Preserving raw foods, two ways to make living the lifestyle CHEAP!

If you’ve read my books, you know that I promote ways of making a whole-foods, high-raw, plant-based diet very affordable, especially the #1 and #2 highest-impact methods:

  1. Plant a garden and use everything in it (see Ch. 5 of 12 Steps to Whole Foods).
  2. Have a full-sized freezer in your garage and use it to stock greens from your garden, and fruits when they’re in season, against the winter.

Check out my garden, photo from yesterday–in this space, I have cucumber and squash plants in front, with kale and collards showing behind that.

In my freezer, the top shelf shows gallon bags of quinoa, brown rice, and cashew pieces. Behind that, I have walnuts, sesame seeds, and pumpkin seeds.   Second shelf, lots of peaches that I’ve chopped in sandwich baggies for smoothies, greens, alfalfa/clover sprouting mix, almonds, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, and Costco mixed berries.

Third row down, lots of collards, chard, turnip and beet greens, amaranth, kale, and a little squash and strawberry leaves, plus edible greens I didn’t plant, like milkweed and morning glory. These are all frozen for wintertime green smoothies. I trust this more than any swine flu vaccine to keep us healthy!

Fourth row, frozen strawberries for Hot Pink Smoothie and bread for kids’ lunches.   In the door are jars of tomatoes–I don’t blanch them, just blend till chunky and freeze, for later use in soups and salsas.   Digestive enzymes on the top row, which I keep in my purse for any time I eat a meal that isn’t 60-80% raw.   Lots of baggies of peaches (chopped in eighths, anywhere I can find a nook or cranny).   I will be packing greens into QUART size bags, now, and utilizing all the extra space.   There’s still plenty of space in this freezer!

Someone left my freezer open a crack last weekend and lots of stuff defrosted.   So I threw everything in boxes and took it all into the grocery store near my house in a grocery cart.   Walked into their deep-freeze (which is utilized about 10%), unloaded my boxes, and went home to clean the freezer out after it defrosted.   Dragged my date back there that night (it was Saturday!) to haul it all back out and take it home and load it back into the freezer.   Just acted like I owned the place, past half a dozen employees, haha.   (Don’t try this at home without asking permission! I asked the owner once several years ago if I could use the freezer now and then for a day, and have taken that liberty a few times since then, when I defrost my freezer.)

17 thoughts on “Preserving raw foods, two ways to make living the lifestyle CHEAP!

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  1. Robyn,

    Thank you. It was really helpful to see the contents of your freezer – and I love the shelves. We have a top opening freezer so everything just gets piled in. Shelves would make life so much easier.

    Do you just throw the frozen collards and other greens into your smoothies in the winter?

  2. thanks so much for this info!!!! i did not know i can freeze my green leaves. can any green leaf be frozen? does it make the taste of the smoothie different?

  3. WOW! I’m in awe! I’m just beginning to fill my freezer with “good-4-me” stuff. And putting the blended tomatoes in jars…in the freezer.. brilliant! Why didn’t I think of that? Really Robyn, you have to think of us as tiny little babies and lead us along step by step like this. I bet I’m not the only one that hangs onto your blogs for every little tip. Thank you. I’m relaying everything I learn to those around me. You’re changing lives in Maryland!

  4. I’m glad to see the Grandma Sycamore bread — that’s the brand we buy. So do you consider that to be ‘good’? (good = Grandma Sycmamore, better = Great Harvest, best = homemade sourdough)?

    Also, do I see (whispering)frozen burritos(whisper off)? If so, that’s awesome — it proves you are real 😉

  5. Elana, any EDIBLE green leaf can be frozen, yep. Oak tree leaves, edible. Morning glory. Grape vine leaves. The entire dandelion plant. Each green has its own taste–some you may not like much.

    Cheryl, I love it–I do often think of things I want to say on the blog, and then I think, “No, I’m always saying that.” Or, “I already say that in X part of my X book.” And then I remember that not everybody has read that–in fact, MOST probably haven’t, so little things are worth repeating. Sometimes little tips are the most valuable, huh.

    Katie, YES, bean-n-cheese burritos, haha. Sometimes weird things land in my freezer after Scout outings, too. Don’t forget to note the chicken in the door! That’s when it’s on sale and I have to have something for my extended family at a party! I showed you the real deal instead of yanking out what’s not “perfect.”

    Yes, Grandma Sycamore is good, Kneader’s whole-grain breads (if you’re in Utah / Salt Lake County) is better because they don’t use commercial yeast, and my homemade sourdough bread is best (see Ch. 9 of 12 Steps).

    Super Nutrient Gal, yes, I just throw the frozen greens into green smoothies all winter. They freeze and shatter–and that’s okay.

  6. Different grape varieties will give you different tastes, but I don’t notice anything too out of the ordinary.

    Jon, yes, freeze any edible green. That way you don’t lose anything that you might not be able to use in time.

  7. Last fall I chopped up my roma tomatoes and froze them in quart freezer zip-lock bags. That was just the size needed to make my husbands favorite natural salsa. We still have a few bags left! That saved a lot of money and we knew they were organically grown. Now that I’m freezing greens for winter smoothies, my chest freezer is stuffed full!! Not sure how I’m going to get everything in there!!

  8. Robyn,

    I have always heard that you have to blanch greens, like spinach, before freezing. I think you are saying that you don’t have to blanch, so the greens are virtually raw. Right? Do you remove tough stems, tear the leaves or just shove them into ziplock freezer bags whole? Thanks for the help. My swiss chard and kale are out of control in my garden and I’d love to save it for winter.

  9. Robyn,

    When freezing the greens do you tear/cut up the greens before putting in the baggie? Also, do you use the full contents of the frozen bag per 2 quart smoothie? I ask b/c my swiss chard is going crazy in the garden and I want to use the simplest method for using after they are frozen.

    Thanks! Laura

  10. Susie, I put the whole thing in the freezer bag, including the tough stems. Laura, I tear or cut them up just so they fit in the bag more easily. Sometimes I use the full bag–just depends on how much I need and how big the bag is (I freeze gallon and quart sizes).

  11. I started juicing fresh green drinks when i got my Blendtec from your Website, and been having some problems of waste in either getting to many fresh greens, not getting to eat them quick enough, and not really knowing everything yet.. I clean them very well, usually when i get them, even if organic. Then put in gallon bags… Someone told me living things need air, so i stabbed holes in bags. I think they rotted faster in fridge faster that way. Then i saw one of your Utube videos that said you can just throw fridge veges in freezer when can’t get to eating them. Someone else told me not to wash them right away, roll in wet paper towels. This Last time i washed and dried and cut up enough chard, collard and kale, and put it in a food saver bag; looked so nice and fluffy, then of course the food saver brought it down to nothing. But they froze Hard and made smoothie cold .. A bigger question i have is that my greens and berries i froze and picked and just stored them in gallon bags tend to get all frosty, is that ok? And some of the Swiss Chard did not look good, after i froze it, i think it rotted . I am glad i read not to blanch greens. I just don’t want to continue wasting veges and money! Do you think i should just go to the store every couple days to hopefully have fresh greens (my main thing), or is buying a lot ok, and just freezing right away what i am not going to use.. Thank You! Sorry so LONG!

    1. Kathy, fresh is better, but if you have to freeze some food to prioritize your time (many people have little time), then do that!

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