Thursday 13 July 2017

Dealing with fruit and vegetable gluts

It's come to that joyous time of year at the allotment that we are overrun with produce. After a mass weeding session on Saturday morning we trooped off home with broad beans, courgettes, raspberries, the last of the strawberries, early apples, over 3 kilos of rhubarb and 4 kilos of blackcurrants. The question is what are we going to do with all of this stuff? Of course I have developed a range of recipes of my own over the years but for some fresh ideas I've enlisted the help of some fellow bloggers and this is what they are suggesting.

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I'm a big fan of pesto as it makes such an easy meal when served with some pasta. When we have had a whole tray of rocket I have made rocket pesto but in order to make pesto you don't need to sow a single seed. Sarah at Boo Roo and Tigger Too tells us how to make pesto from those pesky nettles. Far more productive than just trampling them down as I seem to be doing at the moment!

Now let's talk courgettes. Once one is ready to pick the rest just keep coming for weeks. I chop them up and throw them into anything I can add some vegetables to such as pasta sauces and cheesy oven bakes. Yet still they keep growing! To make best use of them you can use them as a base for a whole dish such as courgette fritter with lime and chilli mayonnaise from Wendy at Daisy and Pie.

On my daily walks I have noticed the abundance of blackberry blossom turning into little green fruits. Within a few weeks these will be ready to pick and the good news is you don't need an allotment or garden to get hold of these delightful soft fruit. Parks, pathways and scrublands are the favoured spots of brambles so fill your tubs and preserve some by making blackberry and apple jam from Michelle at The Purple Pumpkin Blog.

We have a giant patch of sage at the allotment and in front of my kitchen window I have a selection of herbs in pots. Only a few of the herbs keep going throughout the year before they reappear in spring. To have a ready supply at hand to flavour winter stews Katy at® shows us how to freeze herbs.

We haven't weighed how much rhubarb we have picked this year in total but each batch we do bring back weighs between 2-3kgs. The main uses we have for is cordial and crumbles which can then be frozen. My Mum makes rhubarb and ginger chutney while the sticks that have been given to my friend is made into jam and used in cakes. Once you have an established patch of rhubarb then from around March to the end of July you can just keep picking. If you need fresh inspiration for your rhubarb glut then the Keeper of the Kitchen, Luschka has 30 recipes for you including ice cream, crisps and curd.

Inside our greenhouse we are eagerly awaiting the ripening of our tomatoes. For anyone wanting to start off with growing fruit and vegetables at home then tomatoes are a great place to start. If you find you haven't scoffed the lot as soon as you have picked them off the vine then Lauren at The Helpful Hiker has a selection of ideas for you. These also ways to use those other greenhouse favourites of peppers.

We're trying out a new method of growing onions this year and at the moment it looks like we're going to have some whoppers! Not only do we grow brown onions but also red and white varieties. I'm not keen on raw red onion but I know they go great in preserves. To make your onion crop last throughout the winter months Kerry at Blissful Domestication shares her Red Onion and Balsamic Chutney recipe.
When we arrived at the allotment on Saturday morning there was a table outside laden with bunches of beetroot for sale. Some of the usual ways of using beetroot is to boil, roast or pickle it. I like to bake it in a cake and it goes particularly well with chocolate. For vegan version Midge at The Peachicks' Bakery has come up with Beetroot and Ginger Chocolate Cake.

What glut of fruit and vegetables do you have? How do you use up all your produce?

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the inclusion! I will be sure to try some of the other recipes!


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