Stock Up on Summer Produce to Save Time and Money (+ 50 In-Season Recipes)

Save time & money by using what's in season! Here are 50 great recipes to make ahead and refrigerate or freeze for later.

Disclaimer: This post was created in partnership with Frigidaire. But the opinions are all ours!

Ripe berries, juicy peaches, zucchini the size of your forearm, more tomatoes than you can shake a stick at. Summer to our family is not only about swimming, road trips, and catching fireflies. It’s also all about filling our bellies and stocking our fridge and freezer with our favorite in-season summer fruits and vegetables.

Why Stock Up in the Summer?

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Whether you scour the Farmer’s Market and supermarket for deals or your garden is overflowing with produce, summer is an ideal time to stock up on fruits and vegetables. By buying what’s in season, you’ll find that not only is your produce cheaper, it’s also at the height of deliciousness and nutritional value.

You can save time by prepping and freezing your produce or making some simple, healthy freezer meals with it for later. I also like to whip up some easy make-ahead recipes to keep in the fridge and eat on all week long, like the Tabbouleh Salad or Cobb Salad (see more below).

So, don’t let the produce you have go to waste or miss out on those deals because you don’t know what to do with it all. With our seasonal tips and summer recipes from this post, you’ll be on your way to stocking up and saving money and time this summer.

How Should I Store In-Season Produce?

Whether you store it in the refrigerator for the week or in the freezer for a longer period (see more about freezing food here and here), it makes sense to buy seasonal produce in bulk and prep ahead. Once again, Polly and I had a chance to enjoy the flexibility of our new Frigidaire Gallery Top Freezer Refrigerator with Custom-Flex Bins, as we each filled them with this week’s Farmer’s Market and supermarket finds.

Stock Up on Summer Produce to Save Time & Money (+50 In-Season Recipes)

Lets take a closer look at exactly what we bought, shall we?

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  1. Farm fresh cheese
  2. Blueberries and raspberries
  3. Summer sausage from local farm
  4. Canned blueberry jam and pickles
  5. Homemade mini peach pies
  6. Kale
  7. Carrots, green peppers, white cucumbers, zucchini and broccoli
  8. Local beef sticks
  9. Cucumbers, zucchini and bell peppers
  10. Blackberries and raspberries
  11. Eggs from local farm
  12. Canned marinara sauce, pickles, tomatoes and jam

From local eggs for an Oven Omelet to lots of in-season produce for snacking and make-ahead recipes like the ones below, Polly and I are ready for a week of prepping, freezing and eating our delicious summer bounty.

Stock Up on Summer Produce to Save Time & Money (+50 In-Season Recipes)

Stock Up on Summer Produce to Save Time & Money (+50 In-Season Recipes)

What’s in Season During Summer?

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So, you may be wondering, how do I know what’s in season in the summer? Well, Polly and I were on a mission this weekend to find what’s out there right now and stock our fridges.

With her poor husband in bed after knee surgery and her kids at the grandparents, we were free to meet up and hang out at our local Farmer’s Market. After compiling our 50 Delicious and Healthy Summer Recipes list below, we knew what in-season produce to scout for on this trip and later trips this summer:

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  • Zucchini
  • Yellow squash
  • Tomatoes
  • Bell peppers
  • Peaches
  • Berries (blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, etc)
  • Cherries
  • Onions
  • Herbs
  • Sweet corn
  • Green beans
  • Broccoli
  • Cucumbers

What Should I Do with All My Summer Produce?

Are you ready to save money and time by strategically stocking up and prepping ahead this summer? Here are 50+ of our go-to recipes for using summer in-season produce. Many of these are freezable and include freezer meal instructions within the recipes, while others are perfect for making ahead on the weekend and eating on all week long.

Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal {Freezer Meal}

Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal is hearty, healthy, delicious, and fairly adaptable to whatever ingredients you have on hand. Plus, leftovers keep well in the fridge for several days. Serve it up as a tasty start to your day or as a “breakfast-for-dinner”, along with bacon and a fruit salad.

Disclaimer: This recipe was created in partnership with Frigidaire. But the opinions are all ours! 

Oh, Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal. How I love thee.

If I were to count the ways and reasons for my affection for thee, it would look something like this:

  • No matter the age, you are delicious to all who feast upon thy goodness.
  • You are easy to prepare whilst my mind is still half-asleep and the coffee has not yet taken its much needed effect.
  • Your ingredients are healthy to my bones, yet very affordable.
  • You assemble quickly and the freezer is kind to thee.
  • The combination of thy rich flavors combine with fresh coffee brings life to my soul upon a weary morning.
  • You are deceivingly filling, therefore providing myself and my offspring many leftovers to graze upon on the days to come.

Yes, apple cinnamon baked oatmeal. I love thee. I am proud to share thy secrets of your components with many readers today and many readers to come.

Serve them well, Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal. Serve them well.

Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yields: 4-6 servings

This recipe is hearty, healthy, delicious, and fairly adaptable to whatever ingredients you have on hand. Plus, leftovers keep well in the fridge for several days. Serve it up as a tasty start to your day or as a “breakfast-for-dinner”, along with bacon and a fruit salad.

Ingredients

  • 2 ¾ cups oats (quick or rolled)
  • ¼ cup ground flaxseed (or substitute more oats)
  • ⅔ cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 apple, cored and diced (peeled or unpeeled is fine)
  • ¼ cup raisins

Instructions

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8x8 glass or metal baking dish.

2) In a large bowl, whisk together the oats, flaxseed, brown sugar, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon.

3) In a separate bowl, whisk together melted butter, eggs, and milk.

4) Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ones and stir until combined well. Gently stir in the walnuts, apples, and raisins.

5) Pour batter into baking dish. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Serve with warm milk and a bit more brown sugar on top, if desired.

Freezer Meal Instructions:
To Freeze:

Complete recipe through Step 4. DO NOT BAKE before freezing. Wrap casserole dish tightly in a few layers of plastic wrap and one of foil and place in the back of the freezer.

To Prepare:

Thaw in the fridge for 24 hours and bake according to directions. Or defrost in the microwave and bake. If baking from frozen, cover oatmeal with foil and plan to bake longer, until the middle is cooked through. If cooking directly from frozen, the USDA states that, “it will take approximately one and a half times as long to cook.”

http://thrivinghomeblog.com/2015/07/apple-cinnamon-baked-oatmeal-recipe/

Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal is hearty, healthy, delicious, and fairly adaptable to whatever ingredients you have on hand. Plus, leftovers keep well in the fridge for several days. Serve it up as a tasty start to your day or as a “breakfast-for-dinner”, along with bacon and a fruit salad.

Gourmet Chicken Sandwiches {Freezer Meal}

Gourmet Chicken Sandwiches are the ultimate chicken sandwiches for any weeknight! Just prep and freeze all the components ahead of time. This well-seasoned, versatile grilled chicken also works to top pasta or salads. #freezermeal #realfood #thrivinghome

Disclaimer: This recipe was created in partnership with Frigidaire. But, the opinions are all ours! 

It’s amazing what a great marinade can do to plain ‘ol chicken.

For instance, this chicken sandwich would be ho-hum without the flavor-packed marinade the chicken sat in for a few hours. However, now it is restaurant quality. Seriously. It was SO good. 

When Motherhood Gets Messy

What do we do with the messiness, the stress, and the ugly moments that motherhood brings? In this hilarious and poignant post, Rebekah bares all and shares how she's learning from Jesus about what it means to "get low."

This guest post by Rebekah, from Barren to Beautifulhas touched my heart. It had me laughing and crying all in the same 5 minutes. Rebekah has a true gift of sharing her heart and providing much-needed encouragement for mothers. We are thankful to have her share on Thriving Home today.  

“Don’t touch Mommy when she’s on the potty.”

This is an actual rule in our house. One of those rules you never imagine making before entering motherhood, but makes total sense after the fact. My daughter is two, and when I’m on the toilet, she likes to stand right up next to me, with her hand on my thigh like a faithful midwife.

A midwife who won’t leave. Who screams and pounds on the door when I try to lock her out. It’s rather stressful…for all digestive purposes.

My daughter has a way of entering my space. Whether I want her to, or not. How I am disarmed by a two-year-old day after day, I am still trying to figure out.

We’re in the potty training stage right now. Which means…I currently spend most my free time sitting on the bathroom floor. Waiting for her to “finish.”

I never thought I’d be comfortable eating my breakfast cereal or drinking my coffee while she stinks up the place. But I am.

I am reaching new “lows” like a Limbo champ.

Mediterranean Shrimp {Freezer Meal}

This freezer-friendly shrimp will make even the most reluctant seafood eaters happy! It's a fun one to serve for family dinner or as a party appetizer. #freezermeal #realfood

Disclaimer: This recipe was created in partnership with Frigidaire. But the opinions are all ours!

I love the versatility of this Mediterranean Shrimp recipe. It takes minutes to make, is freezer-friendly and is also kid-friendly. The marinade flavor is wonderful, and there are several ways you can cook the shrimp.

One option of making Mediterranean Shrimp is throwing the shrimp on skewers (don’t they look pretty?). Broil in the oven or grill them in just minutes this way. If you don’t have skewers on hand, you could also sauté the shrimp in a skillet. Shrimp doesn’t take much cooking time at all, so it’s important not to overcook it or it can get tough. This freezer-friendly shrimp will make even the most reluctant seafood eaters happy! It's a fun one to serve for family dinner or as a party appetizer. #freezermeal #realfood

After you’ve cooked the shrimp, throw it on some brown rice or whole wheat pasta topped with some feta for a delicious, healthy dinner.