The bounty of fruits and vegetables in summer and early fall can be overwhelming when you feel the pressure to enjoy these fresh foods before they turn bad. Extend the life of the foods you grow, buy, and prepare using a few kitchen tricks. The Pennsylvania Resources Council states that perishable foods account for 76% of food wasted. They suggest these techniques for helping your food keep longer:
- Store food properly: When placed in well-sealed containers and out of heat and high humidity, food will stay fresh longer.
- Use your freezer: Too many vegetables to eat? Blanch them, spread them to dry before packaging, then store in the freezer. Soups, dinner leftovers, and baked goods can be placed in smaller serving containers to defrost just the quantity you need later.
- Learn how to can: Canning is very doable at home. You can find the supplies you need (jars and lids) at your local grocery store. This is a great way to preserve fruits and pickled vegetables for up to a year.
- Dehydrate: Use an electric dehydrator or oven to make fruit leathers, vegetable chips, and jerky. Enjoy as a snack or rehydrated in your favorite dishes.
- Make soup! Vegetable soup, hot or cold (such as gazpacho), is a great way to use those last vegetables before they spoil. Leftover soup can then be frozen for later.
See more details and ideas from the PRC flyer.
Photo by Susan O'Donnell