5 Ways to Preserve Summer Produce August 24, 2020

by Katherine Sousa Eat

Whether you’ve got extra tomatoes, cucumbers or blueberries from your garden – here are 5 ways to preserve summer produce.

Summer is packed with fresh, seasonal produce. Sometimes more than we can consume – especially if you have a thriving backyard garden. We’re sharing our favourite ways to preserve our summer produce and enjoy the amazing summer flavour all year long.

seasonal summer produce

Freeze It

Freezing fresh produce – like berries, bell peppers, or broccoli – is a great way to capture that fresh summer flavour and have it to use all fall and winter long. When freezing produce, be sure to use freezer safe glass containers or a zip-loc bag.

To freeze fruit, wash and dry throughly, remove any pits, cores or stems, and cut into desired sizes. If the fruit browns when cut, spritz with some lemon juice. Arrange on a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze. Once the fruit is completely frozen add to a freezer safe bag or container.

To freeze vegetables (depending on the variety), blanch and shock vegetables by boiling them briefly and plunging them into ice water. Dry completely and arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze. Once the vegetable is completely frozen add to a freezer safe bag or container. This method works best with vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, carrots, corn, peas, and summer squash.

Fresh Tip: Avoid freezer burn by using a straw to suck out extra air from the freezer bag before sealing.

freezing berries to preserve summer produce

Ferment It

Fermenting is a simple and delicious way to preserve summer vegetables with added health benefits. Whether it’s cucumbers or cabbage, there are many delicious ways to use your fresh produce. Before you start to ferment vegetables, it’s really important to sterilize your jars to avoid the growth of the wrong kind of bacteria. It’s common to use 500ml jars for fermenting. Learn more about fermenting and get recipes in our blog post all about How to Ferment Vegetables at Home.

fermenting vegetables

Get Saucy

This one’s limited to tomatoes, but as one of summer’s most popular produce, we felt it deserved its own mention. The flavour of fresh, seasonal tomatoes keep well when cooked down into a sauce. In fact in many households, this is a tradition end of summer activity to do! You can opt to make a delicious homemade tomato sauce, or an unseasoned tomato paste. You can store them in sterilized and seal jars or in freezer-safe bags.

tomato sauce cooking

Jam (or Jelly) Out!

Got a lot of fruit on your hands? Everyone loves a homemade jam or jelly. Add some chopped fruit and sugar to a sauce pan, mash lightly, and simmer over medium heat until the fruit softens and the mixture thickens. Don’t forget to stir occasionally! Let the jam cool in the saucepan, then divide jam among jars. This also makes a great gift for friends or family members. Try with peaches, nectarines, raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, or even a savoury jam with tomatoes! Learn more about making homemade jam in our blog post, How to Make Homemade Jam.

Fresh Tip: Add fresh herbs or citrus juice to add a little flavour dimension to your jams.

jamming summer fruit

Make A Syrup

As proud Canadians, we all appreciate a good syrup. While this may not be maple syrup, you can still make great simple syrups for cocktails and other drinks! Just bring equal parts sugar and water to a boil in a saucepan, add chopped fruit and/or fresh herbs, reduce heat, and simmer until syrupy. Then strain out the solids (without pressing down on the fruit) into a jar. Let it cool, then cover and chill for up to two weeks. Try with strawberries, blackberries, or peaches.

Fresh Tip: Use the stewed fruit as a topping for yogurt or even in smoothies!

homemade simple syrup

Looking for some easy summer recipes? Doesn’t matter if it’s sweet or savoury (or somewhere in between) — here at HelloFresh, we’re team skewer all summer long. From its chic presentation to easy prep, check out these skewer recipes that are fun to assemble and a slam-dunk in flavour.

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