Eat Fall Vegetables Year Round
Fall is commonly known as the season of harvest. Late summer vegetables such as cauliflower, cabbage, and broccoli are at their best. Other root crops like beets and carrots are finally ready to enjoy, not to mention fall favorites like squash and pumpkin.
Preserving the Fall Harvest
What is the best way to ensure that the rich flavors of fall are with you all year round? Canning, freezing and pickling are great ways to preserve the bounty of your fall harvest.
- Canning. This is a popular method for all kinds of vegetables. Make big batches of a sumptuous fall vegetable soup or a smooth butternut squash puree. While canning requires special supplies such as glass jars, lids, and a large pot to boil, sterilize, and seal the jars, these supplies are reusable year after year and create shelf-stable meals that can be ready in a flash.
- Freezing. Some vegetables such as pureed squash or chopped collards can be easily blanched and packaged in durable plastic containers for freezing. These become quick and easy additions to soups or stir fry’s all year round.
- Pickling. Pickling is a common method of food preservation around the world. Pickling can preserve a wide variety of foods that may not take as well to the other methods of preservation. Pickling is as simple as chopping your desired vegetables into ½ inch pieces, quickly boiling them in a pickling marinade, and then placing them in sterile, self-sealing glass jars with some of the marinade liquid. Store these jars in a cool dark place for at least two weeks prior to eating. Pre-made pickling marinades are widely available.
Whenever preserving food, no matter the method, refer to the USDA guidelines for the best methods to can, freeze, or pickle fresh vegetables to avoid foodborne illnesses.
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