Tutorial Tuesday #6–Freezing Produce

a href=”http://commons.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:CDC_greenbean.jpg” target=”_blank”>Whole green beans in a carton.

I’ve been canning a lot of food lately, trying to make sure we can eat locally all year AND trying to reduce the amount of food we toss into the compost because we can’t eat it fast enough. I have to admit–I love canning. It was scary at first, but I have my own little system now and that makes things more efficient and comfortable. The fact that I haven’t killed anyone with my jam also boosts my confidence significantly 🙂

But putting up food for the winter months includes freezing and drying foods, too. I still don’t have a deep freeze, but I did manage to put up a LOT of strawberries this spring. Where are they? They have all been eaten–mostly turned into fruit/yogurt smoothies, which we have every morning. It make me realize just how much fruit we plow through each week. ARRGGHH. So, come winter, I will not have strawberries. I am, however, going to try again with peaches, blueberries and blackberries. And I’ll try some vegetables as well. Yesterday while waiting for my marinara sauce to cook, I blanched and froze some summer corn and some green beans. I’m on my way to rebuilding my stock of foods for winter–not that we mind kale, collards and sweet potatoes, but won’t it be nice to have fresh tasting corn as well? As long as we don’t have corn smoothies, I think we’ll be more successful with vegetables!

Here are some foods that freeze well (some of these surprised me):

  • Corn (blanch, strip from the cob and freeze the kernels)
  • Whole tomatoes (Tip: once frozen, the skins just slip off during thawing)
  • Peaches
  • Kale/collards (cook first)
  • Green beans
  • All berries
  • Peppers
  • Chopped herbs (put them in an ice-cube tray and fill the compartments with olive oil!)
  • Onions (chop them and freeze them in bags in 1 c. portions)

 

Food Preservation and the Mason Jar

New Mexico. Mrs. Fidel Romero Proudly Exhibits...

My craft room almost looks like this!

I discovered canning last spring and had all the zeal of the newly converted. I canned a lot. I mean a LOT! Jam, jelly, salsa, many varieties of pickles, tomato sauce, preserves, ketchup and even barbecue sauce. I’ll be posting some of my favorite recipes soon because in no time flat we will be back in strawberry season. Can I get a hallelujah?

One aspect of all this canning is the accumulation of jars and rings as we eat through what we put up so many months ago. I know we will reuse the jars this season, but really, the Mason jar is just a darn convenient invention. I’ve been looking for inexpensive upcycling ideas to use with our Girl Scout troop and came across this article. Check it out. If you’re snowed in thanks to NEMO and need a few fun craft projects, this will get you started!

Click HERE!

Get ready for some canning ideas and recipes! What is your favorite food to can?

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