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Preserve Vegetables For Year Round Use in 6 Easy Ways

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Did you plant too many plants this summer and are expecting a boat load of veggies? Or buy too many vegetables at the farmer’s market?  I feel your pain since every year I face this dilemma.  So what is a veggie lover to do? Sure, you can give away your abundance to your friends and neighbors.  What if I told you, you could save most of your bounty for year round use  with these 6 easy ways to preserve vegetables?  You would hug me –right?  So ditch the anxiety, and let’s get busy preserving vegetables!

6 Easy Ways to Preserve Vegetables

#1 Roast ‘em.

I adore any vegetable roasted.  If you roast them in advance, you simply add them to your dishes on an as needed basis.

Simply turn your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit . Season the vegetables. I use oregano, thyme, and basil.  You can add a drizzle of oil over the vegetable.  Note, skip the oil if you are thinking of canning them.

Pictured above are turnips, rutabaga, carrots, and parsnip with oil and garlic.  The turnips added an additional 20 minutes to the roasting time.

Here are some roasting recipes:

Store your roasted vegetable in glass containers or vacuum seal them. (I use this vacuum sealer.)

If you use oil, it will seep out of the vacuum sealed bag.  For this reason, I simply skip adding oil to the recipe.  If you want to add the oil, use a ziplock bag if you don’t have enough glass containers or jars. (Be sure to recycle your food storage bags.  Learn how HERE.)

#2 Blanch ’em

Blanch your vegetables if you want to store them raw.  “According to the National Center for Home Food Preservation, blanching  impedes the enzyme action which causes the loss of flavor,color and texture as well as retards the loss of vitamins.

I blanch my green beans and then store them in the freezer.  I don’t like the taste of canned green beans. Learn how to blanch vegetables HERE.

Again, store them in glass containers or vacuum sealed bags.

#3 Can ’em

I am a canner.  I can my turnips, beets, squash, tomatoes, peaches, and apple sauce.  I use to can green beans but as mentioned above, I disliked the taste.

I love canning since you don’t need any freezer space for your harvest. I have two 23 quart pressure canners so I can multiple products at one time.  If you can squash, expect to be in front of your stove for 90 minutes.

I purchased metal shelving to store my cans since they were too heavy for my pantry shelves.  (They broke from the weight.)

My favorite canning book besides the pressure canner guide is Ball Complete Book on Home Preserving.  All recipes have been tested for safety.

If you are thinking about canning, be sure to read my tips. By the way, you can’t can zucchini.

In addition, always use a canning recipe from a reliable organization such as Ball or The National Center for Home Food Preservation.  Turning over a can with hot water to create a seal is no longer an acceptable canning process.

 

Read here on how to can tomatoes.

#4 Dehyrate ’em

One year, I got sick of looking at my zucchini.  Since you can’t can it, I had to figure out another way to deal with it.   So, I dehydrated it.

I use this machine but you can use your oven as well.  My oven’s lowest setting is 135 degrees.  When I dehydrate vegetables, I stick a chopstick between the oven door and the oven so the moisture can escape.

You can dehydrate beets and zucchini to make chips.  I even dehydrated squash and will be using it for flour or to add to soups.

Storing dehydrated food is easy. I put them in glass jars and check periodically for condensation   You can vacuum seal your dehydrated goodies in Ball canning jars or bags.   (Use these vacuum sealing tools to seal wide mouth or regular Ball canning jars.)

#5 Puree ’em

I  puree some of my vegetables and store them in the freezer.

Have an abundance of cucumbers? You can simply juice or de-seed  them, and then freeze the pulp.  The pulp is great for soups, smoothie and dressings.  (See here how to preserve your cucumbers.)

I also puree my tomatoes after I roast them.  I use a tomato press to de-seed and de-skin them.  I then either can or freeze the puree.  (See HERE for the recipe)

Also, squash puree is great to use in baking or soups.

#6 Freeze ‘em

Although I mentioned several vegetables that you can freeze above, you can also freeze your herbs.

