. This especially true out of season, where grapes can cost as much as $4 per pound, depending on the region. And some speculate that prices will only increase due to demand.</p> <p>Instead: After November, try switching to citrus fruits as snacks &mdash; like oranges, blood oranges, and grapefruits.</p> <h2>General Tips</h2> <ul> <li>Buy frozen! Most frozen produce is not only as <a href="http://www.eatingwell.com/nutrition_health/nutrition_news_information/fresh_vs_frozen_vegetables_are_we_giving_up_nutrition_fo">nutritious as fresh produce</a>, but it can also be more nutritious than off-season produce.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Learn when which foods are in season with <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fresh-fruits-and-vegetables-by-the-month">this handy chart</a>.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Buy in-season from your local <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/buy-this-not-that-at-the-farmers-market">farmers market</a> and you won&rsquo;t fall for grocery chain trickery with off-season goods again.</li> </ul> <p><em>Do you avoid out-of-season fruits and vegetables?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amanda-meadows">Amanda Meadows</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-off-season-foods-that-are-destroying-your-grocery-budget">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-produce-workers-guide-to-choosing-fruits-and-vegetables">The Produce Worker&#039;s Guide to Choosing Fruits and Vegetables</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/buy-this-not-that-at-the-farmers-market">Buy This — Not That — at the Farmer&#039;s Market</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-a-farm-share-a-smart-buy-for-your-household">Is a Farm Share a Smart Buy for Your Household?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fresh-fruits-and-vegetables-by-the-month">Fresh Fruits and Vegetables, By the Month</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-easy-ways-to-stretch-your-grocery-dollars">20 Easy Ways to Stretch Your Grocery Dollars</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Shopping food budget food costs fruit groceries in-season off-season produce vegetables Fri, 26 Feb 2016 11:00:11 +0000 Amanda Meadows 1661856 at http://www.wisebread.com 20 Surprisingly Delicious Squash Recipes http://www.wisebread.com/20-surprisingly-delicious-squash-recipes <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/20-surprisingly-delicious-squash-recipes" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/squash_appetizers_000021285884.jpg" alt="Making surprisingly delicious squash recipes for dinner" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When I was a kid, squash came around once a year at Thanksgiving &mdash; baked, drizzled with maple syrup, and topped with butter. I have no complaints with that treatment, however, squashes are so healthy, versatile, and delicious that creative people keep coming up with new and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-thanksgiving-recipes-you-can-make-in-your-crock-pot">very unique recipes</a>. Here are 20 to try throughout the holiday season, and beyond.</p> <h2>Let's Give It a Nationality</h2> <p>First, let's chat about spaghetti squash. These are really fun to cook, but the trick is getting them cooked all the way through. My method: Split the squash in half, lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds with a spoon and discard. Put a tablespoon of water in each squash &quot;boat,&quot; cover with wax paper, and microwave on high for 18&ndash;20 minutes. Test with a fork and see if the strands lift easily. If not, microwave another five minutes or so. When it's done, &quot;fluff&quot; the strands with a fork. Then, try these toppings:</p> <h3>1. Mexican</h3> <p>Top with shredded chicken, Monterey Jack cheese, chiles, salsa, black beans, cilantro, and sour cream.</p> <h3>2. Italian</h3> <p>Top with cooked pork sausage, marinara, mozzarella cheese, sliced olives, and chopped parsley.</p> <h3>3. Mediterranean</h3> <p>Top with chopped artichoke hearts, feta cheese, chopped tomatoes, greek yogurt, and sliced green onions.</p> <h2>Let's Fry It</h2> <p>Everything taste better fried, even squash.</p> <h3>4. Squash Pancakes</h3> <p>The trick to these <a href="http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/crispy-summer-squash-pancakes">crispy squash pancakes </a>is to really squeeze the moisture out of the yellow squash. I have an old tea towel I use for just this purpose &mdash; bundle up the grated squash in the towel, and wring it out. As a variation, toss in some pepperjack cheese (half a cup) for extra spiciness and creamy texture.</p> <h3>5. Fried Zucchini</h3> <p>Got any obnoxiously large zucchini? Perfect. Here is what my mother-in-law did with those: Wash, pat dry, and slice into &frac14; inch pieces. Dip in egg wash, then dip in crushed cracker crumbs. Fry in butter.</p> <h3>6. Squash and Chickpea Patties</h3> <p>I think these <a href="http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/chickpea-pancakes-with-leeks-squash-and-yogurt">chickpea pancakes</a> with leeks, squash, and yogurt make an absolutely great breakfast. I make them in batches and refrigerate. When I get to the office, I just zap in the microwave. Chickpea flour is high in folate and protein (higher than whole wheat, even).</p> <h2>Let's Puree It</h2> <p>Butternut or kabocha squash puree very easily. I prefer the microwave method, but if you'd rather oven-bake, heat your oven to 400 F. Halve the squash and place cut-side down on oiled aluminum foil, then bake for about 30 minutes. Check for tenderness &mdash; it should be &quot;scoopable.&quot; If not, keep baking. When it is tender, remove from the oven, cool until you can handle it, and then scoop out the cooked squash into a large bowl and mash. Once cool, refrigerate or freeze for future use.</p> <h3>7. Butternut Squash Dinner Rolls</h3> <p>If you are a fellow carb-lover, your must try these <a href="http://ourlifetastesgood.blogspot.com/2014/09/butternut-squash-dinner-rolls.html#_a5y_p=2475692">butternut squash dinner rolls</a>. The squash puree keeps the rolls very moist (think of potato rolls or potato bread). As the author mentions, you get the added benefit of a little vitamin C. If you prefer to use wheat flour, I'd recommend wheat <em>pastry</em> flour.</p> <h3>8. Butternut Squash Pizza</h3> <p>This <a href="http://naturallyella.com/butternut-squash-puree-and-blue-cheese-pizza/">butternut squash pizza</a> is very autumnal, and I am thinking that sliced into very thin pieces, it would be a great appetizer for a holiday feast. I think I will add some chopped pecans on top.</p> <h3>9. Squash Muffins</h3> <p>Butternut as breakfast? Sure! Check out these <a href="http://allrecipes.com/recipe/33093/spiced-butternut-squash-muffins/">spiced butternut squash muffins</a>. Bake on a Sunday, and reheat for breakfast. A handful or raisins or (naughtier) chocolate chips in the batter are a nice variation. They also freeze very well, if you want to make a double batch.</p> <h3>10. Squash Cookies</h3> <p>If you like your sweets with hidden benefits, check out these soft <a href="http://www.recipetips.com/recipe-cards/t--1959/squash-cookies.asp">squash cookies.</a> If you aren't a fan of raisins and nuts, you might prefer <a href="http://makethebestofeverything.com/2014/03/squash-and-dark-chocolate-chip-cookies.html">squash and dark chocolate chip cookies</a>. (This does use baby food instead of homemade puree, which is another option.)</p> <h2>Let's Put it in a Casserole</h2> <p>One dish dinners are so easy, and so warming when it's chilly out.</p> <h3>11. Squash Casserole</h3> <p>I'll tell you right now: This classic Southern <a href="http://addapinch.com/cooking/squash-casserole-recipe/#.UjMUgZxsBBx">squash casserole</a> is the best of the bunch, because the topping is made with Ritz crackers. Magical things happen when recipes combine Ritz crackers, butter, and cheese. Please don't stop at the topping, though, because the squash below is also absolutely delicious. The cayenne pepper gives it a little &quot;zip,&quot; so don't even consider leaving it out.</p> <h3>12. Black Bean and Squash Enchilada Casserole</h3> <p>Running close behind the Ritz cracker squash casserole is this black bean and butternut squash <a href="http://juliasalbum.com/2014/11/black-bean-and-butternut-squash-enchilada-casserole-recipe/">enchilada casserole</a>. If you like Mexican food, this one is for you. If you don't, it might convert you. Yes, it's vegetarian, but you can easily toss in a cup or two of cooked, shredded chicken breast.</p> <h3>13. Vegetable Tian</h3> <p>By far the prettiest, most appetizing use of yellow and zucchini squashes is this <a href="http://www.budgetbytes.com/2011/08/summer-vegetable-tian/">vegetable tian</a>. (&quot;Tian&quot; refers to vegetables that are chopped, cooked in olive oil, and then baked with cheeses on top.) Leftovers, if you have any, are really nice with scrambled eggs the next morning.</p> <h2>Let's Stuff It</h2> <p>Once you scoop the seeds out of the middle, you're left with a void that needs filling. Delicious filling.</p> <h3>14. Patty Pans With Bacon and Eggs</h3> <p>Patty pan squashes can be hard to find, and cooking them can be a little intimidating. (It's the weird shape.) While you can easily slice and cook patty pans just like zucchini or yellow squash, it's more fun to stuff them (especially with <a href="http://ketodietapp.com/Blog/post/2015/09/15/bacon-and-egg-stuffed-pattypan-squash">bacon and eggs</a>). These are also low-carb..</p> <h3>15. Sausage-Stuffed Zucchini</h3> <p>This <a href="http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/italian-sausage-stuffed-zucchini">Italian sausage-stuffed zucchini</a> is easy and versatile. You can switch up the meats (hamburger, pork sausage, etc.). I like that it serves six; that guarantees lunch leftovers or a night of no cooking!</p> <h3>16. Acorn Squash With Mushrooms and Rice</h3> <p>One of my cousins, who is a vegetarian, makes these stuffed <a href="http://www.marthastewart.com/946769/acorn-squash-stuffed-mushrooms-and-rice">acorn squashes with mushrooms and rice</a> each year at Thanksgiving. As the recipe notes, they also make a great &quot;Meatless Monday&quot; entree. She uses wild rice instead of long-grain white rice; I think that gives them a very nutty flavor, which is even better.</p> <h2>Let's Roast It</h2> <p>Roasting, like frying, makes everything delicious, especially vegetables. (How about roasted, then fried?)</p> <h3>17. Roasted Butternut Squash</h3> <p>Even people who are picky about vegetables, I have found, tend to like them roasted. <a href="http://allrecipes.com/recipe/229733/simple-roasted-butternut-squash/">Roasted butternut squash</a> makes a sweet and simple side dish. You can also toss it with pasta, tuck it into wraps, or add it to rice.</p> <h3>18. Roasted Zucchini, Squash, and Tomatoes</h3> <p>This recipe for roasted garlic-Parmesan <a href="http://www.cookingclassy.com/2015/07/roasted-garlic-parmesan-zucchini-squash-and-tomatoes/">zucchini, squash, and tomatoes</a> is a keeper. Again, great on its own, but pair it with some whole wheat pasta... wow.</p> <h3>19. Roasted Delicata Salad</h3> <p>Lest you think squash dishes are always heavy, have a look at this beautiful <a href="http://cookieandkate.com/2013/roasted-delicata-squash-pomegranate-arugula-salad/">delicata, pomegranate, and arugula salad</a>. It honestly gave me pause about making a turkey for Thanksgiving. Can we just have this and some nice rolls?</p> <h3>20. Warm Butternut and Chickpea Salad</h3> <p>Another beautiful salad &mdash; this time a warm <a href="http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2009/01/warm-butternut-squash-and-chickpea-salad/">butternut squash and chickpea</a> version. Kabocha also works well in place of the butternut.</p> <p><em>Have any unique squash recipes to share?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/marla-walters">Marla Walters</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-surprisingly-delicious-squash-recipes">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/31-delicious-ways-to-enjoy-your-summer-veggies">31 Delicious Ways to Enjoy Your Summer Veggies</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-grilled-veggie-dishes-that-hold-their-own-with-meat">15 Grilled Veggie Dishes That Hold Their Own With Meat</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-a-farm-share-a-smart-buy-for-your-household">Is a Farm Share a Smart Buy for Your Household?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-delicious-ways-to-prepare-a-humble-head-of-cabbage">15 Delicious Ways to Prepare a Humble Head of Cabbage</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-thanksgiving-recipes-you-can-make-in-your-crock-pot">11 Thanksgiving Recipes You Can Make in Your Crock Pot</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink healthy recipes squash Thanksgiving vegetables Wed, 02 Dec 2015 10:01:11 +0000 Marla Walters 1617394 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Fall Groceries to Add to Your List ASAP http://www.wisebread.com/9-fall-groceries-to-add-to-your-list-asap <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-fall-groceries-to-add-to-your-list-asap" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_cooking_pumpkin_000057836612.jpg" alt="Woman adding fall groceries to her list ASAP" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Want to steep your belly in autumnal goodness? Buy seasonal produce and cook hearty, healthy meals. Here are some tips on how to fall-ify your grocery list and enjoy the harvest. The best part? Most of these produce items stay fresh for weeks and weeks! (Related: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-fruits-and-veggies-that-stay-fresh-a-month-or-longer?ref=seealso">10 Fruits and Vegetables That Stay Fresh a Month or Longer</a>)</p> <h2>1. Squash</h2> <p>A quick walk around the farmers market will have you feasting your eyes on butternut, acorn, hubbard, spaghetti, and all other types of squashes. These guys aren't purely ornamental, though they do make great decorations. And don't let their tough exterior fool you, once you cut, peel, cube, and roast, the inner flesh is soft and delectable.</p> <p>Try using butternut squash in this copycat <a href="http://cincyshopper.com/copycat-panera-autumn-squash-soup-recipe/">Panera autumn squash soup</a> recipe. After you roast the squash, you'll blend it with vegetable broth, apple cider, heavy cream, and a variety of spices for kick. If you're cooking for one, try freezing extra portions to enjoy throughout the season.</p> <h2>2. Canned Pumpkin</h2> <p>Canned pumpkin has a special place in my heart. If you don't have time to fuss with cooking pumpkin from square one, you'll be happy to learn that canned actually contains an equally strong dose of <a href="http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/expert-answers/pumpkin/faq-20058106">vitamin A, potassium, and iron</a>. Stir it into soups, make a pie, or even eat it plain.</p> <p>My favorite canned pumpkin recipe is for vegetarian <a href="http://www.neverhomemaker.com/2010/10/new-and-improved-pumpkin-chili-recipe.html">smoked pumpkin chili</a>. Theses instructions are for cooking on your stovetop, but now I actually sauté the garlic and onions before putting everything in a Crock-Pot to simmer for three or more hours on high. Serve with buttermilk or corn biscuits and shredded cheese.</p> <h2>3. Apples</h2> <p>For a nearly free fall activity, go apple picking. (Or if you're lazy, pick up some local apples at the farmers market or grocery store.) With so many varieties, you cannot get bored. You can use apples in both sweet and savory dishes. I often leave the peels on for extra fiber and texture.</p> <p>I recently made this <a href="http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/country-apple-galette">apple galette</a> with my daughter. It's like a rustic apple pie and has tons of charm. You'll create a quick crust and chill it while you slice your apples. Then roll it out, stuff, and bake to browned perfection.</p> <h2>4. Pears</h2> <p>Don't forget pears! These power-packed fruits are full of vitamin C, potassium, and all sorts of fall deliciousness. To keep them from spoiling too quickly, try storing them with some space between each fruit. Once they're ripe, you can extend their freshness for a few days by putting them in the fridge. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fridge-or-counter-where-to-store-fruit-for-best-flavor?ref=seealso">Fridge or Counter? Where to Store Fruit for Best Flavor</a>)</p> <p>The author of this <a href="http://www.gimmesomeoven.com/easy-pear-butter-recipe/">pear butter</a> recipe boasts that it can be ready in just one hour. You'll stir together cubed pears, honey, spices, and lemon juice before cooking the mixture down. Then blend it in your food processor before slathering the butter onto everything in sight.</p> <h2>5. Cauliflower</h2> <p>In recent years, cruciferous cauliflower has seen a huge resurgence in popularity. It also happens to be a fall food staple. If you're into gardening, try planting cauliflower for autumn harvest next year. They stand up well to frost and taste great. (Related: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-easy-ways-to-prep-your-garden-for-winter?ref=seealso">10 Easy Ways to Prep Your Garden for Winter</a>)</p> <p>Here's a wonderful <a href="http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipe/mashed-cauliflower">mashed cauliflower</a> recipe to serve at your Thanksgiving table this year. You'll boil the head until it's tender and then season with salt and pepper before mashing or pureeing until smooth. I always add some herbs for extra flavor. You can use this cauliflower mash in other recipes that call for purees.</p> <h2>6. Carrots</h2> <p>Though carrots are ripe in spring and appear on menus much earlier in the year, they also do well in fall weather. You can always eat them raw atop salads or dunk them into dips and dressings. Another root vegetable, parsnips, is closely related to carrots and can be use in similar dishes.</p> <p>These <a href="http://pinkrecipebox.com/the-most-amazing-honey-glazed-carrots-and-parsnips/">honey glazed parsnips and carrots</a> make a robust side dish with any meal. Just chop carrots and parsnips (the instructions say to peel, but I skip that step). Place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and drizzle with honey, olive oil, thyme, salt, and pepper. Then bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit until golden.</p> <h2>7. Potatoes</h2> <p>Potatoes are one of the longest lasting veggies in your pantry. There are many types from which to choose. If after a few weeks your potatoes are soft or accumulating small growths, transfer them to your refrigerator. They may taste sweeter or darken when cooked after being chilled, but they're typically fine to eat.</p> <p>This <a href="http://www.thekitchn.com/slowcooker-recipe-curried-vegetable-and-chickpea-stew-recipes-from-the-kitchn-67520">curried vegetable and chickpea stew</a> recipe calls for either red or yellow potatoes. I think sweet potatoes would make a wonderful match as well. You'll combine all the ingredients &mdash; cauliflower, potatoes, chickpeas, peppers, curry powder, coconut milk, and more &mdash; in your slow cooker. Then simmer for four hours on high.</p> <h2>8. Spices</h2> <p>Adding warmth and depth to a dish is all in the spices you use. Try experimenting with cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, allspice, and more. Remember that a little goes a long way. You can always add more of a spice, but taking the flavor away becomes difficult when too much is dumped in at once.</p> <p><a href="http://www.kitchentreaty.com/slow-cooker-hot-spiced-apple-cider/">Mulled cider</a> is a classic &mdash; and you can make it in your Crock-Pot! Pour cider into your pot, then add cinnamon sticks and an orange covered in cloves. Cook on low for four hours before serving.</p> <h2>9. Herbs</h2> <p>The heartier varieties of herbs are plentiful in fall, including sage, thyme, parsley, and rosemary. You can always pick them up at the store or market, but consider keeping some of your own plants at home. Established plantings of rosemary and sage, for example, can actually <a href="http://www.motherearthliving.com/gardening/guide-fresh-herbs-year-round.aspx?PageId=2">withstand cold weather</a>. They also do well in pots indoors.</p> <p>Try combining all these flavors in a <a href="http://www.savoringthethyme.com/2012/12/homemade-christmas-gift-idea-savory-compound-butter-recipe-with-sage-rosemary-thyme-lemon/">compound butter</a> that spreads beautifully onto anything from steaks to toast. Simply mash butter together with the herbs and seasonings. Then wrap in wax paper and chill for at least one hour.</p> <p><em>What are your favorite fall veggies and flavors?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-fall-groceries-to-add-to-your-list-asap">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-easy-and-delicious-ways-to-enjoy-apples">18 Easy and Delicious Ways to Enjoy Apples</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fresh-fruits-and-vegetables-by-the-month">Fresh Fruits and Vegetables, By the Month</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-delicious-ways-to-prepare-a-humble-head-of-cabbage">15 Delicious Ways to Prepare a Humble Head of Cabbage</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-off-season-foods-that-are-destroying-your-grocery-budget">5 Off-Season Foods That Are Destroying Your Grocery Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-84-reasons-to-be-done-with-summer-and-get-excited-for-fall">Flashback Friday: 84 Reasons to Be Done With Summer and Get Excited for Fall</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink autumn fall fall meals groceries healthy dishes recipes vegetables Mon, 05 Oct 2015 15:00:35 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1576264 at http://www.wisebread.com 20 Ways to Eat Paleo for Super Cheap http://www.wisebread.com/20-ways-to-eat-paleo-for-super-cheap <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/20-ways-to-eat-paleo-for-super-cheap" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/happy_woman_gardening_000029690376.jpg" alt="Woman learning how to eat paleo for super cheap" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>For many people, a high protein, low carbohydrate (AKA paleo) diet results in better nutrition and weight loss. However, since <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/thinking-of-going-on-a-diet-heres-how-to-figure-out-which-one-is-right-for-you">paleo diets</a> are more reliant on meat and exclude inexpensive staple foods such as grains, beans, and root vegetables, they can be costly. Luckily, there are a number of ways to cut the grocery bill and eat paleo at the same time.</p> <h2>1. Eat Adventurously</h2> <p>Honestly, if you are going to be preachy about paleo, then you better be eating bugs. That's really how our Paleolithic ancestors got much of their protein. They weren't eating bacon. In fact, 80% of the world's population <a href="http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/bugs-for-dinner/">still eats insects</a> as a regular part of their diet because they are, in a word, delicious. Seriously, tarantula tastes like crab. Personally, I crave cricket tacos, but bug purists Angelina Jolie and Salma Hayek forgo the tortilla and eat them straight like potato chips.</p> <p>Bugs are also an excellent source of cheap protein. For example, crickets are a complete protein, have twice the amount of B12, and 60% less saturated fat than ground beef.</p> <p>And, unlike beef, pork, or poultry, bugs have a much lower risk of transferring disease to humans. They epitomize clean eating. (The only caveat to eating bugs: Because they are close cousins to shellfish, people with shellfish allergies should not eat insects, even in larval form.)</p> <p>If you are too squeamish to try one of the 1700 different edible bugs, then try finding exotic recipes for unloved animal parts such as liver, tripe, or feet. Although I hate liver and onions, I love liver pâté. Liver is rich in iron, copper, and vitamin A. If you have ever eaten a McRib sandwich you've already eaten tripe, so you might as well enjoy the far superior <a href="http://www.food.com/recipe/tripe-florentine-455135">Florentine recipe</a>. Since I am one of those people who believe the skin is the best part of roasted poultry, I am a crazy fan of duck and chicken feet as they are 100% chewy yumminess.</p> <h2>2. Buy the Unfashionable Cuts of Meat</h2> <p>One of the reasons to make friends with your butcher is preparation advice. Cheap cuts of meat like neck bones or chicken feet are cheap for a reason &mdash; the average American doesn't know how to cook them. Good butchers can tell you how to cook everything from pigs' knuckles to oxtail for optimal flavor and texture.</p> <h2>3. Don't Waste Food</h2> <p>This seems like a no-brainer, but Americans throw away 30% of their food each year. Use your bones for stock. Leftover bacon grease makes anything fried in it taste that much better. Use wilted vegetables and leftovers to make <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/thursday-night-soup-delicious-soup-from-leftovers">Thursday Night Soup</a>.</p> <h2>4. Grow Your Own</h2> <p>Did you know that you can <a href="http://www.snapgardens.org/">buy seeds</a> and food plants with SNAP EBT benefits (food stamps)? So, even if you are on the barest of food budgets, you can supplement your diet with your own organic produce.</p> <h2>5. Create a Food Cooperative With Your Neighbors</h2> <p>It's very hard to grow all your own food. However, if you grow food communally, it is very easy to produce a huge amount of food that can be shared between neighbors. Your block only needs one <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/gadzukes-10-ways-to-use-up-your-zucchini-bounty">zucchini plant</a>. Trust me on this.</p> <p>Even if your entire neighborhood has black thumbs, consider joining forces to buy staple goods like nuts or olive oil in bulk to save money. You could even buy an entire cow to split with your friends.</p> <h2>6. Join a CSA (Community-Supported Agriculture) Program</h2> <p>A CSA is a subscription service for locally produced food. Some CSAs even offer meat, dairy, and other specialty items like honey.</p> <h2>7. Barter for Food</h2> <p>Since I am a beekeeper and an experienced food preserver, I use food in jars as currency. I have been working for the last few years to build a barter economy in my neighborhood. My goal is to procure 50% of my food through barter. While I love to get cold, hard cash for my products, I trade honey and jam for free-range chickens, ducks, and eggs with a local poultry farmer. (Both of us think we are getting the better deal.)</p> <p>But don't think you have to be a gardener to barter for food. Babysitting, home repair, and car trips to the airport are all excellent barter currencies. Recently I crocheted legwarmers for a friend in return for five pounds of hand-shelled pecans and five pounds of soap nuts for laundry.