It’s Canning Season!
One of the best parts of summer is easy access to an abundance of fresh, homegrown fruits and vegetables. However, when the colder months roll around we are once again left deprived of these natural delights. Enter canning! Canning is a method of preservation, and the best way to enjoy summertime vegetables throughout the colder months.
Canning is an essential and safe, if done properly, method to food preservation. The canning process involves placing foods such as fruits, vegetables, jams, jellies, pickles, and other preserves, in jars and heating them to a temperature that eliminates micro-organisms that cause the food to spoil. During the heating process, air is driven out of the jar and as it cools a vacuum seal is formed. This seal prevents air from getting back into the jar, preventing these micro-organisms from contaminating the food and leading to successful preservation.
With fall fast approaching, we’d like to share some home canning tips to help you have as much success as possible this year. If your garden has been a success this year, you’ll probably have a good amount of vegetables to can! And if you’re canning from store-bought items, make sure to read your ingredient list closely and beforehand to see if ingredients need to be prepped before the canning process. For example, does your watermelon rind need to be soaked in brine overnight before you can begin the pickling process?
When it comes to filling, experts have said that sterilizing jars and lids is not necessary because all bacteria will be eliminated in the process. Therefore, you can reuse jars from previous years, as long as they are in good condition. You’ll just need new lids to ensure a tight seal. Jars should be washed and dried before they are filled. It’s important to soak your new lids in hot water for ten minutes to soften the rubber edge, and help the lids grip on the top of the jar when the rings are screwed on.
Once the jars have been successfully processed, let them sit, untouched for at least an hour. As the jar cools the lids will sink into the center and you may hear a “ping” sound, indicating the lids have sealed. Store your jars away from direct sunlight, in a cool, dry place. Processed foods typically are good for a year, although many items will not spoil for a longer period of time. If you see mold, discoloration, or smell something funny, discard the food immediately. If a jar’s seal has been compromised discard of the food immediately, and ultimately, when in doubt, throw it out.
Vegetable Storage Hacks!
If you are someone that enjoys growing a garden in the summer and is dedicated to taking care of it, you may be experiencing an overflowing volume of vegetables. While having a surplus is a good thing, you might be running out of people to share your vegetables with! We have some tips and tricks on how to store your vegetables to extend their lifespan, as well as delicious recipes that can be made. After all, summer is winding down and we would hate to have you lose all your hard work.
When storing your produce, you first need to consider what types of vegetables you have and whether it should be stored in a room-temperature area or in a refrigerator. For example, potatoes, sweet potatoes, squash, garlic, tomatoes, and onions should be stored at room temperature, like a counter or kitchen table. Additionally, these types of produce should not be covered by a bag to allow them to breathe.
On the contrary, vegetables that should be refrigerated and stored in a sealed container or Ziploc bag include leafy greens, broccoli, cauliflower, radishes and carrots. By refrigerating produce in a sealed Ziploc bag, the cool moisture is held in. Additionally, ensure that the green tops of the radishes and carrots are removed prior to storage.
When storing your produce, be wary of what items you store next to each other. Apples should not be refrigerated directly next to leafy greens, broccoli, or cabbage due to ethylene gas that apples produce. This type of gas begins the ripening process and as apples begin to ripen, more ethylene gas is produced. Leafy greens are sensitive to ethylene gas, and by placing these next to produce like apples, you may lose your lettuce sooner than expected!
It is important to note that regardless of how well you store your produce, they will only last approximately one to three weeks depending on what type of vegetable it is. That is why you should always use your instinct to judge whether or not your vegetables should be consumed or thrown out.
Another great option is to try a new recipe using your fresh produce. Check out the recipes we have created below!
Spinach & Apple Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette : This combination of fresh apples, tomatoes, and spinach mixed with pecans and Gorgonzola cheese is the perfect side salad at dinner!
Instant Pot® Tortellini & Vegetable Soup: While this recipe calls for frozen vegetables, replace it with vegetables of your choice from the garden!
Air Fryer Loaded-Taco Baked Potatoes with Guacamole: This baked potato is filling, healthy, and delicious for even the pickiest of eaters! Be sure to stop by your local Price Chopper or Market 32 for PICS cheese and sour cream.
Open-Faced Butternut Squash and Kale Omelet: This hearty and healthy breakfast is delicious and easy to make! All you need are PICS eggs and bacon, your garden vegetables, and spices of your choice.
home.grown. Prolong Your Garden with Pickling!
