[00:00:00] We’re now at ours, and that’s for radish. And the first thing that comes to my mind, I don’t know if you’ve read the children’s book, there’s one. It’s all about fruits and veggies, and it’s called raw, raw radishes. But radishes are really inexpensive. You’ll typically find them for a dollar a bunch.
[00:00:18] Honestly, I don’t buy them pretty much ever because my family is not a big fan of radishes and we just, we’re not a huge fan, so that’s our personal. Taste, but radishes don’t have a ton of use. Like there’s not a lot of recipes that call for it, and there’s not a lot of variety that you can do with them.
[00:00:39] You also aren’t able to freeze them or dry them. And maybe you could, I don’t know what that would be like, but people don’t do that. And so it’s just limited on usage. You can add it to salads, you can pickle it. Um, but one thing I learned when I started my. By [00:01:00] first garden as an adult, and that was like 12 years ago.
[00:01:03] I planted a full pack of radishes all at once. I had no idea what I was doing. And it came in this pack of just a bunch of different veggies. And so I just are like, well, I don’t know if I really like radishes, I’ll just plant them all. And I didn’t read the directions. Because that’s kinda how I roll. And I realized later that that was a really bad plan because radishes, they come up all at once.
[00:01:34] And so I had. So like hundreds of radishes because the seeds are super tiny. And when you plant the whole package, you’ll realize like, Oh my goodness, this has so many radishes. And then I had no idea what to do with them. And then I realized I didn’t even like them. So it was like, I just felt like I was just wasting them.
[00:01:55] So if you do love radishes and you do want to plant them, it’s really [00:02:00] inexpensive to plant and they do grow well, just plant. A little bit of time and plant every two weeks. So there are some veggies that you want to plant in succession and a lot of that is going to be like your lettuces and spinach and things like that.
[00:02:16] They’re the, your cool weather crops that you can’t just, you don’t want to let us, doesn’t last very long. So these are the things that don’t last super long and so you don’t want to just have like a crazy crop of it unless you are going to be pickling a ton of them. So learn from my mistake. Don’t plant a whole pack of radishes at once.
[00:02:39] The next are is raspberries. So raspberries. Are typically really expensive, and I normally don’t buy raspberries. Sometimes you can land like the small packages, which I think are about six to eight ounces. I think they’re more on the six ounce sides, um, for 99 cents. At that [00:03:00] point. That’s when I consider buying them.
[00:03:02] But a lot of times it’s just if you have a garden and you want raspberries, they take off like crazy and. A lot of the raspberry varieties, you can get thornless, but they’re, they’re not actually thornless, but they don’t have the crazy spiky thorns. They still have some, but it’s not as dangerous. And you can get some varieties that will actually have a crop in the spring and in the fall, and they grow.
[00:03:33] And multiply so quickly so you, if you are going to grow them. I would go and ask someone. You could even post on Facebook or Instagram if anyone has raspberry starts that they would be willing to give you. And most people who have raspberries have. Tons of they could give away. And so they would be more than happy to just give you some starts.
[00:03:57] And that way you can get some free plants [00:04:00] and start growing raspberries. The first year after you plant it, you typically are not going to get much of a crop because it just takes a little bit of time. And then after that following year, you’ll get quite a few raspberries from that point on. So, um, yeah.
[00:04:17] I would definitely grow them. If that is something that’s interesting to you. It is. It does grow like a weed and so you need to be careful about where you plant them because otherwise, even when you pull it out, they’re still going to be more of them coming because their root system is really impressive.
[00:04:37] The next R is rhubarb, and this is one that a lot of people have never even tried or don’t even know what to do with it. Rhubarb looks like celery, but it’s more like pinkish red and it has giant leaves. The leaves you should never eat. And, um. Because they’re poisonous, [00:05:00] so don’t eat the leaves, but rhubarb, you, if you buy it at the store, you pie it per pound and it’s really, it ends up being pretty expensive.
[00:05:10] I don’t buy it at the store and it’s because if you know someone who has a rebar plant or you have one, you can have. Crazy amounts that grow in a year and you don’t even know what to do with them. So if you have a rhubarb plant or you know someone who has one, you can do all kinds of things with it.
