How to Stretch Summer Produce

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What's For Dinner?

Summertime is the season for some of my favorite fruits and vegetables. Purchasing what is in season in your area can lower your carbon foot print and support your local farmers. And, let’s face it, sometimes, summer produce looks like so juicy and delicious, its easy to purchase more than you can eat before spoiling. So how can you stretch the seasonal produce to enjoy it and nourish your body for longer? Try these 3 ideas. 

Drying an Dehyrating:

Making your own dehydrated fruit or dried herbs is SUPER easy and you DON’T need a dehydrator!

  1. Lay thin slices of fruit or basil out on a large baking sheet pan lined with parchment paper or silpat.
    1. Try berries, pineapple, apple with cinnamon, herbs, potato slices, zucchini slices, sprinkle veggies with salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder, or everything bagel seasoning 
  2. Preheat oven to 150 F. 
  3. Put your food into the oven. Bake for 60 minutes. 
  4. Check on your food. The herbs will likely be done at this time. Fruit will likely need to be flipped. 
  5. Repeat the process until your fruit is dried and crispy, checking ever 30-60 minutes. 


  1. You can freeze fruit or vegetables for later use in a smoothie, muffin, stirfry, or any other recipe you’d like!
  2. For fruit, lay fruit out on a baking sheet in a thin layer, no overlapping.
  3. Freeze. 
  4. Once frozen, you can add the items into a large back or container for easy storage.  
  5. For vegetables, you would perform the same process, however, you would quickly blanch the vegetables FIRST. Then cool to room temperature. Then line your sheet pan.

Pickling - Two Recipes

  • Vinegar Pickle:
  • Quick Pickled Beets:
    • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
    • 1 cup water
    • 1/3 cup sugar of choice
    • 1 tsp mustard seeds
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 1 1/2 black peppercorns
    • 1 tsp oregano
    • 1 tsp dried thyme
    • 2 whole cloves
    • 2 lbs fresh beets
    • *optional – 1 sliced onion
    • In a saucepan, bring the all of the ingredients except the beets to a boil then shut off and let sit for a few minutes to cool. In a large pot of boiling water, cook the beets for about 10 minutes. Drain the beets and and transfer to a heatproof bowl or glass ball jar. Add the onions now if using. Carefully, pour the hot, vinegar liquid over the beets and be sure to completely cover the beets. Let beets stand at room temperature for 4 hours or refrigerate overnight. Eat!
  • Brining and Fermenting:

What's For Dinner?

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Additionally, the products above are not recommended to or for you. These products are solely based off personal and individual preferences. These items are not to be considered nutrition or medical advice. Before trying these items, consult with your health care provider.