Summer is the best time of year for fresh produce. At Price Chopper and Market 32, we partner with a wide variety of local farmers in the region, but we know that many Northeasterners enjoy growing their own produce. If you fall into this category, your garden may just be overflowing, and you can only give away so many tomatoes! Pickling could be a good alternative for you and your veggies. We have exactly what you need from mason jars and lids and other canning and pickling essentials like large-size vinegar. Read below on how to pickle if this is new to you, and then stop in your local Price Chopper or Market 32 to get the supplies you need!
What exactly is pickling, and is it just for cucumbers?
Pickling is the process of preserving food in a brine solution in order to extend its shelf life. By brining certain foods, bacteria are not allowed to grow. There are so many food products that can be pickled, and just a few are listed below. Some may even surprise you!
Cucumbers, garlic, pork, beets, carrots, eggs, strawberries, blueberries, radishes, shrimp. onions, squash, peppers, beef, and mangoes.
History of Pickling:
Pickling foods is nowhere near a new concept. According to archeologists and anthropologists, they believe that ancient Mesopotamians pickled. Later, pickling was a necessity for families to have food throughout the winter months and was crucial for sailors on long voyages.
How to Pickle Your Garden Veggies:
Fresh vegetables without bruises from your garden are ideal to pickle. The shape you choose to cut your produce is up to you, but cherry tomatoes are best when left as a whole and carrots work well when cut into spears.
- Prepare your mason jar by washing it with warm, soapy water and then rinsing out completely. Dry thoroughly with a towel.
- Cut your vegetables into the shape of your choice and trim the ends. Add in any spices if you choose or garlic.
- Pack your vegetables tightly in the mason jars. Ensure that there is some room from the top of the vegetables to the rim of the jar.
- Prepare your brine by following the steps below:
- Combine: 1 cup water, 1 cup vinegar of choice, 1 tablespoon of salt, and 1 tablespoon of sugar
- Poor into a small pan over high heat and bring to a boil
- Continue stirring to ensure the salt and sugar dissolve
- Pour brine into mason jars
- Let vegetables cool for at least one hour before enjoying. The longer they sit in the brine, the better.
Shop Pickling Necessities
Cooking At-Home: Quick Tips for Preparing 7 of Our Favorite Vegetables
While sheltering in place at home, many of us find ourselves cooking more, and fresh vegetables are a great addition to family meals. Part of an overall healthy diet, vegetables are full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Eating enough fruits and vegetables can help boost immunity, is linked to a lower risk of many chronic diseases and may help protect against certain forms of cancer. When it comes to vegetables, think variety and color as each color provides a different antioxidant with a different health benefit so fill your shopping cart with a spectrum of colorful veggies when shopping!
Here’s a rainbow of our colorful favorites along with quick tips for easy and delicious preparation.
This cruciferous veggie, high in Vitamin C and folate, and a good source of potassium and dietary fiber, is particularly delicious roasted, and once you try it, you’ll be hooked! Toss broccoli florets (with an inch or two of stalk attached), with a little olive oil, thinly sliced garlic, salt and freshly ground pepper. Place in a preheated 425°F and roast for 20-25 minutes until crisp-tender and the tips of the florets are browned. Remove the pan from oven, toss with some lemon zest, juice of a half a lemon and grated Parmesan cheese.
This once traditionally orange root veggie can now be found in white, yellow, red and purple, and can be enjoyed in many ways and countless dishes. Crunchy and colorful, carrots are delicious steamed, sautéed, roasted, and raw! Make carrots more appealing to children by serving carrot “noodles” aka spiralized carrots. If you own a spiralizer, have fun with the kids and make your own or you can find them in the Produce Department at your local Price Chopper Market 32 store. Simply sauté (or boil) just until tender, and serve with a little butter or olive oil and season to taste or with a sauce that pairs well like Full Circle Peanut Satay Sauce.
Enjoy added nutrition benefits too! An excellent source of Vitamin A as well as a good source of Vitamin K, several B vitamins and potassium, carrots also contain many plant compounds especially carotenoids including beta carotene and lutein. These carotenoids are linked to a reduced risk of cancer and heart disease, as well as improved eye health. Mom knew what she was talking about when she told you to eat your carrots when you were young!
