How to Preserve All Your Summer Produce

Make summer last forever with these easy tips for saving your favorite summer fruits and vegetables.

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Savor Your Summer Bounty

Summer may be coming to a close but there are plenty of ways to savor the flavors of summer for months to come. Check out these simple ways to save your favorite fruits and veggies.

Fresh Herbs

Nothing brightens up a meal like a few handfuls of fresh herbs. Since herbs like basil, parsley and tarragon are highly perishable, store them in the freezer. Wash, dry, chop and freeze in ice cube trays with a few tablespoons of water. If you’ve got a ton of herbs on hand, make a batch of pesto — you can freeze that too!

Get the Recipe: Pesto

Tomatoes

Did you know you can freeze whole tomatoes in a resealable bag? Instead of defrosting, just add frozen to soups and stews and sauces. Fresh tomatoes can also be blended into a tasty, freezable batch of salsa.

Get the Recipe: Salsa and Chips

Berries

Retain those antioxidant-filled berries by making a batch of freezer jam — or you can freeze them whole. For best results, wash, dry and place whole berries in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Place the sheet in the freezer until the berries harden, then transfer to a bag; freezing in a single layer keeps them from sticking together. Add frozen berries directly to smoothies, yogurt or muffin and pancake batter.

Making Freezer Jam

Peaches

Stone fruit has a short season so hold on to the goodness by peeling, slicing and freezing it for a later use. Frozen sliced peaches are a perfect addition to smoothies and scones or pureed into cocktails. Frozen peaches also make a velvety smooth baby food for little ones.

Get the Recipe: Peach Pie Smoothie

Watermelon

Snack on fresh melon and let the juices run down your chin! Blend leftovers with a few flavorings and pour into popsicle molds for a chilly treat.

Get the Recipe: Watermelon, Chili and Basil Ice Pops

Zucchini

Give thick slices of fresh zucchini a quick dunk in boiling water, then transfer to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Drain, pat dry and then pack away in the freezer. The method of blanching in hot water will help retain the color and prevent breakdown of the squash during freezer storage. Add frozen squash directly to soups towards the end of cooking.

Get the Recipe: Beef And Summer Squash Chili

Cukes

Cucumbers don’t freeze very well, but they can’t be beat in the pickle department. Experiment with different herbs, spices and vinegar and create your perfect pickle.

Make Your Own Pickles

Corn

Peel, blanch (on the cob) and pop it in the freezer. You can also cut corn off the cob and combine with other veggies like chopped broccoli and carrots to create your own bagged, frozen veggie medley.

Get the Recipe: Corn Fried Rice

Cauliflower

Save money and time by making large batches of frozen riced cauliflower. Trim and chop fresh cauliflower in a food processor and pulse until pieces resemble rice. Blanch, spread on a baking sheet and then freeze in a single layer. Once frozen, store in a resealable bag.

Trend Alert: The Rise of Riced Vegetables

Potatoes

You can always slice, blanch and freeze ‘taters for roasting another day. Regular or sweet potatoes can also be combined in a soup pot with aromatics and broth. Blend, then cool and freeze for cozy cups of homemade soup all winter long.

Get the Recipe: Kale-Potato Soup with Bacon