KITCHEN DIVA: Try freezing best of summer with vegetables, herbs

It’s August, and that means I’m busily trying to figure out a way to preserve the smells and flavors of my favorite vegetables. I enjoy stocking my freezer with vegetables I’ve grown or bought in large quantities from local farmers.

Your freezer is one of the best ways to preserve the color and flavor of summer produce all year long. Here’s some great tips for freezing the best of your favorite summer vegetables and herbs: Can I Freeze Bell and Sweet Peppers Raw? If you’ve picked a peck of peppers and have too many to eat, try freezing them. Peppers are one of those foods that can be quickly frozen raw without first blanching them.

Here are some guidelines on freezing bell and sweet peppers raw: Select crisp, tender, green or bright-red pods. Wash, cut out stems, cut in half and remove seeds. If desired, cut into 1/2-inch strips or rings. Good for use in uncooked foods because they have a crisper texture, or in cooked foods. Package raw, leaving no headspace.

Seal and freeze. NOTE: To make it easier to remove only the amount of frozen bell or sweet peppers needed at one time, freeze sliced or diced peppers in a single layer on a cookie sheet with sides. Transfer to a “freezer” bag when frozen, excluding as much air as possible from the bag.

Can Tomatoes be Frozen Raw?

Like peppers, tomatoes can be frozen raw. Frozen tomatoes are best used in cooked foods such as soups, sauces and stews as they become mushy when they’re thawed.

Select firm, ripe tomatoes with deep red color. Wash and dip in boiling water for 30 seconds to loosen skins. Core and peel. Freeze whole or in pieces. Pack into containers, leaving l-inch headspace. Seal and freeze.

TIP: Dip just a few tomatoes at a time into the boiling water or the water temperature may be lowered too much to remove the skins without overheating the tomatoes. Place hot tomatoes in a colander and rinse under cold water to make them easier to handle. A knife with a serrated edge works best for cutting tomatoes.

How About Freezing Fresh Herbs?

Wash, drain and pat the herbs dry with paper towels. Wrap a few sprigs or leaves in freezer wrap and place in a freezer bag, then seal and freeze. The frozen herbs can be chopped and used in cooked dishes. After freezing, the herbs usually are not suitable for garnish, as they become limp when thawed.

TIP: To extend the time frozen fruits and vegetables maintain good quality, package foods in material intended for freezing and keep the temperature of the freezer at 0 F or below. It is generally recommended that frozen vegetables and fruits be eaten within eight months for best quality.


This wonderful recipe for gazpacho is a great way to use a variety of your favorite herbs and summer vegetables.

6 large tomatoes

1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded and finely diced

1 large green bell pepper, finely chopped

1 medium-sized red onion, minced

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons olive oil

Juice and zest of 1/2 lemon

2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped

1/2 teaspoon hot sauce

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1 medium avocado, peeled and diced, for garnish

1 cup herbed croutons, for garnish

1. To peel the tomatoes, submerge them a few tomatoes at a time in boiling water for 15 seconds. Place in a colander and rinse under cold water. The skins should slip right off. Core the tomatoes and gently squeeze out the seeds. Chop half of the tomatoes coarsely and puree the other half in a food processor. Combine the puree and chopped tomatoes in a large mixing bowl.

2. Add the cucumber, bell pepper, onion, vinegar, olive oil, lemon juice and zest, parsley, basil, hot sauce, salt, pepper, sugar and nutmeg to the tomatoes. Mix gently to blend the ingredients. Cover and refrigerate for several hours before serving. 3. Serve chilled. Garnish with the avocado and herbed croutons, if desired. Makes 6 servings.

Even breakfast has changed in the pandemic. Here are some easy tips from Andrew Coppolino | CBC News

The pandemic has changed our habits a lot when it comes to what we eat and how we eat it, breakfast included.

During the shutdown, routines were in upheaval and fast-food restaurants had modified hours and modified menus — if they were even open —  and people chose to scarf down a bowl of cold cereal at home before heading to work, if they were at work, skipping the quick-breakfast-sandwich-and-java pickup on their way to the office.

Breakfast, previously, could be a boring routine and a drudge to make. As some semblance of pre-pandemic activity has been slowly returning, our new breakfast and work-at-home habits may have taken a grip on our morning routine and may be here to stay. 

