These final days of summer are my favorite time of year for many reasons. I love the glut of fresh fruits and vegetables in my garden and at our farmer’s markets.
This a great opportunity to save money and put up local items for the winter time. If you are tempted by all the fresh items, but don’t know exactly how to proceed, I gave some ideas in my last newsletter, here. But, I have even more ideas of what you can do.
At the farmer’s market, you can ask vendors if they have discounts for bulk, bruised items. The best ways to use bruised items is:
- eat them fast
- dehydrate them
- freeze them (most fruits, even tomatoes, freeze well)
- juice them (many recipes below)
- ferment them
It is fermentation that is most exciting to me. Fermented foods last a long time and will significantly boost your health and vitality. So, for example, I am using many of the tomatoes from my garden to make sun-dried tomatoes and warm bruschetta. But, I am also making lots of salsa. I am adding water kefir grains to ferment that salsa so it will last for weeks/months in the fridge. (You could also use veggie culture started or probiotic powder to get fermentation going.) Likewise, I have tons of cucumbers from our garden. What I cannot eat or juice, I quickly bottle up to ferment into pickles. Many vegetables in season now are great fermented: garlic, onions, carrots and peppers are among my favorites.
If you want to learn more about fermentation, I recommendWild Fermentation by Sandor Katz and Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon. They are fabulous books And stay tuned, because I will be offering many more fermentation classes in the future.
Yours in good health,
Chef Heather Haxo Phillips