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Cooking and Eating Your Produce

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 22 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Cooking And Eating Your Own Garden

Nothing tastes better than fresh produce and what better way to have fruit, vegetables and herbs readily available than by growing them yourself. A kitchen garden not only gives you fresh produce but it also makes your garden look and smell more interesting.

You can simply start off by growing a few herbs but as you get the knack, you may find yourself cultivating fruit and vegetables too.

Reasons for Growing Your Own Fruit and Vegetables

We all know that eating fruit and vegetables is healthy and many gardeners cite this as one of the main reasons they grow their own. There's an extra special flavour to fresh produce which you've grown yourself plus you know that it's completely organic and that no pesticides or chemicals have been used. You'll also experience a sense of reward and satisfaction in eating the produce you've grown yourself and it's cheaper than in the supermarkets. And, your kids are more likely to eat more too.

Moreover, studies have shown that people who grow their own fresh produce tend to consume more fruit and veg than they did previously and far more in comparison to others who don't. This can only be good for personal health benefits.

Health Benefits

The process of planting, cooking and eating your own fresh produce has significant health benefits even as an activity in itself. Tending a kitchen garden takes hard work and is actually good exercise. It's also proven to be a great stress reliever, which results in lower blood pressure not forgetting the health benefits of the food itself. You'll have a ready source of wholesome food that can be consumed on a regular basis and if you start growing early each year, you're likely to produce a bountiful crop weeks ahead of the normal time. This will then give you a good harvest during a time when fruits and vegetables can be particularly expensive in the shops.

Preparation

It's important to rinse your produce thoroughly before consuming it to get rid of the soil and any insects that might be present and to trim leaves where necessary.

Some fruit and veg you may choose to eat raw but others you might want to steam, boil or roast. You can use your produce in a whole variety of ways. For example, you may wish to use certain vegetables as a compliment to a roast dinner or perhaps you can use them to make a soup, stew, casserole or include them in a pie or flan. You can also make sauces and freeze them to use later if you wish.

Flexibility

Growing, cooking and eating your own fresh produce gives you extra flexibility and results in less waste. So many people end up stocking up their vegetable racks, salad and fruit bowls in one food shopping spree and a week or two later often end up throwing away much of it that hasn't been used. By growing your own, you'll not only save money by being able to just pick a couple of sprigs of rosemary to season your lamb, for example, rather than buying a bunch from the supermarket, most of which you're likely to throw away. What's more, any that you would have thrown away previously will make for ideal compost for your garden. Therefore, it's not only a healthier way to eat fruit and veg but it's also environmentally friendly too.

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