Six Simple Ways To Preserve Summer’s Bounty


Published:

The end of Summer in North America is approaching fast, but gardeners, farmers, eaters, and cooks can preserve Summer’s bounty all year long. Fermentation, freezing, canning, and drying can all help prevent waste and make sure that families have an abundance of nutrients all year long.

Here are six simple food preservation techniques to help save the taste of Summer well into the Winter months.

1. Fermenting

The process of fermentation to preserve and store foods has been practiced for thousands of years. Fermenting involves a process called lacto-fermentation, which converts a food’s sugars into lactic acid, a natural preservative that inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria. Beyond preservation advantages, lacto-fermentation increases the vitamin and enzyme levels and digestibility of the fermented food. Almost any vegetable can be fermented, either singularly or in a mix of many different kinds, along with herbs and spices.

According to Sandor Katz, a renowned expert on and promoter of fermented foods, “There is no fermented food that anyone with a dedication to learning couldn’t figure out how to make.” His Wild Fermentation Portal provides a range of fermentation resources and links including books, podcasts, and fermentation support forums.

2. Freezing

Freezing is one of the simplest, most convenient, and least time-consuming ways to preserve fresh produce. When foods are frozen, the extreme cold stops the growth of harmful microorganisms, reducing spoilage. Fruits and vegetables can be chopped and frozen at the peak of their ripeness, when they have optimal nutrient content, and utilized in dishes throughout the year. Fresh herbs can be preserved and frozen in vegetable oil to reduce browning and freezer burn that often occurs when herbs are frozen on their own. Paired with seasonal or frozen vegetables, it’s a simple way to have herbs readily available for Winter meals.

The National Center for Home Food Preservation provides an extensive list on how to freeze an array of foods, as well as general information concerning frozen food storage and thawing and preparing foods for serving.

3. Canning

Canning has been used to store foods for almost 200 years. In canning, the food is boiled in a can or jar to kill all the bacteria, and then sealed to prevent any new bacteria from getting in. Since the food in the can is completely sterile, it does not spoil. There are two home canning methods: water bath canning and pressure canning. Water bath canning is a shorter, lower-temperature canning process that is ideal for high-acid foods such as fruit, jams and jellies, chutneys, pickles, and relishes. Pressure canning is a method for preserving meats, poultry, vegetables, chili, fish, and other low-acid foods such as soups, stews, and stocks.

Canning jar company Ball provides easy, step-by-step canning guides on their website, while the Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving and their online recipe list provide a range of tested preserving recipes.

4. Infusing

Infusing vinegar with Summer fruits is an easy way to bring fresh flavors into salads, marinades, and cocktails when the fruits themselves have gone out of season. Almost any fruit and even some flowers can be infused into vinegar. Its high acidity level breaks down the fruit and extracts the aromas and flavors into the vinegar. Similarly, placing herbs in oil infuses the herb’s flavor into the oil, which can be used to finish a variety of foods including salads, roasted vegetables, or braised meats.

The University of Georgia has compiled a flavored vinegars guide outlining the preserving process and popular flavorings and recipes.

5. Drying

One of the earliest and easiest known practices, drying refers to dehydrating food to remove all the moisture that bacteria, yeasts, and molds need to grow. It can be used for most types of foods including meats, fruits, and vegetables. Air-drying is a simple method to preserve herbs and spices by bunching and hanging them in a well-ventilated, dry, and dark place. This can also be achieved with a conventional oven or an electric dehydrator appliance.

The Home Preserving Bible website has an Introduction to the Drying Food Preservation Method that provides basic steps for oven drying foods and information on electric food dehydrator appliances.

6. Donating

In the event that there is still fresh produce to spare, donating fresh fruits and veggies to food banks that have the capacity to take them allows for the Summer harvest to be shared with those who most need it. Traditional food drives are often limited to non-perishable food items, although an increasing number of food banks are increasing their distribution of fresh food. Amp Your Good has developed a new kind of food drive called crowd-feeding that enables food drives to raise perishable food like fresh fruits and vegetables, organic food, whole meals, and lots of other healthy food. Another organization, AmpleHarvest, enables home and community gardeners to donate their excess garden produce to nearby food pantries across America.

