Wednesday, I talked about ways to eliminate food waste. Today, I’m going to talk about how to preserve/freeze all the wonderful fruits and veggies that are in season.

We are at the height of summer fruits and vegetables right now. Go to any farmers market and you can find fresh corn, peaches, zucchini, green beans, tomatoes and cantaloupes, just to name a few. Many find home canning to be a mystery or just too time consuming, but did you know that you can freeze many of those fruits and veggies I just mentioned?

Are you using your freezer to its full potential? If not, now is the perfect time to start. Frozen foods seem to have a bad reputation because they tend to evoke images of unhealthy, high-sodium microwaveable meals, but let’s shatter that image by delving into how you can use your freezer for bulk freezing as a way to get healthier and tastier meals super-fast!

Meal prep properly:

When you plan your meals for a week, make extras to portion out and freeze so they’re ready to go. On a busy night, you can pull one of those portions out and serve a tasty, healthy meal to the family in a flash with the help of your Instant Pot or slow cooker.

Don’t ever waste another avocado:

The solution to never losing a precious morsel of avocado again is to scoop small chunks of it out, separate onto parchment paper and freeze, which you can use as a base for your smoothies or add with pure cacao powder to make chocolate pudding you can eat guilt-free. Next time you see avocados on sale, stock up, and use this freezing method to have a freezer full of avocado at your fingertips.

Freeze leftover stock:

Stock is terrific for creating broths, soups, and sauces. Even just a few teaspoons of it can liven up veggies and pasta. But often, we forget about that opened container of stock we left in the fridge a few weeks ago. Instead, freeze it in ice cube trays and then use those cubes to jazz up your meals as needed. You can even add some fresh herbs to your ice cubes to dress the flavor up even more.

Choose frozen veggies:

Frozen veggies are captured at the peak of freshness, and they’re great for making healthy soups and stews. But if you swear you can taste the difference in those frozen baggies, make your own! When you see a deal on produce that’s too good to pass up, buy it in bulk and freeze it right so you can rely on it when you need a healthy and fast side dish. Greens do tend to wilt, but you can use them frozen in smoothies or toss them into soups, and no one will taste the difference.

Stash bread in there too:

In my household, I’m the only one who eats gluten-free bread. If you’re like me, you might hate buying bread, tortillas, or other fresh-baked items because they go bad before you can get to them all. Instead of forcing yourself to eat an abundance of sandwiches, tacos, enchiladas, or what-have you in one week, freeze them so you can enjoy them as needed. Plus you don’t have to worry about that $6.00 loaf of gluten-free bread getting moldy before you get a chance to eat it.

By using your freezer wisely when you stock up on foods, you’ll reduce your own waste and avoid going over budget on your groceries. And you’ll also have no excuses when you have a busy night because you’ll always have something healthy to heat up from your new best friend, the freezer!