Thursday, September 8, 2011

Harvest Time Ideas

With Fall fast approaching, I have begun the task of harvesting the fruits of my labor - from tomatoes and peppers to melons and summer squash. Here are things that I do with my "extra" produce (what I don't eat up or share).
Cayenne Peppers - I dehydrate these and store them in mason jars. I grind, crush or chop the dried peppers and use them in place of store bought cayenne.
Cantaloupe / Muskmelon - I puree this and freeze in 2 cup increments for cantaloupe bread/muffins.
Herbs - I dehydrate these and store them in mason jars.
Jalapenos - I made jalapeno hot sauce this year and it turned out very well. You can also pickle them.
Red and Green Bell Peppers - I chopped these up and then freeze them in quart sized freezer bags for use in everything from breakfast skillets to soups. I just pour out the needed amount and then put the bag back in the freezer. This is also a big time saver for future prep. I also julienne a combination of red and green peppers and onions for a quick fajita blend.
Pumpkin/Winter Squash - I bake and puree these, then freeze them in 2 cup increments for bread.
Summer Squash/Zucchini - I shred this up with my food processor (yes, I used to do it by hand) and then freeze in 2 cup increments (most recipes call for 2 cups shredded). I use this in breads, cakes and brownies.
Tomatoes - I can tomato sauce which makes for wonderful chilis and casseroles during the winter.

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