Monday, May 23, 2016

Preserving summer food to reduce packaging in the winter

My recycling bin changes with the seasons.  In the late fall and winter, it is fuller than I would like.  And that has to do with the lack of local produce in the colder months.  I live in an area with four distinct seasons, and our farmer's market is only open from the end of May through early November.

Preserving summer food to reduce waste in the winter

Some things I end up buying at the store off-season which are not zero-waste:
  • Salsa
  • Tomato Sauce
  • Jam

To prevent some of this waste, I would like to take advantage of my farmer's market this summer and preserve some of the wonderful locally grown, organic veggies I can get there.  Even if I can't preserve enough food to get me through the winter :), I can at least reduce how much I rely on some of these grocery store items.

On my list:
  • Fermented salsa (recipe from Zero Waste Chef) (I tried this already with some out-of-season tomatoes, and it was delicious! I can't wait to use the local tomatoes.  This isn't canned, but can keep for several months in the fridge.)
  • Tomato sauce
  • Strawberry Jam (The canned recipes use a lot of sugar, so I think I am going to stick with freezer jam)
  • Fermented pickles
 What are some things you like to preserve? Any tips for someone new to canning?

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