Some people freeze their herbs in ice cubes.  I am just too lazy and simply stick them in a glass jar or make herb rolls. (See HERE how to make your own parsley or cilantro roll.)  So, when I need fresh herbs, I take them out of the freezer and use what I need.

Join the Conversation:

How do you preserve vegetables?

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The post Preserve Vegetables For Year Round Use in 6 Easy Ways appeared first on Green Talk.

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4 Simple Ways to Clean With Essential Oils

Pin ItEver enter a “freshly cleaned” restroom and felt your nose turn up a bit to the smell of bleach? It’s not an uncommon occurrence. Many harsh chemicals are used in commonly used cleaners, and many of them are harmful to your health and the environment. When you clean with essential oils, you are choosing […]

The post 4 Simple Ways to Clean With Essential Oils appeared first on The Eco-Friendly Family.

Fitness After Illness: Recovering from Sepsis (As a Relatively Healthy Person)

“Too blind to know your best Hurrying through the forks without regrets Different now, every step feels like a mile All the lights seem to flash and pass you by So hows it gonna be When it all comes down, cycling trivialities” – Jose Gonzalez FROM SHOWER STOOL TO 5K AND MORE IN LESS THAN EIGHT […]

The post Fitness After Illness: Recovering from Sepsis (As a Relatively Healthy Person) appeared first on Spit That Out: The Blog.

Swiss Chard: How to Grow it & Eat it!

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If I  had to pick one vegetable that is extremely easy to grow, Swiss Chard would be my #1 pick. While other greens are wilting or bolting from the heat, Swiss Chard just laughs at the heat and flourishes. In addition, it is a stunner in the garden with its bright leaves and matching ribs. You could easily plant it among your other landscape plants to create a part edible landscape.

As you can tell from the picture, its leaf has an odd shape. Its leaf resembles a goose foot.  Swiss Chard is a member of the Goosefoot family, of which beets and spinach are also members.

Nutritional Information:

This colorful wonder is a powerhouse vegetable containing vitamins K, A, and C.  In fact, one chopped cup of this vegetable provides 300% of your vitamin K daily requirement. Vitamin K consumption improves bone health, which reduces the risk of bone fractures.

In addition, it is a good source of potassium, iron, magnesium and dietary fiber.

Swiss chard also contains high levels of nitrates.  Consuming  high level of nitrates lowers blood pressure, enhances athletic performance and reduces the amount of oxygen needed during exercising.

And, there is more!

Swiss chard contains alpha-lipoic acid which lowers glucose levels.  In turn, it increases insulin sensitivity and prevents oxidative stress-induced changes in diabetics.

However, if you suffer from kidney stones, WebMD advises that you should skip this vegetable.  It is high in oxalates, which decreases the body’s absorption of calcium and can cause kidney stones.

When to Plant?

Swiss Chard is a cool weather plant although it doesn’t bolt like spinach or broccoli when the weather turns warmer.  According to Cornell University, plant seeds 1/2 to 1 inch deep 2 to 3 weeks before your last expected spring frost.  However, it doesn’t like prolonged freezes which can make it bolt.

I actually plant my seeds indoors under grow lights the same time that I plant broccoli and my other cold weather plants.  Sometimes our Springs are just too cold to follow Cornell’s suggestion so I tend to plant a week or two before the last Spring Frost.

I also cover the plants if a frost is expected.

Growing Conditions:

Plant in full sun; however, it will need afternoon shade when the weather becomes warm.  In addition, Swiss Chard likes consistent watering.

I plant mine where it receives some afternoon shade with my other cold tolerant plants.

One year my Swiss Chard bolted since I just ignored it and didn’t pick it. Plus, I might have planted it to early in the season when it was too cold.  (Take a look HERE.)   In fact, Swiss Chard is a biannual and will  flower in its second year if it survived harsh winters.

And sometimes, it does grow back which surprised the heck out of me.

To keep it healthy, pick often and always leave the smaller inside leaves.

