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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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Mood Boosters: Healthy Foods That Make You Feel Good

Have you ever felt like you were in a rut and had no idea why? Perhaps you have not been feeling well, and the strain has caused your mood to suffer as a result? When your body is not getting the nutrients it needs, it can lead to feelings of depression, anxiety, and overall negativity. Instead of reaching for medication or an artificial stimulant to make the world feel right once again, try these healthy and mood enhancing foods and feel the weight of the world lift from your shoulders almost instantly.

Chocolate

You knew this one was coming, right? Who doesn’t feel an instant sense of euphoria when they get to indulge in a rich and creamy piece of chocolate? Not only does chocolate taste like heaven on your palette, but it stimulates your brain to put you in a better mood quickly. Chocolate contains caffeine, which gives you a boost of positive energy especially when there is not a cup of coffee to be found. It also raises the endorphin levels in your brain. As a bonus, eating a small piece of dark chocolate every day will help lower your blood pressure.

Strawberries

Strawberries are considered to be happiness in a bowl. These bright red berries give you a friendly reminder that summer is looming and contain vitamins that will lift your spirits after only a few bites. Strawberries contain antioxidants that help your body fight off free radicals as well as vitamin C and manganese. Strawberries are a ground level growing berry, and so they absorb more soil nutrients than other berries that help your brain produce mood shifting serotonin.

Salmon

Salmon is considered to be a super food and is full of healthy fats and nutrients that do wonders for your body. Salmon is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acid, which stimulates the brain and puts you in a better mood. Eat salmon at least two days and pair it with grilled vegetables to reap the rewards of better overall health.

Dates

Dates are considered to be nature’s candy and are a sweet way to get more nutrients into your body. Dates are full of antioxidants that clean out your body and make you feel better. They contain vitamin A and Iron, which help with oxygen flow and getting rid of toxins. These delicious, shriveled little fruits originated in the Mediterranean region, and they have been cherished for their healing powers since the time of ancient civilizations.

Yogurt

Yogurt is a delicious and healthy treat and can take the place of a sugar-loaded dessert when you are craving something sweet. Yogurt contains probiotics that balance out the bacteria in your body as well as a variety of different vitamins depending on which fruit-infused flavor you eat. Yogurt, linked to good digestive health, also increases brain function and makes you feel better.

Asparagus

Asparagus is rich in folates, fiber, vitamins A, B, and C, and contains antioxidants that encourage serotonin production in the brain, which leads to a smiling face. Asparagus is a versatile vegetable that can be eaten raw, baked, fried, or grilled. You can season this hearty vegetable in many different ways, and nobody will shame you for pouring some Hollandaise sauce over the top.

Bad moods happen to even the happiest people, and it can be difficult to rise from the funk you feeling. Instead of seeking a short-term artificial stimulant to boost your mood, incorporate these healthy and natural foods into your diet and get a surge of energy that is also healthy for your body.


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