Produce

rainbow chard

Walk into Healthy Living and the first thing you’ll see is our gorgeous Produce Department, a wild and wonderful world of the freshest, highest-quality fruits and veggies you’ll find anywhere! We buy direct from our beloved local farms throughout the year, so our produce is about as fresh as if you’d picked it yourself. We’ve been working with local farmers for over 20 years and love doing business with this amazing community of hard-working people, who form the backbone of Vermont. We have a plethora of local and organic options, produce from ecologically grown and wild-crafted sources, and the cleanest conventional alternatives at the best prices. From local greens and snap peas, to seasonal apples and berries, we have everything a great Produce Department needs, plus a few fun, seasonal surprises! Not sure what celeriac is? Wanna know the best way to prepare morels? Just ask our produce staff – they’re always there to help!

Department News

I Can, You Can, We All Can Can!

By Erin McGuire  •  Tuesday, August 18th, 2015

pickles_canning

You know what time it is?  That’s right: it’s canning time!  (That’s what you said, right?  I’m sure it was.)

We know we’re not the only people who are excited about this.  Everywhere you look, fruits and vegetables abound- it seems like something new and gorgeously ripe is coming into season every week.  Personally, heirloom tomatoes are my weak spot; I love them all and enjoy how they are each delicious in their own unique ways (although if push comes to shove, it’s the Cherokee Purples and Black Prince varieties at the top of my list, no question about it).  Local peaches are also mind-blowingly good.  And crisp, local cucumbers.  And sweet red beets.  And beans.  And corn.  And blueberries.

Okay, it’s all good.  The problem is my fridge and freezer are only so big and as much as I’m thrilled by summer produce, variety is equally delightful (in fact, it’s a necessity) and I don’t want to eat heirloom tomatoes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day.  However, I certainly don’t want them to go to waste, either!

Canning is by far the best solution to this scrumptious conundrum.  By canning, there’s no rush to eat all the fresh fruits & veggies before they go bad, space in the fridge becomes available, and I can get the variety my body craves every day.  Plus, and this is a big plus, canning allows me to eat the summer sunshine year-round.  There’s something so thoroughly satisfying about making a homemade tomato soup in midwinter (sorry to bring that up, but it’s coming and we can’t deny it)  using tomatoes I put up myself months earlier.

Preserving the season’s harvest is easy when you have the right tools, and we just happen to have everything you need!  Check out this equipment that can make home canning a breeze:

Ball Jars in every size imaginable… from adorable quilted jelly jars to wide mouth quarts, we have practically any size you need to preserve everything from blueberry jam to whole kosher pickles.  Also, we carry them as both individual jars and in cases so whether you need a few or a bunch, we’ll have what you need.

Ball Jar Lids in regular and wide mouth sizes… especially good for seasoned canning folk who have oodles of jars but need to replace the one-time use lids.

Heritage 2015 Ball Jars… in purple!  Okay, strictly speaking, one doesn’t need a purple jar in order to successfully can but with these limited edition regular mouth pints and wide mouth quarts (celebrating 100 years of American Canning Heritage) one can can in style.  Purple is the last color in the line-up and we recommend grabbing them while you can (no pun intended, although that actually works quite well, doesn’t it?)

Progressive International’s Canning Essentials… featuring a spring-loaded jar lifter that you can use with one hand, a canning funnel with measurements so you can get exactly the right amount of headspace, and a magnetic lid lifter to safely retrieve lids from boiling water, this kit is seriously fantastic for new canners.

RSVP International’s Canning Kit… features all the classic tools used most often in home canning.  It has a PVC-coated jar lifter with plastic handles, a canning funnel, a magnetic lid lifter, plus a jar opener and PVC-coated tongs.  All that’s missing are the jars!

And of course, we have the fruits and vegetables!  We’re positively overflowing with them and they are simply amazing.

Happy canning season to one and all!

 

 


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