Trista Hill, author of Eat Cheap! with Trista Hill explains why seasonal eating saves time and money. She demonstrates how to best preserve what’s available now in stores and farmers’ markets and then what to do with them later.
When produce is at its peak in freshness and nutrition, it is a cost-effective time to acquire bulk amounts to preserve for enjoying year-round. While many people are hesitant to jump into canning, most spring produce can be preserved easily by freezing. For leafy greens like kale, spinach and Swiss chard, remove any woody stems, wash well, blanch in boiling water for a minute or two, then remove greens to an ice water bath. When cool, place in a colander to drain. After draining, put greens into a freezer container, being sure to label with contents and date. These greens can easily be used in soups, lasagnas, smoothies or creamed in au gratin-type dishes Asparagus uses the same freezing method, though it is helpful to spin or towel-dry the spears a bit before freezing. This last step will keep quiches from getting soggy when using the asparagus after being frozen. Strawberries can be washed, topped, sliced and frozen in portions that are conducive to making pies, smoothies or jams. Rhubarb is also easy to freeze. Just wash, dice and put in a freezer container in desired amounts for use in Victoria sauce, breads, jams or crisps. Eating regional, in-season produce is a great way to save money, take in higher nutrition and support your local community.
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