10 Ways to Preserve Summer Fruits & Vegetables Without Canning

updated May 2, 2019
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(Image credit: Faith Durand)

Let’s face it: not all of us are cut out to be canning super stars. That is totally fine because, when it comes to preserving the season, we have a few other tools at our disposal — ones that don’t involve buying whole crates of produce or standing over a hot stove all afternoon. If you have a freezer, an oven, or even just a jar of vinegar, you’re just a few steps away from “putting up” without ever picking up a mason jar.

(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

How to Freeze Fresh Summer Fruit

For those of us who aren’t into canning (and I’ll raise my own hand here), the freezer is really our best friend. Besides freezing whole fruits and vegetables at the peak of their ripeness, we can freeze batches of summer pesto, containers of tomato sauce and apple sauce, and even garden herbs in olive oil ice cubes. These are the foundation of quick weeknight meals in the busy months ahead.

If you have a dehydrator, you are likely already putting it to work making dried fruits and “sun-dried” tomatoes. Our ovens actually make decent stand-ins for dehydrators — this is one way I was able to preserve a huge batch of sour cherries I had a few years back. 

And last but not least, infusing vinegars and alcohols with fresh summer fruits lets us bring those fresh flavors into our salads and marinades (and cocktails!) when the fruits themselves have gone out of season. Heads up for the upcoming holiday season, these summery infusions also make fantastic gifts!

What are you doing right now to preserve all these fresh fruits and vegetables? What does “putting up” mean to you?

(Image credit: Emily Han)

(Images: See linked recipes for full image credits)