Meal Prep: Homesteading Style

Our church is entering into a congregational period of fasting and prayer. I find this extraordinarily awesome, as I don’t know of many churches (and I’ve attended quite a few over the years) that have preached sermons on fasting.

That said, being 5 months pregnant, I want to participate, while also nourishing my growing baby. I’m not 100% sure what that looks like for me yet, either intermittent fasting, or a partial fast as in the case of Daniel. So in order to not let the fruits and veg I’ve got be wasted, I’m busy preserving them and getting them into more “convenience food” form so that through the fasting period, I’ve still got quick meals for the kiddos and plenty of fruit and veggies.

We’ve been really enjoying the freeze dryer this fall. I only wish that we had had it for our strawberry harvest. But we’re trying out some store-bought strawberries (which never taste as good as our home grown ones) along with some green beans and broccoli. Usually, if I buy fresh produce like broccoli and green beans from the store, I blanche and freeze it. So this is slightly different storage method for me.

And for the first time in over 7 years, I made some eggplant parmesan. It is a personal favorite, but my husband complained so hard the last time I made it, eggplants didn’t enter the home for nearly a decade.

Prepped ready for the oven

I decided though, since pregnancy cravings mean I’ll likely manage to eat the entire pan myself over the course of a couple days, I’d go ahead and make a pan. It smells amazing. Whatever I don’t eat in a day or two I will freeze dry for later. That should be an interesting reconstitution.

Baked eggplant parmesan.

Because I expect the freeze dryer to take about 18 hours with my berries and veggies, I’m at a stand still with prepping more trays, but I can go ahead and slice blueberries and cauliflower to pop in tomorrow afternoon.

I ordered a mason jar air-tight sealer to store some of our more short-term freeze dried things to save our mylar bags for long-term storage. I’m excited to see how it works.

I learned a couple years ago the value of prepping your veggies in advance of cooking.if anyone needs tutelage in this field, I recommend looking into Prep Dish (I have used it in the past, but have no affiliation with them), at least for a trial period to learn the concepts of planning and prepping foodstuffs to make your life easier. The ease of having everything chopped and ready to cook is invaluable on days I get busy working in the gardens. So while this isn’t FULL MEAL preps, it’s a way for me to use free time on the weekends to cut corners on various elements of meal prep through the week. And the chickens and rabbits appreciate the green tops and scraps from the veggies.

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