12 Things to Preserve Right Now to Prepare for a Very Harsh Winter

12 Things to Preserve Right Now to Prepare for a Very Harsh Winter

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Ariel Knutson
Aug 15, 2016
(Image credit: Trudy Wilkerson)

If you thought last winter was brutal, just wait until what's in store for this year. According to the Old Farmer's Almanac the 2016–2017 winter will be especially bad, including places like the Pacific Northwest that don't normally see the wrath of snow.

But before you start thinking about your escape plan, consider taking advantage of all of the delicious produce available to you right now. Those tomatoes, cucumbers, and berries you're enjoying right now can also help warm your heart when you're snowed in. Think of these 13 preserving recipes — pickles, jams, and sauces — as a little gift to yourself and your family when you just can't with winter anymore.

(Image credit: Jeff Roffman)

1. How To Dry Tomatoes in the Oven

You only need three ingredients to make these oven tomatoes: olive oil, salt, and, of course, tomatoes. These are nothing like the sun-dried version — they're more tender and luscious. Will last two months in the fridge.

(Image credit: Megan Gordon)

2. Triple Berry Quick Jam

Do you still have berries at your local farmers market? Lucky you! Grab 'em while you can and make a quick jam. Will last for six months in the freezer.

(Image credit: Jeff Roffman)

3. How To Make Dilly Beans

Take your seasonal string beans and turn them into dilly pickles! Enjoy them all winter next to stewed meats and chilies. If canned, will last for at least a year unopened. If not canned, will last two months in fridge.

(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

4. How To Make Perfect Pesto Every Time

To me, pesto represents the very best stuff of summer. This spicy spread can go on basically everything. Don't you want that little summery reminder in November? If you freeze it now, it will last up to three months.

(Image credit: Christine Han)

5. How To Make Tomato Purée

The easiest way to preserve tomatoes is probably a purée. You can turn it into a traditional tomato sauce, the base of BBQ sauce, or a great tomato soup. Will last up to six months in freezer.

(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

6. How To Make Dill Pickles

Put those cucumbers to good use and make dill pickles. When the Snowpocalypse comes in January, at least you'll have something delicious to crunch on. Canned pickles will last for at least a year on shelf, and three weeks in fridge when opened.

(Image credit: Quentin Bacon)

7. How To Make Fizzy, Fermented Salsa

Yes, fizzy salsa is a real thing. This awesome recipe uses a little bit of whey to get that fermented feel. Your tortilla chips will thank you in December. Store for three to six months in fridge.

(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

8. How To Make Easy Chia Jam with Any Fruit

Chia jam isn't like regular jam: For one, it's way easier to make, and two, it's a little runnier and sauce-like then the traditional stuff. Throw it on your morning oatmeal when you're freezing in the morning. Will last for up to three months in freezer.

(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

9. How To Make Basic Tomato Sauce with Fresh Tomatoes

Ah, yes, tomato sauce — the homemade stuff will make your heart sing. Don't miss out on taking advantage of August's bounty. Canned tomato sauce can be left in pantry for at least a year.

(Image credit: Sara Kate Gillingham)

10. Wild Plum Jam

You only need five ingredients to make this seasonal plum jam. Just imagine how happy it will make you to smother your morning toast with this stuff in February. Will last up to six months in freezer.

(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

11. How To Make Fruit Vodkas

Turn summer fruit into delicious fruit vodkas. When there's a snowstorm outside, and the sun sets before you get off work, a sip of this will help. Will keep indefinitely.

(Image credit: Marisa McClellan)

12. How To Make Tomato Paste

January is chili season, which means you're going to need tomato paste. This homemade version is so much better than anything you'll find at the grocery store. Will keep for up to nine months in freezer.

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