Combine some spinach with dried cranberries, mandarin oranges, red onion and toss with your favorite vinaigrette for a quick salad or another easy go-to is sautéed spinach. After sautéing in olive oil with crushed garlic, remove from heat, simply season with salt, pepper, and a pinch of nutmeg. The use of nutmeg with spinach is a classic in French cooking.
Packed with nutrients, spinach is an excellent source of fiber, is high in iron and folate, and vitamins A and C making it a smart addition at any meal.
*Remember to wash loose spinach and all leafy greens under running water for 20 seconds. Packaged, triple-washed leafy greens should not be re-washed however as that can introduce bacteria.
This trendy cruciferous vegetable is one of our favorites due to its incredible versatility and health benefits. Cauliflower contains many powerful nutrients including B-vitamins, antioxidants and phytonutrients that may help protect against certain diseases like cancer and heart disease. Gone are the days of boring steamed cauliflower! Today cauliflower is “riced” or mashed, cut thick like steaks and grilled, used in soups or pizza crusts and more. Its creamy texture makes it a great alternative to high carb foods like potatoes and rice. It can also be served as a lower calorie alternative to Buffalo wings, and this Buffalo Cauliflower recipe is quick and easy to prepare.
3/4 cup PICS flour
1 tsp. PICS paprika
2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. black pepper
¾ cup PICS milk
1 head cauliflower, broken into florets
¼ cup PICS hot sauce
2 T. PICS canola oil
1 T. PICS honey
Preheat the oven to 450°F. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking oil or line with parchment paper
In a large bowl, add the flour, paprika, garlic powder, salt, pepper and milk, and mix well. Add the cauliflower florets, making sure to coat evenly. Place cauliflower on the baking sheet, and bake for 20 minutes, turning halfway through.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the hot sauce, oil, and honey. Brush on the cauliflower and bake for another 20 minutes. Serve with PICS light blue cheese or ranch dressing.
A staple in fajitas, stir-fries, and salsas, bell peppers are popular stuffed, and a delicious addition, roasted or raw, to omelets, salads, sauces, soups, pizzas, pastas and more. I love roasted peppers for their smoky flavor and texture. With warmer weather hopefully on the horizon, it’s easy to roast them right on the grill. Simply place peppers on the grill over a medium flame. Roast for 15-20 minutes, giving them a quarter of a turn with tongs every few minutes, until the peppers are charred and soft. Seed, peel and enjoy in your favorite recipes!
With a variety of colors to choose from, bell peppers are rich in many vitamins and antioxidants, especially Vitamin C. Red, yellow, orange and even purple peppers start out as green, and their color and taste change depending upon how long they are left on the vine to ripen. Red peppers pack the biggest nutrition punch because they remain on the vine longer than the others.
There are so many delicious ways to prepare and serve. Asparagus can be blanched, roasted, grilled, baked, or sauteéd. It can be added to salads, soups, pastas, breakfast dishes like frittatas, quiches and Eggs Benedict, wrapped with prosciutto for an easy appetizer or served as a simple side like this favorite of mine. Place spears in a large bowl and drizzle with melted butter. Toss to coat. Arrange asparagus in single layer on prepared baking sheet. Squeeze fresh lemon juice over the asparagus. Sprinkle with garlic powder, salt to taste and Parmesan cheese. Place in a preheated 400°F oven, and roast for 15-18 minutes until asparagus is lightly browned and crisp-tender.
Don’t miss out on the many health benefits this harbinger of spring has to offer. High in fiber and folate, and packed with vitamins like A, C, E and K, asparagus, especially purple, is also full of anthocyanins, an antioxidant that may help the body fight damaging free radicals.
