It’s that time of year again. You have a bumper crop of certain fruits and vegetables in your garden, someone has shared their bumper crop, or you’ve made a trip to the local farmer’s market or fruit stand.
Now that you have all this bounty, you might think, “What do I do with all of it?” Here are some ideas for storing the harvest and preserving your fruits and veggies for use later in the year.
This is one of the first methods to store food for future use. For example, consider the Indigenous communities who used fruits, nuts, and meat to create pemmican, a dried bar that provided much-needed nutrients in the winter when hunting was scarce. You’ve probably also seen beef jerky. In addition, you can dehydrate fruits and vegetables from your garden that can be added to soup in the colder months.
Dehydrating can be done outdoors in the sun, in a solar oven, conventional oven, or dehydrator. Each method has benefits, so you should consider the best for you and your situation.
- How to Dry Peaches in a Dehydrator
- How to Make Dehydrated Strawberries
- How to Make Dried Jalapeño Peppers
- How to Dry Habanero Peppers
- Dried Cranberry Sauce with Pineapple
- End of Summer Granola with Coconut Oil
- How to Dehydrate Cherries
- How to Dehydrate Cranberries
- Dehydrated Tomato Powder Recipe
- How to Make Dehydrated Zucchini Chips
- How to Dry Mint
- How to make Fruit Leather in a Food Dehydrator
- Easy Oven-Dried Orange Slices
- How to Dehydrate Leeks
- Three Ways to Make Dried Wild Rose Hip Tea
- How to Dehydrate Plums
- Easy Oven-Dried Orange Slices
- Easy Dehydrated Onions + Onion Powder
Canning is almost as old as dehydrating. Nearly everything can be canned if done correctly. The canning of most vegetables will require the use of a pressure cooker. If you haven’t ever canned vegetables, you may want to get help from someone who has the experience to make sure you have canning success.
Canning fruit is much easier. They require a water bath, but it doesn’t have to be done in a pressure cooker. Technically, tomatoes are a fruit, so water bath canning is the best method to can whole tomatoes for soups or chili, crushed tomatoes, spaghetti sauce, or salsa. You might be surprised how you can save using home-canned sauces.
Consider making homemade pickles if you have more cucumbers than you can eat. There is nothing quite like them. You will also need onions, sea salt, and vinegar. Most people think of cucumbers when they hear “pickle,” but you can similarly pickle many different fruits and vegetables. Peppers, apples, pears, and relishes are also prepared similarly.
- Easy Pickled Red Onions
- How to Pickle Jalapeños
- Easy Pickled Radishes with Serrano Peppers
- Quick Rose Pickled Rhubarb Recipe
- Balsamic Pickled Onions
- Quick pickled pineapple with jalapeño
There is much to be said about filling your freezer with produce from your garden. It is great to open the doors to the freezer and see corn on the cob, carrots, broccoli, and other foods. However, it isn’t advisable to freeze fresh lettuce or potatoes; you probably wouldn’t want to eat them. Freezing is one of the easiest ways to store the harvest but remember that you may lose the food in your freezer if the power goes out.
It used to be typical for families to have a root cellar to store their fruits and vegetables. This isn’t quite as usual, but the concept still has merit. Check with your local extension agency or land surveyor to see if creating a root cellar on your property would be possible.
Infusing involves steeping ingredients such as fruits, herbs, or spices in water over time to extract their flavors and aromas. The resulting liquid is then strained and often combined with sweeteners like sugar or honey to create flavorful syrups that can be used in various culinary applications, such as cocktails, desserts, or drizzling over pancakes and waffles. Infused syrups offer a delightful way to preserve the essence of seasonal ingredients and add flavor to your favorite recipes.
- Crab Apple Brown Sugar Syrup
- Lavender Simple Syrup Recipe
- How to make infused vinegar
- How to Make Drinking Vinegar
- Sour Grass Syrup (Wood Sorrel)
- Rhubarb Shrub Recipe
- Classic Rhubarb Syrup without Heat
- Jalapeño Simple Syrup
- How to make simple syrup for cocktails
- Blackberry Simple Syrup with Coconut Sugar
- Purple Wild Violet Syrup Recipe
Unleash your creativity in the world of mixology by infusing spirits with fruits, herbs, or spices, and craft unique libations tailored to your preferences. Raise a glass to your own handcrafted infused alcohol and liqueurs, where the flavors of carefully chosen ingredients mingle harmoniously.
Elevate your dishes to new heights by incorporating customized blends of herb salts, preserving herbs and tantalizing your taste buds.
Infused In Oil
Master the art of infusing oils with fragrant herbs and spices, adding a unique touch to your favorite recipes and expanding your flavor repertoire. Sauces, finishing oils, and more can be easily stored in your freezer, adding an arsenal of flavor do your dishes year-round.