</p> <h2>8. Make Friends With Your Local Food Producers</h2> <p>I never ever have to pay for fertilizer for my garden. My friend the poultry farmer drops off bags of chemical-free chicken manure for me whenever I want. While having your own personal poop fairy isn't thrilling to anyone who doesn't garden, I also get a ton of food that is perfect for eating but won't sell at the farmer's market from farmer friends. Bruised fruit can be pureed into juice, frozen for sorbet or cooking, or turned into preserves.</p> <h2>9. Go Late to the Farmers Market</h2> <p>If you aren't pining for that one special thing that always sells out early, then go to the farmers market at the end of the day. Even Los Angeles-based farmers who go to a different neighborhood market every day still end up throwing away a lot of food that won't last another day, is bruised, or is otherwise not worth the gas money to transport it to the next location. Usually, they are happy to give you a good deal on produce that won't last another day.</p> <h2>10. Shop More Often</h2> <p>Americans tend to bulk buy more than Europeans. As a result, our refrigerators are much larger and we tend to waste more food. Unless you have a huge family, you will not be able to eat through 22 cubic feet of food before it goes bad. Also, if you shop several times a week, you will have a better chance of getting produce that hasn't been sitting around for six days in the store, and getting deals in the meat and deli departments on food that is just hitting it's expiry date. It doesn't matter if the sell by date on the bacon is tomorrow if you are cooking it tonight.</p> <h2>11. Use Coupons</h2> <p>Contrary to popular belief, it is possible to find coupons for meat and produce. Even if you live in an area where stores don't accept coupons, most stores have weekly sales. If something you can buy in bulk to use later is sold out, be sure and ask for a rain check. In exchange for letting Vons Grocery track my purchases, as a member of VonsClub I get discounts and personalized sales on produce year around. Just like shopping in season, I match my recipes to my purchases, rather than shopping for specific ingredients to match a recipe. I use the recipe calculator at Epicurious to match recipes to the ingredients I have on hand.</p> <h2>12. Hunt or Forage</h2> <p>Even if guns scare you and you can't see yourself ever becoming a proficient archer, you can still hunt and gather like your paleo ancestors.</p> <p>I grew up in the Pacific Northwest and learned how to forage for chanterelle mushrooms as a kid. It was a super-fun kid activity because it is, after all, the foodie version of a treasure hunt. To prevent poisoning, I recommend going on a <a href="http://www.lamushrooms.org/LAMS-forays.html">guided hunt</a> with an experienced mushroom hunter first before setting out on your own.</p> <p>Every March I enjoy weeding my garden because that is when I harvest all the lamb's quarters, nettles, cresses, and dandelions for salad greens. It is so satisfying to eat the enemy.</p> <h2>13. Glean</h2> <p>Every year I post a want ad on my local Freecycle group asking for surplus backyard produce. And every year I receive, at minimum, 2000 pounds of free, organic, fruit. It's human nature to hate food waste, so people are thrilled to have me take their fruit off their hands. Some communities, like Los Angeles, have food laws that make any fruit growing in parks or hanging over public land (like the sidewalk or the street) fair game for urban foragers.</p> <p>Frankly, I always like to ask before I pick, because generally the owner of the tree will give me more from their &quot;private&quot; stock. I always hit up real estate agents for leads on free fruit. Fallen fruit attracts vermin, which is something that no potential home buyer wants to see while at an open house tour. Real estate agents will call me when they want a tree picked clean.</p> <h2>14. Eat Less, Drink More</h2> <p>Americans are so bad at staying hydrated, that often times we <a href="http://dcp.psc.gov/ccbulletin/articles/fitforduty_050607.htm">mistake thirst for hunger</a>. Are you feeling hungry between meals? Try drinking a glass of water instead of eating a snack. If you still feel hungry ten minutes later, have that snack. I am surprised by how much less I eat, when I drink 10 glasses of water a day.</p> <h2>15. Buy In-Season Produce</h2> <p>Buying in-season produce not only saves money but also the environment. Out of season produce is often grown thousands of miles away and shipping adds a heavy carbon footprint to food that shouldn't be environmentally taxing. Also, the longer the interval between picking and eating, the more the <a href="http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/05/27/really-the-claim-fresh-produce-has-more-nutrients-than-canned/">produce degrades nutritionally</a>.</p> <h2>16. Buy Canned or Frozen Produce</h2> <p>Studies show that canned and frozen fruits and vegetables have the <a href="http://ucce.ucdavis.edu/files/datastore/234-779.pdf">same nutritional value</a> as fresh produce (providing they are free of added salt and sugar). So if it is less expensive to purchase frozen or canned produce in your area, this is a good way to stretch your grocery budget.</p> <h2>17. Conventionally Grown Produce is Still Better Than None</h2> <p>If you live in an area where organic food is difficult to procure, or expensive, don't throw in the towel on eating healthy. Eating factory farm-to-table is still a healthier option than eating packaged food. Having an all-or-nothing attitude makes every new habit into an odious chore.</p> <p>Also note that organic certification is incredibly expensive, so there are thousands of small-scale food producers across the nation growing chemical-free and non-GMO food who cannot afford the official stamp of approval. For example, I procure the majority of my organic produce that I turn into jam and pickles from backyard orchardists and gardeners who use no pesticides. Ironically, as a treatment-free, urban beekeeper, my bees are exposed to a lower pesticide load in the city than bees that pollinate commercial agriculture! However, none of my food product can be sold in the &quot;organic&quot; part of my local farmers market because I lack certification.</p> <h2>18. Eat More Eggs</h2> <p>One of my clients who I cook for has Ankylosing Spondylitis, an autoimmune disease that causes chronic pain and inflammation. He gets pain relief from an extreme starch-free diet. Although he eats more than two dozen eggs per week, his bad cholesterol levels have dropped since he went on a no-starch diet. He attributes this to the fact that he's eating more vegetables and lean meats than ever before. This is anecdotal, but it's worth testing for others who are looking for a less expensive protein source. Please note that organic eggs from free-range chickens have almost three times the amount of omega-3 and twice the amount of vitamin E as eggs from conventionally kept chickens.</p> <h2>19. Eat More Carbs</h2> <p>I know. I said the C-word. But any diet should focus on nutrition, and not make you pathological about food. There are many people who forgo grains but eat starchy root vegetables who still get the same positive effects on their health. Use common sense. Substituting bacon and steak for bananas and brown rice in your diet and thinking this is solid nutrition is crazy.</p> <h2>20. Be a Part-Time Paleo</h2> <p>I am a weekend carnivore. I eat vegetarian five days per week and reserve meat consumption for dinners out with friends or special occasions. This saves me a huge amount of money on groceries and is much better for the planet. Better eating once a week is better than never. It takes most people time to build up a pantry stocked with high quality food. It might take you a year of careful shopping to build up your budget and pantry, so if you can't go 100% paleo right now, cut yourself some slack.</p> <p><em>Are you eating a paleo diet? What do you do to save on groceries? Please share with your fellow readers in the comments section. </em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/max-wong">Max Wong</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-ways-to-eat-paleo-for-super-cheap">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-stay-on-budget-while-eating-paleo">How to Stay on Budget While Eating Paleo</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fresh-fruits-and-vegetables-by-the-month">Fresh Fruits and Vegetables, By the Month</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-off-season-foods-that-are-destroying-your-grocery-budget">5 Off-Season Foods That Are Destroying Your Grocery Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-fall-groceries-to-add-to-your-list-asap">9 Fall Groceries to Add to Your List ASAP</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-surprisingly-delicious-squash-recipes">20 Surprisingly Delicious Squash Recipes</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink fruits groceries healthy meat paleo paleolithic diet vegetables Wed, 19 Aug 2015 21:00:27 +0000 Max Wong 1524599 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Easy Ways to Preserve Your Early Harvest http://www.wisebread.com/7-easy-ways-to-preserve-your-early-harvest <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-easy-ways-to-preserve-your-early-harvest" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/frozen_blueberries_000063853591.jpg" alt="Learning how to preserve your early harvest" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The weather is warm, the days are long, and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/31-delicious-ways-to-enjoy-your-summer-veggies">fresh veggies</a> and fruits abound. Summertime is still in full swing and can feel blissfully endless. Unfortunately, cold weather will return before you know it, leaving you longing for these summer days. One way to prolong the season is to preserve its vibrant produce while at its peak. If you're not into canning &mdash; it can be involved and requires some special equipment &mdash; there are a surprising number of easy alternatives. Read on for seven methods for storing up tomatoes, berries, stone fruit, cucumbers, and the rest of summer's bounty.</p> <h2>1. Freezing</h2> <p>There's a good reason why freezing fresh foods is the tried and true method for preserving (beyond canning). When done right, you can really seal in the freshness, and have a taste of summer months after pool-worthy weather is gone. But in order to achieve ultimate flavor and texture, you need to follow a few freezing rules.</p> <p>Smaller veggies like corn and peas can be frozen whole, while bigger items should be chopped up into smaller pieces. Quick blanch them first, ending with an ice bath, and then freeze them. For mushy veggies like tomatoes, cook them first &mdash; a marinara sauce will do nicely &mdash; and then freeze. Fruits like berries don't need to be blanched, and can be frozen right away. No matter what you decide to preserve, be sure to freeze at the peak of freshness for the best results.</p> <p>Frozen fruits and veggies will last eight to 12 months in a 0℉ freezer.</p> <h2>2. Quick Pickles</h2> <p>You don't have to be a canning whiz or own a bunch of equipment to enjoy flavorful, homemade pickles. The <a href="http://toriavey.com/toris-kitchen/2013/08/quick-pickles/">quick pickling method</a> is as simple as combining spices and aromatics in a jar, shoving in some summer-fresh cucumbers, boiling a water and vinegar mixture, and pouring it on top. After the pickles come to room temperature, they are stashed in the fridge and ready to eat in 48 hours. They'll last for two months in there &mdash; if you don't eat them long before then. You can use a variation of this technique for a number of pickled treats, like jalapeños and red onions.</p> <h2>3. Drying</h2> <p>Did you know that you can make delicious, high quality dried fruit without a bulky dehydrator? Small fruits like cranberries, cherries, blueberries, and more can be dehydrated with your oven and no special equipment. In a few hours and no hard work, you'll have a tray full of chewy and <a href="http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-dry-fruit-in-the-oven-92637">flavorful dried fruit</a>. With a longer drying time and a few more steps, you can <a href="http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/foodnut/09309.html">dry just about anything</a>, from peaches to strawberries. It's a great way to enjoy the flavors of summer fruit for months after they're in season, and it makes a really tasty snack.</p> <h2>4. Fruit Shrubs</h2> <p>Shrubs &mdash; not the leafy green variety, but the vinegar and fruit variety &mdash; are making a real comeback. They've been used throughout history as a way of preserving fruit. Now they're back in fashion as a refreshing addition to a drink or cocktail. The fruit mingles with sugar to make a sweet and flavorful syrup, and vinegar is added to preserve as well as give a tangy kick. <a href="http://drinks.seriouseats.com/2011/06/cocktail-101-how-to-make-shrub-syrups.html">Shrub syrup</a> will keep in the fridge for some time, and is great mixed with tonic, seltzer, or used as a cocktail mixer. Use different fruits to make different flavors, and line your refrigerator shelves with jars of colorful liquids for a taste of summer fruit in the dead of winter.