For the last six months, I've participated in something called "Bountiful Baskets." It's basically a food co-op. I go on their website every other Monday and place an order. I always order one "basket," which is 50% fruits and 50% vegetables, costing $15. Sometimes I order "add ons," like loaves of homemade bread, granola, or bulk amounts of fruit. The add-ons vary each week.
On Saturday, I go and pick up my basket. It's always fun to see what's in the basket because it varies each week. Whatever it is, it's always a LOT of stuff. This week, for example, I got 2 acorn squash, romaine, kale, a cucumber, 5 mangos, 6 tomatoes, a bag of plums, a bag of apricots, a pineapple, a bag of apples, a honeydew melon and a huge bunch of bananas in my basket for $15. I also ordered 5 loaves of homemade honey wheat bread for $12 and 8 packs of strawberries for $11.
I like that it forces me to try new foods (like Jerusalem artichokes...delicious!) and to be creative about cooking all of these goodies. This week, I froze some of the strawberries for smoothies (see my recipes for green smoothies here). I also made strawberry freezer jam.
If you've never made freezer jam, you have to try it. It's so easy and doesn't require any tricky canning techniques. Best of all, it only takes five minutes max to make a batch.
Strawberry Freezer Jam
1 2/3 cup strawberries (hulled and pounded with a potato masher), this is about 1 pint
2/3 cup sugar
2 T instant fruit pectin
Mix the sugar and pectin. Add the smushed strawberries and stir for three minutes. Put in a storage container (I just use tupperware). The jam is ready after about 30 minutes. It can be stored in the fridge for 3 weeks or the freezer for a year.
The jam is great on bread, but I LOVE to use it as a topping on vanilla ice cream (I know, I know...not so healthy) or mixed into vanilla Greek yogurt. I might even eat a spoonful straight out of the jar when no one is looking.
This post isn't sponsored by Bountiful Baskets, but I encourage you to check them out. Right now, they are in 20 states, but if they are not in your state, you can contact them about starting a new site.
Like me, I know many of you are
As always, I'm interested in any tips or tricks you have to eat healthily and/or frugally.