Sunday, July 22, 2007

Preserving the Harvest

Trip to the farmers market yielded lots of seasonal vegetables. This is the time for "now and later".

Put aside some of each purchase of your fresh seasonal produce for later in the year when it is no longer available. Freezing is easy and a less time consuming way to preserve the harvest.

Wash and drain the veggies and fruits you like and pop into freezer bags. I blanch corn, green beans, carrots and okra. Peppers, onions (green and yellow), celery I just chop up and pop into bags.

Tomatoes can be frozen fresh off the vine or stewed (which is what I will do) for fall/winter soups, stews and chili. I am also going to oven dry some this year with olive oil and garlic.

Berries freeze well. Just wash and drain whole blueberries, blackberries and strawberries and spread on wax-papered cookie sheet. Set inside freezer till frozen and pop into bags. When using them for baking *Do Not Thaw*. They also can be used for fruit fillings.

I picked up an 18 inch homegrown zucchini yesterday and shredded up six (two cup) bags for zucchini bread. The rest I will cut up for salad and roast in the oven with olive oil and seasonings (garlic, parmesan cheese and pepper).