4 Proven Ways to Prepare for Winter with Mother Earth Dried Veggies
Winter is coming! And as the nights get longer and colder, everyone's attention moves from the backyard to the kitchen, where we can finally turn on the stove and cook our favorite meals again. But, after three months of summertime produce, chances are your pantry isn't as ready as you are to welcome winter. An easy way to fix this? Mother Earth dried veggies! Harvested at their prime, these treats are as nutritious and tasty as fresh vegetables, with the added benefit of a long shelf life. So, are you ready to usher in the new season all set? Then, this guide to preparing for winter with Mother Earth dried veggies is all you need.
Tips for Preparing for Winter with Mother Earth Dried Veggies
Determine Your Family's Needs
Before listing all the groceries you need, you should consider two things. Firstly, narrow down the number of people in your household. This way, you can determine how many people you'll cook for daily. Next, consider your family's needs, meaning how much food each member needs to sustain themselves. Also, prepare for the worst-case scenario or any weather emergency, say a snow blizzard. That said, ensure you have enough food to feed everyone for at least 3 days without popping by the supermarket.
2. Stock Up on Shelf-Stable Items
When preparing for winter, dried veggies are the wisest choice. Since they don't contain any water, they are non-perishable and can last longer than their fresh counterparts. As a result, you can buy as many of them as you want without worrying they'll go bad within a few days. Buying in bulk is also a good idea. So, to get started, inventory your pantry, see which ingredients you are missing, and stock up.
3. Make a List of Go-To Recipes
Once you've gathered all the ingredients you plan on using, decide which recipes will be in your cooking rotation. This decision should be primarily based on the ingredients you have in stock. Also, consider each recipe's ease and time, especially if you have little ones around. Soups and chilis are excellent choices for wintertime and total crowd-pleasers for the whole family. Pro tip: Remember that power outages are possible during wintertime, especially during harsh weather conditions. For those days, fall back on recipes that don't require cooking.
4. Practice Some New Cooking Techniques
Cooking in the winter is so much different than cooking in the summer. First, making meals in the colder months of the year means that you don't just make a meal that'll nourish your body, but also soothe your soul.
That said, many cooking techniques are better suited to wintertime, starting with the art of slow cooking. Stewing and braising veggies and meat is a classic wintertime cooking method, mainly because it makes ingredients taste much richer. Dutch ovens and slow cookers can be your allies in this cooking endeavor as they spare you from constantly checking on food. Braising meat and veggies in stock is the traditional route, but wine and beer are also recommended to make your dishes stand out. Our collection of Crock-pot recipes is a great place to start if you're looking for new flavors to try or just getting acquainted with your slow cooker.
Spices and herbs are yet another way to jazz up your winter meals. Cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves are perfect for baked goods, while savory herbs like chives, leeks, and onions can make your lunch or dinner more comforting. PS: In a culinary world where salt and pepper are kings, herbs could be the secret ingredient that your roasted meats and vegetables need to stand out.
Recipes for Preparing for Winter with Mother Earth Dried Veggies
1. Potato Soup
A combo of chives, garlic, and onion lifts this homey potato soup out of the ordinary. The addition of heavy cream also makes it irresistibly creamy and a balm for the soul, which is what you need when it's cold outside.
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup dried onions
- 1/2 tsp dried garlic (granulated)
- 4 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 5 cups dried potato dices
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 tbsp dried chives
- Salt & pepper, to taste
- Add the potatoes to a bowl and fill with enough warm water to coat. Once hydrated, strain the water and squeeze away excess liquid. Set aside.
- Heat the butter in a large pot over medium heat until melted. Add the onion, garlic, and chives and sauté for 2 minutes. Stir in the flour and mix to combine.
- Add the potatoes, broth, milk, and heavy cream to the pot. Season with salt and pepper, and bring to a simmer. Cook for 10-15 minutes or until the potatoes are fork-tender.
- Puree using an immersion blender and cook for another 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and serve.
2. Mushroom Risotto
Risotto may have a reputation for being a fancy dish, but in reality, it is very easy to make. This recipe also calls for simple ingredients every winter pantry has in stock. So you can readily make it on a busy weekday.
- 3 1/2 cups dried mushrooms
- 1 1/2 cups short-grain rice
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup dried onions
- 2/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- Salt & pepper, to taste
- Add the mushrooms to a large bowl and fill with enough warm water to coat. Soak for 15 minutes. Once hydrated, strain the water, squeeze away excess liquid, and set aside.
- Melt the butter in a pot over medium heat and sauté the onion for 2 minutes. Add the rice and cook for another minute. Pour the wine and reduce the heat to medium-low. Reduce the mixture until dry.
- Add the stock, stirring constantly, one cup at a time. Ensure all the liquid is absorbed before adding the next cup. Cook for 15 minutes or until the rice is al dente.
- Remove the pot from the heat, stir in the cheese and mushrooms, season to taste, and serve.
3. Zucchini Brownies
Even though zucchini is a summer vegetable, it doesn't mean you can't enjoy it when the temps start to drop. And that's the beauty of Mother Earth dried veggies. They're shelf-stable, which means you can enjoy them all year round, no matter the season. In this dessert recipe, zucchini adds much-needed moisture and creates the perfect post-dinner treat.
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 2 cups dried zucchini
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Add the zucchini and 4 cups of warm water to a bowl and soak for 15 minutes. Once hydrated, strain and squeeze away excess liquid. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F and line a 13x9-inch baking pan with parchment paper.
- Add the sugar, butter, and vanilla extract to a bowl. Mix to combine. Then, mix in the flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda. Fold in the zucchini and transfer to the baking pan.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the brownies comes out clean. Remove from the oven, let cool, and cut into bars.
How will you prepare for winter this year? Share your tips in the comments down below!
- Media Contributor