Written by Erin Odom, Contributing Writer

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
  • Berries
  • 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?

Top Image by JMacPherson