Storing your Summer Crops
After a bountiful summer harvest you and your green thumb may be overwhelmed by the mass quantity of vegetables and fruit that your garden has produced. You may be wondering exactly just what to do with all of your fruits and vegetables. Here at Designscapes Colorado we have a few tips that will help you to continue to enjoy your favorite fruits and vegetables for months to come.
You never want to store fruits and vegetables in the same container. Some fruits give off high levels of ethylene which is a ripening agent which will encourage the spoiling of your vegetables. When storing vegetables you will want to pack them loosely in the freezer. Herbs and mushrooms should not be washed before storing.
Cucumbers, Zucchini, and Summer Squash:
These vegetables don’t freeze as well as they dry. Using a dehydrator is a great and effective way to dry your fruits and vegetables. You can also try making chips and noodles with these summer veggies.
When picking your tomatoes at the end of the season you will want to leave two inches of stem on the tomatoes for improved ripening and taste. You can freeze tomatoes whole in a container and then use them later for cooking. When you do decide to use a frozen tomato for cooking purposes, rinsing the tomato under cool water will make the skin fall away.
A great and healthy way to store berries for later use is to freeze them. You will want to wash the berries prior to freezing. However, you will want to make sure that they are patted dry and well drained before freezing to prevent large berry clumps from forming. Once well drained, space out the berries on a cookie sheet and place the cookie sheet into the freezer until the berries are frozen. Once frozen, remove the berries from the cookie sheet and place into freezer bag or Tupperware containers. Frozen berries make great additions to yogurt, pancakes, and ice cream.
Green beans will last forever frozen and are a great staple to have in the freezer. Once picked, blanch the whole green been for 3-4 minutes. Cool the beans in cool water and then pat them dry. Once the beans are dry, place the beans into the container and freeze.
Apples and Pears:
Apples do very well once they are harvested if they are dried. Dehydrated apples and pears make great snacks and deserts. You can also can these fruits to save for pies and deserts. Many people also enjoy creating jams or butters with apples and pears.
Use these tips to continue enjoying your favorite fruits and vegetables all winter long.
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