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Home Freezing and Food Preservation Ideas: Fruits and Veggies

The beginner's guide to preserving fresh produce.

Freezer Recipes for Preserving Fruits and Vegetables continued...

Nutrition Information: Per 1/8 cup serving: 45 calories, 0.2 g protein, 12 g carbohydrate, 0.1 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 0.6 g fiber, 10 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 2%.

1-Hour Apple Pie Apple Butter


14 cup peeled and cored apple slices, about 10 large green apples (3.5 pounds)

3/4 cup apple cider (or apple juice)

2 tablespoons apple brandy or liqueur such as amaretto

2 teaspoons apple pie spice

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoon lemon juice


  1. In large, heavy-bottomed nonstick saucepan, combine apple slices, apple cider, brandy or liqueur, apple pie spice, sugar, and lemon juice. Begin heating mixture over medium-high heat. Cover saucepan and cook, stirring often with a large wooden spoon, until apples are broken down to applesauce-like consistency (about 30 minutes).
  2. Use a potato masher or the back of a large spoon to mash any large pieces of apple if necessary. Remove cover and reduce heat to LOW (or SIMMER if your stove runs hot). Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until applesauce turns into apple butter (very thick and dark), about 30 more minutes.
  3. Remove saucepan from heat and let mixture cool about 15 minutes. Spoon apple butter into small, clean, airtight containers. It will keep for up to one month in the refrigerator or up to six months in the freezer. If you use 1-cup containers, you'll fill about three to four containers.

Yield: Makes about 3 cups of apple butter (24 servings of 2 tablespoons each)

WebMD Weight Loss Clinic members: Journal as 1/2 cup canned fruit in heavy syrup OR frozen sweetened fruit OR 1 portion fresh fruit

Nutrition Information: Per serving: 80 calories, 0.2 g protein, 20 g carbohydrate, 0.2 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 2.2 g fiber, 1 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 2%.

Blender Marinara Sauce for Your Freezer


3/4 cup chopped yellow or sweet onion

4 cups chopped vine-ripened fresh tomatoes (can use Roma tomatoes)

1 teaspoon dried basil leaves (or 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil)

1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves

1/4 cup tomato paste

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 teaspoons minced or chopped garlic

1 1/2 teaspoons sugar (optional)

1/4 teaspoon salt (or more to taste)

1/4 teaspoon black pepper (or more to taste)


  1. Heat a large nonstick saucepan over medium heat; coat generously with olive oil or canola cooking spray. Saute onions and garlic in the saucepan, stirring frequently, until lightly browned (about four minutes). Set pan aside.
  2. In blender bowl, combine tomatoes, basil, oregano, tomato paste, olive oil, garlic, sugar, salt and pepper by pulsing briefly (there should still be small lumps). Stir in the onion/garlic mixture.
  3. Let tomato sauce cool 20-30 minutes, then pour into a quart- or gallon-size sealable plastic freezer bag (or a 1-quart plastic freezer container).
  4. When ready to serve, let it thaw in the microwave or overnight in the refrigerator, then place it in a medium, nonstick saucepan. Cook over low heat, uncovered, long enough to blend the flavors (about 15 minutes). Serve with pasta or other dishes.

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