I truly feel blessed whenever I get my hands on free produce. The other day, once my fridge was already mostly filled after my last nearly free "grocery shopping" trip, I was gifted with even more produce, in very large amounts.
It was predominantly extra large sweet potatoes, celery, and carrots, with a smaller amount but still significant quantities of clementines, beets, and purple onions.
I did not have room in my fridge to store all of that produce, and fortunately it was mostly in very good condition, so it was great for fermented produce. (When I get my produce from the reduced rack, unfortunately, it usually is not good enough quality to be used for fermentation- it'll likely mold if I attempt to ferment it, so when I have good quality produce, I am extra tempted to ferment what I can.)
I chopped up some beets and am fermenting them into beet kvass. a probiotic beet based drink.
I am making fermented Moroccan style carrots using this recipe (only with no oil, since I've since learned that it is a bad idea for fermented), and then I pickled celery three different ways. Once was stalks in brine with homemade Cajun seasoning. I thought that might taste extra awesome since celery is a standard ingredient in Cajun dishes. I made one of celery leaves seasoned like kimchi, with ginger, garlic, and got pepper flakes, and the other was just super simple, in brine with caraway seeds.
I dehydrated a bunch of produce as well, and am still dehydrating more. Celery leaves got dehydrated, separately from celery stalks. I dehydrated both cubed sweet potatoes and sliced sweet potatoes, and will be making more dehydrated sweet potato chips. I dehydrated cubed carrots and also sliced purple onions, which I will then use as a spice, and also grind to make onion powder.
Lastly, I cleaned out my freezer and found room to store some things there as well.
A reader sent me instructions on how to make Indian masala in bulk to freeze, and while I haven't gotten around to doing that yet, the instructions included tips on putting one cup of the sauce in a ziplock bag, and then flattening it and freezing it that way, allowing you to break off as much as needed to use, instead of needing to defrost the entire thing at once. That inspired me to saute up a bunch of the purple onions, and freeze them in bags, flat, so I can break off what I need each time to use that.
I chopped up celery and carrots too, and froze them separately, and I also froze a few bags of celery and carrots already combined, to be used as a soup base.
I still plan on dehydrating more carrots and sweet potatoes, but essentially it'll be more of the same of what I already did.
It's nice that by preserving this produce, I am able to lengthen its life so that once my fridge is no longer packed to the gills, I'll still be able to have and enjoy this produce.
I love food preservation!
Have you done any food preservation lately? What was it?