It’s always bittersweet when summer starts to wind down.
On one hand, we can’t wait for the crisp autumn air (and chunky knits), but on the other, we know we’ll miss dining al fresco and enjoying the fresh herbs and veggies from our gardens.
Luckily, we can preserve some of our favorite summer produce and savor it all year long. Here are a few of our favorite hacks to hold on to the flavors we love most.
You can save those freshly grown peas and raspberries by simply freezing them. Head out to your garden (or the local farmer’s market) and choose firm, just-ripe fruits and veggies and freeze them in usable quantities as soon as you harvest. Pack them in airtight freezer bags or plastic containers to keep them free of freezer burn.
These fruits & veggies freeze extra well:
- Blanched apples
- Blanched beans
You can dry some of your harvest to make it last a few extra weeks. Dried fruits and veggies dramatically alter the flavor and the texture of the crop and can make an interesting addition to some of your favorite recipes. Start by washing your fruits and veggies then slicing them thin. Arrange the pieces in a single layer on the baking tray. Ideally, you’ll leave the tray outside over a long sunny day (or two) to dry out. Or, you can set your oven to the lowest temperatures (250℉) and leave the tray inside for several hours until the pieces have shrunk in size. They should be almost crispy. Once dry, you can store the fruits and veggies in an airtight container. It’s best to enjoy within a few weeks.
These fruits & veggies dry extra well:
Beets and shallots tend to be best for pickling and they can even be saved for several months.
Wash and prep the beets (don’t remove the tops too close to the root). Boil in water for 30 minutes or until the skins and tops rub off easily. Slice thin and place the beets in a jar with pickling vinegar.
Peel and trim the tops and bottoms of the shallots. Place them in a shallow dish and cover them with salt to draw out any excess moisture. Leave them overnight and then rinse thoroughly. Place in a sterile jar and cover with pickling vinegar.
(Pro tip: sterilize the jar by washing it well and placing it in a cool oven 250℉ at for 20 minutes).
We want to know: what summer fruits and veggies are you excited to save (and savor)? Share with us on Instagram @casadesuna.