Preparing the Pantry: Quick and Easy Vegetables to Preserve

It’s that time of year.  The time of year when people start sneaking around leaving zucchini on the doorsteps of unsuspecting neighbors.  It’s also the time of year to start stocking up on things to get through the winter.  Rising prices for fresh fruit and vegetables are just around the corner so even if you don’t have a garden it’s a good time to score some good deals at the grocery store and stock up.

Living in a region where winter does it’s best to kill you I find a lot of comfort in a well stocked pantry.  So, for the month of September I will be sharing a series – “Preparing the Pantry” sharing my favorite ways to stock up.

In celebration of the current season of abundance and vegetable abandoning ninja skills I give you :

Luckily you don’t need to be canning pro to store extra produce away for the winter!  Most of these items can be easily frozen in your freezer or dried in the oven!

1.  Zucchini – Oh my goodness it’s everywhere right now and let’s be honest most of us can only handle roast zucchini so many nights in a row.  Zucchini is easily frozen with little preparation.  You can freeze it in chunks, shredded and chopped.  Measure out your amounts before hand in perfect portions for your favorite winter soup, breads and muffins.

2.  Onions – Not all varieties of onions are made for long term storage, but have no fear.  Like you did with the zucchini – dice up your onions and freeze in freezer bags or freezer containers in pre-measured amounts perfect for your favorite dishes.  Onions can also be dried at home like those bottles of minced dried onions you can get at the grocery store.

3.  Peppers – Peppers are another item that can be washed, dried, cut up and thrown in the freezer (in a good container of course!).  Peppers tend not to be as crisp after being frozen so freezing whole or half peppers for dishes like stuffed peppers might not be ideal, but they’re perfect for recipes that call for them sauteed or cooked.  We love making “Fajita Bags”.  Quart bags of mixed green and red peppers seem to be the perfect size for a fajita dinner.

4.  Kale – I’ve been making Kale Powder ever since I saw it at Homesprout last year.  I wash and dry it, turn on the oven to a low setting and let it dry out.  When it’s nice and crispy I crumble it into an air tight container and add it to just about everything throughout the year – soups, ground beef dishes, etc.

5.  Green Beans –  Green beans are easy to process with out canning too.  Blanching them works well and is fast.  Wash, dry, trim and blanche for about 3 minutes in boiling water (see here for a more detailed account) and you have garden fresh green beans ready for the freezer.

If you want to learn more about blanching, freezing or drying foods I highly recommend

 
The ® Blue Book Guide to Preserving has a great section about freezing and blanching different fruits and vegetables, which is the perfect first step for someone not quite ready to buy into canning as a whole.

This post contains Amazon Affiliate Links.  If you use the links in this post to make a purchase thru Amazon.com I receive a small percentage of the price.  All opinions expressed about products on this site are my own.

Shared at Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways

3 thoughts on “Preparing the Pantry: Quick and Easy Vegetables to Preserve

Add yours

  1. Wow, I don't know how I missed this entire series! (Actually I do, my blogger is seriously uncooperative these days, and I don't get on the computer much)… I really need to do that with onions, just so I don't have to chop them as much!

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