The summer is a great time for growing. It offers unique flavors and treats including berries, apples, citrus and melons. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could enjoy these delicious fruits well into the fall and winter months? You can. Here are four ways to extend summer fruits well into the fall.
#1 Dehydrate Your Fruit
Dehydrated fruit is fantastic as a snack. You can also add it to things like cereal, breads, muffins, and even sprinkle it on salads. You can make fruit leathers this way too by pureeing the fruit and then spreading it on a tray to dry. There are three main methods you can use to dehydrate fruit including:
* Sun Drying – This works well if you live in a hot climate where it is commonly sunny and warmer than 100 degrees. Position cleaned, washed fruit on a tray or foil and leave in the hot sun for four 100 degree or hotter days.
* Oven Drying – Because most fruits take 16-26 hours to dry, this is an expensive way to dry fruit. However, if you choose to oven dry you simply place your oven at 135 degrees Fahrenheit, prop the oven door open and let fruit dry.
* Electric Dehydrating – this is the most energy efficient and generally tasty way to dehydrate fruit. Electric dehydrators can be purchased online or in a kitchen store.
#2 Jams & Jellies
What’s better than fresh berry jam? Not much. You can make fresh jams and jellies with or without canning. In fact, you can make a basic jam in your kitchen in an hour and pop it in the freezer. No canning necessary.
#3 Freezing Fruit
If you want to be able to use the fruit in the future without drying it or making it into a jam or jelly, then your next best option is to freeze it. The process is simple, you need washed berries, a baking sheet or other flat sheet and storage bags or a vacuum sealer.
Wash the berries. Place them on a baking sheet and spread them out so they’re not touching or clumped together. Position them in the freezer. When they’re frozen, put them in an airtight bag and you’re good to go.
Canning is another option. It’s a bit more complicated than freezing or dehydrating. However, you can make some amazing spreads, jams and jellies that will last for years to come.
There’s no reason to be sad when summer fades into fall. You can enjoy summer fruits all year around. With a little preparation and a plan your summer fruit harvest can be enjoyed for months.