Here are a few quick and easy breakfast ideas that break out of the conventional bacon-and-eggs start to the day, including a look to world cuisine. Many dishes can be made ahead; many can be transported to the office, whether that is upstairs or a 20-minute commute away.

Traditional bacon and eggs are composed on a plate and eaten at the table, but it’s time to start to thinking outside of that box.

Bowls and beverages  

Mixed bowls are quick and easy and travel well; there are dozens of possibilities. Put together a bowl with quinoa, a neutral seed that accepts other flavours. Then load the bowl with avocado, fresh fruit and vegetables. You can add egg if you wish. These breakfast bowls can be savoury and sweet.

Overnight oats are an easy breakfast that benefit from preparation the night before. Combine steel-cut oats, yogurt, chia seeds (which help thicken), vanilla, honey and milk or almond milk in a sealable jar, and refrigerate. In the morning, this  can be a super-quick breakfast at home or at the office.

The idea of breakfast as a beverage in the form of smoothie is quick and easy, taking only 30 seconds in the blender if you freeze the ingredients overnight. It’s much healthier than the thin veil of nutrition that is in sugary juices, and healthier for you than just a cup of coffee.

To make it, combine some spinach and fruit and protein powder in blender cup, and freeze. The next morning, add a bit of liquid and whiz it in the blender. It’s delicious and nutritious and filling (and you can adjust the fruit and vegetables to have more or less sugar). Recipe is below.

World view 

The idea of a combined bowl for breakfast can be elevated when you look around the world at cultures that often eat breakfast differently than many Canadians.

Eggs are part of a Salvadoran breakfast, but so are fried plantains and refried beans, prepared versions of those are found in better grocery stores.

Shakshouka, a popular breakfast food in the Middle East. (Andrew Coppolino/CBC)

A Japanese breakfast of rice, eggs, black beans, sweet potatoes and corn, like the dish prepared by chef Jonathan Gushue at Sounds of the Season a few years ago, is another one-bowl wonder that can be made ahead and re-heated in minutes at home (frying can give it a nice crispiness), or taken to the office microwave.

Middle eastern or northern African breakfasts may or may not include eggs. In Israel, Syria and Turkey, eggs are poached in a mildly spiced tomato sauce and called shakshouka.

We can also take our cue from the legumes that are called phool or ful, regularly cooked in Palestine, Egypt and other places. Smashed fava beans make for hearty eating with make-ahead preparation and the addition of olive oil and lemon juice. Use a bit of warmed pita to scoop it up.

“We might add a kind of Mediterranean salsa of crushed hot peppers, garlic, lemon juice and olive oil and eat that with phool,” according to Easra Aburaneh of Nanaz Kitchen in Waterloo.

Smashed fava beans with hot peppers make for a different kind of breakfast, no doubt. And the timing of its consumption might also smash your breakfast habits, notes Aburaneh.

“In Palestine, we might eat breakfast between 10 in the morning and noon,” she says.

Blender breakfast smoothie


  • 1 packed cup of spinach.
  • 1 banana.
  • ½ cup frozen fruit (blueberries are my favourite).
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla protein powder.
  • ½ cup yogurt or water (adjust for desired thickness).


  • Combine the ingredients, except the yogurt and water, in a blender or the cup of a personal “Ninja-style” blender.
  • Store in freezer overnight.
  • Next morning, add approx. ½ cup of yogurt or water (or your preferred liquid) and whiz until smooth. You can adjust the amount of fluid you add to achieve the thickness you desire.

How to create your own fruit and vegetable patch

Applications for council-run slices in England have actually skyrocketed throughout the coronavirus pandemic, as green-fingered customers try to expand their very own throughout these unpredictable times. We’re signed up with by our favorite garden enthusiast Terry Walton from the Rhondda Valley, as he shares his leading pointers for developing your very own vegetables and fruit spot. Terry’s leading ideas for expanding your very own

1. EXPAND THE THINGS YOU ENJOY EATING: People tend to expand points they do not such as consuming, one pair that relocated right into the part began Brussel Sprouts as well as they really did not such as consuming them! Expand veg you are mosting likely to consume.Heritage carrots. Unsplash image.