</p> <h2>5. Flavored Oils</h2> <p>Summertime not only brings a bounty of fruit and veggies, it's also the season for vibrant fresh herbs like basil. Delicate greens like cilantro, basil, and parsley can be hard to preserve without losing their color and flavor. One way to successfully capture their fresh flavor is to <a href="http://www.epicurious.com/archive/holidays/hanukkah/flavored-oils">infuse olive oil</a>. Not only is it easy and will add tasty, herby notes to your oil, it will last for months, and you can mix and match flavors to your heart's content. Imagine drizzling green basil oil over crostini or pasta in the middle of January. You'll be transported to a warm summer day in a snap.</p> <h2>6. Compound Butters</h2> <p>Another totally delicious way to preserve bountiful summer herbs is by making <a href="http://www.browneyedbaker.com/how-to-make-compound-butter/">compound butter</a>. It's as simple as chopping clean, fresh herbs, mixing them into softened butter, shaping the mixture into a log, and chilling. It's simply delicious on bread, melted over steak, or cooked with a vegetable saute. You can use whatever herbs you like, and add in other spices or flavorings. Best of all, the whole wrapped log can be dropped into a freezer bag and frozen for several months.</p> <h2>7. Sauces</h2> <p>We hinted at this in the freezing section, but a great way to preserve some summer produce is by cooking it first and then freezing or jarring it. Tomatoes are an excellent example. Cook up a big batch of your favorite <a href="http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2010/08/fresh-tomato-sauce/">marinara sauce</a> and freeze it in freezer bag servings. When you're ready to make pasta, just defrost a bag and heat through.</p> <p>If you've got more tomatoes than you know what to do with, cook them down into flavor-packed <a href="http://www.thekitchn.com/got-tomatoes-make-tomato-paste-92856">tomato paste</a> and freeze in small servings to flavor soups, sauces, and more. You can even slow-roast slices of tomato and pack them in olive oil to store in the fridge for a month or so. The sweet <a href="http://www.simplebites.net/slow-roasted-cherry-tomatoes-a-simple-summer-appetizer/">roasted tomatoes</a> make a great pizza topping or appetizer.</p> <p><em>How do you preserve your garden's production without canning?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/laurel-randolph">Laurel Randolph</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-easy-ways-to-preserve-your-early-harvest">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-12-best-ways-to-use-up-your-summer-tomatoes">The 12 Best Ways to Use Up Your Summer Tomatoes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fresh-fruits-and-vegetables-by-the-month">Fresh Fruits and Vegetables, By the Month</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/beat-the-heat-with-cool-summer-meals">Beat the heat with cool summer meals</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-ways-to-eat-paleo-for-super-cheap">20 Ways to Eat Paleo for Super Cheap</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-decorative-plants-you-can-eat-too">6 Decorative Plants You Can Eat, Too</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink freezing fruits harvest herbs pickling preserving sauces summer vegetables Thu, 13 Aug 2015 15:00:36 +0000 Laurel Randolph 1518287 at http://www.wisebread.com 31 Delicious Ways to Enjoy Your Summer Veggies http://www.wisebread.com/31-delicious-ways-to-enjoy-your-summer-veggies <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/31-delicious-ways-to-enjoy-your-summer-veggies" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_cutting_vegetables_000068101241.jpg" alt="Woman learning delicious ways t enjoy summer veggies" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Summer doesn't just bring fun and sun, it also brings a bounty of fresh veggies like corn, tomatoes, and squash. It's arguably the best time of year for <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-grilled-veggie-dishes-that-hold-their-own-with-meat">vegetable lovers</a>, and it'd be a crying shame if you didn't take full advantage of it. The following 31 recipes should get you started!</p> <h2>Tomatoes</h2> <p>Tomatoes are far and away at their best this time of year, so this is the time to really enjoy them. Look for bright red, ripe fruits, or seek out especially tasty heirloom varieties.</p> <h3>1. Watermelon and Heirloom Tomato Salad</h3> <p>Combine two of summer's favorite fruits &mdash; <a href="http://www.veganfamilyrecipes.com/2014/08/watermelon-heirloom-tomato-salad.html">watermelon and heirloom tomatoes</a> &mdash; into one sweet and savory salad that's really simple to make.</p> <h3>2. Fresh Tomato Sauce</h3> <p>Snatch up as many fresh tomatoes as you can while they're in season, and make a big batch of <a href="http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2010/08/fresh-tomato-sauce/">fresh tomato sauce</a>. Freeze or can it for a taste of summer all year long.</p> <h3>3. Grilled Tomato Gazpacho</h3> <p>Showcase tomatoes in all their glory by making an easy <a href="http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/grilled_tomato_gazpacho.html">gazpacho soup</a>. The chilled dish is a great way to beat the summer heat.</p> <h3>4. Heirloom Tomato and Avocado Salad</h3> <p>Celebrate the pure flavor of heirloom tomatoes in this satisfying <a href="http://www.loveandlemons.com/2013/08/15/heirloom-tomato-avocado-chickpea-salad/">tomato and avocado salad</a> that won't weigh you down. Orzo and chickpeas add heft, and fresh tomatoes, arugula, and basil keep it seasonal and light.</p> <h2>Squash</h2> <p>Summer squash is yellow and can be crook-necked or straight like a zucchini. They'll last for up to a week in the fridge.</p> <h3>5. Grilled Summer Squash Boats</h3> <p>Gluten free and vegetarian, this recipe is healthy and quick enough for a weeknight meal. Other summer produce like tomatoes, basil, and bell pepper are stuffed into <a href="http://www.healthyseasonalrecipes.com/grilled-summer-squash-boats/">grilled squash boats</a> and topped with melty cheese.</p> <h3>6. Penne With Grilled Summer Squash and Sweet Corn</h3> <p>Smoky grilled squash, sweet corn, and fresh tomato combine with penne and ricotta cheese for a <a href="http://www.rachaelraymag.com/recipes/rachael-ray-magazine-recipe-search/dinner-recipes/penne-with-grilled-summer-squash-and-sweet-corn">summery pasta dish</a>.</p> <h3>7. Ridiculously Easy Roasted Yellow Squash</h3> <p>Sometimes simple is best. An easy side dish of <a href="http://blog.fatfreevegan.com/2009/08/ridiculously-easy-roasted-yellow-squash.html">roasted yellow squash</a> and onions brings out their natural sweetness, and pairs well with meat or other veggies.</p> <h2>Zucchini</h2> <p>This green vegetable is everywhere this time of year, and is especially versatile. Use it for bread, as a side dish, as noodles, and more.</p> <h3>8. Zucchini Noodles and Grilled Shrimp</h3> <p>Ditch the pasta and replace it with strands of tender zucchini for a light summer meal. Combined with grilled shrimp and pesto, this <a href="http://whatsgabycooking.com/zucchini-noodles-grilled-shrimp/">zucchini noodle dish</a> hits at the right notes.</p> <h3>9. Sautéed Zucchini</h3> <p>A great way to prepare zucchini is by simply sautéing it in oil and adding a sprinkle of parmesan cheese. Serve <a href="http://www.chow.com/recipes/29698-sauteed-zucchini">sautéed zucchini</a> with chicken or pork.</p> <h3>10. Healthy Greek Yogurt Zucchini Bread</h3> <p>If you're swimming in fresh zucchini, shred some up and make <a href="http://www.chelseasmessyapron.com/healthy-greek-yogurt-zucchini-bread/">zucchini bread</a>. This version uses Greek yogurt and ripe banana to replace much of the fat and sugar.</p> <h3>11. Zucchini Fries</h3> <p>For a healthier version of french fries, bake up a batch of <a href="http://www.simplehealthykitchen.com/marios-zucchini-fries/">zucchini fries</a>. Roll pieces of zucchini in a simple batter and bake until crispy for a delicious side or snack.</p> <h2>Bell Peppers</h2> <p>Bell peppers come in a rainbow of colors, and they're all equally delicious in the summertime. Cut them up for a crudite platter, or cook them in one of the following recipes.</p> <h3>12. Marinated Bell Peppers</h3> <p>When putting together an appetizer plate, include these flavorful <a href="http://www.splendidtable.org/recipes/marinated-bell-peppers">marinated bell peppers</a>. They're great with cheese, olives, bread, crackers, and more.</p> <h3>13. Cheesy Quinoa and Turkey Sloppy Joe Stuffed Bell Peppers</h3> <p>Hollowed out fresh bell peppers are perfect for stuffing with savory ingredients and baking for a convenient meal. These <a href="http://www.ambitiouskitchen.com/2014/11/quinoa-turkey-sloppy-joe-stuffed-bell-peppers/">stuffed bell peppers</a> have the flavor of sloppy joes, but with healthier ingredients like quinoa and turkey.</p> <h3>14. Seared Steak, Pepper, and Onion Fajitas</h3> <p>Fajitas wouldn't be fajitas without sliced bell peppers. Seared and sliced steak and onion join the peppers for a classic <a href="http://www.finecooking.com/recipes/seared-steak-peppers-onion-fajitas.aspx">Tex-Mex feast</a>.</p> <h2>Hot Peppers</h2> <p>If you're into spicy food, then this is your time of year. From jalapeños to habaneros, hot peppers are now in season.</p> <h3>15. Jalapeño Poppers</h3> <p><a href="http://www.thrillist.com/recipe/nation/how-to-make-perfect-jalape-o-poppers-every-time-thrillist-recipes">Jalapeño poppers</a> are the ultimate party food. They're crispy, spicy, and filled with gooey cheese. And now you can make your own at home!</p> <h3>16. Hot Pepper Relish</h3> <p>Add a delicious kick to your hot dogs or sausages with homemade <a href="http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2013/05/hot-pepper-relish-recipe.html">hot pepper relish</a>. This recipe will last in the fridge for a month without the hassle of canning.</p> <h2>Eggplant</h2> <p>Deep purple eggplants are hearty and almost meaty, making them really handy for a vegetarian diet. They're great on sandwiches, with pasta, and made into a dip.</p> <h3>17. Eggplant Lasagna</h3> <p>Eggplant and Italian food are meant to be together. This <a href="http://www.cookforyourlife.org/recipes/eggplant-lasagna">eggplant lasagna</a> is a perfect example, and only has a few ingredients!</p> <h3>18. Homemade Baba Ganoush</h3> <p><a href="http://www.theendlessmeal.com/homemade-baba-ganoush/">Baba ganoush</a> is an easy and tasty appetizer that happens to be low fat, too. Simply grill or roast a couple of eggplants, scoop out the flesh, and whirl it up with tahini, garlic, and lemon.</p> <h3>19. Grilled Eggplant Parmesan Heros</h3> <p>Lighten up the typical eggplant parm sub by firing up the grill. These <a href="http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/grilled-eggplant-parmigiana-heros-354972">grilled eggplant parmesan heros</a> with fresh tomato sauce will have everyone raving.</p> <h2>Corn</h2> <p>Nothing tastes quite like summer like fresh sweet corn on the cob. Whenever possible, buy ears that were picked fresh, and use them as soon as possible.</p> <h3>20. Elote (Mexican Grilled Corn)</h3> <p>Take grilled corn up a notch and make <a href="http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/elote">Mexican grilled corn</a>, or elote. After being grilled, cobs are slathered in mayonnaise, lime, and spices.</p> <h3>21. Summer Corn Chowder</h3> <p><a href="http://www.cookingclassy.com/2015/06/summer-corn-chowder/">Corn chowder</a> is a rare summertime soup that's hearty and light at the same time. It's creamy, smoky, sweet, and just plain delicious.</p> <h3>22. Fresh Corn Skillet Cornbread</h3> <p>To go with all of the meats you'll be grilling up this summer, use some of summer's favorite vegetable to make <a href="http://www.startribune.com/recipe-fresh-corn-skillet-cornbread/221528791/">fresh corn cornbread</a>. Buttermilk makes this bread moist and flavorful.</p> <h3>23. Corn Salsa</h3> <p>A <a href="http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/vegetables-recipes/corn-salsa/">fresh corn salsa</a> is a simple and easy way to eat the summer veg. Just add tomatoes, lime, and cilantro, and serve with chips.</p> <h2>Cucumber</h2> <p>Crunchy cucumbers come in a few different varieties, with some types making better pickles than others. Eat them cut up with dip or slice them into salads.</p> <h3>24. Lemony Cucumber Salad</h3> <p>Cucumbers, radishes, and bell peppers are dressed with lemon and white wine vinegar for a bright <a href="http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/lemony-cucumber-salad">summertime salad</a>.</p> <h3>25. Spicy Dill Quick Pickles</h3> <p>Transform cucumbers into an irresistible spicy and tart snack overnight with this <a href="http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/spicy-dill-quick-pickles">quick pickle</a> recipe.</p> <h3>26. Chilled Sweet and Spicy Cucumber Noodles</h3> <p>Just like zucchini, cucumber makes beautifully light, fresh noodles. <a href="http://www.justataste.com/chilled-sweet-and-sour-cucumber-noodles-recipe/">Chilled cucumber noodles</a> with a sweet and spicy sauce is a perfect hot weather dish.</p> <h2>Tomatillos</h2> <p>If you've ever wondered what salsa verde, or green salsa, is made of, this is it. The crunchy little veggies are surrounded by a husk, and take well to being charred.</p> <h3>27. Salsa Verde</h3> <p><a href="http://www.cookingchanneltv.com/recipes/salsa-verde-green-tomatillo-salsa.html">Salsa verde</a> (green salsa) is super fresh, and you can adjust the spices as you see fit. Serve as a dip or with tacos.