Preserve the Local Harvest

Pickled green beans

Winter is coming! Well…not quite…but in the spirit of Thanksgiving and being grateful for what we have, let’s take the time to celebrate our local harvest. Here are three ways to preserve our beautiful local produce before winter officially hits southwest B.C.

1. Pickle your in-season vegetables

In season and local right now are carrots, beets, green beans and cabbage. All three of these vegetables make delicious pickles! And pickles are great for our gut health because they are probiotic rich.

Pickled Dill Green Beans

Ingredients:

  • Green beans: enough to fit snugly in a 500 mL jar but not packed too tightly
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Favourite flavours: bay leaf, black pepper corn, cumin, coriander and/or dill

Directions:

  1. In a bowl, mix the water and salt to create the brine
  2. Pour enough brine over the vegetable so they are completely submerged, if necessary use another smaller jar, or something that fits nicely inside the mouth of your pickle jar, to weigh down any floating vegetables.
  3. Cover the jar with a clean cloth and secure with a plastic band and let sit anywhere from 3 days to 2 weeks to sour to your liking.

Pickled Carrots

Ingredients:

  • Carrots: enough to fit snugly in a 500 mL jar but not packed too tightly
  • 1 cup of any vinegar
  • 1/3 cup honey

Directions:

  1. Mix vinegar with honey, heat, and pour over the vegetables.
  2. Can we eaten after 20 mins or so, though they can be kept in the fridge for longer (6 months)

2. Make a yummy quick applesauce

Besides being in season right now, apples are also nutrient powerhouses! Packed with antioxidants, such as vitamin C, beta-carotene, and lutein, the skins of apples are also one of the best-known sources of pectin—a type of soluble fiber. An apple a day definitely does keep the doctor away.

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 local apples, core & chopped
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp lemon juice

Directions:

  1. Blend ingredients, add more honey and lemon to taste and store in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 weeks or longer. Cook to thicken if desired.  

3. Freeze those beauties

Did you know that frozen vegetables are just as nutritious as fresh ones? Fresh vegetables lose nutrients over time while frozen vegetables are frozen at the peak of their nutritional value, so they may be even more nutritious than fresh…Buy extra produce the next time you are at farmers’ markets and freeze.

Tip: Place pre-cut & chopped vegetable on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet in your freezer. Once frozen, scoop them into a freezer bag removing all of the excess air and save for future cooking needs.

How do you preserve your favourite fruit or vegetable?

Check out Food Yourself's latest segment on Global Morning News talking all about preserving our local harvest!

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