As we all know, this time of year is great for fresh produce. I tend to buy much more produce in the spring and summer than I do in the fall and winter because it is fresher, tastes better, and costs less. Since we serve our babies fruits and veggies nightly I thought it would be a great idea to brainstorm ways to store fresh produce long term so that we will have these things available during the year when they may not be as easy to get.
You can find a place to pick many fruits and veggie yourself near you at [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
. Many of these places will let you know in advance if they use organic methods as well as the price and when the produce will be ready. I love this site for information about freezing and canning as well.Blueberries
- These are ready in early June and are super easy to store. After picking your berries, wash them and drain them on paper towels. After they have dried you can lay them in a single layer on a wax paper lined cookie sheet and place them in your freezer for a few hours. After they are frozen you can dump them into a food storage bag and put them back in the freezer. Doing this lets you take out the portion you want without defrosting the entire batch. The plus side is if you like blueberries, then eating them frozen on a hot summer day can be an awesome cool treat. My kids like to eat the frozen berries just like they would popsicles.Peaches
- These fruits are available now, but the "clear seed" variety won't be available until July. I recommend those because they are much easier to cut up since the fruit is not attached to the seed. Peaches will brown if exposed to air so I recommend dipping them in a small amount of lemon juice before freezing. Peel your peaches and then cut them into quarters. Dip each quarter into a bowl of lemon juice, making sure to submerge the fruit completely. Shake of the excess juice and lay the pieces on a wax paper lined cookie sheet, making sure that none of the pieces are touching. Place them in your freezer for a few hours. After they are frozen you can dump them into a food storage bag and put them back in the freezer. Doing this lets you take out the portion you want without defrosting the entire batch. If you do not want to use the lemon juice, then you need to use a vacuum sealer to store the peaches. Instead of freezing them on a cookie sheet you would seal them in the vacuum seal bags before freezing. Storing them this way will not keep them from turning brown when you defrost them.