10 Ways to Keep Farm Fresh Fruits and Vegetables for the Winter Months

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Baby eggplants (Photo by Roberto Machado Noa/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Prepped and Packaged

Even though simply freezing your produce is quick and easy on the front end, you still have to do something with it when you thaw it. And some cooking techniques–namely grilling–aren’t amenable to the winter. So get it all over with on the front end and save yourself the trouble in the dark months.

Eggplant is probably the best example of this. You don’t really want to freeze uncooked eggplant. I mean, it’s possible, but don’t. Cut the eggplant in half and cook it in on an oiled grill until the cut side is golden brown and the eggplant is soft. Then just scoop out the pulp and freeze it. Grilled eggplant is great mixed with marinara. It will really give that special something to those quick pasta dinners.

Another excellent prep-and-freeze recipe is creamed corn. Just slice the kernels of the cob. (And save those corn cobs for your veggie broth! They add extra body and flavor.) Give the kernels a quick spin in the food processor and you basically have creamed corn. Add some salt and pepper and you’re good to go. This is a great one to pull out on Thanksgiving.

Braised lemony green beans are somewhat more involved but they freeze beautifully. Slice up an onion and saute until translucent. Add diced tomato, minced garlic and chopped oregano. Simmer for half an hour. Add the juice of half a lemon. Simmer until the green beans are tender and almost falling apart. The end result is so delicious I suspect it may be alchemy.