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Storing Summer Produce For A Rainy Winter Day

Beans are popping, tomatoes are starting to ripen, and zucchini is threatening to take control of your community. The summer season bounty is here! Whether you're growing your own, shopping at your local grocery store or farmers market, the variety of seasonal produce is hard to miss!

This is a good time to save and keep fruits and veggies for the dark days of January, when you might use a suggestion of warm summer season days. Here are a couple of methods to save a little summer for later, and store additional food you have all year long.

Meet Your New Best Friend, Your Freezer
Freezing foods at the peak of freshness preserves that sweet incredible flavor, and it's a pretty fast procedure. Freezing summer season produce suggests you can enjoy it anytime, and even have something ready to add to your smoothie or stir fry. Our Freezer Storage Guide has all the details on how to put all kinds of foods on ice.

Here's a quick list of a couple of things to get you started:
Quick Freeze-- Herbs, some fruits, and even some vegetables can go straight from your counter top to the freezer without cooking. Quick and easy.

Quick Cook-- Most veggies (like peas, green bean, and squash) require blanching, a fast dip in boiling water-- then a dunk in an ice bath, to prevent them from ruining. It likewise preserves texture, color, and nutrient material. One more action, however so worth it to have sweet, crisp green beans in February.

Cook then Chill-- Sauces, jams, and purees you formulate will keep in your freezer for a long time. All those blackberries you've selected or splurged on are perfect for blackberry freezer jam.

Put a Lid on It-- Canning
Canning enables you to save foods without refrigeration or freezing. While it is more involved than freezing, it is a terrific method to save a lot of food that could last you well into the winter season. You wish to ensure you do this right for food security, taking full advantage of taste, and service life. Never ever fear, there are a lot or resources to get you started and assist you along the way.

WSU Extension’s “You Can” Food Preservation virtual classes cover a range of topics from jams to fermented pickles to meat and jerky.  

Here is a great list of guides to all types of food preservation (including canning) compiled by WSU Extension. 

Check out Tilth Alliance for classes on canning and food preservation. 

Whichever method you choose for saving some of summer’s bounty now, it’s a great way to enjoy more variety all year long and save a little money while you’re at it. For more ways to make food last longer, check out Love Food Stop Waste