We've all spent time thinking about how to make summer last as long as possible. From hitting up the beach until dropping temps finally force you to quit, to hoarding all of your favorite summer vegetables hoping they don't go bad before you can eat them all. Well, we can't help with the dropping-temps situation, but we do have a few ideas on making those coveted, fresh veggies last long into the fall.
Cucumbers always seem to be in abundance in the summertime — overflowing stands at the farmer's market and taking over your backyard garden. Well, we don't know about you, but our favorite part about cucumbers is turning them into pickles. They're salty, crunchy and last for months on your pantry shelf. This way you can enjoy a little bit of summer even when the season has officially ended. (See: How To Make Your Own Pickles)
Watermelon jerky is one of the coolest new ways to make that juicy summer fruit last long into the fall and winter. Yes, you read that right — watermelon jerky. All you need is fresh watermelon, a little bit of salt and a dehydrator. The strips will be the perfect healthy snack for your autumn hikes and evenings in snuggling on the couch. (Here's a recipe via Skinny Confidential)
This recipe goes far beyond just saving just your tomatoes. You can incorporate all your garden favorites — onions, jalapeños, green peppers and even cilantro! You can never have too many jars of homemade salsa, so start canning! Bonus: you can give these out as gifts during the holidays, so not only will your friends and family be impressed at your salsa-making skills, you'll also save a few bucks.
Fresh strawberries are arguably one of the most popular and sought after finds at the farmer's market. Well, don't hesitate to stock up, that way you can keep enjoying them long after market season is over. Can them up and keep enjoying those berries for months! You can even make your holiday salsa gift a two-for-one special and include homemade strawberry jam too.
You have many options when it comes to preserving your fresh plums. From canning to drying to the newest trend — turning them into fruit leather. Think homemade, slightly healthier fruit roll-ups from your childhood. The process is similar to drying, but with just a few extra steps. Totally worth it to have a year-round sweet treat that screams summer.
What is your favorite summer produce to preserve, and how?!