Preserving Summer Harvests

Not much is better than eating fresh picked veggies straight from your garden. We try to eat fresh garden produce as much as possible, but some plants are so productive, it is not possible to keep up. Luckily, there are many ways to preserve your summer harvests so they can be enjoyed all year long!

Zucchini
With extra zucchini, you can make zucchini relish using this recipe and then can it. It’s very tasty and goes well with tuna salad in particular. We also bake and then freeze lots of zucchini bread and muffins. You can also shred and freeze the raw zucchini and use it later for soups and baked goods.

Cucumbers
We enjoy making bread and butter pickles and relish with our spare cucumbers. If you don’t want to can your pickles, you can also make refrigerator pickles. We made dill refrigerator pickles for the first time this year using Armenian cucumbers and they turned out great! It’s been a month and they’re still crispy and refreshing.

Peaches
While there is no comparison to eating peaches right off the tree, freezing the fruit is a viable way to preserve the fresh flavor. We skin the peaches, slice them, and freeze the slices in Ziploc bags. We also puree the sliced peaches and freeze the puree so it’s instantly ready for making smoothies and sorbet.

Tomatoes
A great way to use up lots of tomatoes is to make batches of sauce, especially if you have fresh herbs to use up as well. A nice recipe can be found at Better Homes and Gardens here. The sauce can either be frozen or canned. Tomatoes can also be frozen whole or they can be dried.

Corn
Corn freezes very well. First, husk and clean the ears, blanch them whole in boiling water for 3 minutes, then drop the ears in an ice bath. Once they have cooled, we slice off the kernels and freeze them in Ziploc bags.

Apples
We enjoy making delicious applesauce and apple butter with our extra apples, both of which can be frozen or canned. Sliced apples also freeze well. For every gallon sized Ziploc bag of peeled and sliced apples, just add 1 cup of sugar. This helps preserve the apples and prevents them from turning too brown.

Herbs
See our previous post about preserving fresh herbs here.

Saving your harvest is fun, and as always, if you need help or have questions, please ask us below!

  • TLBPsyD

    This is a great web site! Thank you for sharing your wealth of knowledge with us “newbies.”

  • Thank you for the comment and compliment! We’re happy you’ve found the information on our website helpful. 🙂

  • Freeholder1776

    Do you think your Armenian Cucumbers (which I grew to excess this year) would make good bread and butter pickles?

  • Freeholder1776

    I’m sharing this website on my Facebook page. It’s terrific.

  • Thank you! We appreciate the +1.

  • Yes, Armenians can be used for tasty bread & butter pickles. Cut them lengthwise, remove the seeds, and slice them thin. Give this recipe a try. It has turmeric in it which kicks it up a notch!
    http://www.boston.com/lifestyle/food/dishing/2010/07/bread_and_butte.html