I tried to hold off on picking them, so I could share the joy of ripe figs right off the tree with my mom who loves figs and is coming to visit soon, but alas, the figs had their own schedule and ripened already. I picked a big bowl today and made a 6 pint batch of low sugar jam that I am not sure will set right even though I did add pectin. We shall see, I guess.
I also made 3 pints of walnut pesto since our CSA gave us a pound and a half of delicious smelling basil. That went in the freezer for later use along with the previous pint I had made.
Tomorrow is my turn to host dinner club. We will be having raw(ish) tacos inspired by a recipe for “Solar Tacos” that came from Alexandra Demetro, a wonderful ND and midwife. I made the taco “meat” out of sunflower seeds and cashews from Azure Standard mixed together with some home made salsa using local, organic yellow tomatoes from Organically Grown Company, onions from our CSA and Anaheim peppers grown by yours truly in our very own backyard. I also made extra salsa, and have a big bowl of pinto beans soaking on the counter for making refried beans tomorrow. I will shred some raw Wisconsin cheese, make some guacamole, cut up some lettuce, and call it a meal. Easy and almost no cooking required!
Summer is wonderful with so many local options. I am waiting for tomatoes to be in full season so I can make a bunch of pasta sauces or at least just can a whole bunch of tomatoes. I really don’t want to buy more canned tomatoes after learning about the ridiculously high levels of BPA in the lining of the cans… Peaches are also in season, and I should probably freeze a bunch for use later in smoothies, peach cobbler and other yummy goodness.
I know eating locally and in season is important for the environment, the economy, and for health reasons, but I am wondering about putting up food for the winter… I am concerned about cost, but mainly about the destruction of enzymes and vitamins during the canning process. Does anyone know what the nutritional value is of canned foods compared to frozen or fresh? And also, adding all that sugar to the fruit and berries still has me feeling ill at ease– all that sugar just can’t be healthy. So is it better to freeze or can? From a nutrition stand point, is it more economical to buy locally when food is cheap and in season, and preserve it for later use? Or is it better to buy fresh food year round, but at a greater expense and from a reasonably farther location? What would you do? I am obviously confused…