If you planted a garden this past spring, you probably got to enjoy juicy tomatoes, crisp lettuce, and crunchy cucumbers. In an expensive summer of high food prices your garden probably saved you more than a few dollars. And with all the food recalls we keep hearing about, knowing your food came out of your own garden probably gave you a little peace of mind.
But if you got a late crop and have more produce than you can possibly eat before it spoils, there are some things you can do to preserve your hard work and enjoy the bounty from your garden well into the winter.
Check out this site from Oregon State University, it’s one of the best resources online for food preservation on the web. You can even get support from their hotline through October at 800-354-7319. This site has facts to guide you through freezing, drying, canning, smoking, and pickling the fresh goods from your garden. Another good site you can check out is PreserveFood.com.
Stretch the produce by mashing tomatoes to freeze for sauces; drying and bottling herbs for cooking; cutting up or pureeing squash for soup; or grating zucchini and freezing for breads and muffins.
You don’t have to be Martha Stewart to get the knack of preserving food. And with a few must-have tools like a food dehydrator, some zip-seal bags, and a roll of freezer paper, you’ll capture the maximum value from your garden and save money this winter.
Get cookin’ with these easy recipes: