Here are some easy garden harvest ideas and tips about how to use and store your garden produce including dehydrating and more!
Easy Tips for Preserving Your Garden Harvest
- If you are worn out from canning or have run out of room to freeze any more of those fruits and veggies from your garden, don’t forget you can dehydrate almost anything.
- Carrots, onions and peppers are very easy to chop, dry, store and use this winter in stews and soups.
- Fruits are delicious dried and used later in pies or trail mixes or just to eat.
- Dried apples are so easy too. I saw cans of apple chips in the store the other day for $3.50 each. Even if I had to buy apples and dry them, I could make 10 cans of apple chips for that amount.
- Consider investing in a dehydrator. I see them at garage sales all the time. Also don’t forget to dry and save some of your summer flowers for potpourri and bath oils for yourself or Christmas gifts.
- Before the first frost hits, be sure to bring in all the tomatoes — even the green ones. They will ripen if just left on the counter. Plus they are so good to use green in many recipes like fried green tomatoes or green tomato pie.
- If your jam or jelly doesn’t set up, add a little water to it and boil. This makes great syrup.
You can make EASY and delicious meals at home in less time than eating out! You’ll save a ton of money on food and your family will thank you!
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I dehydrate a lot. We have 5 dehydrators and my kids are very fond of apple chips. Also when you run out of room tomatoes dehydrate well, just make sure to clearly label or you might have habanero spaghetti in lieu of tomatoes in it! (yes, it was firehouse spaghetti!)
Dehydrate w/o any special equipment – cut vegetables small, lay on a cooling rack that you use for backing (or any screen), put a pan under the cooling rack to catch anything that might fall through. Put the pan, rack, & vegetables in the front or back window of your car. Roll up the windows. Cherry tomatoes cut in half take a couple of days, jalapeno peppers a day. Eggplant was great, squash too. Hardest part is finding a couple of days when you don’t use your car. I tossed the odds & ends into a jar in the freezer to wait for stew or soup.
Tomatoe can be frozen whole — they taste wonderfully fresh when you use them in the winter! Just run the frozen tomato under hot water, peel (the skin slips right off), chop and toss into whatever you’re cooking. This is the best, and easiest way to preserve tomatoes I have ever found.
Susan, do you just freeze them this way in ziploc bags? This sounds so easy and I LOVE tomatoes and eat them all summer! Would love a fresh tasting tomato in the winter. Thanks!
I just bought a dehydrator and don’t know what I can do with it. I know about apples and pineapple but what else? Help.
There are so many things you can dehydrate so easily. I just love it. My new favorite is potatoes for hash browns. These work even better then keeping them in the freezer. When I want hash browns I just pull what I need out of the jar pour a little hot water on them and then they are ready to use for what I need them in. No peeling, worrying about them getting brown and they taste just like fresh. When fried they are just like those good ones you get in a restaurant. They make my life so much easier.
You can also do carrots, green peppers, onions without any work at all. Here are some articles off of the web site with links to a really good web site that deals with just dehydrating.
How to dehydrate potatoes
This is about canning but has a bunch on dehydrating too Canning and Freezing Garden Produce at the bottom are links to different dehydrating things.
I used to dehydrate apples, but if I remember right it involved a lot of sugar. Now I am diabetic (not because of the apples) and would like to know if there is a different way to do this without adding a lot of sugar.
No Debi I have never add sugar. All I do is peel (I leave peel on for some things), core and slice. Toss in a lge. mixing bowl filled with water and about 2 tsp. salt. This keeps them from browning. Then lay them on the trays. They are so simple to do and it is just like eating an apple with nothing added to it. If you any other questions holler.
I toss my apple slices in a bowl with water & a little lemon juice to prevent browning. Nice to know I could use salt instead, if know lemon juice is available.
Yes I use to use lemon juice but it does cost a bit more then salt and lemon juice leaves a slightly sticky residue and is a little messier when dehydrating. Plus I am so lazy when it comes to some things. My salt shaker is right there and I just grab and shake where the lemon juice I have to dig it out of the fridge and mess with taking the lid off and pouring. I know it is such a little thing but those little bits of time really do add up for me.
As always, I have a bumper crop of greens from the garden this year, and they just keep coming. After eating what we want fresh, freezing a bunch and cutting the extra for the rabbits, I have dehydrated the bulk of my harvest this year. Just wash the greens, lay out in a single layer on the dehydrator trays and dry. When they are dry, I crumble the leaves, then put them in a dry blender to powder them. I have 3 quart sealers of dark green fine powder from greens stored for the winter so far. A teaspoon of powder added to soups, spaghetti sauce, etc., is delicious. I also like to add it to boiling water to cook rice in, or my favourite, to add it to the dry ingredients when I make homemade noodles from scratch. Dehydrating is a great way to store large quantities of food for long periods of time, in little spaces.