Spring Foods to Can or Freeze

Spring kicks off the growing season with some lovely treats. While you're busy enjoying all the tasty seasonal fare, be sure to can and freeze your favorites, so you can enjoy them throughout the year. Here are eight foods that you should think about putting up now. Many of these foods won't be in season again for another year, so you should stock up on these foods while you can.

1
Jams and Jellies

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Rhubarb Freezer Jam. Photo © Erin Huffstetler

Capture the flavors of spring in gorgeous jewel-toned jars of jams and jellies. Strawberry and rhubarb are only in season for a short time, but if you transform them into fruit spreads, you can enjoy them ​at any time. For a special treat, gather up a bunch of dandelion blossoms as soon as they pop up in your yard. Then, use them to make a batch of dandelion jelly. It would make a lovely gift at Christmas time More

2
Pickles

Pickles
Pickles. Beth Rooney/Aurora/Getty Images

Cucumbers aren't the only thing that you can pickle. Get your hands on some radishes, ​asparagus, and other spring veggies, and start making pickles in a rainbow of colors. They'll look gorgeous in your pantry and on your plate. Who knows, you may even discover a new favorite. More

3
Fresh Fruits

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Strawberries. Photo © Erin Huffstetler

Vine-ripened strawberries are out-of-this-world good, but they perish quickly. Go out and pick or buy a bunch. Then, get them straight into the freezer, so you capture them at their best. It's nice to have frozen berries on hand for smoothies, pies, and other baked goods when fresh berries aren't available. And be sure to freeze some rhubarb, too. It may not be a fruit by definition, but it makes for beautiful pies and tarts.

4
Fresh Vegetables

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Dandelion Greens. Photo © Erin Huffstetler

Peas, asparagus, broccoli, greens, artichokes -- they're all in season now. Harvest them from your own garden or buy a bunch from a local farmer. Then, pop them in the freezer for easy meals. Frozen vegetables work well in soups, casseroles, and crockpot dinners.

5
Fresh Herbs

Cilantro
Cilantro. Halfdark/Getty Images

Herbs are at their most flavorful when they're young, so this is the time to start freezing herbs for next winter. Chives, basil, thyme, rosemary -- they all freeze beautifully. Aim to put up enough to ensure that you won't have to resort to buying herbs from the grocery store during the months that your garden is dormant.

Use a lot of dried herbs in your cooking? Then, consider drying some of your herbs, too. It's often as easy as hanging them upside down, and in some cases, you can even dry herbs in the microwave.

6
Mushrooms

Morel Mushrooms
Morel Mushrooms. Jon Lovette/DigitalVision/Getty Images

Morel mushrooms are in season now. Grab some buddies and go foraging for some, or pop over to your local farmer's market to stock up. Then, freeze a portion of your haul, so you can pull a handful out whenever a mushroom craving strikes. Frozen mushrooms work just as well as fresh mushrooms when used in cooked dishes.

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