2. SUNLIGHT AND LIGHT ARE KEY: Vegetables choose the sunshine, so make certain you grow

them far from trees. The denser the vegetation, the weak the plant. 3. BEGIN BY GROWING THINGS IN POTS: Get the largest pot you can obtain, it’s a less complicated means to begin and also you do not obtain the exact same troubles with bugs and also illness that you perform in dirt. Beginning with a pot provides you a preference of what you such as to expand. When you’ve consumed something you’ve expanded you will not ever before intend to purchase something from a store once more. What you collect has the optimal of nutrients in it.

Cauliflower. Unsplash image.

4. GROW SIMPLE THINGS AT FIRST: Start with something that fasts and also easy so you do not shed hope. Parsnips you plant in February and also harvest in October-so they aren’t also helpful for a very first time. Radish, lettuce, beetroot, springtime onions are truly excellent as well as basic. And also brief stumped carrots! 5. STRATEGY THE LAYOUT OF YOUR ALLOTMENT: Planning your format is necessary. You ought to attempt as well as team comparable kind veggies with each other. So brassicas in one spot, vegetables in one more spot, origin plants in an additional spot and after that one for all others. That’s your 4 plant turnings.

Radishes. Unsplash image.

6. MARVELS OF WEEDING: Whenever you tackle horticulture for the very first time, maintain looking behind your shoulders as well as make certain the weeds do not grow than the plants! Never ever allow a weed go to seed as they can continue to be in the ground for many years.

7. KNOW YOUR SOIL: The ideal is loam dirt. Loam dirts are best for plant development since sand, silt, and also clay with each other offer preferable attributes.

10 easy and clever weight loss tips from around the world | The Times of India

Chronic sleep deprivation leads to weight gain. That is why people in Japan take a 20-30 minutes nap to complete their sleep. Many people feel they are hungry when they are actually sleepy, so they eat a snack instead of taking a nap.

Also, the less you sleep, the lower are your leptin (helps sense the brain when you are full) levels and higher are your ghrelin (triggers hunger) levels.

The Main Menu: Some tips for first-timers and pros on preserving summer in a jar – Beach Metro Community News

When I think about protects, photos of my Grandmother and also Mother enter your mind. In my Grandmother’s instance, it was being sent out downstairs to her maintain storage space, rows of cool racks below the cellar stairways, lined with containers of chili sauce, jams as well as jellies mustard pickles yet my much-loved, her peach almond save. Just for unique celebrations and also oh, soooo tasty!

When I consider my Mother’s protecting adventures, (constantly the most popular day of the year), visions of her large blue preserving pot loaded with boiling water enter your mind, vapor increasing as well as containers of pickled beetroots, zucchini enjoy, fall pleasure as well as her specialized– red currant jelly.

Since was a work of love! Protecting was conveniently a number of day’s job however beneficial for that unique preference with winter months meals-yum!

As an outcome of this COVID-19 infection, there are even more individuals food preparation, horticulture and also wishing to protect, probably for the very first time.

Below are some suggestions to make the task fool evidence. Naturally, there are some attempted as well as real dishes consisted of to take us down memory lane.

Detailed Home Canning Tips For: Jam, Jellies, Marmalades, Conserves, Fruit Butters, Pickles, Relishes, Chutneys, Condiments, Fruit Preserves and also Tomatoes with additional acid.

  1. Constantly maintain the most effective top quality fruit or veggie, as close as “simply selected” as feasible, without acnes or contusions. Canning does not boost quality!Prepare the canner– this
  2. describes the big pan/ pot needed to steam the maintains. I extremely suggest the smaller sized canners currently offered typically total with all the needed devices from Bernardin usually discovered in Canadian Tire as well as Home Hardware. The smaller sized amount streamlines the job.Fill the pot(canner) with adequate warm water to cover containers by an inch(2.5 centimeters)

established it on the oven as well as offer steam(this will certainly spend some time) as well as you will certainly be guaranteed it will certainly prepare when required. Clean as well as Sterilize Jars– Always make use of appropriate protecting containers which can endure the warmth essential to procedure

