Fast and Frugal Snacks Straight From Your Garden
During the month-long Eat From Your Pantry & Freezer Challenge, some of us have an added advantage–our summer gardens. If you live in a warmer region like I do, you may already have some yummy produce ready to harvest. So if your pantry or freezer starts to look bare, why not just walk outside and grab a fast and frugal snack straight from your garden?!
From the super easy veggies that require nothing more than picking, washing and (sometimes) cutting to the snacks that require a little more prep, you may have all you need for a great summer snack sitting right in your backyard.
Easiest Garden Snacks: Pick and Eat
These are the snacks that require little to no prep at all. Pick, wash and they’re ready to eat!
- Carrots (peeled and cut into sticks if desired)
- Sugar snap peas or snow peas
- Cucumbers (peeled if desired)
- Tomatoes (sliced if desired–or eaten whole like an apple!)
- Celery sticks
- Peppers: You will probably want to cut and de-seed bell peppers, but smaller varieties, like banana peppers, are fine eaten whole.
- Melons-peeled and cut
Image by jules:stonesoup
Ready in Minutes: Raw Snacks that Require a Little Prep
These snacks require a few minutes to prepare–and a few items from your pantry or freezer–but they are still pretty fast and most definitely frugal if you grow the produce yourself.
- Raw salsa with fresh tomatoes, peppers, onions and/or garlic (This easy salsa is another great option!)
- Fresh fruit smoothies (or try a green smoothie!)
- Homemade coleslaw with garden-fresh cabbage
- Fruit salad (Just use what’s in your garden! Try a melon and berry salad for a different twist!)
- A veggie dip, like Mindy’s creamy cucumber dip
A Little More Prep: Cooked Garden Snacks
These snacks may require a little cooking and refrigeration, but you can always make a big batch to eat on all week. These also require some items from your pantry, fridge or freezer. Bonus: Some of these can actually double as a side dish or light meal.
- Roasted salsa verde made with tomatillos, onions, cilantro and peppers
- A pasta and veggie salad, like my yummy simple snap pea salad
- Garlic cheese biscuits, using fresh garlic from the garden
- Gallo Pinto: This is one of my favorite dishes from when I lived in Costa Rica. Pair rice and beans from your pantry with fresh peppers, garlic, and cilantro, and you have a hearty afternoon snack.
- Baked potatoes topped with other veggies or easy, oven-roasted potatoes
- Berry muffins or a veggie muffin, like carrot or zucchini
- Kale Chips (if you live in a cooler climate and still have some greens!)
- Fresh-from-the-garden chicken salad with crackers
- Garden-fresh meatloaf balls
- Grilled veggie pizzas
- Veggie melts or quesadillas
Want even more ideas?
I found this link to 80+ veggie recipes–many of which could double as side dishes or snacks.
What are your ideas for some fast and frugal snacks straight from your garden?
Thanks for including my links! This is a great list! Here in Maryland, gardens are just getting going. So far I only have tomato plants, and nothing on them yet! I’m hoping to get my garden going for real this weekend.
You have some great veggie recipes on your site, Anne! I wish I were that creative in the kitchen! We don’t have much here yet either…we skipped on planting the snap peas this year (wish we hadn’t but started the garden too late!), and that’s usually what we have at this point.
It’s been awhile since I had sugar snap peas. They are one of the best foods of spring and early summer IMHO.
I agree!! 🙂
I remember grabbing grape tomatoes and sugar snap peas from my dad’s garden as a kid while I was outside playing all summer. No need to ask or beg for snacks, my brother and I just grabbed what we wanted from the garden. My favorite were these little yellow tomatoes with a little neck about the same size as grape tomatoes. I don’t know what they are called, but I loved them!
I forgot about grape and cherry tomatoes! I absolutely LOVE those!!
I’ve noticed that my kids eat so many more fresh veggies in the summer, because they just go outside and raid the garden. Their favorites are definitely snap or sugar peas, raspberries (we have a few canes growing in pots), baby carrots, radishes, and sometimes green onions. My husband and I always go for the cherry tomatoes. I love snacking from the garden– nothing else ever tastes quite as good!
But out of things to make with garden produce, fresh salsa tops my list! I just can’t get enough of it. If only my tomato plants weren’t still less than a foot tall. Sigh… waiting is hard. 🙂
My girls absolutely love the sugar/snap peas as well, and we have wild blackberries (in the pic) we pick at my parents’ house. (We actually have our garden at my parents’ house because we live in a townhouse!) I love cherry and grape tomatoes as well! My husband’s favorite is banana peppers! Thanks for letting me post! 🙂
I realize you probably couldn’t much on a ton of it, but I still want to brag on our raised gardens. Last night we made tacos, and my wife went out to pick the perfect amount of fresh cilantro. Not impressive to some, probably…but in our first year of backyard gardening…we high-fived each other! 🙂
Oh, you can brag on fresh cilantro all you want… it’s the best. Yum.
Hey–I killed my cilantro this year, so I think that’s wonderful!! If you like rice and bean dishes, try the Gallo Pinto I linked to above. It calls for cilantro! It’s traditionally a Costa Rican breakfast dish, but it seems more like a dinner to North Americans. But if you make a big batch you can easily make a small bowl into a mid-morning or afternoon snack.