I hope everyone had a great weekend! We spent a lot of time with family and got a lot of help with gardening. The weather was gorgeous, and I was able to plant our second vegetable garden bed as well as separate pots for spinach and three tomato plants. Our herb garden is growing quickly, and we even noticed a little tiny yellow squash growing in our first bed!
As I said before, this season is a big jump from what I grew in the fall and winter. I’m being a lot more ambitious. I’ve found it to be a very fun hobby, and being a dietitian I think it’s a great way to learn about food. And of course, to teach children about food.
One reason why I wanted to work hard on a vegetable garden is the rising cost of food. I love to buy fresh but it can be costly. With green bell peppers running at $1.25 sometimes or even more for organic, I wanted to see if I can do this myself! When I can’t buy fresh, I usually buy frozen. Frozen produce can be cheaper than fresh foods and can be stored for a longer amount of time. While many people think that frozen foods may be lower in nutrients, they tend to be frozen at their freshest peak and tend to retain their nutrients. However, overcooking them in water causes nutrient loss (particularly the water soluble vitamins-B vitamins and C). Personally, I find frozen veggies not as tasty, but they are a healthy alternative. When shopping for them, look for the varieties without added sauces and seasonings. You can then add your own flavorings at home so that you can control the amount and type. We do often buy frozen fruit such as berries because they’re a great way to act as ice to a smoothie without watering it down.
Of course we can’t forget about canned vegetables as another alternative. I try to limit these although they are often times the most affordable option. Keep in mind that in order to have a long shelf life, sodium and preservatives are usually added. When I do buy canned vegetables, I buy no salt added and take a close look at the ingredients list.
Although there are many options out there, I’m hoping that my garden will be successful and that Isaac can learn to embrace the things that we grow.
What kind of vegetables do you tend to buy?
Have you ever had a vegetable or herb garden?
Thank you for reading!