[00:05:31] The thing when you plant rhubarb or you grow it, um. When you, when you pick it, you can use a knife. I used to use that, but if you actually just pull on the individual STEM and you want to get the ones that are really long and thick because you want to just start pulling out ones, you don’t want to do it all at once just as you go.
[00:05:51] When it starts growing, it starts growing early spring. And when it starts filling out, you’ll just pick out the biggest ones [00:06:00] and then it just continues growing and making new ones, and it will just pull out really nice and cleanly. And then what I do is I, I’ll have a knife and I just cut off the, the head, the, the big leaf off of it and leave that.
[00:06:15] In and put it into my compost pile so that way I don’t have to worry about throwing it away or putting it in the trash inside the house. It just makes it easier to take it in. And if you’ve ever tried rhubarb while it’s fresh by itself, if you want to play a practical joke on someone, you just have them try it by itself because it’s so strong and it’s very bitter and you wonder, how does this ever taste good?
[00:06:45] But it really can trust me, but a lot of it has to do with adding lots of sugar. So if you’re trying to cut back on sugar, rhubarb is not the best fruit to have around. So, um. You can make rhubarb [00:07:00] cake. One thing I’ve started doing is making Rubar barbecue sauce and you don’t add much sugar to that and it adds that Tang and it has this flavor in it, which is really good.
[00:07:09] Like I said earlier, that my husband isn’t able to do tomatoes, and so when I make barbecue sauce for him, instead of using tomatoes, I use rhubarb and it, it’s kind of like a barbecue sauce and it works. You can also make strawberry rhubarb jam. I used to make that all the time. With rhubarb that I grew, and then I would buy strawberries and then do that, um, and then make the jam out of it, which is really yummy.
[00:07:37] You can freeze rhubarb. And the thing about freezing rhubarb. Is that when, if you try thawing it out before you cook it in or bake it and do something with it, it will become super liquidy. Like you would need to put it in a bowl or something if you’re going to just let it saw out in your fridge.
[00:07:56] Otherwise you’re going to just have a liquid and mess. So that’s just [00:08:00] one thing to note when you, if you try to freeze rhubarb. All right, we’re going to go to S and that’s for spinach. So spinach is really healthy. It’s great addition to so many things. You can add it to smoothies and you don’t even taste it, which is awesome.
[00:08:20] So I made green smoothies. I even add it to pancake sometimes. And so we’ll have, you know, like green eggs and ham. We’ll have green pancakes. And my kids think it’s really cool because it makes the pancakes like a really bright green. And you don’t even taste it. And there’s veggies in the pancakes, which is pretty cool.
[00:08:39] Um, I have tried it with Dutch babies and that is pretty frightening looking, so I would not recommend that one. Um, I brought it actually to one of my friend’s houses cause they just invited us over for dinner and I was like, well, I can bring this. And it was. Awful. So I would not add it to everything, but you can add since just so [00:09:00] much stuff, if you are going to add it to, um, to like a Asian dish or something like that where you’re cooking it down, you don’t want to do that.
[00:09:11] You don’t want to add it to the sauce or anything until you’re pretty much done and ready to serve. So that way it just. Wilt quickly and you don’t. Otherwise it just gets like overly soggy. So you want to do it very much at the end, like when you’re about to turn off the burner, that’s when you want to add the spinach.
[00:09:34] You’ll also notice that when you add spinach to a dish and you want it to wilt down, it gets super small. So you want add a lot more than you think you really need.
[00:09:48] Okay. The next S is squash and this picture behind, if you have the, the a to Z workbook. These [00:10:00] are, this is a picture of some squash that I grew in my garden and it’s covering up a before, like behind this, in this picture, my son is laying on the carpet and he is. Pretty much the same size as the spaghetti squash and the zucchini.
[00:10:17] It was crazy. Insane. And he was newborn and I was not looking after my garden as well. Like most, yeah, when you have a newborn, it’s not easy to just go and check if the zucchini is going crazy and getting huge. So squash is one of the. Amazing things. I love to grow because if you buy a squash at the grocery store, especially spaghetti squash, it’s so expensive, like insane, expensive.