</p> <h3>28. Steak and Corn Salad With Tomatillos</h3> <p>Raw tomatillos add crunch to this meaty <a href="http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2014/09/steak-corn-salad-tomatillo-ancho-chili-vinaigrette-recipe.html">summer salad</a>. Spice-rubbed seared steak and fresh summer veggies make for an all-in-one meal.</p> <h2>Green Beans</h2> <p>Fresh-picked green beans can be eaten raw for a crunchy and fresh experience, or they can be cooked in a variety of ways. Don't overcook them or they'll turn to mush.</p> <h3>29. Green Beans With Bacon Vinaigrette</h3> <p>Fresh green beans are briefly cooked before being tossed with shallots, crispy bacon, and a simple vinaigrette in this tasty side dish. You'll be wondering why everyone doesn't serve <a href="http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/green-beans-bacon-vinaigrette">green beans with bacon</a> all the time.</p> <h3>30. Tempura-Fried Green Beans</h3> <p>Turn this summertime green veggie into a crispy, crunchy appetizer. <a href="http://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1012832-tempura-fried-green-beans-with-mustard-dipping-sauce">Tempura-fried green beans </a>are totally addictive, especially when they're dipped into a mustard sauce.</p> <h3>31. Potato and Green Bean Salad</h3> <p>This classic French side dish tastes great served hot or cold, and mustard vinaigrette makes these <a href="http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/red-potato-and-green-bean-salad-with-dijon-vinaigrette-106929">potatoes and green beans</a> sing.</p> <p><em>What are your favorite summer veggie dishes?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/laurel-randolph">Laurel Randolph</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/31-delicious-ways-to-enjoy-your-summer-veggies">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-surprisingly-delicious-squash-recipes">20 Surprisingly Delicious Squash Recipes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-grilled-veggie-dishes-that-hold-their-own-with-meat">15 Grilled Veggie Dishes That Hold Their Own With Meat</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-delicious-ways-to-prepare-a-humble-head-of-cabbage">15 Delicious Ways to Prepare a Humble Head of Cabbage</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-easy-and-delicious-ice-cream-substitutes">15 Easy and Delicious Ice Cream Substitutes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-easy-and-delicious-ways-to-enjoy-apples">18 Easy and Delicious Ways to Enjoy Apples</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink fresh healthy meals recipes vegetables veggies Mon, 27 Jul 2015 15:00:18 +0000 Laurel Randolph 1499372 at http://www.wisebread.com Buy This — Not That — at the Farmer's Market http://www.wisebread.com/buy-this-not-that-at-the-farmers-market <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/buy-this-not-that-at-the-farmers-market" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_farmers_market_000062350146.jpg" alt="Woman deciding what to buy at the farmer&#039;s market and what to skip" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's summertime and the livin' is easy &mdash; especially if you live near a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-and-worst-things-to-buy-at-farmers-markets">farmer's market</a>. (Not sure if you're near one? Check out this <a href="http://search.ams.usda.gov/farmersmarkets/">market directory</a>). Just don't go in unprepared: check out this list of what to buy and when.</p> <h2>Always Get (When in Season)</h2> <p>These fruits and veggies come really do deliver on the farmer's market promise of fresh and delicious produce, at a good price, as long as they are in season.</p> <h3>1. Root Vegetables</h3> <p>Great choices at the farmer's market are always root veggies like beets, turnips, carrots, heirloom potatoes, yams, and more. These hold up an extremely long time &mdash; up to six weeks depending on your storage method. Also, getting all your bright red and orange root vegetables means tons of vitamin A and beta carotene, leading to healthy skin and hearts.</p> <h3>2. Squash</h3> <p>Vine fruits like squash and melons are also good choices. There are usually varieties you cannot find in the grocery store, and they are usually just a day or two shy of ripeness. No more waiting days for the melon to be just right, then BAM &mdash; mold and squishy bits. In the fall, acorn, butternut, and spaghetti squashes rule the stalls, and they are all the most tasty direct from the farm.</p> <h3>3. Tree and Vine Fruits</h3> <p>Some fruits are really difficult to find in grocery stores: pluots, persimmons, passion fruit, kiwi, blood oranges, and other tasty nutrient-dense fruits. The farmer's market is made for locating new fruits without paying the insane markup of a chain store (who is likely importing the fruit frozen from another country).</p> <h3>4. Lettuces</h3> <p>Greens are excellent buys at the farmer's market, especially varieties of kale, butter lettuce, bok choy, and radicchio. These are usually much cheaper than at the chain grocers and much fresher as well &mdash; straight from the dirt! Speaking of which: Remember to rinse them thoroughly in the salad spinner before using!</p> <h3>5. Breads</h3> <p>Baked goods can sometimes fall into &quot;skip&quot; territory, but fresh bread at the farmer's market is usually really good. Pick up a cracked wheat or a sourdough for that day's brunch, or the week's sandwiches. Much better than store bought sliced bread.</p> <h2>What to Skip</h2> <p>Unfortunately some of the artisanal goods at the farmer's market aren't great buys, even if they are super delish.</p> <h3>6. Honey</h3> <p>Depending on your location and who is selling the honey, there can be a massive markup. Keep a lookout for who made the honey. If the jar lists a different bottler than the stall selling it, you are likely paying an inflated price. You might be better off with raw or manuka honey from Whole Foods.</p> <h3>7. Cheese</h3> <p>The cheese lady is so hard to resist, always offering you rich cubes of fresh cheeses. But keep in mind you are paying a premium for an artisanal product. There is also pressure to buy the specific cheese(s) the farmer's market stall has that day. You are probably better off purchasing fresh cheese from your local specialty foods shop where you have more variety to choose from.</p> <h3>8. Fresh Meat</h3> <p>Meat can be a double-edged sword at the farmer's market. On one hand, it's fresh and usually free of preservatives. On the other, most meat is right on the edge of perishability, so you need to cook it within a day or two. If you intend to cook it later that week, you might find that the meat has already gone brown and gamey before you get to use it.</p> <h3>9. Unpasteurized Dairy</h3> <p>While controversial, there are many out there who extol raw milk's health benefits. It's not worth it. In most states it is illegal to sell unpasteurized foods, and for good reason: you never know what bacteria or parasites are within that bottle of raw goat's milk until it's already in your belly. That's not a risk anyone should be willing to take.</p> <h3>10. Herbs</h3> <p>Fragrant, tempting herbs are plentiful at the farmer's market. But think about it: Herbs are really cheap. You can even grow them yourself. So why not do that? Five dollars for a bunch of mint may not seem like much, but you'd be spending a few cents to keep that mint plant on your kitchen windowsill.</p> <h3>11. Pressed Juice</h3> <p>Pressed juice is not only nutritionally unsound (you're straining out the fiber and many vitamins!), but incredibly pricey &mdash; up to $15 per single-serving bottle. You're basically paying for someone to destroy valuable fruits and vegetables with an extremely expensive machine. Don't fall for it.</p> <h3>12. Prepared Meals</h3> <p>At nearly every farmer's market you'll find a stall selling hot popcorn, or a falafel cart. It's Sunday morning and you haven't eaten yet. It's so tempting! Not only are the prices unreasonably high due to the nature of impulse shopping, there's never anywhere comfortable to eat it. Think of it this way: You just bought a veritable cornucopia of fresh whole foods &mdash; why not rush home and make a meal instead?</p> <p><em>What foods or other products do you skip at the farmer's market?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amanda-meadows">Amanda Meadows</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/buy-this-not-that-at-the-farmers-market">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-off-season-foods-that-are-destroying-your-grocery-budget">5 Off-Season Foods That Are Destroying Your Grocery Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/breaking-the-bread-code-how-to-get-the-freshest-loaf">Breaking the Bread Code: How to Get the Freshest Loaf</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-a-farm-share-a-smart-buy-for-your-household">Is a Farm Share a Smart Buy for Your Household?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-produce-workers-guide-to-choosing-fruits-and-vegetables">The Produce Worker&#039;s Guide to Choosing Fruits and Vegetables</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-5-credit-cards-for-groceries">The Best Credit Cards for Groceries</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Shopping bread dairy farmer's market fruit groceries vegetables Fri, 24 Jul 2015 13:00:20 +0000 Amanda Meadows 1494595 at http://www.wisebread.com 15 Grilled Veggie Dishes That Hold Their Own With Meat http://www.wisebread.com/15-grilled-veggie-dishes-that-hold-their-own-with-meat <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/15-grilled-veggie-dishes-that-hold-their-own-with-meat" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/grilled_vegetable_kabobs_000020035070.jpg" alt="Grilled veggies that hold their own against meat" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Barbecuing and grilling out doesn't always have to be about meat, meat, meat. Beef, chicken, pork, and other meats can be pricey, less than healthy, and not everyone is a carnivore. Not only are <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-use-frozen-mixed-vegetables">vegetables and fruits</a> totally delicious grilled, there are also loads of grilled veggie recipes that can hold their own against meat any day.</p> <p>I'm talking hearty, filling, and satisfying vegetarian dishes that will have eaters of all kind praising your grilling skills. Check out the following recipes for some delicious grilled dishes that put vegetables in the spotlight.</p> <h2>1. Grilled Asparagus, Zucchini, and Bread Salad With Olive-Caper Dressing</h2> <p><a href="http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2012/05/grilled-asparagus-and-baby-zucchini-salad.html">Panzanella salad</a> is a summer classic, and this version takes it into new, greener territory. Fresh asparagus and zucchini take the place of tomatoes, and everything &mdash; including the lemon &mdash; is grilled. It's a salad with tons of flavor, and so much more than a side dish.</p> <h2>2. Grilled Black Bean and Pineapple Burgers</h2> <p>For an easy but flavorful no-meat burger, grilled <a href="http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/grilled-black-bean-and-pineapple-burgers">black bean burgers</a> are the answer. This recipe has great texture and flavor, and is topped off with a grilled slice of pineapple. It's a little tropical, a little meaty, and totally delicious.</p> <h2>3. Grilled Veggie Enchiladas</h2> <p>These <a href="http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2015/04/grilled-veggie-enchiladas/">vegetarian enchiladas</a> take grilled mushrooms, zucchini, squash, red onion, and melty cheese and wrap it all up in corn tortillas soaked with enchilada sauce. Served with fresh salsa and beans, no one is going to miss the meat in this Mexican dish.</p> <h2>4. Grilled Vegetable and Rice Salad With Fish Sauce Vinaigrette</h2> <p>Smoky grilled okra pods, fresh corn, zucchini, and hearty eggplant are combined with rice and tossed with a fresh, Asian-style dressing in this summery recipe. The rice adds texture and turns this <a href="http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/grilled-vegetable-and-rice-salad-with-fish-sauce-vinaigrette">grilled vegetable dish</a> from a side salad to a main dish.</p> <h2>5. Roasted Veg Tacos With Avocado Cream and Feta</h2> <p>Everyone loves tacos, and with char-grilled fresh veggies as the filling, all types of eaters will be happy. Top the <a href="http://naturallyella.com/2012/08/08/roasted-veg-tacos-with-avocado-cream-and-feta/">veggie tacos</a> with avocado and cheese for creamy goodness, and serve with salsa and hot sauce to punch up the flavor.</p> <h2>6. Grilled Eggplant Parmesan</h2> <p>This grilled version of the Italian-American staple feels meaty and satisfying. Thick slices of eggplant are grilled on one side, and then flipped and topped with tomatoes and cheese. The result is <a href="http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/grilled-eggplant-parmesan-106955">eggplant parmesan</a> that's smoky, bright, and cheesy.</p> <h2>7. Grilled Vegetable Pizza</h2> <p>Don't be scared to grill your pizza! Just follow a few tips, and you'll have a truly delicious main dish on your hands. This <a href="http://jellytoastblog.com/grizza-grilled-vegetable-pizza">grilled pizza</a> recipe makes use of peak summer produce like corn, tomatoes, and onions, but get creative with your veggie toppings.