Small Batch Preserving

This past weekend, I harvested about 5 pounds of tomatoes, 3 or so cups of lima beans, and a whole bunch of green beans.

Too much to eat but not enough to can.

What do I do when this happens?

Preserve in small batches! Small-batch preserving is a great way to make sure the veggies I’ve worked so hard to grow don’t go to waste.

Here’s how I preserve lima beans, tomatoes, and green beans—all in small batches.

Small batch preserving: tomatoes, lima beans, green beans

Lima Beans

Lima beans are a lesson in patience every year. I always expect them to be ready earlier than they are and I most definitely have to get in my zone when it comes to shelling them.

I’m not really complaining because both my husband and I love lima beans. It’s worth the lesson!

I have to admit I’ve never canned lima beans—I always freeze them. Here’s the nifty way I do it because there’s no blanching required. Yay!

Tomatoes

I love slow roasting and freezing tomatoes. However, I don’t always want to take the time or heat up the kitchen. In the past, I’ve frozen whole tomatoes but they usually just hung out in the freezer for way too long.

Today, I decided to stew and freeze the tomatoes. Could not be any easier and I’m looking forward to using these tomatoes in soups and stews this winter.

Green Beans

At last count, I have 12 pints of canned green beans. That might not be enough for some but it’s a good start for my husband and me.

After this weekend’s bean harvest, I didn’t feel like canning again and decided to freeze the green beans, which I usually blanch.

However, sometimes I cook the beans with garlic and black pepper for 30 minutes or so.

After I cook the beans, I fill a jar with them, add cooking liquid, let them cool, pop on a lid, and then pop them in the freezer. They’ll be great in soups and stews along with the tomatoes.

A Note About Containers

I try to stay away from one-time use plastic (like freezer bags, etc.). While it’s not always possible, I’ve been happily freezing in both Ball freezer jars (yes, I know they’re plastic but they’re reusable) and Ball wide mouth mason jars.

Learn how to freeze food in mason jars.