Swiss Chard Varieties:

There are many varieties of Swiss Chard to choose from.  Cornell Garden Based Learning contains a list of different varieties.  My favorites from the list are as follows:

  • Verde De Taglio Swiss Chard (Thin leaves and mild spinach like taste.)
  • Rainbow Swiss Chard–(Multi-colored stems and leaves)
  • Bright Lights (Dark-green, bronzed, moderately savoyed leaves)
  • Orange Fantasia’ Swiss Chard (It contains golden-orange stalks.  It can be slow growing.)
  • Scarlet Charlotte’ Swiss Chard ( Need something outstanding in your flower beds?  This one has magenta stalks and deep green leaves.  Cornell notes that it is very ornamental.)

The University lists different seed companies that sell the Swiss Chard varieties.  Be sure to  check the seed availability from my favorite heirloom seed companies too.

Swiss Chard Recipes

How can you not be in love with this vegetable?  Here are some recipes to get you started:

I hope I inspired you to either grow Swiss Chard or at least cook with it!

Join the Conversation:

What is your favorite way to eat Swiss Chard?

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The post Swiss Chard: How to Grow it & Eat it! appeared first on Green Talk.

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10 Reasons Third Party Presidential Voters are Wrong

I have spent countless hours debating on Facebook, Twitter, and in real life with former democrats who staunchly refuse to vote for Hillary Clinton. Some are voting third party and some refuse to vote at all. The arguments from these Bernie supporters are powerful – they just happen to be wrong. Like, cataclysmically wrong. As […]

The post 10 Reasons Third Party Presidential Voters are Wrong appeared first on Spit That Out: The Blog.

His N Hers: How Couples Choose Which Side of the Bed to Sleep On

Think the side of the bed you sleep on is irrelevant? Think again! It could reveal more about your personality than you first imagined. A 2015 study undertaken by Sealy, a manufacturing firm, looked at the sleeping habits of 1,000 people for insights into how they affect our mood, careers, and life outlook. The results might surprise you. […]

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10 Things You Need to Know about Instant Pot

Did you buy the amazing Instant Pot that everyone has been raving about? Did you read the manual? Great! So now, you’re all set and ready to whip up nutritious meals for your family, right? Well, not so fast. Like everything in life, things can be a bit tricky at times. So to help you...

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Pokémon GO: PokéBingo Free Printable Bingo Game

Pin ItPokémon Go mania is in full swing and I’ve made a slew of Pokécentric items in anticipation of Pokémon Gopocalypse (when kids ask for e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. to reflect their current obsession. I have several Pokémon printables, if you haven’t caught them all you can do so here. (See what I did there?) This page contains […]

The post Pokémon GO: PokéBingo Free Printable Bingo Game appeared first on The Eco-Friendly Family.

A Leader in GMO Labeling & Transparency #KnowYourYogurt

It seems unfathomable that any group, company, corporation or government would take the stance that we don’t have the right to know something as personal and as basic as where our food comes from and the method by which it came to us. Yet in today’s marketplace this is actually a fight we moms have had to take […]

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Grain-free Pizza Crust (GAPS Friendly + Dairy-free)

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I’ve tried quite a few different types of grain-free pizza crusts made with all sorts of things including cauliflower, almond flour and yogurt, but this is my very favorite so far. I love the coconut ingredients because they’re packed with goodness, but they don’t really add a noticeable coconut flavor (that’s a good thing in my book […]

The post Grain-free Pizza Crust (GAPS Friendly + Dairy-free) appeared first on The Soft Landing®.

Poison Ivy Remedies From a Veteran Poison Ivy Getter

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Poison Ivy and I are not friends.  Half of the time, I don’t even see it.  I think the oil lurks in my wood mulch or I touch it hidden among my plants.  Every year–especially when it gets hot and humid, I get those obvious bumps and familiar itch.  With 10 year of gardening under my belt, and countless rashes, here’s what poison ivy remedies works for me to reduce my misery.

My Favorite Poison Ivy Remedies

Tecnu–my #1 choice!