</p> <h2>8. Flatbread Stuffed With Curried Potatoes, Spinach, and Chickpeas</h2> <p>If you're looking to throw something a little different on your grill, why not make <a href="http://www.thekitchn.com/grill-recipe-flatbread-stuffed-148095">stuffed flatbreads</a>? These Indian-style calzones have a robust filling of potatoes, spinach, and chickpeas with spices, and are surrounded by a fluffy flatbread.</p> <h2>9. Poblano-and-Cheddar-Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms</h2> <p>A mixture of grilled poblano peppers, rice, cheese, and spinach is stuffed into meaty, <a href="http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/poblano-and-cheddar-stuffed-portobello-mushrooms">grilled portobello mushroom</a> caps. It's a meal conveniently packed into one delicious dish.</p> <h2>10. Panzanella Salad With Bell Peppers, Summer Squash, and Tomatoes</h2> <p>For a more <a href="http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/grilled-panzanella-salad-with-bell-peppers-summer-squash-and-tomatoes-232545">traditional panzanella</a>, use summer vegetables like bell peppers, squash, and fresh tomatoes. Take it up a notch by grilling your ingredients, bread and all, and you're sure to please your meat eaters and non-meat eaters alike.</p> <h2>11. Toasty Feta Kebabs</h2> <p>These <a href="http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/2499/toasty-feta-kebabs">vegetarian skewers</a> combine creamy and salty feta cheese with toasty bread, lemon, and ripe cherry tomatoes. It's a tasty combo, and will go great with your typical summer vegetable skewers.</p> <h2>12. Grilled Chipotle Lime Cauliflower Steaks</h2> <p>Cauliflower is surprisingly great for grilling, and the texture and smoky flavors of this recipe make a solid meat stand-in. Spices accentuate the smokiness of the grill, and lime juice and cilantro brighten up the <a href="http://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-chipotle-lime-grilled-cauliflower-steaks-recipes-from-the-kitchn-204490">cauliflower steaks</a>.</p> <h2>13. The Ultimate Veggie Burger</h2> <p>If you've been searching for a great <a href="http://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1016668-the-ultimate-veggie-burger">homemade veggie burger</a> with no luck, then look no further. A great non-meat burger can be hard to find, but if you're willing to get through the long list of ingredients, you'll be rewarded with burgers than even the biggest meat lovers will swoon over.</p> <h2>14. Grilled New Potato Salad</h2> <p><a href="http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2010/04/grilling-new-potato-salad-recipe.html">Potato salad</a> is a mainstay of summer gatherings, but have you thought about grilling your potatoes? A trip on the grill makes the potatoes lightly crispy and tender, and softens the onions perfectly. The dish is smoky and oh-so-good, and feels more substantial than your standard potato salad.</p> <h2>15. Grilled Vegetable Sandwiches</h2> <p><a href="http://www.foodiecrush.com/2014/07/grilled-vegetable-sandwich-with-herbed-ricotta/">Grilled vegetables sandwiches</a> really are a thing of beauty. Throw your favorite veggies on the grill &mdash; in this case, mushrooms, squash, peppers, and onions &mdash; and grill until tender and well-marked. Add a flavorful (preferably cheesy) spread and some great bread, and you have a noteworthy summer meal.</p> <p><em>What are your favorite grilled veggie dishes?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/laurel-randolph">Laurel Randolph</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-grilled-veggie-dishes-that-hold-their-own-with-meat">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-delicious-early-summer-recipes-to-try-on-your-grill">13 Delicious Early Summer Recipes to Try on Your Grill</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/31-delicious-ways-to-enjoy-your-summer-veggies">31 Delicious Ways to Enjoy Your Summer Veggies</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-surprisingly-delicious-squash-recipes">20 Surprisingly Delicious Squash Recipes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-deliciously-affordable-meats-youll-love-grilling">7 Deliciously Affordable Meats You&#039;ll Love Grilling</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-a-farm-share-a-smart-buy-for-your-household">Is a Farm Share a Smart Buy for Your Household?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Grilling healthy recipes summer vegetables Tue, 16 Jun 2015 13:00:14 +0000 Laurel Randolph 1455455 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 DIY Landscaping and Gardening Skills That Will Save You Money http://www.wisebread.com/9-diy-landscaping-and-gardening-skills-that-will-save-you-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-diy-landscaping-and-gardening-skills-that-will-save-you-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/mother_daughter_gardening_000019625064.jpg" alt="Mother and daughter using gardening skills to save money" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Like most activities, a little planning and preparation will save you money in the garden. Why? Because many of the tasks that help make a garden grow need to be completed weeks, or months, before you actually begin planting. Planning your garden in advance will give you an edge over nature (which will do its best to destroy your garden) and will save you some serious money.</p> <p>The following nine skills will help you to plan, plant, and enjoy a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-edible-garden-plants-anyone-can-grow">healthy garden</a> (while saving some money, too).</p> <h2>1. Soil Analysis</h2> <p>Okay, you're not expected to become an actual expert on soil pH, but if you doubt that your soil provides ideal growing conditions for the plants you intend to grow, it would behoove you to test your soil's pH before planting your garden. You can either use a <a href="http://preparednessmama.com/testing-your-soil-ph-without-a-kit/">DIY soil pH test</a> or buy a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0001LEPYA/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0001LEPYA&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=W2QZBKKFSEYAQTKG">soil pH kit</a> online or from your local hardware store. Once you know if your soil is acidic, neutral, or alkaline, you can <a href="http://www.almanac.com/content/ph-preferences">plant your garden according to pH</a>, or try to <a href="http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/how-to-adjust-soil-ph-for-your-garden.html">change your soil's pH</a> to meet your plants' needs.</p> <p>Also, being able to ascertain if your soil type meets the needs of the plants you are sowing can save you time and money in the long run. What kind of soil do you have in your garden? Knowing which of the six types of soil that you are dealing with can help you better plan and plant your garden so that you don't lose any plants to soil compatibility problems. Soil type can vary even within your yard, and will determine, as much as sunlight, what kinds of plants are successful in a given spot.</p> <p>Of course, you can always alter soil by removing or adding elements. If you have soil that is too sandy for your needs, you can remove some of the sand, and add silt and clay to it to aid water retention and infuse nutrients.</p> <p>Speaking of nutrients, you can save lots of money if you do your own&hellip;</p> <h2>2. Composting (or Worm Binning)</h2> <p>Composting is a great way to reuse yard waste, lawn clippings, and food stuff that you might normally throw away and turn it into nutrients for your garden. Yes, of course you can buy commercially produced compost, but if you have the space and the time, why not DIY it and save some money?</p> <p>Composting can be a bit smelly, but there are ways to <a href="http://citygirlfarming.com/Compost/ControlCompostOdor.html">compost while minimizing odors</a>.</p> <p>Composting is fairly easy to get started, and will provide you with plenty of excellent, nutrient-rich soil for your garden. To be ready for spring planting, start your compost bin/pile in early autumn.</p> <h2>3. Sun Exposure Charting</h2> <p>Another key consideration when planning your garden is to determine how many hours of daily sunlight each part of your garden receives. My neighbors, recent transplants from Southern California, recently planted a bunch of shade-loving plants in their front yard, assuming that because we live in a mossy, rainy area, those were the types of plants that would do best. What they didn't consider is that, during the summer months, their front yard receives about six hours of direct sunlight per day.</p> <p>You can use <a href="http://getbusygardening.com/how-to-determine-sun-exposure/">DIY sun exposure charts</a> to determine how much sun your garden receives, or buy a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002XZLLXU/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B002XZLLXU&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=KBQYAAZ5OVB2FZBZ">sunlight meter</a> for less than $20 and let the little machine do the work for you. Once you have your garden mapped for sun exposure, you can plan for your plants.</p> <h2>4. Seed Germination</h2> <p>Buying seeds is a smart way to save money, especially if you buy them on sale at the end of summer and plant them the next year. Seed starts are usually much cheaper than buying grown plants or seedlings (although this depends on the size of your garden; if it's quite small, buying grown plants might make more sense). Buying seeds also gives you the option to seek out unusual or heirloom varieties of the flowers, fruits, and vegetables that can't necessarily be found in plant form at your local nursery.</p> <p>Some plants can be sown directly into your garden soil, and other seeds need to be germinated inside and transplanted as seedlings after the final frost. Make sure to read the instructions on the packet of each type of seed that you buy to understand the best way to plant.</p> <h2>5. Planter Building</h2> <p>If you want a slightly more ergonomic garden (and a leg up on pest control), you'd be smart to consider <a href="http://thepioneerwoman.com/homeandgarden/2011/02/build-your-own-raised-flowervegetable-bed/">building raised garden beds</a> yourself. If you can't stand the thought of doing this, you can always <a href="http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=as_li_ss_tl?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;field-keywords=raised%20garden%20bed&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;sprefix=raise%2Caps&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;url=search-alias%3Daps&amp;linkId=4RAQVJDG4GOMPUPD">buy raised garden beds</a>, but trust me, building them is much cheaper.</p> <h2>6. Diligent Pest Control</h2> <p>I have to be honest &mdash; I'm perfectly comfortable using chemical sprays and slug death pellets in my garden, because I've had no luck with copper tape or bug traps. Whatever your preferences for pest control (organic and earth-friendly pest control or <em>death-to-bugs</em>-type methods), pest control is a money-saver. After all, letting all your veggies succumb to some creepy-crawly insect isn't a wise investment of time or cash.</p> <p>Veggie gardeners who prefer natural pest control methods report success when planting flowers like zinnias, nasturtiums, calendula, cosmos, and sweet alyssum in their vegetable gardens. These plants attract predator bugs that take out annoying pests like tomato hornworms and aphids. You can buy batches of ladybugs online and in garden stores, too.</p> <h2>7. Pollenating</h2> <p>You've probably heard about the significant decline in the bee population. If you want your trees and bushes to bear fruit, you're going to need pollinators like bees and moths to visit your garden. You can attract these helpful insects by <a href="http://www.gardeners.com/how-to/attracting-beneficial-bees/5024.html">planting bee-attracting wildflowers</a> in your garden, either interspersed with your fruits and veggies or alongside them.</p> <p>If you aren't seeing the volume of pollinating insects that you normally do, you can use the trick my husband uses to get our tomatoes to yield more fruit through airborne pollen &mdash; run an electric toothbrush against the back of your blossoms. After all, there are few things more frustrating to a gardener than a paltry tomato crop!</p> <h2>8. Tool Care and Maintenance</h2> <p>You don't have to buy expensive garden tools in order to be a good gardener, but you should treat your gardening implements well in order to keep them in working order for years. I'm a lazy, lazy gardener, and I can attest that having to buy a new shovel every few months is not only costly, but it's also kind of stupid.</p> <p>To keep your garden tools in good working order, remember to clean them, hang them up dry, and occasionally oil what needs oiling. Clean, well-stored tools will continue to work for you season after season.</p> <h2>9. Intelligent Harvesting and Pruning</h2> <p>Part of being a smart gardener is knowing how to care for perennials, and that means learning when and how to prune your plants. Pruning isn't just about keeping plants a manageable size; it's the art of learning what superfluous matter to cut away so that a plant will concentrate its energy on producing what matters most to you &mdash; whether that's fruit, flowers, or perfect leaves.</p> <p>If you are growing food in your garden, you'll want to learn <a href="http://abundantminigardens.com/training-and-pruning-trellised-vegetables/">how to prune your vegetable plants</a> and <a href="http://www.homegrown.org/forum/topics/harvesting-herbs-101-basil-chives-cilantro-coriander-mint-parsley">harvest herbs</a>, fruits, and vegetables in a way that allows the plant to continue growing. For instance, pruning herbs like mint can actually promote more plant growth.</p> <p><em>How green is your garden?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-diy-landscaping-and-gardening-skills-that-will-save-you-money">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-simple-gardening-skills-anybody-can-master">13 Simple Gardening Skills Anybody Can Master</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/getting-by-without-a-job-part-4-get-free-stuff">Getting by without a job, part 4--get free stuff</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-diy-backyard-home-improvements-that-save-you-big">8 DIY Backyard Home Improvements That Save You Big</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-the-greenest-lawn-on-the-block-naturally">How to Get the Greenest Lawn on the Block — Naturally</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-only-fruits-and-veggies-worth-growing-yourself">The Only Fruits and Veggies Worth Growing Yourself</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Green Living composting flowers gardening outdoors vegetables Fri, 12 Jun 2015 15:00:18 +0000 Andrea Karim 1448400 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Edible Garden Plants Anyone Can Grow http://www.wisebread.com/10-edible-garden-plants-anyone-can-grow <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-edible-garden-plants-anyone-can-grow" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/mother_and_son_gardening.jpg" alt="family gardening" title="family gardening" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I had given up and admitted defeat. Gardening, I assumed, just wasn't for me. Plants either withered, were destroyed by bugs, or devoured by deer. Anything that lived was tiny and barely edible. I definitely fit the &quot;black thumb&quot; description, and assumed I was doomed to forever forage at the grocery store for produce.</p> <p>And then, we moved. The climate was different. All around me, people were growing fruits and vegetables. Why not give it another shot, I wondered? And so I did. First, I did some research and talked to neighbors. This was followed by years of keeping a garden journal to see what grew, and what did not. Here are my 10 guaranteed successes. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-gardening-lessons-learned-the-hard-way?ref=seealso">10 Gardening Lessons Learned the Hard Way</a>)</p> <h2>1. Radishes</h2> <p>If you cannot <a href="http://www.kiddiegardens.com/growing_radishes.html">grow radishes</a>, just give up gardening. Oh, sorry, that's a little harsh. My point is, they <em>will</em> grow unless you just don't water them. If you are an apartment-dweller, they fit nicely in pots.</p> <p>Favorite use? Slice good bread, butter it, and slice radishes over the top. Sprinkle with salt. This is known as a &quot;tartine&quot; in France. While it sounds a little odd, it's really good.</p> <h2>2. Herbs</h2> <p>Coming in at number two are herbs. Grow them indoors, outdoors, in pots, on your fire escape, wherever &mdash; they are programmed to grow, and grow they will. Try chives, dill, cilantro, parsley, basil, and rosemary. Fresh herbs in your cooking (even just tossed into your morning scrambled eggs) makes a huge difference in flavor, and are very inexpensive. I have yet to encounter an herb that refused to grow. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-store-herbs-to-make-them-last-longer-and-taste-better?ref=seealso">How to Keep Herbs Fresh Longer</a>)</p> <p>Favorite uses? With basil, make pesto. Chives are great in rolls and scrambled eggs. Parsley, I love in Italian food, and of course cilantro in Asian and Mexican dishes. Dill is good with potatoes or salmon, while rosemary is a natural in a pork roast. I keep herbs going year-round. They can also be frozen or dried if you get carried away and plant too many. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/31-delicious-cheap-recipes-that-use-up-your-herb-garden?ref=seealso">Delicious Recipes to Use Up Your Herbs</a>)</p> <h2>3. Squash</h2> <p>Of course, zucchini has become a joke (poor zucchini). Open a door in California in September, and you might find a bag of zucchini that someone has kindly &quot;shared&quot; with you. I have indeed made that mistake of planting too much of it. My father-in-law razzed me for years about my massive zucchini plantings. Well, live and learn, right? If you plant zucchini, my mother-in-law made one of my favorite things, ever. She let the zucchinis grow until they were very large. She then thinly sliced them, dipped them in an egg wash, then cracker crumbs, and fried them in butter. It is one of the best things on the planet.</p> <p>There are many varieties of squash, and they are easy to grow. My main problem with squash are bugs, so I have learned to be vigilant. I currently have starts for kabocha squash going, which are very sweet and versatile. My favorite use of kabocha squash is in a <a href="http://www.chow.com/recipes/30268-thai-red-curry-with-kabocha-squash">Thai red curry</a>. This recipe is very good (add some chicken, if you like), but you may want to dial back the red curry paste.</p> <p>Squash also takes a lot of space. A neighbor solved this problem by showing me how to grow it near a fence. They climb! Squash hanging off of a fence are sort of funny, but it also discourages the bugs, which get to them when they are on the ground.</p> <h2>4. Eggplant</h2> <p>It is a shame that so many people associate this vegetable with soggy, overly-greasy eggplant parmigiana. After reading about some <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-tasty-frugal-eggplant-recipes">tasty eggplant recipes</a>, I planted more of it and it's really the gift that keeps on giving. I have had nearly five months' production from my plants and they show no signs of slowing down. I planted three varieties as an experiment; all are thriving. I never have staked mine, as they are very sturdy and no fruit hangs on the ground, but that is recommended.</p> <p>What to do with an eggplant? See the article above. Some people recommend salting the slices to get rid of the bitterness before cooking, but I have not done that and have not noticed any problems. You can make a much <a href="http://www.cookinglight.com/eating-smart/recipe-makeovers/healthy-eggplant-parmesan-recipes">healthier eggplant parmigiana</a> that isn't so oily, but my favorite use is this <a href="http://www.tillysnest.com/2012/09/crock-pot-ratatouille.html">Crock-Pot ratatouille</a>.</p> <h2>5. Green Beans</h2> <p>My husband built a trellis in the garden area, and so I planted pole beans. It was important to me to have a garden area that is aesthetically pleasing. Pole beans are pretty, and once the beans get going, need to be picked frequently. If the beans get too big, they aren't as tasty. Pole beans take a little bit longer than other green bean varieties, but I think they are worth the wait. I love <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/patrick-and-gina-neely/green-beans-and-bacon-recipe.html">green beans with bacon</a>, served alongside some corn bread and stewed tomatoes.</p> <h2>6. Beets</h2> <p>Scarred by bad childhood beets memories, I didn't try them again until I was in my 30s. Now, I love them. I still like the canned ones, but a freshly roasted or boiled beet is a different matter. Roasting especially brings out their sweetness.</p> <p>If you like kale or spinach, do yourself a favor and cook some <a href="http://allrecipes.com/recipe/simple-and-delicious-beet-greens/">beet greens</a> (or &quot;tops,&quot; as they are also termed). It is a shame that many grocery stores cut off the tops. Beets are also a very pretty vegetable because of their deep purples and golds. There is even a variety that is deep pink and white. My favorite roasted beet recipe uses <a href="http://www.sloatgardens.com/recipes/oven-roasted-beets-goat-cheese-balsamic-vinegar/">goat cheese and balsamic vinegar</a>. Be diligent about thinning them in the garden, because they will need room to grow. They also like mulch.</p> <h2>7. Lettuces</h2> <p>I have had the best luck with Boston lettuce, and it is so easy. You will want to make sure your soil has plenty of nitrogen, and that you have partial shade. After your first harvest (in about 30 days), you can look forward to a second round in a few weeks. Don't get carried away planting &mdash; a small seed packet will produce about 50 pounds of leaf lettuce!</p> <p>Your main issue with lettuce will be bugs. Try spraying with a solution of dish soap (just a couple of drops) and water. You will have to repeat after a heavy rain. Fresh lettuce from your garden, or container, is so nice to have on hand.</p> <h2>8. Rainbow Chard</h2> <p>Not only does this vegetable grow easily, but it looks just beautiful in your garden with its stems of vibrant hues. I am looking at mine right now and I can see gold, purple, red, orange, and pink. It is almost too pretty to eat, but not quite. They prefer full sun, but I have grown chard in partial shade. They like grass-clipping compost. My favorite preparation of rainbow chard is to chop off the tough stems, sauté, and drizzle with red-wine vinegar. I think it's also really good in a <a href="http://www.food.com/recipe/crustless-swiss-chard-quiche-311434">chard quiche</a>.</p> <h2>9. Carrots</h2> <p>Successful carrots took me a few years, but that is because I learn things the hard way. They love compost and loose soil; I had too many rocks and tough soil. They grew, but in very strange shapes. I also tended to sow too thickly, which did not give them enough room. Although they take a long time to grow (95 to 100 days), they are much sweeter than grocery-store carrots and you'll quickly become spoiled. You will need to weed around the plants, because weeds just really like to hang out with carrots.</p> <p>How to eat? A German friend taught me this method. Melt butter into a saucepan, and add carrots. Sauté for about four minutes, then add &frac14; cup of beer and cover the saucepan. Cook until just tender and add fresh dill. Delicious!</p> <h2>10. Bok Choy or Chinese Cabbage</h2> <p>My best bok choy year was also my best carrot year, which was no coincidence. Bok choy also enjoys rich, loose soil. It is best grown in spring or fall, because it doesn't like hot sun beating down upon it. As with the carrots, though, be prepared to weed around the plants. I like bok choy at its simplest: Sauteed in a little oil, with garlic.</p> <h2>To Ensure Success</h2> <p>Before planting, we had a soil analysis done at the local university. These can also be done at your local agricultural extension. This was very helpful, and told us just what we needed to add to our soil. We took our print-out to a farm store, where we could pick up bags of recommended nutrients. Our print-out also recommended the best plants to try (which proved completely correct, although I did experiment with others).</p> <p>If you plan to do a big garden, you might as well start a compost bin, since you will need it. I do end up buying cinders and chicken manure every year, but that's not terribly expensive. If you are container-gardening, just be sure to get a good brand of potting soil.</p> <p>My garden journal has also been very helpful. Each year I sketch out what I want to plant, and where. I keep notes about how long things took to grow, and how successful (or not) they were. I also kept photos in the journal so I could have a visual reminder of where plants did particularly well.</p> <p><em>Gardener-readers, with what plants have you had the best luck?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/marla-walters">Marla Walters</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-edible-garden-plants-anyone-can-grow">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-simple-gardening-skills-anybody-can-master">13 Simple Gardening Skills Anybody Can Master</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-easy-ways-to-prep-your-garden-for-winter">10 Easy Ways to Prep Your Garden for Winter</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-turn-your-black-thumb-green">How to Turn Your Black Thumb Green</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-anyone-can-go-solar-and-save-on-energy">10 Ways Anyone Can Go Solar and Save on Energy</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-the-greenest-lawn-on-the-block-naturally">How to Get the Greenest Lawn on the Block — Naturally</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Green Living Home gardening green thumb recipes vegetables Wed, 18 Mar 2015 17:00:11 +0000 Marla Walters 1345644 at http://www.wisebread.com 12 Easy Ways to Sneak More Nutrition Into Your Food http://www.wisebread.com/12-easy-ways-to-sneak-more-nutrition-into-your-food <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-easy-ways-to-sneak-more-nutrition-into-your-food" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/honey-muffins-481912187-small.jpg" alt="honey muffins" title="honey muffins" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Getting the best nutrition possible is a no-brainer, but eating nutrient-dense food on a regular basis can be harder than it sounds. Even if you are eating the right foods, you can often still add an extra boost to snacks and meals. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/multivitamins-arent-as-good-as-you-think-eat-these-real-foods-instead?ref=seealso">Multivitamins Aren't as Good for You as You Think: Eat These Real Foods Instead</a>)</p> <p>Read on for tips on hiding extra nutrients in the foods you already love without changing the reasons you love them.