Today I had the same conversation with two farmers. The early and frequent rain brought a great crop of zucchini, yellow squash, carrots, onions and garlic this year. In previous years the water dried up before we even started into June and most of us that love these products could not find much to put away for the winter. Which brings me to a welcomed problem. There is a bit of a glut of these items and people just don’t have simple ways of putting away these things to use later. So I have some suggestions for you. They are all healthy and simple. No cooking experience is necessary. I will add some photos later next week along with the posts that I was supposed to finish from last weekend’s market. It’s been busy here this week!
As with everything you put away, please remember to date and label it carefully. I normally put the farm source on my labels so year to year I can tell which products fare better when I try different varieties. This was a quick post so if you have questions, just send them to me and I will add to the post.
- Clean them up and slice them lengthwise and roast them in olive oil at 400F for about 10 minutes. I like a little brown on mine. Then simply freeze them in freezer bags or containers.
- Clean them up and chop into bite-size pieces. Then saute them in olive oil until they are still firm. Freeze them in containers.
- Clean them up and chop them into bite-size pieces and steam them just until they are barely cooked all the way through. Freeze them in containers.
Green Zucchini & Summer Yellow Squash :
- Gently clean the outside and then grate them with a large size grater. Steam them just about 3-4 minutes and freeze in containers. You can add them to casseroles, cakes or make zucchini vegetable or seafood cakes out of them later. They hold up well enough for casseroles but not very well for other applications.
- You can dehydrate them, but the texture changes quite a bit when you hydrate them later. Use might include soups or stews where the appearance is not critical.
- These dehydrate very well and are a great way to make your own healthy onion dip for all those winter sports parties!
- They are also wonderful grilled in thick slices and then frozen to be used in your chili during the cold months.
- You can thin slice them and saute them in olive oil and freeze them as well. Don’t cook them all the way through and you can finish browning them later if you want to add them to your burgers or on top of a steak or roast during the winter.
- If you love using garlic as much as I do, you might consider roasting it in olive oil and freezing it for the winter. This is as simple as cleaning the skins off and putting all the cloves in a container with some olive oil just to coat them. Cover and bake at 375 for about 15-20 minutes. You are trying to get them a little “golden brown” color on parts of them, but not all. Just a bit. Let it cool and them put it in a container and freeze it. This will make it easier for you to save time and energy making meals the rest of the year.
Chard & Spinach
- Clean the leaves and lightly steam these to hold the color if you are still getting them at the market. Just freeze them in containers and pull them out for soups or casseroles.
I roast up a lot of this for soups in the spring and the fall. Chop up and add some olive oil, salt & pepper. Roasting around 400F in a sealed container takes about 10 minutes. Leave the lid on and remove from the heat. Let it sit another 10 minutes. This will be lightly browned and it’s great in soups. Put it in a freezer container. You can puree it ahead of time if your recipe calls for that. It will take up less room in your freezer.
I normally clean, chop and steam the broccoli. Then I use freezer containers and freeze it for soups, casseroles or quiche.