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Let’s say you’ve already started your raised bed planters or herb garden. What do you do with the bounty of produce that comes from them?

Use these three popular methods to preserve food and save money, no matter the weather.

Freezing

Freezing is one of the easiest ways to preserve produce. It’s not enough to toss shelled peas into a Ziploc and call it a day. To safely freeze food for up to six months of storage, flash freezing is your best bet.

Let’s say you have a bumper crop of raspberries. To flash freeze the berries, spread them evenly over a flat baking sheet and freeze overnight. In the morning, toss the frozen berries into an airtight container or vac-seal them.

It’s easier to defrost and portion flash frozen foods because they don’t stick together! And that means less headaches.

Canning

Canning is a time-honored tradition of food preservation. It doesn’t matter whether you have towers of tomatoes or mounds of mustard greens: they can be canned.

The canning process differs depending on the type of produce you’re preserving and its pH level. Always follow proper canning procedure to safely can your food! There’s nothing worse than a spoiled batch of stewed tomatoes.

Canning is more involved than freezing, but it lets you store produce for longer periods of time.

Dehydrating

Dehydrators remove moisture from foods and make them shelf stable. You don’t need a dehydrator to dry produce, although it does make the job easier! Most foods can be dehydrated on an oven’s low setting over a few hours.

Try dehydrating strawberries, apple slices, radishes, broccoli, peaches, and more. They’ll stay safe to eat at room temperature for about six months, provided they’re kept in a cool, dry place.

Sure, it’s a little more work to grow and preserve your own produce. But it’s worth the difference in savings, flavor, and soul. Give these three food preservation methods a try to keep your pantry stocked year-round.

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