Getting dinner on the table and lunches packed can be stressful as the back-to-school tensions and schedules resume. Soon, you may find yourself longing for the easy, breezy days of summer where you could minimally prepare whatever produce looked and smelled the freshest and throw whatever the butcher recommended onto the grill. However, there is still time to capitalize on the harvest before fall marches into winter and while the days are still a little longer. So, we invite you to try your hand at these DIY snacks and make-ahead meals sure to make packing lunches and weeknight meals a cinch.
Veggie Chips — Dried vegetables are the perfect addition to any otherwise mundane winter casserole or soup, but have you ever eaten them as a snack or chip alternative? We encourage you to try out a variety of vegetable chips and decide which is your favorite — you may never buy potato chips again.
Fruit Snacks — Dried fruit is delicious on its own as a healthy after-school or post-workout snack, as well as a welcome addition to granola, cereal or yogurt.
Fruit Leathers — Kids and adults alike love fruit leathers, and there are many advantages to drying them yourself at home. Making your own allows you to control the sugar content, saves you money, and provides another healthy-choice snack option for busy families on the go.
Stretch the harvest with these make-ahead meal ideas — no recipe needed! We see some of the most flavorful fruits and vegetables pass through our Produce department. Our meats are sourced from sustainable farmers and producers — many of whom we know by name. Whenever you need an expert opinion, touch base with our eager-to-help cheese monger for advice or a recommendation!
Egg dishes are no longer just for breakfast. All you need to do is pick up the essentials: pre-made frozen pie crust (prepare according to instructions), six eggs, and a ½-pint carton of heavy cream. Then, the rest is easy. Combine with your favorite filling, then bake at 375 F for 30–40 minutes. Allow to cool and then freeze for up to 2–3 months or enjoy immediately. If filling with meat, be sure to brown the meat before adding to quiche.
Pizza can be an easy way to get servings of all the food groups. You’ll need a strong foundation on which to build your pizza, so swing by the Grocery aisles and pick up pizza crust, sauce (marinara, alfredo or pesto), and a Seward-made, fresh mozzarella ball. If topping with meat, be sure to use cured meats or brown the meat before freezing.
A great way to get kids (and adults) to eat their fruits and vegetables is to blend the produce up in a smoothie! Build your own smoothie packs with this general formula: combine 2–3 cups of fruit (fresh or frozen), 1 cup of greens, 1 cup of liquid (water, coconut water, juice, milk or yogurt); then blend. Stop by our Bulk section for chia or flax seeds to add a boost of protein and fiber. Pro tip: freeze yogurt in ice cube trays to add to smoothie packs.