HOW TO: Save fresh food

Groceries are a never ending purchase. The average American household spends about $800 a month for a family of four, give or take a couple hundred. Food is expensive, especially fresh food, which is disappointing because fresh always tastes so much better. So I have come up with a few ways to get the most out of your fresh food and make it last longer.

• Garlic. Some people don’t enjoy garlic, but my family loves it! I love garlic and I put it in everything! But dealing with cloves is annoying and some of the garlic in a jar that you can buy looks unappetizing, and obviously isn’t super fresh.

Smash and peel two or three full bunches of garlic cloves. For this I did two and it fit in my container great! Chop up the garlic with a knife or in a food processor; I didn’t want to end up with a garlic puree so I chopped mine. Put it in a container and add olive oil slowly until all the garlic is submerged, and you have fresh garlic ready to go! Store it in your fridge and it should stay good for a few months, if it lasts that long and you haven’t eaten all of it.

Tip: I buy these specimen cups off Amazon for things like this because it has ounces and milliliter measurements on the side and spots to write what it is and the date, a little odd, but very handy.

• Broccoli. My son actually loves broccoli, but it always bothers me that most of what I’m paying for I throw away, the stem. And no one likes chunks of broccoli stem mixed in.

Instead of cutting the broccoli stem into bite sized chunks, cut them into little toothpick sized slivers. They will go unnoticed, even unidentifiable as broccoli, which if your kids hate broccoli might be a plus.

• Herbs. Who doesn’t love fresh herbs? Oregano, basil, thyme, rosemary etc. Using fresh herbs while cooking makes the dish taste so much better! But having fresh herbs around all the time is practically impossible.

Break up the herbs into manageable pieces and put them in an ice cube tray. I suggest making a little map so you know what’s what later. I like to do four cubes of each herb. After the herbs are in place pour olive oil into the cubes on one-half of the ice cube tray, and melted butter in the cubes on the other side, this way you have an oil or butter option. Then freeze. Now you have fresh herbs that will melt into whatever you’re cooking!

You’ve got to love fresh food, you could make something delicious with just that! Garlic and herb stir fried broccoli, how bad could that be? Add some chicken and you’re set!

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