Did you plant too many plants this summer and are expecting a boat load of veggies? Or buy too many vegetables at the farmer’s market? I feel your pain since every year I face this dilemma. So what is a veggie lover to do? Sure, you can give away your abundance to your friends and neighbors. What if I told you, you could save most of your bounty for year round use with these 6 easy ways to preserve vegetables? You would hug me –right? So ditch the anxiety, and let’s get busy preserving vegetables!
6 Easy Ways to Preserve Vegetables
#1 Roast ‘em.
I adore any vegetable roasted. If you roast them in advance, you simply add them to your dishes on an as needed basis.
Simply turn your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit . Season the vegetables. I use oregano, thyme, and basil. You can add a drizzle of oil over the vegetable. Note, skip the oil if you are thinking of canning them.
Pictured above are turnips, rutabaga, carrots, and parsnip with oil and garlic. The turnips added an additional 20 minutes to the roasting time.
Here are some roasting recipes:
Store your roasted vegetable in glass containers or vacuum seal them. (I use this vacuum sealer.)
If you use oil, it will seep out of the vacuum sealed bag. For this reason, I simply skip adding oil to the recipe. If you want to add the oil, use a ziplock bag if you don’t have enough glass containers or jars. (Be sure to recycle your food storage bags. Learn how HERE.)
#2 Blanch ’em
Blanch your vegetables if you want to store them raw. “According to the National Center for Home Food Preservation, blanching impedes the enzyme action which causes the loss of flavor,color and texture as well as retards the loss of vitamins.
I blanch my green beans and then store them in the freezer. I don’t like the taste of canned green beans. Learn how to blanch vegetables HERE.
Again, store them in glass containers or vacuum sealed bags.
#3 Can ’em
I am a canner. I can my turnips, beets, squash, tomatoes, peaches, and apple sauce. I use to can green beans but as mentioned above, I disliked the taste.
I love canning since you don’t need any freezer space for your harvest. I have two 23 quart pressure canners so I can multiple products at one time. If you can squash, expect to be in front of your stove for 90 minutes.
I purchased metal shelving to store my cans since they were too heavy for my pantry shelves. (They broke from the weight.)
My favorite canning book besides the pressure canner guide is Ball Complete Book on Home Preserving. All recipes have been tested for safety.
If you are thinking about canning, be sure to read my tips. By the way, you can’t can zucchini.
In addition, always use a canning recipe from a reliable organization such as Ball or The National Center for Home Food Preservation. Turning over a can with hot water to create a seal is no longer an acceptable canning process.
Read here on how to can tomatoes.
#4 Dehyrate ’em
One year, I got sick of looking at my zucchini. Since you can’t can it, I had to figure out another way to deal with it. So, I dehydrated it.
I use this machine but you can use your oven as well. My oven’s lowest setting is 135 degrees. When I dehydrate vegetables, I stick a chopstick between the oven door and the oven so the moisture can escape.
You can dehydrate beets and zucchini to make chips. I even dehydrated squash and will be using it for flour or to add to soups.
Storing dehydrated food is easy. I put them in glass jars and check periodically for condensation You can vacuum seal your dehydrated goodies in Ball canning jars or bags. (Use these vacuum sealing tools to seal wide mouth or regular Ball canning jars.)
#5 Puree ’em
I puree some of my vegetables and store them in the freezer.
Have an abundance of cucumbers? You can simply juice or de-seed them, and then freeze the pulp. The pulp is great for soups, smoothie and dressings. (See here how to preserve your cucumbers.)
Also, squash puree is great to use in baking or soups.
#6 Freeze ‘em
Although I mentioned several vegetables that you can freeze above, you can also freeze your herbs.
Some people freeze their herbs in ice cubes. I am just too lazy and simply stick them in a glass jar or make herb rolls. (See HERE how to make your own parsley or cilantro roll.) So, when I need fresh herbs, I take them out of the freezer and use what I need.
Join the Conversation:
How do you preserve vegetables?
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