⏰ Use Up Last Year's Garden Bounty Before It Goes Bad!

⏰ Use Up Last Year's Garden Bounty Before It Goes Bad!

As the gardening season kicks into gear, I’ve been focusing on what’s in my freezer! What haven’t I used up during the winter months and how to utilize it! 

One thing I found an abundance of is beets. I love beets but got a little happy squirreling a bunch away last fall. I like to cook my beets in the fall to a firm-done, then skin them, cool, and fill freezer bags with pre-cooked, ready to use beets.

My favorite way to prepare them is to take 5-6 beets out, place them in a bowl and let them just begin to thaw. I dice a Dakota Tears onion, place 1/2” of water in the bottom of a 2-quart pan, and simmer the onions. Then I take the semi-frozen beets and run them through my food processor with a shredding blade. Next, I dump the shredded beets in the simmering onion water, stir and heat back to a simmer. Salt to taste and ENJOY!

The second way I’ve been using up these beets is to make Beet Hummus.  Monday was National Hummus Day! I celebrated by making this recipe along with my flatbread recipe. So yummy!

Beet Hummus Recipe
2 large beets
2 cups of your choice of pre-cooked dry beans or chickpeas
2 large cloves of garlic, minced
Juice from 1/2 lemon or lime
1/2 tsp olive oil
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon dried or fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons tahini (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pepper to taste

In a food processor add beets, beans (or chickpeas), minced garlic, lemon or lime juice, olive oil, paprika, cumin, cilantro, tahini (optional), salt and pepper. Puree all ingredients to a chunky or smooth texture, as you prefer. Garnish with dried or fresh cilantro. Enjoy with homemade flatbread! Download the recipe here.

Flatbread Recipe
4 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups warm water
2 1/2 teaspoons yeast
1 teaspoon salt

In a large bowl mix warm water, yeast and salt. Add all the flour at once and mix just until combined into a ball. Cover and let rise to double in size (1-2 hours). You can store in the refrigerator in a pre-greased ziplock bag for up to two weeks.

To use, dump mixture onto a floured surface, flatten and diverted into 12 to 14 pieces. Preheat griddle over medium to high heat; do not use any oil. Roll dough into 6 inch round. Place on a hot griddle; when bubbles appear (1 to 2 minutes), turn and grill for 1 to 2 minutes more. Roll out next dough round as the first is grilling. Repeat for desired dough rounds. Return any unused dough to the fridge.  Download the recipe here!

AND THEN there's frozen tomatoes!
I couldn't bear to let them go to waste last fall-- so I frozen everything I had room for! 😅 Here's my strategy for using those up. I take out 2-3 at at time, rinse under hot water to slip the skins off, and place in a bowl to thaw a little. Then I get out my food processor and get out the grating blade.

When the tomatoes are partially thawed-- still semi-frozen but workable, I send them through my food processor's grating blade to create a chunky puree. I mix in 1 tsp cumin, 1/4 tsp black pepper, and 1/4 tsp salt. Press 1-2 garlic cloves through a garlic press and blend in. (Adjust spices to taste.) Add cilantro, if you have it! A lovely 'fresh' salsa!

Frozen tomatoes perfect for 'fresh' salsa!

What’s still in your freezer? What can you work into your spring meals? Would love to hear your ‘go-to’ favorites and recipes to use up last year's garden bounty!

Your Garden Coach,