Using up garden goods
Amanda Dolan M.S., R.D.N, L.D.N. | 08.16.13
Do you have the same problem that I do when August rolls around??? This problem comes in the form of 15 tomatoes, 6 green peppers, 10 onions, 30 zucchini, 3 bushels of green beans, 5 pounds of basil, and 20 ears of corn. I didn’t imply it was a bad problem but something needs to happen before your kitchen is full of rotten produce!
Storing the produce that you’ve accumulated from the Community Supported Agriculture, your garden, or the local farmers market can save heartache, money, and your taste buds this winter. Let’s talk about canning, freezing, and dehydrating your overabundance of fruits, vegetables, and herbs!
- Freezing, canning, and dehydrating are all appropriate in order to store produce for the winter.
- Berries should be frozen on cookie sheets individually and then placed into freezer bags for later use.
- Apples, peaches, pears, and other fruits can be canned, using a pressure or water bath canner (see your pressure canner instruction booklet for the details).
- Any fruit can be dehydrated using a basic dehydrator or simply by baking at 200 (or as low as you can go) for a prolonged period of time.
- Freezing and canning are the most common ways to store veggies in the winter; however, they can be dehydrated (most useful for soups and healthy dip recipes).
- Basically any vegetable can be frozen. Blanching vegetables and then freezing will help to preserve the color and texture. They can then be placed into freezer bags and stored in your freezer.
- Canning is also a great way to store vegetables. Again you will need a pressure cooker or a water bath canner (see your canner instructions for the details).
- Corn is a grain but it can be canned or frozen as well!
- Freezing and dehydrating herbs are a great way to get fresh flavors into your dishes this winter.
- Freezing herbs requires ice cube trays. Put some herbs (as much as you would use in one dish) and fill the ice cube trays with enough water to just cover the herbs.
- Dehydrating can be as simple as hanging the herbs upside down until the herb is dry.
Don’t waste this wonderful produce!!!! Nourish your body throughout the year from this local, tasty, nutrient packed food.
For more information on how to store produce for the winter check out these websites.
Amanda Dolan M.S., R.D.N, L.D.N. is a Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist for Capital BlueCross, and is experienced in working in areas such as cancer treatment, nutrition counseling, and wellness. Growing up, her entire family were locavores – cultivating home gardens, raising animals, and even tapping maple trees to produce syrup. She is married to her best friend and they have the funniest little baby girl! She is striving to continue the locavore lifestyle and pass it down to her daughter and the community.