[00:10:49] That year that I, I planted one spaghetti squash plant and I had over 60 spaghetti squash grow out of one plant. If I bought a spaghetti squash. At the [00:11:00] store, it would probably be depending on the weight, probably four to $5 per spaghetti squash. So my one plant that I think I spent like 50 cents on made up so much, like it was crazy, and I loved it because you can cook your spaghetti squash and then use it as.
[00:11:19] Like spaghetti noodles, you can do all kinds of cool things with that. So that’s a great one. I liked doing the squash that just, it’s more expensive to buy at the store. And if you do some of the cool weather squashes, like butternut squash and things like that, you can, the winter squashes, you can have them in your, if you have it in a cool dark place, you can use them all winter long.
[00:11:45] And so that’s. Wonderful, and it’s just like a, it’s a great deal and it’s super healthy for you. So for squashes, I definitely love to cook them. Um, I love [00:12:00] to bake squash in the oven. You can also put it in the instant pot for spaghetti squash, and that’s how I do it. So that way it’s just like easy peasy.
[00:12:10] And you can look up recipes that make it just like you just use a wire trivet and it just cooks so quickly. You can also put it on the grill. There’s all kinds of things you can do. But if you do, garden squash is definitely a great place to start and they’re really easy to grow. It’s not challenging.
[00:12:32] Okay. S is for strawberries. So I have grown strawberries in the past and I have not had a lot of luck with strawberries because the birds get them, the slugs get them, and the amount that I get after tending to it is. Pretty pitiful, but you can buy strawberries pretty inexpensive in the summertime, and you’ll notice that when it is the summer season [00:13:00] that you’ll find some great tea deals.
[00:13:02] A lot of times you’ll find it for a dollar a pound, sometimes even less at the fruit stands near my home. They have deals like a flat, which is normally eight pounds of. Um, strawberries that they’ll sell for six bucks or eight bucks or something like that. A lot of times it ends up being like 80 cents a pound, which is amazing, but you have a lot of strawberries at that point.
[00:13:26] What I like to do is I wash them really well. I dry them off, I put them on a sheet pan. Oh, I take the greens off and then I put them in the freezer, let them freeze, and then put them into Ziploc bags, and then I add them to smoothies for the rest of the year. And you can add strawberries to so many things.
[00:13:47] And so there’s just like, everyone loves strawberries pretty much. It’s good. All right, we’re going to tea for tomato. So [00:14:00] I personally do not like buying tomatoes at the grocery store, and I think a lot of it is because garden tomatoes ruined it for me. If you have ever eaten a garden tomato and then you line it up next to a store bought tomato, it’s like you don’t even notice any similarities.
[00:14:18] Like the taste is so different. A garden tomato is just heavenly in comparison. And so I love. Growing tomatoes and. You can grow tomatoes pretty easily depending on like where you live and how to do it. I lived in a town where it was really cold and I used to use wall of waters around my tomato plants, so I would buy them when they were smaller and a wall of water.
[00:14:46] If you don’t know what that is, it’s like this plastic. They’re normally blue. You can also get red ones, which are made specifically for tomatoes, and you add water into all of these walls. And it pretty much makes a mini greenhouse to [00:15:00] protect your plant. And when the tomato plant is growing outside of that, then you can pull the wall of water off and then you’ve got a tomato plant.
[00:15:09] I used to grow like 35 tomato plants and now I have a smaller garden, but I grew some tomatoes that were heirlooms that are amazing. I was given the, they were given to me and since I planted them, I have not had to plant tomatoes. Ever since that they just come back every single year. And I now have hundreds of tomato plants.
[00:15:34] So all my friends who want tomato plants, I just give them tomato starts because there’s insane amounts of tomatoes that I have and they’re all heirloom and I love it. So, um. I would recommend getting growing your own tomatoes if you like doing that. But if you do want to buy them in a store, I don’t like spending more than a dollar a pound on them, and [00:16:00] in the winter time, you’ll notice the prices are.
