Quite a while ago I heard about bountiful baskets from A Thrifty Mom, I even went as far as seeing if they have them where I live…they do. But I never actually signed up. I had never been involved in any kind of food co-op type thing, so I never got around to it. More recently a friend was telling me about them and I decided to give it a try…and I am sooo glad I did! The day we went to pick up our produce I was so excited I felt like it was Christmas!! I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of fruits and veggies I got and couldn’t wait to start cooking them up (and trying some new things, like real artichoke…not in a can!!). Waiting in line was even fun! I got to chat with some of the other people and get some great recipe ideas!
It varies from week to week and location to location, but this week we got:
- 2 artichokes
- 3 mangoes
- 4 green apples (I think Gracia’s already eaten them all)
- Strawberries (already gone too)
- 5 Bananas
- 2 Beets with their greens
- 6 tomatoes
- 10 red potatoes
- 6 large tomatoes
- Green beans
- 1 cute little pineapple
If you’ve never heard of it, you might have some questions popping up in your head about it. I paid $19.50 ($15 for the food, $3 first time fee and $1.50 for handling) for a basket full of roughly 50% veggies and 50% fruit. Next time I’ll only pay $16.50, since it won’t be my first time. There’s also add-ons, like bread, granola, making your basket all organic and those of course those all add to the price. You have to sign up and pay before going. You can start signing up sometime Monday (I don’t know how long they leave it up), and you can pick up your yumilicious food Friday evening or Saturday morning (at least in my town those are the days). This is not a for-profit organization, it’s a co-op and they encourage volunteering. I really am just learning more about them myself, so if you want better and more accurate answers check out their FAQ.
You may be wondering (like I was at first) how can you plan your menu around this if you don’t know what you’ll get in it? Even though I’m still new at this, and probably still have a lot to learn I do have a couple of ideas:
- Plan your menu AFTER you get your basket.
- Plan you menu in a way that you can easily fit whatever you get into it.
For example, I made up this fake menu plan (I haven’t really done my own real menu plan yet), using the produce I got this week.
Monday – Chicken, rice and a steamed veggie – Most veggies can be steamed, so their’s bound to be something in your basket to steam up! Let’s say I decide to steam the green beans.
Tuesday – Casserole and a roasted veggie – Just like steamed veggies, almost anything tastes amazing roasted. I might decide to roast some potatoes.
Wednesday – Soup and salad – Depending on the soup, you might be able to throw in some potatoes, green beans or beets (a friend told me she even has a potato recipe that uses the beet greens). For the salad, of course the lettuce could be the base, and then add any tomatoes or cooked beets to the top (I’ve never had beets like this, but one of the ladies in line was telling me that’s how she liked them).
Thursday - Steak, rolls and fruit salad – This week’s fruit salad would be mangoes, pineapple, strawberries, bananas and apples.
Friday – Pizza and a steamed veggie – You might have some things that could be used as a pizza topping, like tomatoes or pineapple. I haven’t tried it yet, but another lady told me you can steam artichokes and put garlic and butter on them, I think that’s what I’m gonna do with mine.
Plus the fruits can be used as snacks. If you get apples that week, eat apples for snack, if you get oranges than snack on those! You could also make smoothies or if you have a juicer, juice some of the produce.
Now you’ve used up your produce and it’s the weekend, so time to get another basket full!!
If this sounds like something you’d be interested in go check out their site and see if they’re in your area! Remember that everything I said here was based on my personal experience and the bountiful baskets in my area, you really should check out their site for more info! Like I said before, this is a non-profit organization, so I was not paid or even asked to write about them, I was just so excited I had to share it with y’all!
Have any of you ever tried bountiful basket? What did you think?