Offers premium cuts of organic vegetables in an affordable 10 oz. steam in bag
Harvested at the peak of perfection and quick frozen to lock in vitamins and nutrients
Look for Hanover Organics in the Frozen Vegetable aisleWritten by Jane N. Golub Director In-Store Marketing Programs
HORIZON MACARONI & CHEESEIntroducing new Horizon Macaroni & Cheese. Horizon exists to bring nutritious solutions to mom, so she can provide a healthy foundation for her family. We all know kids love macaroni & cheese, but mom is looking for more products made with simple, delicious and responsibly produced ingredients. Horizon’s Mac & Cheese is the only national brand with “real organic cheese” in every box. You can find the “Classic” variety with “real organic cheese”, the Super Mac with “real organic cheese” and 12 grams of protein and the Organic Mac that is USDA Certified Organic. All varieties have no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives and no HFCS. Look for the Horizon Macaroni & Cheese in the Natural aisle. The Pictsweet Company – a family owned grower, packer and distributor of select vegetables since 1945. First there’s Pictsweet’s 9 oz. Steam Deluxe Edamame and Super Sweet Corn – “Edamame Succotash” as they say on their bright red bag! They blend Pictsweet’s Shelled Edamame with beautiful kernels of the sweetest corn in a steamable bag! Pictsweet takes Succotash to a trendy new level. Second is Pictsweet’s Deluxe 12 oz. Baby Leaf Kale, which is also unique to the Pictsweet brand. Pictsweet worked with their seed suppliers in their Tennessee backyard to get just the right variety that they grow and pack right here in the USA. It’s the same Baby Leaf variety served in many of the Northeast’s finest restaurants. Prized as a leafy green vegetable that is an excellent source of Vitamin A, it has zero grams of sugar, is very low in sodium and is naturally fat free. Look for the two new Pictsweet items in the Vegetable section of the Frozen aisle. Written by Tyler Blance- Produce Merchandising
Local Produce in our Brand New Marshalls Creek Store!Last week, we cut the ribbon and opened the doors of our brand new store in Marshalls Creek Pennsylvania, built in the beautiful countryside southeast of Scranton. Our Marshalls Creek store is chock full of unique items and local products, but one thing we are particularly proud of providing for our Marshalls Creek chopper shoppers is local fruits and vegetables. Journeying through the produce department of this rural PA store, shoppers are presented with a variety of fresh, local produce from nearby areas. A. Gurda Produce, a local grower in the Middletown, NY area happily supplied us with their beautiful locally grown lettuces and radishes straight from the farm. Andy Gurda’s crops are grown in what’s known as the “Black Dirt Region” of New York State; the dark, rich soil was created at the end of the Ice Age! Talk about a throwback. Marshalls Creek is a short drive away from the “Jersey Fresh” produce of the garden state: New Jersey. We featured a variety of Jersey Fresh items for our shoppers to explore: Blueberries grown under the popular “Top Crop” name, basil, green and yellow squash and cucumbers straight from Jersey were all on display in our colorful, freshly-stocked produce department. And to top it all off, we had a special visit from Top Crop’s own blueberry mascot and a member of the Donio farm operation! Locally grown produce is something we take a lot of pride in supplying throughout the communities and areas we’re a part of, so we were happy to add Marshalls Creek into the mix. As for the rest of our Chopper Shoppers, the local produce season is coming into full swing, so keep an eye out for locally grown fruits and vegetables in your neighborhood Price Chopper! I’ll be updating you throughout the summer with locally grown happenings, so check back to see what’s growing on near you!
Produce for Kids® and Price Chopper are partnering for the Get Healthy, Give Hope campaign to raise funds for local Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals®. From June 16 to July 27, the more produce you add to your shopping list, the more hope we can give to local children!
To learn more about the campaign, visit the Produce for Kids display, featuring Sportacus and Chica from Sprout® TV, in the produce section of all Price Chopper stores to pick up easy-to-prepare recipes and a shopping list of all participating products.
You can also visit the Produce for Kids Facebook page to enter the Get Healthy with Produce for Kids Sweepstakes for the chance to win a Sprout gift basket and grocery store gift cards. In addition, Produce for Kids will be holding weekly giveaways on Facebook, Twitter and Instragram throughout the campaign.
As part of the campaign, popular Sprout characters will interact with kids at two Produce for Kids’ in-store appearances, featuring popular characters from the Super Why show, from 11:30am-2:30pm on June 29 at the Price Chopper located on 167 W. Main Street, Hopkinton, MA 01748 and from 11:30am-2:30pm on July 13 at the Price Chopper located at 4547 Milford Road, East Stroudsburg, PA 18302.
The following companies proudly support the Get Healthy, Give Hope campaign and your local Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals: A. Gurda Produce Romaine & Boston Lettuce, Radishes & Red C Potatoes; Dole® Salads; SUNSET® Campari® Brand Cocktail Tomatoes; NatureSweet® Glorys™ Perfect Ingredient Tomatoes, Olivia’s Organics™ Organic Packaged Salads; Shuman Produce – RealSweet® Vidalia® Onions; Summeripe® Peaches, Plums, & Nectarines; Turbana® Bananas
Visit www.produceforkids.com/pricechopper for more information.