Getting up at 4:50am on a Saturday morning to volunteer at Bountiful Baskets was, as always, a fun adventure. Our truck arrives at 5:00am, but our pickup time isn’t until 6:45am. This gives the volunteers plenty of time to distribute produce, but I really wish more people would volunteer! It really is a lot of fun, and we do agree to do it when we sign up for a basket. And, because our pickup time is so early, I even have time for a little “nap” before starting the rest of my day. Here’s what the conventional basket included today:
Fruits: Pineapple, mangoes, Braeburn apples, bananas, oranges, lemons.
My daughter came with me to volunteer – she is getting to be quite a pro at setting up baskets and breaking down boxes. She was excited to be able to pick a few small extras as a thank you for helping – a lemon and a mango. She asked if we could make lemon bars with “real” lemons – I think I’ll get working on a healthier version of lemon bars this week.
Every once in a while we get something interesting to play with in our Bountiful Basket. This week we got Jerusalem Artichokes (aka sunchokes) – see Nisha’s post about them from last year. She has an excellent idea for using them in a salad with poppyseed dressing. At my mom’s pickup site this morning, they suggested peeling them and grating them into a salad. I’m also going to try roasting them (I got a dozen!)
Our family has a few staple recipes we use when certain items appear in our baskets. If we get cucumbers and tomatoes we make Greek Burgers. Yellow squash is used in Tortellini Sausage Soup. Here’s a menu plan to use the bountiful baskets produce this week:
Saturday – Breakfast for Dinner. We are feeding a large crew tonight (we trade babysitting with my brother) so I am thinking something quick that makes a lot, but that everyone will like. Homemade whole wheat pancakes or waffles, scrambled eggs, and a fruit salad.
Monday – Pecan Cranberry Quinoa (uses orange and lemon juice – it is so good! For extra nutrition, plan ahead a day so you can sprout the quinoa). I’m playing with this recipe and will post it when I figure out what works best.
Tuesday – Tortellini Sausage Soup, pineapple
Friday – Traditional Pizza and Movie night at our house. Make using a whole wheat pizza crust. Top with lots of veggies and serve with a huge salad using leftover vegetables
We got 3 really large English cucumbers in our baskets this morning, along with several Roma tomatoes. I’m going to juice the cucumbers with celery, ginger, carrot and an apple. If you are a tomato fan (I wish I were!) try a simple Cucumber and Tomato Salad.
Mangoes, bananas, oranges and apples get eaten so quickly at our house that I often leave them out of the menu plan in order to provide flexibility for my kids. My 6 year old will often eat 2 or 3 apples AND 2 bananas A DAY – I try to keep them well stocked. Good thing I bought a case of Pink Lady apples a few weeks ago. They are so yummy! Try to pair these with a protein like almonds or peanut butter.
How are you using your Bountiful Baskets produce this week?