Summer

Preserving your Garden…and a Little Update

Hello my fellow green thumbs. I LOVE my garden, but a few years ago I got to a point where I had all these veggies coming out of my ears and didn’t know what to do with them. We simply couldn’t eat ONE MORE zucchini or squash…or even our beloved tomatoes (gasp). I wanted to save these veggies for winter but didn’t know how. I had all these veggies and now what? I thought I would share with you how I easily save my veggies for the upcoming fall, winter and spring.

Let’s start with a little update. The before…

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And now… This is my zucchini and squash garden box with one sun gold cherry tomato.



The second box has cherry tomatoes, two cucumber plants and a basil plant.

And here were my tiny new tomato plants….

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And now….

To get such big plants I swear by these products…

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Now onto how I preserve my goodies for winter. For zucchini, I like to make them into zoodles or spiralize a small quart freezer bag for future salads. I just throw the zoodles into the bag, squeeze the air out, date the bag and then freeze it. This works well but you do need to make sure that you squeeze out the excess water.

Another way, and probably my family’s favorite way to preserve zucchini is to shred it with a food processor.

I begin by chopping up my zucchini into long wedges that fit into the mouth of the processor.

Then I shred the zucchini 4 cups at a time. This is what my favorite zucchini bread recipe calls for.

After it is shredded I date a gallon freezer bag with the date and freeze the bags. The zucchini lasts for a year this way. Fresh zucchini bread all year long!

For my tomatoes, I like adding them to gallon freezer bags as well.

First I rinse the tomatoes with water. Then I get a pot of water to reach a rolling boil.

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***MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A LARGE BOWL OF ICE WATER next to the pot to drop the tomatoes into immediately*** I  get this prepped while the water is boiling.

Once the water has reached this point, I gently drop the tomatoes in the boiling water and in a couple of minutes the tomatoes split.

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Immediately drop them into the ice water to stop the cooking and to cool them off.

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Once they have been in the ice water for a couple of minutes you can easily pop them out of their skin. Discard the skin into a garbage can and place the tomatoes into a freezer bag. Make sure you squeeze all of the air out of the bag and then seal.

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Date the bag with a sharpie. These tomatoes will last up to a year.

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Here are some recipes that you will now be able to make year round with your garden fresh veggies…

Simple Spaghetti Sauce

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Mediterranean Zoodle Salad

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30 Minutes Pasta Primavera

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Do you have a garden? What do you grow in it? What is your favorite thing to make with your veggies? Do you preserve your garden for the winter? I would love to hear your tips.

-Jenna

 

20 thoughts on “Preserving your Garden…and a Little Update

  1. Smart tips!!! I did not preserve a thing this year. I tried to preserve the okra but stupid me failed to blanche. I was in a rush and not thinking. Oh well…I may throw a few plants in a for a cool weather garden but seriously….that’s a pipe dream at the moment! I hope your day is great! xo

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    1. Okra..mmmmmm! I did not grow any this year and have no idea why?!?! I love greenbeans too and didn’t plant them but my in-laws keep me stocked on those 🙂 I want to do a winter garden one year as well! My pipe dream as well!

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    1. I am sure it does feel so weird…next summer though! Canning intimidates me! My mother-in-law and father-in-law can and they always bring me goodies…I LOVE it!

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  2. We are at that point – ha! I love home grown tomatoes but we need to develop a few more eaters because momma gets her fill. My dad could eat them like candy and so when he comes, he helps me eat them right up! Xoxo ERIN

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    1. I love tomatoes and now I feel like we have all had our fair share 🙂 I think my kids will scream if they eat another one! Lol! I love putting a little salt on them!

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    1. Thank you! They grow like crazy don’t they?!?! I love the shredded, pre-measured bags for zucchini bread. That is always a treat in the winter and super easy to do!

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  3. Your garden is huge!!! Isn’t it fun to see how it literally goes from nothing to these gigantic plants full of veggies! It was really fun to see how you preserve your veggies so you can have them all winter. Thanks for sharing!!

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    1. I just have to squeeze the excess water out a bunch. I haven’t found them mushy, but they do seem to hold the water more. I also only freeze them in smaller batches.

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    1. Hahahaha! I love having tomatoes, they are my favorite part of the garden. I only water mine every other day 🙂 I hoe you grow a garden some day!

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