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Make your seasonal produce last all year

Extend the taste of summer with these tips  for how to make your seasonal produce last beyond immediate use.

blueberriesFreeze your fruit

Make smoothies with locally sourced berries even in the middle of winter!

1) Rinse your fruit and pat it try with paper towel.

2) Pit cherries, cube melon, pit and peel peaches, nectarines and plums and slice strawberries. Blueberries, blackberries and raspberries can be left whole.

3) Spread the fruit out on a baking sheet and place in the freezer overnight. This ensures that the fruit doesn’t freeze all together in one big clump.

4) The next day, you can transfer the frozen fruit into a tupperware or plastic baggie, to use throughout the year for smoothies or muffins.

Blueberry jamMake jam

This step by step recipe takes you through how to create homemade strawberry jam with no added sugar and chia seeds for extra fibre. When jam is this healthy, you can spread it on anything! Make small batches (half pint jars) so that you can use them up before they go bad.

Get pickled

Fermented foods are one of the latest to join the health food curriculum. Though “pickles” most often refers to cucumbers that are preserved to become pickles, you can pickle other vegetables as well, such as green beans and peppers. Check out this is how-to article for home pickling.

Make pestoParsley Pesto Pasta Photo by James Ramsay; Food Stylist: Susan Benson Cohen

Homemade pesto is a great way to add some life to pasta or pasta-alternative dishes. For the most efficiency, make pesto and freeze it in an ice cub tray for super-easy pre-portioned pesto cubes.

Make tomato sauce

You can totally tell the different between a fresh, in-season, homegrown tomato and one that has had to travel thousands of miles to get to your kitchen. And the former tastes way, way better. Make fresh tomatoes last longer by making and freezing your own tomato sauce and use it for pasta, pasta alternatives, or healthy pizza dishes.

oven-dried-tomatoesDry your fruit

If you’re really into making your seasonal produce last, you should invest in a food dehydrator. This will let you dry your own fruit to add to homemade trail mixes and granola bars. This helpful site breaks down the process for drying all sorts of different ingredients.