Chicagolandia
I've been having so much fun "buying" fresh blueberries and peaches with the $2 off any $2 or more produce coupon at Jewel. I've got more than 2 dozen fresh, plump, juicy peaches awaiting my attention as we speak. While I enjoy snacking on them, making them into salsa, tossing them into muffin batter, folding them into bars, or slicing them thin and adding them to a lovely spritzer - I've got more peaches than I could possibly eat right now. This is when it's time to start preserving or freezing them.

Since I don't have a big enough batch to make canning worthwhile, I'm going to peel, slice/chop, and freeze my overflow of these amazing peaches. Come the fall and winter months, I'll have plenty of peaches for pies, cobblers, muffins, and other tasty recipes I come up with - without breaking the bank. While it sounds like a lot of work, I'll probably have the peaches blanched, peeled, pitted, sliced and diced in less than an hour or two.

Last weekend, when I got home with my blueberry haul, I immediately got out the collander, tossed in the berries, removed any debris or stems, lightly patted them with a slightly damp rag (you should rinse berries just before using - not before freezing - it affects the consistency of the fruit), before measuring them and popping them into quart-sized freezer bags for easy use. The result - tons of fresh blueberries, frozen at the peak of freshness and plenty on hand for blueberry buckle, blueberry muffins, pancakes, and maybe even a blueberry sauce. I filled 13 quart-sized bags and spent only: $4.48. That's the price right now for blueberries when they are in season for one single 6 oz. pint - I'd hate to see how high that would go in the winter!

In my freezer, I already have raspberries, strawberries, and tons of apple pie filling. Each time a great coupon like this comes along, my first thought is what can I use right now. And once I've gotten the produce that my family needs for the week: bananas, grapes, cilantro, a few peppers, onions, fresh mushrooms, some salad fixin's, and a potato or two - then I look to what is in season, on sale, and will freeze well. Next, I make sure I have plenty of ways to use that fruit from its frozen form, then it's time to start planning for the colder months. They'll be here before you know it.

What would you do with a deal like this? What fruits and veggies do you put up for the winter?
1 Response
  1. Precious Says:

    Great job on the fruit! I freeze blueberries for the winter, the same way you do. I also slice strawberries and bag them in portions.


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