We are one week into summer and it’s getting exciting. I love all seasons, I love walking in rain and snow in fall and winter and love the rebirth of nature in spring but summer is something else. It stands out for me, gives me more energy than any other season. Maybe it relates to my favourite childhood memory.
I remember picking fruits in my grandfather’s orchard in summers. It was exciting to go there play in the dirt, climb a fruit tree, sit up there and eat fruits right from the branch. I was free labour but I didn’t mind it I would pay myself with fresh pick fruit. I think I ate more than I put in my pail, but nobody cared.
It was fun to see all those fruits to be picked and boxed to send away. I was too young to know if my grandfather actually sold those fruits to stores or not. I do remember that sometimes there was just too much fruit so my mom would turn my grandparents garage into a market. She would sell these luscious fresh fruits to the neighbours. It was fun to run around the neighbourhood nock the doors and inform the neighbours of the fruit sale.
Now we know where do I get my entrepreneurship gene 😉
Then it would come days of turning those fruits to something that we could use for the rest of the year. Nothing would go to waste, that’s the beauty of it. The fruits that were ripe and looking good would go to neighbours. The ones with a few dots or something would be turned into jams or canned. And those that were just too ripe or mushed would be turned into sauces or fruit leathers.
Now you can imagine how I look at fruits and vegetables in my household. Exactly like in my memory, nothing goes to waste.
Here are a few tips and ideas on what to do with different fruits when you have too many of them or they are going to go bad.
This is the perfect way of preserving fruits that carry a lot of water. Plum fruit leathers are my favourite, and something we made a lot when I was a kid. You can turn any kind of berries or fruits into fruit leather. They are a perfect healthy snack especially if you don’t add sugar to your puree.
Making sauces is perfect for the end of summer extra tomatoes you pick from your garden. Or if you just have some tomatoes that are just too soft to add to any dish. I make small batches just to avoid the fruit to go bad and keep in jar in the fridge. When I have more sauce I add that to the jar too. To make this last longer in the fridge I add a little bit more salt into my sauce. If I have too many small batches of sauce added in one jar, I cook the content of the jar once more so that all different batches cook together.
Canning or pickling
This goes for a lot of fruits and vegetables. Green peas, peaches, apples, cherry tomatoes. I do love canned cherry tomatoes, not sure if I’m doing it right or not but it works for me. Whatever leftover I have of cherry tomato that are going soft of me. I broil and then transfer them into a jar then I add salt garlic and olive oil. It’s a nice garnish to any pasta sauce.
Same with cucumbers I have a jar of saltwater and garlic and every time I have extra cucumber it goes in there. Not gonna lie, I don’t even make the saltwater, I just keep the juice of the store-bought pickles for this purpose.
That is given, and one of the most used forms of preservation. Berries, apples, peaches, grapes, even peppers can be turned into healthy homemade jams with little to no sugar added.
The freezer is my friend in the kitchen. I do freeze everything that I can’t cook to something else or if I don’t have time to do that. Things that come to mind that I freeze are bananas, grapes, berries, peaches, watermelon and melon balls. The best way to freeze these is spread around on a parchment paper on a tray uncovered in the freezer for a few hours and then transfer to a container or a freezer bag. I do use a silicon freezer bag and sometimes Ziploc bag which I wash and reuse many many times.
There you have it. These are my ways to keep fruits from going to waste. Share with us your way.