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It is summer which means it is the best time of year for produce. So many delicious things are at their peak which means they are not only delicious, but cheap. Here is a guide to freezing & canning so you can enjoy it all year long.
Where To Buy Produce
If you run into a grocery store and buy strawberries, you’ll spend around $2.50-$3.50 for 16 oz. If you head to the Farmer’s Market and get a huge case of them, you’ll spend significantly less. The idea is to buy produce at it’s absolute best price and then preserve it. You can read tips about shopping at the Farmer’s Market here.
Another great way to get amazing produce is to grow it yourself. Depending on where you live, you may still be able to plant some things for a late harvest. If you have limited space check out container gardening.
Keep in mind that when you preserve food, it is not going to improve in quality. Make sure you are canning and freezing things in their prime for the best result.
Determining How To Store It
How you put up the produce depends on a few things. First of all, some things will taste better and be higher quality if you store it a certain way. Another thing to consider is storage space. If you have one small freezer, you probably don’t want to freeze 25 lbs of green beans. There are also costs associated with storing food. For example, if you are going to can things you’ll need a pressure cooker and mason jars.
Freezing is a great way to put up produce quickly. You don’t need a lot of extra equipment and it is very safe. The downside is that you need a lot of freezer space. If you plan to freeze a lot of produce and buy meat in bulk, it can definitely be worth the costs to buy an additional freezer.
What You’ll Need:
How To Freeze Produce
1.) Boil a large pot of water
2.) Cut the produce based on how you plan to freeze them
3.) Put the vegetables in boiling water for a few minutes
Note: fruit does not need to be blanched
4.) Transfer vegetables to a large bowl of ice water
5.) Drain produce & pat dry
6.) Spread produce on baking sheet and freeze until solid
7.) Once frozen, move produce to freezer bags
You can read more about freezing food here.
Canning takes a little more time and effort, but can be so worth it! My favorite thing about canning is being able to can jams and jellies that are perfect gifts.
What You’ll Need
How to Can Produce
There are two common methods of canning. For vegetables, you must do pressure canning. For certain other things (like fruits, jams, and pickles), you can use water bath canning.
Note: there are more risks involved with canning. Do you research to make sure your end product will be safe.