Fresh Summer produce is best when the food is in season, inexpensive, and at its peak for flavor and nutrient content. To savor Summer’s bounty, preserving techniques such as freezing, canning, fermenting, and drying are a good alternative to boost variety and nutrition during the Fall and Winter months.

Eva Perroni is a freelance researcher-writer and activist who uses food as a window to explore political, social, environmental, and cultural matters. She holds an MA in Development Studies from the University of Melbourne, maintaining a strong research focus on sustainable food and agriculture systems. From learning traditional Sicilian recipes in her Nonna’s kitchen to campaigning for Food and Climate Justice, Eva’s love and passion for fair and healthy food is continuously growing.

This article was republished from Food Tank.

See also:
International Recipes From Your Summer Garden
A Kitchen Ecology Of Health Resilience

Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

Daily Astrology

December 18, 2018

A lunar conjunction with Uranus occurs during the wee hours of the morning. Uranus, the eccentric planet of epiphanies and technological breakthroughs, has been called the “Great Awakener.” For some folks this can mean a sleepless night. Awake or maybe…
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Alternative Health Directory

Browse all listings »

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Calendar

December 2018

Start your holiday week off right with a special yoga/meditation class. Sun salutations in honor of the winter solstice coupled with Yoga Nidra will leave you feeling rested, relaxed, and ready to...

Cost: $17

Where:
Yoga Anita
Dragonfly Wellness Center
176 Jackson Rd
Devens, MA  01432
View map »


Sponsor: Yoga Anita
Telephone: 978-227-8297
Contact Name: Anita Perry
Website »

More information

The holiday season is a time for family and friends to gather, to give gratitude for the gifts of love that we share, and for us to create new memories to cherish in our hearts. But the holidays...

Cost: $65

Where:
Private Office
6 Royal Crest Drive
Apt 11
North Andover, MA  01845
View map »


Sponsor: Sacred Spiral Dance
Telephone: 978-973-6637
Contact Name: Diana Harris
Website »

More information

Kinetic Chain Release, moxibustion and past life regression at Leapin Lizards. Every third Sunday: 9/16/18 10/21/18 11/18/18 12/16/18 For information, call Leapin Lizards at (207)...

Where:
Leapin Lizards
449 Forest Ave
Portland, ME
View map »


Telephone: (207) 221-2363
Website »

More information

This three-part series attunes you as a conduit to the healing system of Kundalini Reiki, a firey earth-based feminine energy. Kundalini Reiki is a gentle yet powerful modality to channel healing...

Cost: $150

Where:
Akasha Studio
20 Birch Street
Roslindale, MA  02131
View map »


Sponsor: Miriam Katz, Shamanic Healer
Telephone: 617-545-5142
Contact Name: Miriam Katz
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
No Events
No Events

The class is a combination of qi gong, yoga, meditation, and relaxation followed by a cup of healing tea. The class, developed by Korean enlightened master Ilchi Lee, is based on Sundo, a...

Cost: $10

Where:
Divine Paradigm
58b Macy St
Amesbury, MA  01913
View map »


Contact Name: Brad Fanger

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Show More...
Show Less...

The Shortest Day of the Year and the Longest Night To Be Without A Home On December 21, 2018 at 12:00 PM, at the Church on the Hill, 140 Bowdoin St. Boston MA  02108 (on the side of the...

Where:
Church on the Hill
140 Bowdoin St.
Boston, MA  02108
View map »


Sponsor: Interfaith Homeless Memorial Committee
Telephone: 617-523-4575
Contact Name: Kevin Baxter

More information

During this evening Winter Solstice Celebration we connect deeply with the Christ Being/Solar Logos and the different archangels as we prepare for the 12 holy nights following the Solstice evening....

Cost: $75

Where:
Circles of Wisdom
386 Merrimack Street
Suite 1-A
Methuen, MA  01844
View map »


Sponsor: Circles of Wisdom
Telephone: 978-474-8010
Contact Name: Cathy Kneeland
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Tired of missing opportunities that could further your life, your education, even your work? Tired of missing threats that continue to hold back your life, your education, even your work? Sit down...

Cost: $40

Where:
Caffe Nero
368 Congress St
Boston, MA  02210
View map »


Contact Name: Soni
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags