Peak gardening season can have you ending up with an abundance of produce. Knowing how to store it is half of the battle, so your efforts don’t go to waste. Here are some ways to get the most out of your garden crops.
There are many vegetables and fruits that are best frozen at peak ripeness because this method you don’t have to cook them which leaves your recipe options open for later. Freeze fresh berries or pitted fruits to use in smoothies or pies. Freeze zucchini, bell peppers, corn, broccoli and whole tomatoes for soups this winter.
Some produce can last in the fridge for several weeks, like green beans, jalapenos and carrots. It’s nice to have some options left in the fridge for fresh snacks and side dishes.
Water bath or pressure canning are great options for preserving and storing the abundance. They have a long shelf life, and you don’t just have to can the item just plain. There are so many recipes out there you can safely can just about most things. You can make salsa, barbecue sauce or ketchup with an abundance of tomatoes. Jams, jellies, and preserves are great for fruit. You can make vegetable soup and stews to enjoy in the colder months.
This is a great option for when your freezer and pantry are full. Pretty much all items that you can dehydrate you can grind into a fine powder, turning them into fantastic seasonings and spices that take up little space. You can add them to anything just like you would store bought seasonings. Tomato powder is great in stews, chili and soups. Fruit powders are great in smoothies and milkshakes. Zucchini powder can be used as a flour replacement. Lemon powder is great in cream sauces and on seafood. The options for this are limitless!
Here are some recipes for dehydrating a few things to get you started.
There are so many great tools and gadgets at our disposal anymore there’s no reason to not get creative and turn your harvests into multiple recipes and uses. By doing so, you are more likely to use what’s in your pantry instead of going to the grocery store, which is the whole point of growing your own food.