5 Ways to preserve the taste of summer
Juicy berries, vibrant veggies, just-picked herbs -- these are the beloved tastes of summer. But you can enjoy these fresh flavors all year round with these five helpful tips to preserve summer's bounty.Juicy berries, vibrant veggies, just-picked herbs -- these are the beloved tastes of summer. But you can enjoy these fresh flavors all year round with these five helpful tips to preserve summer's bounty.
1. Freeze berries
Though many berries are available year-round through import or forced growing, summer's berries are superior in flavor, texture, and nutrition than their off-season counterparts. Stock up on as many of the farmers' market berries as possible and freeze them.
To freeze: Sort through berries and discard any that are damaged or moldy. Gently wash berries and place on a stack of clean paper towels. Pat dry with more paper towels and make sure they are dry before proceeding. Spread berries in a single layer on a large rimmed baking sheet. Place in the freezer for 1 to 2 hours or until frozen solid. Transfer to freezer bags, remove air, seal, and freeze for up to 3 to 4 months.
2. Get into canning
Preserving fruit or vegetables through canning is a great way to keep the summer flavors alive all year as well as keep your pantry stocked with delicious ingredients for countless meals. If you've never canned before, you'll need a a few essential canning supplies and recipes. Once you master it, you'll be excited to can your favorite in-season produce. Check out FreshPreserving.com for tips, recipes, and resources.
>>Canning: How to preserve summer fruit
3. Pickle, pickle
Pickling is another tasty way to prep summer's fruits, vegetables, and herbs for year-round enjoyment. Beyond the cucumber-turned-dill-pickle concept, you can pickle just about anything from your garden, giving you a flavorful assortment of ingredients for appetizers, side-dishes, and more.
>>The joy of pickling
4. Herb infused oils and vinegars
One of my favorite ways to herb and spice up meals is with infused oils and vinegars. Simply steep olive oil or vinegar with a generous handful of fresh herbs and keep the infused condiments on hand for salad dressing, for finishing dishes, or to add summer flair to any dish.
5. Make pesto
Gather your herbs and leafy greens and make a vegan-friendly pesto -- then freeze the pesto so you can use it beyond summer. Pesto is a natural for pasta, but it can be included in sandwiches, stirred into soups or grain dishes, or whisked with oil for a fabulously flavored dressing. Freeze pesto in ice cube trays then transfer cubes to a freezer bag. When you need it, simply thaw as many cubes as your recipe requires and you're good to go.
More tasty vegan recipes!