Tastes of Summer All Year Long

One of my favorite parts of Summer is the abundance of low priced fresh produce, especially all the strawberries and blueberries. When I was pregnant with Baby E I craved strawberries all the time, and to be honest the craving never really stopped. It has actually grown to include berries of all kinds.

Jer really wanted to go blueberry picking last week as a family, and thought the thought of endless bushes full of berries ripe for the picking was tempting, I was highly skeptical that berry picking was going to work with a baby. I imagined we’s get to the field, pick a handful of berries, a baby-wearing meltdown would ensue (how else can you pick berries with an 11 month old?) and we’d be running like mad people to the car. For those who are unaware, E despises carriers of any kind.

Luckily I was wrong. I was unaware of the power of the blueberry over E. She put up with the front carrier for a good half hour, as long as she was allowed pick and eat as many blueberries as she could get a hold of. She loved it, and in fact even broke into a baby dance in excitement at the whole experience.

Blueberry Eating Baby

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Five pounds of blueberries later, we left with one happy, blueberry covered Baby E.

So….what does one family do with five pounds of blueberries? For us, save one of our favorite Summertime treats for the rest of the year.

I’ve posted before about how you can save a ton of money on your grocery bill by buying in season fruits and vegetables and frozen versions of the out of season varieties. You can top that by bulking up on in season produce either at the store or at a local farm, if you can grow your own, even better, and freeze it or can it for when the weather gets cold and the prices sky rocket. Here are some simple ways to preserve your Summer berries! You can preserve just about everything, though we stick with fruits and berries. Check out Ball Canning for more recipes and ideas.

Freezing:

If you put a bunch of produce in a freezer bag and just stick it in the freezer, you will end up with a very large lump of frozen together fruits or veggies. If you want to make one big recipe, this may be just fine, but assuming that’s not your intention, freezing them on a tray first is your best bet for individually frozen, easy to separate pieces.

Place your berries, cut fruits, veggies, etc on a tray lined with wax or parchment paper.

Berries on Tray

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Place in the freezer for 6 hours or overnight, then bag in a freezer bag and label.

Ta Da! Tiny frozen pieces of delicious Summertime produce ready at hand.

If you’re a PB&J fan like myself, you will LOVE a PB&J with homemade preserves.

Preserving:

Ingredients:

4 Cups blended blueberries (blend in food processor)

3 Cups Sugar

½ Pouch of No Sugar Pectin (strangely enough the no sugar works best, with sugar)

Directions:

Mix Pectin with 2 Tbs sugar

Add to Blueberries

Boil for five minutes

Stir in remaining sugar

Bring to a hard boil

Remove from heat

Place in jar and process  

If you could preserve any part of Summer, what would it be??

 

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