Savoring the Summer all Year – DIY Frozen Food

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Put ‘em Up: Preserving your Harvest

zucchiniBecause my mom loves her zucchini, she returned from Italy last spring with seeds for these AMAZING trumpet squash. She sowed those seeds and I then planted them in my garden. To say the least, those plants were prolific! I had to create a temporary pergola over my garden so that the plants would not take over. I had trumpet squash all summer long.IMG_4763

My mom got some, my neighbors got some, Green Divas Meg and Gina each got one (GD Meg even got a plant and claims she loves the dozens of little penis-like squash popping up in her garden . . . well, they can look a bit provocative!) Silent Green Dude Rob gets his this week.

DIY Frozen Food in a Flash (literally)!

Even after have shared the bounty, I still have plenty. Time to “put them up” as part of the harvest.

Here’s what you need: 

IMG_4756

  • Pot of boiling waterDO NOT ADD SALT as salt will change the consistency of the veggies which is not good for freezing
  • Pot of ice water
  • Slotted spoon or strainer
  • Clean dish towels or paper towels (dish towels are greener)
  • Cookie Sheet
  • Storage bags or glass containers

Here’s what you do:

IMG_47581. Wash and cut your zucchini — any kind you want — into one inch cubes

2. Drop 1-2 cups at a time into the boiling water.IMG_4771

3. Boil 2-minutes

4. Immediately scoop the zucchini into the pot of ice water — this stops the cookingIMG_4772

5. Strain and pat dryIMG_4773

IMG_47766. Lay the zucchini in one layer onto a cookie sheet and pop them into the freezer. At this point you can opt to put portions into storage bags or glass containers and freeze. I prefer freezing them flat and bagging them later so that the cubes do not freeze together.   IMG_4777 2013-09-17 11.27.10

7. Done! Enjoy all winter long.

More “Putin’ Up Hints”

Got an abundance of tomatoes and don’t feel like or have the time make sauce and jar it? Here’s what I learned from my mom’s first cousin living in Montegrazie, Imperia, Italy – where, growing up, I spent many, many summers. Rinetta, that’s her name, is an amazing cook; someone with that special, very sensitive palate who can tell when she’s eating leftovers.

All she does with her abundance of tomatoes is … as soon as she picks them  off the vine … she pops them in the freezer. That’s it. So that’s exactly what I do. When I need them for sauce, I simply take them out of the freezer. After about 5-10 minutes, the skin peels right off and they’re ready to chop and dump into my olive oil for a sauce which tastes as fresh as if I used just picked tomatoes … and it’s SAUCE – not gravy!

2013-09-17 11.27.23

Green tomatoes anyone?

It’s a foregone conclusion, there will be green tomatoes left on the vine. We’ve all pretty much heard of “fried green tomatoes,” but I am not a real fan. I came up with an all too simple idea.

1. Cut the green tomatoes into thin slices.

2. Once you’ve eaten your favorite dill pickles — I buy the kind packing a spicy punch — save the brine.

3. Use the brine to pickle the green tomato slices. SO YUM!

One more thing

Ever hear of Green Tomato Pie? Now you have! FNM080109Centerfold_017.tif

About the author / 

Green Diva Mizar
mizar@pur2o.com'

Green Diva Mizar is a former co-host of the GD show. GD Mizar is also dedicated to providing safe, clean water to all through her company Pur2o Water Filtration & Purification.

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