Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Easy Way to Preserve Your Harvest

Continuing on the theme of "eating a rainbow", I would like to discuss one method I have used a lot lately to preserve the bountiful harvest of fresh veggies and fruits that we have received this year.

While it is wonderful to eat the veggies fresh, even I have to admit that you can only eat so much in a day! I do make fresh veggies the centerpiece of many meals during fall especially, and also spend lots of time chopping, freezing and canning.

Here is a wonderful idea to preserve your veggies and save time down the road with meal preparation as well. As we all know, chopping up big baskets full of veggies can be very time consuming.

Often I find that if I set aside an hour or two for the family to work together on chopping veggies, we can accomplish a lot.

I also found that if I take a very large bowl full of chopped up veggies and saute them with olive oil and herbs, that not only does it make the house smell delicious, but it helps me out on those days when I just don't have the time to chop veggies, but still want my family to eat healthy.

Did you know that you can freeze sauteed veggies in individual servings? 

I have been filling up the saute pan with whatever is available in my latest basket of vegetables. Onions, peppers, and garlic are mandatory, but beyond that, there have been some interesting additions, including hot peppers, all sorts of squash, corn, leafy greens like kale, swiss chard, and spinach, and even eggplant!

Once the veggies have been cooked and cooled, package them in small freezer bags. I like using one quart sized bags, because it typically will hold enough sauteed vegetables necessary for one recipe. Once the veggies are thawed, they must be used or they will get very soggy and unappealing.

One of my favorite uses for stored vegetable saute is to fill up a quick, healthy omelet. It only takes a few minutes to fry up eggs for an omelet, and the veggies can be quickly warmed either in the microwave or in a separate frying pan. Pour your warmed veggies onto your eggs, sprinkle a little cheese on top, and you are ready to start your day with a healthy breakfast!

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This recipe is linked with Lisa Boyle at Try a New Recipe Tuesday

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