The delicious summer bounty is beginning to arrive. Whether you grow it in your garden or gather it at the Farmer’s Market, summer produce is rolling in and I hope it is rolling in your door!
I love how meal prep is relatively simple this time of year. A bit of protein on the grill paired with fresh sweet corn, sliced tomatoes, and a few wedges of watermelon and dinner is served in 15 minutes.
Preserve some of this sweet summer goodness for winter when our Iowa grocery produce sections are filled with not-too-wonderful fruits and vegetables from far off places.
I call the freezer into service for preserving some of my summer produce. A few years ago I canned fruits and vegetables. I had more time then. Hours dedicated to chopping and peeling large quantities of produce and sterilizing jars has evaporated in the midst of playing games with the girls, embarking on art projects, and living life.
This summer I have stocked my freezer in 15- and 20-minute increments when I find both time and fresh produce. With a box of quart-size zipper freezer bags and several plastic freezer containers on hand, I’m ready to save a little bit of summer whenever I get a chance.
Wash and dice peppers and place about a cup or so in freezer bags for an easy addition to chili, pizza, or spaghetti sauce later.
Prepare a pot of boiling water and submerge tomatoes for 30 second or until the skins loose. Remove from water and peel off the loose skin. Chop the skinned tomatoes if desired and place in a freezer bag.
Buy an extra dozen ears next time you are at the farm stand. After peeling and cleaning the corn, cook it on the cob in boiling water for about 3 minutes. Submerge it in a bowl filled with ice-cold water to quickly cool it. Using a sharp knife, slice the kernels from the cob. Place 3 cups or so of corn in each freezer bag.
**Special thanks to our Guest Blogger, Megan Hughes, for sharing these great tips with us today!!
Megan Hughes lives and gardens on a farm in eastern Iowa, which she shares with her husband, their two young daughters, two Labs, one cat, and 14 chickens. They are all looking forward to welcoming a new little brother in November. A horticulturist and a writer, Megan loves to share the joy of digging in the dirt. From planting edible gardens to building garden sheds, she covers all aspects of garden living for a multitude of publications, including Better Homes and Gardens, Country Gardens, and Organic Gardening.