When you want to eat the healthiest possible and save money, you want to eat local and seasonally. Use these Food Preservation Methods to preserve your local and seasonal food year long.
How to Use Food Preservation Methods to Eat Seasonal All Year Long
Summer and early fall are a great time for getting into eating local, seasonal food. But what do you do when the gardens and farms around you stop producing as much food?
Depending on where you live, you may still be able to get fresh produce late into fall and even early winter. Milk, eggs, and fresh meat may be available year round. But what do you do about fruits and vegetables during the coldest winter months and early spring before gardens start to produce?
Tips for Eating Locally Grown Foods
You prepare for it by preserving the summer and fall harvest to use throughout the winter months. Start simple.
If you go blueberry picking or are finding a great deal at the local farmers market, freeze some to use in your smoothies and oatmeal throughout the year. Take the family apple picking this fall and pick apples that store well, or make apple sauce. If you have extra green beans or okra, freeze them.
If you’re feeling a little more ambitious, consider doing some canning. Most vegetables can well and you can even make a batch or two of homemade tomato sauce and can.
Think about what veggies and foods you use throughout the year that you buy canned. These are the first things you want to can. The same principle works for freezing.
What frozen fruits and vegetables to you end up using when you don’t have good fresh options at the grocery store? These are the things you want to start with.
From there you can start to explore and experiment. Try making a batch of fruit jam, or try your hand at pickling cucumbers. Talk to farmers and other shoppers at your local farmers market and farms.
How to Preserve Seasonal Foods
Do a little research online, or pick up a food preservation book at your local library. And let’s not forget about older friends and family members. Grandma cooked mainly from local, seasonal food back in the day and can give you quite a few tips to help you get back to this way of cooking and preserving food.
Don’t overwhelm yourself the first year. Do what you can and try a couple of new things. From there, start expanding each year. Try your hand at gardening, or pick up a few bushels of corn and put them up the following year. Keep adding a few more things each year and it won’t take you long to eat mainly local seasonal food throughout the year.