[00:16:03] Normally close to like $3 a pound and they taste pretty terrible, so I just don’t like buying them. Honestly. I do buy diced tomatoes and they’re normally about 50 cents a can and I like to buy cherry tomatoes on occasion, and those are about a dollar for, I think it’s like an eight ounce little clamshell thing of it.
[00:16:30] And. If you grow tomatoes, there’s a lot of tips. When you plant the tomato, you want to make sure that you plant, you take off some of the, if you’re not starting from seed, if you’re starting from an actual plant, you want to take some of the bottom leaves off and bury the plant as deep as you can. So not a ton of it is actually showing up above the ground and that gives it a stronger root base.
[00:16:58] And then one [00:17:00] thing I love to do is extend the life out of the tomato plants because where I live, it gets cold before all the tomatoes ripen. And then it just makes you sad. Like I have all these tomatoes that are just going to go to waste and I don’t like that. And so what I like to do, I’ve done multiple different things to do this.
[00:17:19] So one thing you can do is you can uproot the entire tomato plant before it’s going to have a hard frost. And you flip the tomato plant upside down and you hang it in your garage, and then the tomato will ripen on the vine. And I’ve been able to get tomatoes all the way through January by doing this method.
[00:17:37] So that’s one way. Honestly, it’s not my favorite method of doing it this way, because. Then you have, when I had like 35 tomato plants, I didn’t want to hang 35 tomato plants in my garage. Like we would be just whacking your heads on tomatoes and they would be falling on the ground and it would make a mass, and it was just like, it was just too much.
[00:17:58] When we had a ton of tomato [00:18:00] plants, one thing I’ve also done is like we had the storage container that you put underneath the bed, like the clear. Container that like you can put shoes or whatever. I had that emptied and I put the tomatoes in that and lined it and I didn’t stack them on top of each other and I would just, so I picked the tomatoes while they were still on the vine and I would just take the vine chunks off and put it down and then they would just, they would ripen on their own as well.
[00:18:32] You can also put them in individual Brown bags and put it in. That way and just do single level. There’s a lot of different ways, but you can really go through and have tomatoes through January, and so then you’re only going, you know, six months without having fresh tomatoes, which is pretty good for growing something like that.
[00:18:56] Okay. The next is w, and that [00:19:00] is for watermelon. And if you think of summertime, like watermelon is the, like the key fruit that you think about, at least for me, for watermelon, I don’t spend more than $5 for a large wet watermelon. Some stores they’ll sell it by like the whole watermelon is. Four bucks or whatever it is.
[00:19:22] Some of the stores will have it per pound, and that becomes a little trickier. So if you see it per pound, you want to weigh it out first. So that way you have a clue of how much is like how much the watermelon is going to cost you. And when you look for the watermelons, you want one that actually has a yellow bottom on it.
[00:19:44] So you can tell that actually. Was laying down and ripened by the sun and that it sat down on the grass or the ground. And if it has more of the like vein, um, lines on it, pretty much like the uglier the watermelon, the better. [00:20:00] You can also tap on it and hear how Sam hear how it sounds to see how, how.
[00:20:08] It’s hard to explain it. Oh, just by talking about it. But it has a different sound that it sounds dense and it’s full, and you know that’s a good watermelon too, to buy. So there’s different ways to eat watermelon. One of my favorite ways to eat watermelon, which might sound a little interesting, is chopping up the watermelon.
[00:20:28] I add lemon juice. Freshmen from our garden and fed a cheese, and I mix that together and I want to make sure that the watermelon is cold first. It doesn’t do great when you like, you want to eat all of it at the sitting. You don’t want to just have it setting in your fridge because the mint and the wa, the pheta starts breaking down.
[00:20:51] So you want your refrigerated watermelon and then you mix all this stuff together and it is so yummy and it’s definitely worth the [00:21:00] tribe. One thing I used to do when I was a kid, which I loved, is I would eat watermelon and chocolate chips together and it was so good. So that’s definitely a yummy combination and you should try that.
[00:21:12] And of course there’s the, the typical sprinkle some salt on the watermelon and people love that as well. Okay, now we’re at Y and Y is for yams and yams are really yummy, and so you can buy sweet potatoes and yams. They do. They are different from each other. Um, yams are normally going to be whiter and the sweet potatoes are going to be more orange.
[00:21:40] So we. We eat sweet potatoes or yams typically a few times a week, and we love making sweet potato fries or yam fries, and I don’t like spending more than 99 cents a pound on them. And you’ll see that they, they vary in price pretty [00:22:00] frequently during Thanksgiving time. And sometimes even during Christmas time, you’ll find that there are 50 cents a pound, which is a great deal, and that’s when I stock up on buying them because I know I’ll use them.
[00:22:14] You can also, one of the places I’ve found that is really quite inexpensive consistently for buying sweet potatoes is trader Joe’s, and they sell the two pound. Bag of sweet potatoes for I think a dollar 79 so it’s less than 99 cents a pound. So that’s a really good place to go for sweet potatoes for consistent price.
[00:22:43] I also love cooking the yams. If I do them whole in the instant pot, you need to make sure you prick them beforehand, otherwise they are going to explode and that would be not something you want to deal with. One thing I also like doing is you can [00:23:00] make a baked sweet potato or yam, and then I like to put shredded chicken and sauteed peppers and veggies and barbecue sauce and cheddar cheese on top, and it is surprisingly really good.
[00:23:11] So that might be another idea of a healthier, like loaded baked potato. Then like an actual white potato and then sweet potato fries are really good. I do have a fry press. To make fries, but sweet potatoes and yams are so, so dense and hard to cut through that it doesn’t work for that. It only works for a regular white potato.
[00:23:37] All right. And now we are on Z, the very last produce, and that’s zucchini. So zucchini is typically in abundance. In summertime. You probably have met someone or heard of it, of like, you know, people put zucchinis on people’s doorsteps or inside of unlocked vehicles because they have so [00:24:00] many growing in.
[00:24:01] The garden. And it’s amazing how fast zucchini grow. If you have a garden, if you’ve ever grown zucchini and you forget about it for a couple of days, your zucchini could be the size of a baby or a big baby. Um, or even a toddler, like it’s insane how big you can make these. Like these zucchinis can get huge.
[00:24:19] So. You want to pay attention to how big the zucchinis are. If you do grow them, the smaller they are, the better they’re going to taste, but if you’re going to just shred them up and add them to like bake any kind of like zucchini muffins or bread, then a bigger zucchini would be the way to go. You would just want to take the seeds out at that point because it’s going to be so large.
[00:24:44] So at the grocery store, I don’t like spending more than a dollar a pound on zucchini because it’s just, I just don’t like spending more than that. And if you want to get a really good bang for your buck is to plant zucchini. I [00:25:00] would not plant a ton of them. Like if you plant like one to two plants. But if you love zucchini and you want to freeze it and do other things with it, you know, feel free to plant more, but it’s amazing how much do Kini you’ll get off of one plant.
[00:25:18] Uh, I do shred zucchini using my, um. My KitchenAid attachment and you just put it through and it just makes it really fast if you’re going to add it to things. I also make zucchini salsa and it lines up with when my tomatoes are ripe, and so I just buy onions and normally my peppers are not at the.
[00:25:43] They’re not ready for me to use them to make the salsa with all the things, so I have to buy some of it. But the zucchini in it is a great filler and it tastes really good and it’s super cheap. If you want to like get some bang for your buck, it [00:26:00] is making zucchini salsa. And I also like that the recipe that I use, you actually have to.
[00:26:07] To like shred the zucchini in one day and have it soak in this brine, which is like salt water and trying to get all of everything out of it. And um, you have to wait overnight. And so it helps because you are pretty much prepping all the stuff in one day and then the next day you can it. And so it’s less overwhelming and it’s just, it breaks things up to make it a lot easier.
[00:26:31] So that is your a to Z guide on produce. And so I hope this has been super helpful for you. We’re now going to dive into some other areas that you probably are buying frequently so you can know the pricing that I like to spend on it. And I hope it will be super helpful to you.