  1. . Examine the containers for splits or nicks around the side. If harmed, dispose of. Laundry containers in warm sudsy water or dish washer as well as wash well. If handling time is 10 mins or even more, sanitizing containers in boiling water is unnecessary.Soften the securing substance of brand-new covers(constantly make use of brand-new covers )in pan of boiling water 5 minutes.Fill the containers to the needed headspace, this is the room in between the compound being refined and also
  2. the side of the container. It enables growth while handling in a water bathroom.
  3. Headspace differs: 1/4 inch(.5 centimeters )jams, jellies, marmalades and also saves; 1/2 inch(1 centimeters )-fruits, cherishes, pickles as well as chutneys.Remove air bubbles. As soon as container is filled up to the called for headspace, run a spatula along the within the container, carefully changing the food to launch air bubbles after that adjust the headspace if necessary.Wipe Jar Rims with a tidy fabric to eliminate any type of food bits
  4. or dampness which can disrupt a closed seal.Apply covers fingertip limited which gives some “offer”in between cover as well as screw band to make sure that climbing vapor and also air produced inside the container throughout warm handling can be tired. When the covers have actually cooled down there canbe a” break down” of the cover which suggests an impermeable vacuum cleaner seal.Process the containers in a boiling water bathroom the called for time according to the dish once the water has actually returned to a complete rolling boil. The moment for several dishes is 10 mins. Do not re-tighten the screw prohibits as this can harm the seal.Check for Seal– Once containers are gotten rid of from the boiling water bathroom and also enabled to cool down on a shelf, you will certainly listen to as well as see a breeze down of the facility of the.
  5. cover which suggests a great seal. A last check ought to be done after 24 hrs. As soon as there is a seal, screw bands can be eliminated. (If there is no seal, cool the container as well as consume components within a couple of days.)Tag, day as well as shop protects in atrendy dark area for approximately a year.Zucchini Relish A yummy friend to grilled meats: sausages, hamburgers, hen and also pork; zucchini cherish is just as great offered with cheese. In this dish, a mixer will certainly make a simple work of cutting zucchini, onions as well as peppers. 4 mugs (1 L )sliced zucchini( regarding 4-5). 2 mugs(500 mL )cut onions(concerning 2 huge). 1 each, red and also eco-friendly pepper sliced. 1
  6. tablespoon(15 mL)pickling salt. 1 mug(250 mL)chilly water. 1 mug (250 mL)granulated sugar.

1 tablespoon(15 mL)corn starch. 1

tablespoon(15 mL)completely dry mustard. 1/2 tsp(2 mL) each, turmeric, nutmeg as well as celery seeds. 1 mug(250 mL )white vinegar. 1/3 mug(75 mL)chilly water. In blending dish, incorporate zucchini, onions, red as well as environment-friendly peppers; spray with salt as well as gather cool water. Mix well. Allow mean 1 hr or over night.

Drain pipes as well as wash under chilly water; drainpipe and also extract excess dampness. In hefty pan, incorporate sugar, corn starch

, mustard, turmeric extract, nutmeg, celery

seeds, vinegar and also water;

mix to integrate well.

Offer steam; include drained pipes veggies

as well as go back to steam; mixing often. Minimize warmth and also simmer exposed 20 -25 mins mixing periodically or up until enlarged.

Load containers to within 1/2 inch (1 centimeters)of edge

; use covers as well as screw band; procedure in boiling water bathroom 10 mins. Get rid of to cooling down shelf; look for seal; tag, day and also shop in trendy dark area up to 1 year. Makes concerning 5(1 mug/ 250 mL containers). Natural herb Jelly This jelly can be made with virtually any type of

natural herb: mint, basil, thyme, tarragon or sage. It is a best friend to roast meats consisting of the Thanksgiving turkey. 1 1/2 mugs (375 ml)fresh, jam-packed natural herb leaves, cleaned as well as coarsely sliced. 2 3/4 mug(675 mL) boiling water. 1/2 mug(125 mL )cider vinegar. Couple of decreases eco-friendly food colouring.

1 pkg (57 g )Fruit Pectin. 4 mugs( 1 L) granulated sugar. In a pan integrate natural herbs, water and also vinegar. Simmer with each other 15 mins. Stress via screen as well as colour gently with food colouring. (A little goes a lengthy

means! ). Go back to pan

; mix in pectin and also give a complete rolling boil. Mix in determined quantity of sugar simultaneously and also offer a complete boil for 1 min mixing continuously.

Promptly get rid of from warm; skim foam. Spoon mix right into ready containers to within 1/4

inch (.5 centimeters) of edge; location covers on as well as

screw band; procedure in boiling water bathroom 5 mins. Eliminate containers; cool; look for

seal; eliminate screw bands, tag

, day as well as shop in great completely dry area.

Makes regarding 5 mugs(1.25 L ).

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