Preserving Greens for Future Recipes

Posted by on Oct 1, 2015 in Grow Better Greens Podcast | Comments Off on Preserving Greens for Future Recipes

In this week’s episode, we’re discussing options for preserving a bumper crop of greens for use in your future recipes. As we all well know, greens are perishable – they can wilt if you even look at them wrong. Further, sometimes, when they’re ready, they’re ready, even if you aren’t. Since they’re so delicate, traditional options for preserving greens often prove anti-climatic. But before you say “What’s the point?” hear us out – we have some tricks up our sleeve!

You can listen here or download for later:

Episode 18: Preserving Greens for Future Recipes

Are You a Prepper or Are You a Food Freak? Why Preserve Greens at All?
A Better Way to Freeze Greens
Drying Greens the Gourmet Way
A Better Way to Can – Making Leaf Concentrate
Why Do You Grow Food?

Are You a Prepper or Are You a Food Freak? Why Preserve Greens at All?

Sometimes when approaching kitchen work, especially food preservation, it’s helpful to remind yourself about why you’re making the effort in the first place. Are you putting up food for necessary calories in case of an emergency? or maybe you’re more trusting of your own food-goods over the slim pickin’s at the supermarket once winter hits?

For me, prepping for an emergency means putting my effort into preserving calories – something that greens just don’t have. I’m more interested in getting gourmet kitchen outputs from my trusted garden produce than faking it later with some shipped-from-3000-miles away stand in.

A Better Way to Freeze

Of course, regular old freezing totally works. If you blanch and freeze your greens, they’ll taste mostly like you’d expect. You’ve had frozen spinach, right?

But, as a ‘food freak’ (meaning that I’m obsessed with positive food experiences, including taste, circumstances, and atmosphere) I have a better idea for you to try in the freezer: Juiced Vegetable Sauces.

For years, I have been habitually juicing and freezing different veggie combos: carrot-basil, kale-apple-garlic, beet-ginger-beet greens, just to freeze in ice cube trays. When the time comes, I thaw my savory juice cubes and reduce them down in a sauce pan. Poured over just about any main dish, you’ll be so glad you’re not eating frozen spinach!

Drying Greens the Gourmet Way

Lots of people dry greens for a few different reasons. Us? We’re big fans of Leaf Powder.

You can check out the whole episode we did on the subject here:

The important part is how easily Leaf Powder stores (and of course all of the tasty things you can do with it!)

A Better Way to Can – Making Leaf Concentrate

So, back to are you a Prepper or a Food Freak? I can see no reason to can greens. You certainly wouldn’t be canning for calories – they have none, and what you’re left with after processing is some mighty suspicious looking brown stuff.

I say, go for nutrition instead, especially if you’re a prepper! You can get your calories elsewhere, but this is how you can supplement your nutrition with homegrown goodness: Leaf Concentrate!

Leaf Concentrate is all about nutrition. In WWII when the germans surrounded and cut-off supplies to the British, guess where people turned? Leaf Concentrate!

Less than 1% of the 350k species of flowering plants on Earth are candidates for making Leaf Concentrate, but among those that are good candidates are: kale, collards, swiss chard, mustard greens, & lambsquarters. We know those guys!

To process Leaf Concentrate, harvest and immediately grind your greens into a pulp & squeeze out juice. Better yet, use a juice press! Next, boil the juice rapidly until a curd separates – strain the curd off and eat fresh OR preserve through dehydration OR preserve with sugar or salt. You can actually make a lemonade syrup from Leaf Concentrate that will keep for 6 mos in your fridge; you can even add Vitamin c to enhance the preservation.

The best place to learn all about making Leaf Concentrate is in the book 21st Century Greens by David Kennedy. That is where all credit is due for my report on Leaf Concentrate above : )

Why Do You Grow Food?

In this section we ask our listeners to share why they are growing food. This week Micah from Ohio shares how living in Asia inspired her to grow food when she got back to the U.S !

Micah won a collection of Liz’s heirloom leafy green seeds, available on Amazon.

Thanks for reading my blog : ) I appreciate your time and wish you much success in growing healthy food!