October 19, 2010

Frugal Fast Easy Way to Preserve Vegetables

This time of year most vegetables are at their best price. This is because they are ripe where you live and they don't have to be transported so far. It is the best time to purchase them in surplus and preserve them for the winter too.

You bring vegetables home and put them in the fridge with the best of intentions. . Maybe you are an inexperienced cook and fear of failure took over the best laid plans. Maybe your schedules changed and you just couldn't fix them in time. But they rot before you can use them. They really are only viable fresh for a few days after purchase. so knowing in advance how to preserve for another time can be very prudent.

Tips for storing vegetables:

Store squash, potatoes, onions, and garlic in a cool dry spot in the kitchen. Baskets or cardboard boxes are perfect for this. Don't Store them together in the same container. Anything that is not in perfect condition will not keep long and should be used right away. Otherwise these vegetables can keep up to a few months.

Celery, beets, chard, herbs, broccoli, cabbage, carrots and turnip must be stored in the refrigerator to preserve freshness.

1. remove them from the plastic bags, even the potatoes, as soon as possible
2. cut off tops from beets and carrots (otherwise they will become soft)
2. don't wash them, shake off any excess water (clean them before use)
3. line the fridge crisper drawer with newspaper or paper towel
4. store them in fridge for 3 or 4 days

To preserve them for the winter, cut them into small bits and freeze in freezer bags.

Using a food processor makes this chore very easy. Simply chop them, lay the pieces on cookie sheets, freeze, when frozen break into pieces and put in freezer bags, freeze. I have cabbage, beets, turnips, onions, summer squash, chard, kale, endive, carrots, ginger and mushrooms.

Tip: Push food in the corners of bags to keep air pockets out. Squeeze as much air as possible out of the bag, this makes for a nicer finished product.

I add them to soup, stirfries, or just in a pan with some butter (I love turnips and greens this way). It is like having the prep work done so meals can be made in a hurry. A little chicken stock (which you make by boiling a chicken in a big pot and freezing the liquid) and a few handfuls of these veggies and beans or rice or pasta make a soup in less than 20 minutes.


  1. Timely advice, look at all that fresh goodness! And you have reminded me that I need to make some chicken stock and replenish my freezer with it!

  2. I have never frozen chard stems...what a great idea. I will have to do so this year.

  3. Regular, 18 cubic feet I think, the picture looks so big, i hear you have smaller fridges in Europe - peace