Tecnu may not be a green product but I use it every time I come in from the garden.  It helps with poison ivy and other oils from plants that can cause dermatitis.  I am highly sensitive to thistle, pumpkin vines, etc.

The key to success with this product is you must use it within two hours of contact.  Wash for 2 minutes and then rinse with cool water.

The Company lists a window of  2 to 8 hours but I haven’t been that lucky.

How does it work? The product remove the poison ivy’s urushiol oil before the rash starts.

If you do get those unsightly and completely bothersome rash, you can still use the product to lessen the duration.

I tend to use it with caladryl or clay when I get a rash. (See below.)

Before gardening season, buy a bottle (or now) and keep it under your sink.  Be sure to wash anything that touches plants (arms, legs, and hands) each time you come in from the garden.  You will thank me later.

Always wash your clothes, shoes, gloves and tools too.  I throw my work clothes and gloves in hot water.  You can use tecnu for your tools too.

Benetonite Clay

Prior to using this product, I used caladryl and slathered it on hoping it would dry up the rash.  For me, caladrly doesn’t stop the itching but it does dry up the rash.

But recently Hubs told me about benetonite clay. I wasn’t surprised it work since I used wet dirt in the garden and put it on the rash.  Surprisingly that works.  (More about dirt later.)

I simply make a slurry which is similar to pancake batter and put it on the rash.  In about 15 minutes, the itch is gone and the clay hardens.    I am now on day four and the rash scabbed over.

(I use this one.)

Plain Old Dirt

I am serious.

One time I had the rashes everywhere and just wanted to have a scratch fest.  Now I understand why dogs roll in the grass.

You know what I am talking about if you ever had poison ivy.

I simply wet dirt from one of my vegetable beds, and applied it.

It stopped itching. I was blown away.

The problem is dirt doesn’t stay on your skin as well as clay does so it is a temporary measure.

But if you need something, grab some dirt.

Calamine/Aveeno/Caladryl:

I use the store bought of all of the above out of desperation.  However if you want to make your own, use this recipe. (Notice the recipe has benetonite clay in it.)

It does help to dry up the rash.

Dress for success:

If you know you will be around poison ivy, wear long pants, gloves, and long sleeve shirt.  Strip outside and throw your clothes and gloves in a bag.  Wash them immediately.

Remember my 2 hour rule?  Be sure to clean yourself up after exposure.

What hasn’t worked for me:

I am a sucker for all natural solutions but they don’t always work for me.  I have tried the following poison ivy remedies without success:

  • banana peels
  • apple cider vinegar .  It helped to dry up the rash but didn’t stop the itching.
  • Baking soda
  • oatmeal.  (It helps for a little bit but not the itching.)
  • Jewelweed soap after I got the rash.  (It is now growing among my raspberries!)
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Hot showers
  • one percent hydro-cortisone (the over the counter product)

Interesting Perceptive on Friction:

I haven’t tried this yet but thought it was really interesting.  This YouTube video explains that simply using a wash cloth with soap removes the oil.  The key to its removal is friction and to be sure you wash everywhere you could have possibly touch.

(Um, your face…)

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Steroids:

Yes.  I have taken steroids for poison ivy.  It spread all over my body a couple to times so you can imagine how fast I run to my Tecnu when I think I touched it.

If it spreads or gets infected, please see a doctor.

Join the Conversation:

What poison ivy remedies have worked for you?

Disclaimer:  There are affiliate links in this article.  Green Talk receives pennies for purchases you make through these links.  Thanks for helping to keep Green Talk going.  

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Shop to Support Childhood Wellness: New Discount Natural Food Products that Do Good

Working with LuckyVitamin, I love them more everyday. They sell all my favorite supplements, pantry staples, and personal care items at the best prices – and now they are doing even more to “spread the wellness.” I love to support mission-driven businesses, and LuckyVitamin launched a new effort to shape the healthy habits of the next generation. […]

The post Shop to Support Childhood Wellness: New Discount Natural Food Products that Do Good appeared first on Spit That Out: The Blog.

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