11 Ways to Preserve, Freeze, and Dry Summer Produce While There’s Still Time

Are you stockpiling fruit yet? After all, this talk of cozy sweaters and vacations past can only mean one thing: summer’s leaving, and it’s taking our hard-earned berries with it.

But before you go rogue at the farmers market and start hoarding zucchini, show some love for the seasonal produce you already have. Got any watermelon in your fridge? Lonely stone fruit about to turn? Don’t lose them — this week, we’re preserving our fruits and veggies every which way, from jams and jellies to homemade pesto and ice cream. Choose your weapon — blender, freezer, or Mason jar — and then get crafty. Now this is how you do summer.

Image: A Pastry Affair

Freeze It

The easiest way to keep your berries going? Set them on baking tray and throw them in the freezer. After they’re completely solid, transfer to a freezer bag. Frozen berries are ideal for baking or for drowning in white chocolate ganache, à la Ina Garten.

Image: Sergey Kukota/Flickr

Get Churning

Got more berries than you can handle? Turn them into ice cream. Moonblush Baker uses frozen cranberries and strawberries.

Image: Moonblush Baker

Dry It

All you need is an oven to make dried fruit for your next granola bender. Our friends at The Kitchn break it down.

Image: donkeycart/Flickr

Drink Up

Watermelon may be the darling of summer fruits, but a drink’s always in season. Heather Christo whips up a simple syrup to brighten up the winter days ahead.

Image: Heather Christo

Get Saucy

Why buy canned tomato sauce when you can make it yourself? Marcella Hazan’s butter- and onion-filled recipe is a classic, but if you’re swapping in fresh tomatoes, be sure to boil and peel them first. Steamy Kitchen shows us how it’s done.

Image: Steamy Kitchen

Pesto! Change-O!

Don’t forget about your herbs! Whip up a batch of pesto and portion it out into an ice cube tray. That way, you’ll always have a little summertime flavor on hand. Thanks, Heather Christo!

Image: Heather Christo

That's Your Jam

In the dead of winter, summery jams will be your bright spot. A Pastry Affair serves up her classic strawberry-balsamic spread.

Image: A Pastry Affair

Raspberry Jam

For an added crunch, take a (thyme) leaf from Green Kitchen Stories’ book and throw in a few pomegranate seeds.

Image: Green Kitchen Stories

Just Peachy

While we’re canning everything up here, give stone fruit some lovin’. A Pastry Affair has the recipe.

Image: A Pastry Affair

Compote Heap

Can’t wait to dig into a heap of cooked fruit? Try your hand at compote, jam’s easy stovetop counterpart. Offbeat + Inspired uses cherries and fresh thyme.

Image: Offbeat + Inspired

Blueberry Compote

Sure, you can store your compote in the fridge or freezer — but let’s be honest. You’re going to drizzle it on everything in sight. Savory Simple smothers her cake in blueberry goodness.

Image: Savory Simple