I was talking to another CSA subscriber a few weeks ago on the eve of our pickup day. We were comparing what we had left from the previous week’s box. We had received a few pounds of green beans she was struggling with and I mentioned that I had froze mine and the Asian greens as well. She said she had never thought of that, so I wanted to remind people to not let summer go to waste – go to your farm stands, farmers markets, and gardens and start saving things.
You can preserve herbs, vegetables, and fruits with little to no special tools or materials.
For most vegetables you just need to clean, trim, blanch and freeze. Sometimes it takes a little time to prepare a bunch, but it will be all ready for you to drop into a recipe when you need it later. We have a FoodSaver, but Ziploc bags are just as convenient for freezing. It is very handy to store in whatever serving size you would use on a daily basis. It’s easier to pull out two packages for a crowd than try to chop up a frozen package on a weeknight dinner with the kids.
For most herbs, you dry them, store them cubes of frozen oil or water, or chop up and freeze.
You can freeze grated zucchini for recipes. You can make soup now and freeze for later. You can freeze applesauce, tomato sauce, pesto, blueberry muffins and on and on.
There are Ziploc bags, a vacuum sealer, canning, glass storage (Pyrex has a nice storage line) are all great options to save a little taste of summer for the fall.
Search the internet, or go to http://pickyourown.org/, for directions for safe storage of most produce including appropriate times for blanching and canning.
What do you like to put up for winter, and how?