We enjoy adding greens to our winter soups. Kale, spinach, escarole, mustard, dandelion. They all go nicely in many of the recipes we enjoy. Sometimes it is nice to just toss them into even creamy asparagus or potato soup. Yes, I know, it might give soup a funny green colour, but it is nice to know it is a quick and easy way to boost the nutritional content of your winter meals.
For years I have simply tossed the bags of greens into the freezer and let them sit until we needed them. Part of our issue was budget and not being able to afford extra jars. Another part was the inavailability of jars on the market. I now have more jars to use and more shelf space in our pantry, too!
I have been saving a lot of jars and lids over the last year which can be used for short term storage, and now have a new plan! I don't need to use all our canning jars, but will build our food quantity and variety!
Starting next week, I will be removing all those blanched greens from the freezer and start dehydrating them. I will be storing them in sealed jars in the pantry for the same use. Why am I doing this? There are several reasons.
1) Dehydrating will increase the shelf life by enough time that we can use them next fall as soup season starts.
2) I am running out of freezer space! With our finances being blessed to be a bit better over the last number of months, we have been able to put up more foods in our food storage. And have built more shelf space in the pantry. Having a fuller freezer and pantry is such a great blessing we have been looking forward to.
3) These greens can now be hidden in other foods, too, such as smoothies, sweet breads or muffins!
These are just a few ideas. Most of all, the dehydrated greens will end up taking up less space over-all. I can fit several bags of greens, once dehydrated, into one jar. That will take up less than one-sixth of the space the frozen bags took up.
Maybe next week I will have some photos to share with you as the process begins. As spring progresses, I will even be dehydrating NEW greens as well - dandelion and mustard will hopefully be ready soon for harvest. Then spinach and hopefully even escarole in several weeks. Being able to produce our own pantry stable short-term storage reduces our need to rely on others for taking care of our needs as life gets more interesting.
Blessings and Shalom - Judith
Judith has over 30 years experience in food storage, herbs, essential oils, and prepping. She was a captain in the USAF-AUX, FEMA trained, Community Emergency Response Team member and NRA marksmanship award recipient. She shares her experiences with her readers offering tips and recipes.
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