You can’t always be there. But we can.
That backyard garden you put in this year kept your dad busy all summer. His green thumb did well and now he has more crops than he can use each day. You can store those excess fruits and vegetables to keep him stocked all winter.
Here are the easiest ways to store excess produce.
Blanching for the Freezer
Most vegetables need to be blanched before you pack them into freezer bags. To blanch vegetables, you cook them quickly in boiling water or on a steamer and then plunge them into ice water. After draining and drying off the blanched items, pack them in freezer bags and move to the freezer.
The National Center for Home Food Preservation has a good guide on how long different vegetables need to be blanched. Commonly frozen vegetables like green beans, broccoli, and summer squash/zucchini need three minutes.
Grating for the Freezer
Carrots, zucchini, and summer squash can be grated and placed into freezer bags. Squeeze excess liquid before moving the grated vegetables to the bags. You can use the grated vegetables in quick bread and muffins, soups, and quiches.
Turn Into Stock
Make a batch of vegetable stock. Once you’ve made it, measure it into freezer containers and move them to the freezer. Instead of buying broth and stock for winter’s soups and stews, there will be homemade stock on hand.
You can find recipes online. Look for recipes that allow you to cook the stock in a slow cooker. It will save you time watching a pot and allow the vegetables to really develop strong flavors within the stock.
Dehydrate excess vegetables and fruits using a dehydrator. If you don’t have one, set the oven to the lowest temperature and bake vegetables and fruits on a parchment-lined baking sheet for up to eight hours.
Once dehydrated, store the dried produce in bags or airtight containers. They are good additions to soups, stews, and baked goods. Some dried fruits and vegetables also make great snacks. Dried apples, apricots, and kale chips are just a few of the more popular snacks.
Your dad may struggle to prepare healthy meals for himself. If that’s the case, you can make sure he’s eating healthy with the help of homecare services providers. Caregivers who offer homecare services can cook meals, join your dad for that meal, and clean dishes after. Call our homecare agency to get started.