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Preserving the Harvest

Sep 1, 2023 | Buying Local, Just for fun!, Recipes | 0 comments

By Jade Greene

This time of year is one of fleeting abundance, there are more zucchinis and tomatoes that I should rightfully consume, peaches softening too fast, and perfect herbs that need to be eaten right now! What to do with it all this perfect food? I do not have canning supplies so I have found quick and easy ways to preserve the harvest that store in the fridge or freezer. Each recipe is infinitely customizable with whatever seasonal produce you have in your kitchen! Preserve the harvest with these easy recipes!

QUICK JAM
Ingredients
  • 1 cup fruit of your choice (blueberry, wineberry, raspberry, peach, etc.)
  • 0.75 to 1 cup sugar
  • Squeeze of lemon juice
  • Cinnamon (optional)
Steps
  1. Pour fruit and sugar into a sauce pan, heat over medium heat
  2. Mash fruit using a fork or masher
  3. Bring to a boil and then simmer uncovered for 20 min, stir occasionally
  4. Allow it to cool and then transfer to mason jars

Jam will thicken upon cooling. Store for about a month in the fridge.

HERB BUTTER
Ingredients
  • 1 stick salted butter, room temperature
  • 2-3 cloves fresh garlic, crushed and finely chopped
  • 2-3 T fresh herbs, finely chopped (use one herb or a combo!)
Steps
  1. Place butter in stand mixer and mix
  2. Add garlic and herbs, mix well
  3. Scoop into silicone ice cube tray (ideally 1T) or roll into a log using parchment paper
  4. Freeze for 45 minutes
  5. Pop out of molds or chop butter log into coins
  6. Store in plastic bag in freezer

Store in freezer, lasts about 6 months

TOMATO SAUCE
Ingredients
  • 1 onion, carrot, garlic, celery stick, finely chopped
  • 3-4 tomatoes or 1 quart cherry tomatoes, chopped (no need to core them)
  • 1 can of cannellini beans (optional but adds creaminess and protein)
  • 1/2t dried oregano and basil
  • 1/4t dried thyme and rosemary
  • 1T brown sugar
  • 1-2 cups water
Steps
  1. Heat olive oil in sauce pot. Once hot, add onion, garlic carrots, celery and saute for 5 minutes
  2. Blend tomatoes in a food processor/blender. Add to pot
  3. Blend beans in a food processor/blender. Add to pot (optional)
  4. Add spices
  5. Add water to your preference (2 cups makes it more like a soup texture, 1 cup is thicker sauce)
  6. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 20 minutes
  7. Allow to cool and then pour into mason jars, if freezing, leave head space in jar
  8. Transfer to freezer or store in refrigerator 

 

FRIDGE PICKLES
Ingredients
  • 1 cup vegetable (like carrots, cucumbers, cauliflower, beets)
  • 1 cup vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 T sugar or honey
  • Optional add ins: fresh herbs, garlic, hot peppers
Steps
  1. Wash your vegetables
  2. Cut vegetables into desired shape (sticks, grated, coins)
  3. Pack vegetables and add ins into a mason jar
  4. In a sauce pan, combine water, vinegar, salt, and sugar. Stir occasionally and bring to a boil
  5. Pour the hot brine over the vegetables, make sure they are completely covered
  6. Allow the jar to cool and refrigerate (wait a few hours before eating) 

Store for about a month in the fridge.

PESTO
Ingredients
  • 2 cups of greens (spinach, kale, garlic mustard, kale, pea shoots, chard, or a mix)
  • 1/4 cups pine nuts or sunflower seeds or walnuts
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup parmesan or pecorino cheese, grated
  • A few squeeze of lemon juice
Steps
  1.  In a food processor, pulse greens, nuts, and garlic until finely minced
  2. While blending, pour in the olive oil and blend until smooth
  3. Add sugar, salt, cheese, and lemon juice. Pulse until combined
  4. Freeze in silicone ice cube trays. Pop out and store in a plastic bag

Lasts for 6 months in the freezer

SWEET VEGGIE BREAD
Ingredients
  • 1.5 cups grated carrot or zucchini
  • 1/2 cup oil or apple sauce
  • 1/2 honey or brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1.5 cups flour 
  • 1/2 t baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon 
  • 1/2 cup nuts or sunflower seeds 
  • 1/2 cup raisins 
Steps
  1. Pre-heat over to 350F
  2. In a large bowl, mix oil/applesauce, sweetener, eggs, and grated vegetable
  3. In another bowl, mix remaining ingredients (excluding nuts and raisins)
  4. Sift flour mixture into wet mixture
  5. Mix in nuts and raisins 
  6. Pour into loaf tin and bake for 45-60 minutes

After cooling, freeze loaf in plastic bag.

Some other vegetable stash busting recipe ideas:

  • Drying herbs like rosemary, oregano, sage and thyme (with or without a dehydrator!)
  • Fritter (works with any vegetable that can be shredded)
  • Quiche or frittata
  • Sheet pan roasted veggies
  • Focaccia
  • Vegetable stock
  • Grilled vegetables

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