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Make the Most of Local Vegetables and Fruit

Make the Most of Local Vegetables and Fruit
From sweet blueberries to juicy peaches, now is the ideal time to enjoy local Canadian produce. In addition to being farm-fresh, ripe and delicious, it’s also in great abundance. That means it is more affordable to buy, because there’s lots of it to sell!
 
Whether you’re ready to harvest the crops from a local community garden, or simply grocery shop for locally grown vegetables and fruit, here are some ideas that will help make the most of your bounty:
 

Plan your meals and snacks around your fresh vegetables and fruit. Howabout a simple pasta salad with tomatoes and cucumbers? Or blueberries and peaches in yogurt? From breakfast through to dinner, use more fresh produce to add colour, flavor and great nutritional value to your meals and snacks.
 
Freeze the excess. Berries are expensive in the colder months. Buy them when they are affordable, and freeze them to use in the winter. It’s easy to learn how to freeze berries. From the freezer, berries can be used in smoothies, muffins and pancake batter. Once defrosted, they are great on cereal, yogurt or as a simple fruit salad.
 
Preserve them: a bushel of tomatoes provides bottled tomato sauce all year long for a fraction of the price of buying jars at the grocery store. Learn how to make it yourself! You can also experiment with pickled beets, cucumbers and onions; make jam with seasonal fruit; or can some produce. Many local community centres and food banks offer canning and pickling classes. Connect with your local community centre to learn more.

What can you buy?
Many Canadian-grown items are economical in the late summer and fall. Check your grocer’s produce section for locally-harvested vegetables and fruit such as:
·         Broccoli
·         Cauliflower
·         Corn
·         Berries
·         Carrots
·         Apples
·         Pears
·         Stone fruit (peaches, plums, apricots)
 
Vegetables and fruit are a vital part of the diet. It makes sense to stock up when they are at a lower cost, and use preserving methods to make the bounty last longer. Then, enjoy every bite!

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Hunger Facts

apple

38%

of food distributed by Canadian food banks is fresh (eg. milk, eggs, fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables, bread)