Save money, lose weight, and “upcycle” your produce!!


If you’re like me and find yourself throwing out produce every week that just didn’t make it to the table before it went bad, here are a couple simple ideas of how to make it go farther!!  Read all the way down for a great little recipe at the bottom for a refreshing homemade vitamin water that is great for your metabolism.  (source)

Below is a photo of homemade “seasoning blends” like you’ll find in the grocery store, except mine only has two ingredients: red bell pepper and onion.  I had purchased some bell peppers on clearance and they would not have made it another day in the fridge, so I chopped them up along with some “leftover” onion halves I had bagged in my fridge, and threw them in ziplocs for a great little addition to dinner later in the week.  Freeze it, and pull it out when you need to add it to a recipe!!  I use the seasoning blends most often for gumbo. 😉

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This little pile of goodness here has me particularly excited!  Being the hot summer in Texas that it is, the kids and I have been loving smoothies (especially since I’m trying to drop my last 10 lbs baby weight, and they need to eat more fruit, it works out great!)  But I noticed at the store that a pound of fresh strawberries was $1.78 on sale, and a pound of frozen berries was well over $2.  So, I decided to be smarter than the system, bought the fresh ones, and left the frozen ones there to hope for another home.  This got my mind jogging and I decided to opt out of the frozen pineapple chunks and see how much the canned ones were!  To my delight, these store brand ones (in natural juices, not syrup) were only .88 a can!! Hurray!!  (Insert happy dance here!)  So, I snagged three cans for approximately what one bag of frozen pineapple would cost, but will be getting three times as much out of these bad boys!!  I lined a cookie sheet with wax paper, cut the stems off my berries and cut them in half, pulled the pineapple chunks out of their juices, laid them out on the cookie sheet and set them in my freezer to frost over, and then dumped them into baggies later in the evening.  DON’T MISS THIS!!  I also saved the juices from the pineapple (since its the naturally occuring juice), gave a small bit to the baby to enjoy, and poured the rest into icecube trays, to use in my smoothies in place of sugar!  (BRILLIANT!!)  So, that’s how you can save quite a bit of money on frozen fruit this summer if you’re the smoothie-makin’ kind of person that I am!!  (Tip:  This works great on ANY kind of fruit that may be over-ripening too.  Go to a berry farm, pick a TON, and freeze most of it!  Or, if an apple is going bad, chop it up small, and freeze it.  Use it later to make applesauce, or baby food, or pie, or as a smoothie base!  I bought peaches cheap this week, will put them in a paper bag, but if they ripen too fast, I’ll cut them up and freeze them as well.  The sky’s the limit!!)

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Metabolism boosting Lemon mint cucumber vitamin water!!

Ingredients:

-Peppermint, rinsed and leaves picked off and gently crushed. (fresh.  The stuff I used I had in my garden and so happens to be a “chocolate peppermint” plant.  Its divine.  Really.)

-Tiny little sprig of rosemary, gently crushed (optional- I was just getting creative since I had some in my garden too.)

-1 lemon, thinly sliced.

-1/2 cucumber, thinly sliced.

-water and gallon jug!!

Prep your ingredients by rinsing, slicing, picking and crushing, add to the jug, add filtered water, let it sit overnight and enjoy the next day or two!!

Click the highlighted links to see the Health benefits of Cucumbers, peppermint, rosemary and lemons!!

 

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Weightloss benefits:

The benefits of drinking Lemon water instead of sugary, chemically-enhanced drinks are many. Lemon juice is a natural diuretic, which can help combat water retention and bloating.  Lemons also help boost immune system and balance your PH levels in your body. ( read more: Livestrong)

Cucumbers are 90% water and help flush retained water from your body.  They also have an alkalizing effect on your body, restoring your PH levels, and their high fiber content is beneficial to weightloss. (source)

Peppermint is like a superhero to the body!  Peppermint may cause slight weight loss because it relieves bloating, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. It’s also been used to treat headaches, skin irritations, anxiety associated with depression, nausea, diarrhea, menstrual cramps and flatulence. It may also be useful for indigestion and irritable bowel syndrome. Chest rubs with peppermint can help treat symptoms of the common cold. It may have antibacterial and antiviral actions. (source)

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