It's usually right around this point in the summer, each and every year, that I get the warmest, fuzziest feeling at the farmers market — the abundance of seasonal fruits and vegetables has a way of doing that. Saturday after Saturday, piles of tomatoes after piles of peaches, I start to think it may just last forever, that those deep winter days of nothing but cellared potatoes and onions will never arrive.
But the sad truth is that they will. The trick is to hoard as much of summer's goodness as you can now so winter won't seem as bleak. That's where freezing comes in.
Preserving may sound intimidating — you've been meaning to learn how to pickle and jam but never quite got around to mastering canning — but you know what? It doesn't have to involve boiling water at all. Don't overlook the freezer.
A Case for Freezing Fruit
While you could just pick up bags of frozen berries and stone fruit at the grocery store for your smoothies when the fresh ones are gone, it's a lot cheaper to freeze them now when they are in season and tuck them away for later.
Plus, freezing your own juicy, sweet fruit guarantees that it will be packed with flavor even when you take it out from the freezer later in the year. Come winter, toss the fruit into your smoothies, make cobblers and crumbles, or add them to pancake batter and taste summer all over again.
Learn How to Do It: How To Freeze Fresh Summer Fruit
A Case for Freezing Vegetables
The same thing goes for vegetables — when tomatoes, peppers, corn, spinach, and more are in abundance this time of year, they're cheap and extra tasty.
Gather all of your favorites, spend a little time on a lazy weekend afternoon prepping and freezing everything, and you'll have bags and bags of frozen veggies to look forward to in the middle of winter. Use your frozen goods in soups and stews, sauces, casseroles, and stir-fries, or simply roast them for a quick side dish.