Monday, July 30, 2012

Enjoy the Bounty of Summer All Year!

It's nearly August! The bounty of summer is in full swing, and in Connecticut there is no shortage of delicious, fresh, and varied produce to put in our kitchens. Produce, however, has a pesky habit of going bad over time, especially when you're dealing with highly perishable fruits like berries. This month, when all the tomatoes in your garden are ripening at the same time and you have more access to fresh local produce at the market than you know what to do with, use some of these methods to preserve the harvest so you can enjoy it all year!

Drying: Out of the three major food preservation options, drying is the most economical. It requires the least amount of energy input, and much of the work is done in the background while you're off doing other things. Here's an article by Jean Nick from Rodale that details the process of dehydration, complete with tips and recipes sure to make your mouth water.

Canning: Canning takes some time and skill, but it's the only way wet foods can be preserved without refrigeration. If you want to learn how to can just about anything, peruse this blog by Canning Granny. She provides a wide variety of recipes and tips from her own kitchen and from readers' submissions.

Freezing: Freezing is arguably the easiest food preservation technique, requiring relatively little time or preparation, but it requires a lot of freezer storage space and, therefore, a lot of energy. Good Housekeeping gives a good introduction to freezing, including what not to freeze and how to properly prepare and wrap food for freezing.

And if you want to learn more in depth guidelines and tips, the Cornell Extension has a great webpage about all three food preservation techniques. Check out our webpage as the summer draws to a close to learn about our fall food preservation workshops as they are scheduled.

Have a bountiful day!

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