</p> <h2>1. Flax</h2> <p>Flax seed packs a surprising nutritional punch. It's loaded with omega-3 fatty acids and fiber, and studies suggest it can positively affect your cholesterol levels. Flax is not easily digestible in whole seed form, so be sure to buy it ground or, even better, grind it yourself with a coffee grinder before using. The oil in flax can go rancid, so store it in the refrigerator.</p> <p>Adding a tablespoon or two to baked goods like muffins and pancakes won't noticeably affect the taste or the texture. It's perfect mixed into homemade granola or simply stirred into oatmeal. If you're into cooking vegan, you can also use flax as an egg replacer. Just swap an egg for some ground flax and water and boom! You have a <a href="http://www.bobsredmill.com/recipes.php?recipe=7157">healthy egg replacer</a>.</p> <h2>2. White Whole Wheat Flour</h2> <p>We all know we're supposed to eat whole wheat, but sometimes the homemade version doesn't please picky eaters. In comes <em>white</em> whole wheat flour. A lighter and milder tasting flour with all of the benefits of whole wheat, it more seamlessly swaps for all-purpose flour in <a href="http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/tasting-is-believing-whole-grain-brownies-recipe">your favorite recipes</a>. Some ideas include pancakes, breads, pizza dough, muffins, and cookies. If you're really put off by the taste of whole wheat, try substituting for half of the flour called for in the recipe.</p> <h2>3. Leafy Greens</h2> <p>Leafy greens are full of vitamins, minerals, and fiber, so why aren't we eating them all of the time? If you're tired of salad, sneaking them into different dishes makes getting your dose of greens easy. Add chopped greens to soups like chili and all broth-based soups when they are almost done cooking. Add thawed and chopped frozen spinach to <a href="http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/turkey-spinach-meatballs">meatballs</a> and meatloaf. Include a handful of kale or spinach in your smoothie, and other than changing the drink's color, you won't even notice it.</p> <h2>4. Chia Seeds</h2> <p>Many vegans and vegetarians have discovered the magic of chia seeds, and you should too! The tiny seeds offer high-quality protein and much-sought-after omega-3 fatty acids. They are tiny in size, have a mild taste, and are an easy addition to smoothies and baked goods. They also <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/recipes/1016254/chia-seed-breakfast-pudding.html">magically create pudding</a> when combined with milk or nondairy milk.</p> <h2>5. Yogurt</h2> <p>There's a good chance you're already eating yogurt. It's a great source of calcium and probiotics &mdash; and everyone knows it. But did you know that you can incorporate yogurt into your cooking, and in the process replace excess fats? <a href="http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/french-yogurt-cake">Yogurt is great for baking</a>, as it adds a nice flavor and moistness to recipes. You can even use it in place of buttermilk: just use a mixture of &frac12; yogurt and &frac12; milk. Plain Greek yogurt can be used in place of sour cream for items like tzatziki-style sauces, which makes a great replacement for ranch dressing. And don't forget to add some to your smoothies. Just beware of flavored and sweetened yogurts, as they tend to be full of sugar.</p> <h2>6. Carrots and Zucchini</h2> <p>Moms across America have been hiding carrots and zucchini in kid's meals for years. That's because once cooked and blended, they add fiber and vitamins without greatly affecting taste. For adults, it's just a good way of adding a serving of vegetables to that spaghetti you were craving. Add these veggies to sauces, casseroles, and <a href="http://www.thekitchn.com/10-ways-to-eat-your-vegetables-for-dessert-177912">shred them raw into baked goods</a>.</p> <h2>7. Tofu</h2> <p>Tofu offers protein, calcium, and vitamins without the unhealthy fats of meat. Not everyone loves eating a big piece of steamed tofu, but you can still incorporate this healthful item into your diet. Add crumbled, firm tofu to burgers, meatballs, and other recipes using ground meat to lessen the guilt. Silken tofu blends seamlessly into smoothies and can be transformed into desserts like pudding and <a href="http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2013/04/11/secretly-healthy-cappuccino-cloud-cheesecake/">cheesecake</a>.</p> <h2>8. Raw Honey</h2> <p>Honey has long been seen as a natural alternative to refined sugar, but switching to raw honey is even better for you. Raw honey has not been processed like most mainstream honey, and as a result contains more vitamins and minerals. If you're going to sweeten up that coffee or tea, you might as well get a little dose of vitamins, too. Honey can be used in place of sugar in many baking recipes, as long as <a href="http://www.homebaking.org/foreducators/askexperts/bakinghoney.html">you keep a few things in mind</a>.</p> <h2>9. Whole Wheat Pasta</h2> <p>If you're going to eat a bowl of pasta, at least make it whole wheat. Recent studies suggest that <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2014/09/01/344315405/cutting-back-on-carbs-not-fat-may-lead-to-more-weight-loss">refined carbohydrates can cause more weight gain than dietary fat</a>, so making the switch to whole wheat can make a real difference in your diet. The explosion of whole wheat pasta onto market shelves in the past few years means more options and better texture and taste. It's now easy to swap the more fiber-rich whole wheat pasta in all your favorite dishes without anyone being the wiser.</p> <h2>10. Olive Oil</h2> <p>Olive oil may seem obvious, but many people are still cooking with the healthy oil in a very limited way. Instead of using olive oil just for sauteing, use it whenever a recipe calls for oil (unless you are frying or cooking at high heat). You can use olive oil in all dressings and sauces, and, as long as the recipe doesn't call for more than half a cup, when baking in place of vegetable oil. If your cake recipe calls for a large dose of oil, replace a portion of the oil so the olive oil doesn't overwhelm the flavor.</p> <h2>11. Broccoli and Cauliflower</h2> <p>Cruciferous vegetables contain vitamins, fiber, and disease-fighting phytochemicals. Too bad everyone isn't in love with the &quot;little trees&quot; broccoli and cauliflower. Luckily, you can utilize these vegetables in interesting ways to add a boost to your favorite dishes.</p> <p><a href="http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/tortellini-broccoli-pesto-00100000116113/">Steamed broccoli makes a delicious pesto</a>,and is a great addition to <a href="http://diethood.com/cream-broccoli-potato-soup-kitchenaid-stand-mixer-giveaway">potato soup</a>.</p> <p>Cauliflower is <a href="http://www.yummyinspirations.net/2013/04/12-unique-ways-to-get-your-kids-to-eat">especially versatile</a> and can substitute for rice, pizza crust, and is undetectable when added to mashed potatoes.</p> <h2>12. Avocado</h2> <p>Avocado is a versatile fruit full of heart-healthy fat. Even if you are not an avocado fanatic, you can incorporate it into your diet in surprising ways, often replacing unhealthy saturated fat. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/23/avocado-smoothies_n_5193023.html">Avocados make surprisingly good smoothies</a> that often taste more like milkshakes. You can <a href="http://www.thekitchn.com/substitute-this-avocado-for-butter-when-baking-174382">incorporate avocado into your baking</a> and decrease the fat by up to 40%. Incorporating avocado into your diet can also be as easy as using mashed, smooth avocado in place of mayo on sandwiches.</p> <p><em>How do you like to add nutrients to your favorite dishes? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/laurel-randolph">Laurel Randolph</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-easy-ways-to-sneak-more-nutrition-into-your-food">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-foods-scientifically-proven-to-make-you-more-beautiful">7 Foods Scientifically Proven to Make You (More) Beautiful</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-health-foods-not-worth-the-money">11 Health Foods Not Worth the Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/turbo-charge-your-diet-with-superfoods">Turbo-Charge Your Nutrition With Superfoods</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-health-foods-that-are-actually-making-you-fatter">10 Health Foods That Are Actually Making You Fatter</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-supposedly-unhealthy-foods-that-are-actually-good-for-you">8 Supposedly Unhealthy Foods That Are Actually Good for You</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Health and Beauty diet healthy food nutrients nutrition vegetables Fri, 10 Oct 2014 15:00:07 +0000 Laurel Randolph 1229406 at http://www.wisebread.com Wise Bread Reloaded: Is Eating More Produce the Secret to Happiness and Wellbeing? http://www.wisebread.com/wise-bread-reloaded-is-eating-more-produce-the-secret-to-happiness-and-wellbeing <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/wise-bread-reloaded-is-eating-more-produce-the-secret-to-happiness-and-wellbeing" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-eating-fruit-salad-467006431-small.jpg" alt="woman eating fruit salad" title="woman eating fruit salad" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>An apple a day keeps the psychiatrist away?</p> <p>That's what medical researchers in the UK have learned.</p> <p>In a recent survey of 14,000 individuals, <a href="http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/09/140923085945.htm">33.5% of participants with &quot;good mental wellbeing&quot;</a> consumed five or more servings of fruits and vegetables per day. In contrast, only 6.8% of participants with good mental wellbeing consumed less than one serving of fruits or vegetables per day. Other health-related behaviors such as alcohol intake and obesity were looked at, but only smoking and fruit and vegetable consumption were the &quot;behaviors most consistently associated with both low and high mental wellbeing.&quot;</p> <p>Getting your daily five (or more!) servings has obvious benefits for your physical health. And now it may be a boost to mental health, too.</p> <p>Need some ideas to help you get more fruits and vege into your body and your brain? Let's see what Wise Bread's writers have suggested over the years.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-simple-recipes-for-25-delicious-veggies?ref=classicwb">25 Delicious Recipes for 25 Delicious Veggies</a> &mdash; From Artichokes to Zucchini, Ashley Marcin shares one favorite recipe for each of her 25 favorite vegetables.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-use-frozen-mixed-vegetables?ref=classicwb">25 Ways to Use Frozen Mixed Vegetables</a> &mdash; Frozen vegetables are a great frugal choice &mdash; almost as nutritious as fresh, often way cheaper, and always convenient. Rebecca Lieb shares a long list of easy, delicious recipes.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-produce-workers-guide-to-choosing-fruits-and-vegetables?ref=classicwb">The Produce Worker's Guide to Choosing Fruits and Vegetables</a> &mdash; You're sold on the idea of getting more fruits and vegetables, but you're unsure about how to choose the freshest, most flavorful ones from the bin. No problem. Ashley Watson used to be a produce stocker at her local grocery, and she learned a lot about ripe produce.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-make-use-of-sub-par-produce?ref=classicwb">7 Ways to Use Subpar Produce</a> &mdash; Linsey Knerl shows you what to do with a mushy banana or some wilted celery or a flat of overripe strawberries.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fridge-or-counter-where-to-store-fruit-for-best-flavor?ref=classicwb">Fridge or Counter: Where to Store Fresh Fruit for Best Flavor </a>&mdash; Now that you have it home, where do you store it? Ashley Marcin tells you.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-incredible-but-true-facts-about-eating-fruits-and-vegetables?ref=classicwb">10 Incredible But True Facts About Eating Fruits and Vegetables</a> &mdash; Finally, Beth Buczynski uncovers 10 more astounding facts about fruits and veggies, giving you even more reason to fill your cart in the produce section.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/lars-peterson">Lars Peterson</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/wise-bread-reloaded-is-eating-more-produce-the-secret-to-happiness-and-wellbeing">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-off-season-foods-that-are-destroying-your-grocery-budget">5 Off-Season Foods That Are Destroying Your Grocery Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-produce-workers-guide-to-choosing-fruits-and-vegetables">The Produce Worker&#039;s Guide to Choosing Fruits and Vegetables</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-a-farm-share-a-smart-buy-for-your-household">Is a Farm Share a Smart Buy for Your Household?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fresh-fruits-and-vegetables-by-the-month">Fresh Fruits and Vegetables, By the Month</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-make-use-of-sub-par-produce">7 Ways to Make Use of Sub-Par Produce</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink brain food fruit happiness mental health produce vegetables Sat, 27 Sep 2014 11:00:06 +0000 Lars Peterson 1222771 at http://www.wisebread.com