There are many ways to preserve the bounty of the summer garden harvest. Freezing, canning, dehydrating, pickling and fermenting are a few of the most common.
How do you decide which method of preservation to use?
Pick a flavor.
For example, carrots. Frozen carrots will taste slightly different than canned, but did you know you can also pickle them?
Will you be using a particular vegetable primarily in a stew? Maybe you want a quick and easy to serve side dish. Frozen green beans are versatile for stews and stirfries, while canned can quickly be reheated for an easy side dish.
Freezing is a great option when you have small amounts of vegetables to store. Canning allows for shelf stability and no worries about the power going out, but does require more space in the pantry.
Mix it up.
You don’t have to do all of any given item in one way. For example, I have frozen some of our green beans and canned the rest. Initially they were ready only in small amounts and it was easier to put those in the freezer. As more were available, it was worth getting out the canner.
Tomatoes are another example. My method of sauce works best in the freezer because it thick and makes an unpredictable amount. However, I can tomato juice in quart jars. It is difficult to freeze that quantity of liquid and the shelf stability is a factor.
What are your favorite methods of food preservation?