Abundance of veggies

At the moment my garden is producing lots of veg. I give extras to family, friends etc but also got to thinking how can I keep/store what I have that I can't eat fresh, so last weekend I experimented with the following. A lot of my cooking starts with onion, garlic, carrot and celery base, so I put all those in a food processor, along with cauliflower, zucchini, tinned tomatoes and stock. Got a loose paste like consistency, bagged in zip lock bags, flattened and put in freezer, about 500 grams per bag. Now I have a great veg base thats already chopped and ready to go. I've cooked butter chicken, spaghetti bolagnse and a sauce for swordfish cutlets with this as a base. Got to say I'm pretty happy with the results. So now I think I can use this method anytime of year with whatever veg I have. Anyone got any other simple ideas for keeping fresh homegrown produce at its best.


  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,513 admin

    I make broths (aka verggie stock or vegan bone broth) with the end of garden produce. Like you, starting with the basics, onions, celery, carrots, garlic and then add whatever else I have. Peppers, leeks, greens of all kinds including tops, stems and extra leaves. parsnips, turnips, beans & peas, squash, stems & bits from herbs off my drying rack. Anything that might be just passed its best for dinner. but still full of nutrition or the veggies that won't make good keepers (like the carrots that have split from too much moisture, or the turnip that may have shovel damage). Then I will add a piece of fresh ginger, a couple of hot peppers, and maybe some dried roots like burdock or astragalus, along with herbs & spices of your choice. Black peppercorns, bay leaves, allspice, sage, thyme, oregano, etc, Slices of medicinal mushrooms like reishi or turkey tail can be added. Once it boils I will leave it sit, covered, on the back of the wood stove for several hours on a very low simmer to extract all the goodness. After straining and cooling, I freeze this in recycled yogurt or sour cream containers (so about 2 cup amounts). I will add this to sauces, gravies, soups, stews, etc. to add that extra little bit of nutrition. Just as a broth, this is so nourishing during or when you are recovering from an illness. Takes care of a lot of extra produce without being at all labour intensive.

  • greyfurball
    greyfurball Posts: 591 ✭✭✭✭

    If you have the extra freezer space, many veges can be flash frozen on a tray in your freezer then remove them and pack in bags which easily stack in the freezer. Doing it this way I can have home-grown produce all Winter and Spring long for all my meals.

    People can't understand why I say I go grocery shopping usually once a month for the pet foods. My foods, it's already in the freezer or a couple of months ago I also learned how to can the ones I don't generally freeze.

    So to me, a grocery store is just a waste of my time if it wouldn't be for the pet food (which I usually purchase at a quality pet store.)

  • Obiora E
    Obiora E Posts: 517 ✭✭✭✭

    I sometimes do lacto-fermenting, juice, use in soups and salads, and/or make sauces and the like. It depends on what it is.

  • blevinandwomba
    blevinandwomba Posts: 813 ✭✭✭✭

    I have an abundance of hot peppers, so I have been sauteeing them with onions and celery, or just onions, then freezing. I was putting up for the winter, but I've already used some when I've been in a hurry. I think peppers keep better in the freezer if they have been roasted or sauteed first, and it is definitely a timesaver. It's hard to brown peppers or onions after they have been frozen.

  • maimover
    maimover Posts: 359 ✭✭✭

    Some really great ideas...

  • nksunshine27
    nksunshine27 Posts: 343 ✭✭✭

    My husband dug a hole in the ground and shored it up with pallets then we stored our potatoes in bins in it he put an insulated lid on it, works great. also for root crops we store them in the ground we grew them in. to keep them from freezing so we can dig them we just laid straw on top and held it down with bird netting and when we wanted fresh carrots or beets we'd just pull back the netting and straw and dig them out and cover the rest back up, we dehydrate alot of peppers onions garlic and almost all kinds of veggies and fruits sometimes even whole meals like stew.

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