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Prudent Pantry: Preserving Leeks

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If you read My Garden post from yesterday you will remember that I have an abundant leek crop this year.

fall garden, prudent living

September Leeks

I plan to leave some of the leeks in the garden until after the first frost. However I have so many I wanted to put some in the freezer now while I have some free time.

Leeks belong to the onion family and they look a bit like an overgrown scallion! I love to add them to casseroles, soups or quiches. I’ve never heard of canning leeks but there are some other ways to preserve your leeks so you can enjoy them during the cold winter months.

Short term they will store quite well in your refrigerator. It’s pretty easy to prepare them to store in your fridge, just place them in a loose fitting plastic bag and plan to use them in seven days.

Leeks can also be frozen. They may not be as fresh as a fresh leek but used in a soup or casserole they will still be delicious. To freeze the leeks, remove the outer layer and rinse thoroughly. Slice the leek into thin circles.

leeks, preserving, prudent living

Cut leeks.

Place the sliced leeks in a freeze bag, seal, label and date the contents. You should plan to use them within three months for the best taste.

freezing, prudent living

Leeks ready for the freezer.

You can also dry your leeks. I use my dehydrator to preserve some of my leeks. Again remove the outer layer and slice into 1/4 inch circles.Place the leeks on your dehydrator trays.

dehydrating, preserving

Dehydrating leeks.

Dry at 100 degrees for 18 hours or until crisp. You could also dry them in your oven by baking at 170 degrees for 6 hours. Place the dried leek in a sealable bag and store in a cool area. To re-hydrate them, soak in hot water for at least 30 minutes and then drain.

No matter how you decide to preserve your leeks try to leave them in the ground for as long as possible. Once your temperatures drop to freezing, the leeks remaining in the garden should be harvested.

Linked to: HomemakersChallenge, LittleHouseInTheSuburbs, LauraWilliamsMusings, ThePrudentPantry, HomesteadRevival, ThePrairieHomestead, TheMorrisTribe, PreMeditatedLeftovers, CraftyGardenMama, GastronomicalSovereignty, WeAreThatFamily

22 Responses to Prudent Pantry: Preserving Leeks

  • This is awesome! I love leeks. Can’t wait to try this. :)

  • Lori says:

    I love to garden but I have never grown leeks. I just may have to try this!! Thanks for posting and I’m glad I stopped over from the DIY link up.

  • This is great! Thank you for sharing this at the Carnival of Home Preserving!

  • I’ve tried growing leeks. They’re easy to grow, though mine never got terribly big like you see in the story. Leek and potato soup is one of my favorite fall soups.

  • Nancy says:

    Barb,
    I love potato leek soup, it’s on my menu calendar for this week!

  • Lisa says:

    Interesting post! I’ve been growing leeks for the last 3 years, but have never tried preserving them. I find them very easy to grow….they are usually the first thing I plant in the spring, and the last thing I harvest in the fall. So far, I haven’t touched a one of them, but we are starting to go down pretty low at night here, so it won’t be too much longer! Thanks for all the tips.

  • Becky says:

    Thanks for sharing these great tips on leeks. I haven’t grown them in the garden yet, but maybe we’ll give them a whirl next year. Thanks for sharing your post on Tuesday Greens!

  • I found this post so interesting! I did not realise you could freeze leeks. I love to use leeks in cooking and it will be very handy to have them on hand like that.

  • Nancy says:

    April,
    I did not realize until last year that you could freeze leeks! I’m so glad a friend shared the info with me!

  • I just picked up a leek at our farms share the other day and I never know what to do, so these ideas will buy me some time… Do you do anything to the leeks before dehydrating them? Or would you recommend just freezing it… or maybe I should just cook it. Found your link on Wednesday Fresh Foods.

    Lyza

    Chic Shades of Green

  • Nancy says:

    Lyza,
    I would recommend just freezing them, you can then just use them when ready. If you want to drynthem just slice and dry, that’s all there is to it!

  • Elsa says:

    Thanks for sharing with Hearth and Soul! I’ve been wondering about preserving leeks. I thought maybe I could dehydrate them, but I wasn’t sure about freezing. I will be trying!

  • This post is definitely great, you will find some other individuals?Introduce some to me.
    Cheap Jerseys

  • Wendy Klik says:

    Thanks for the great info. I have a lot of leeks from my CSA and originally considered making soup and freezing that but this actually will work much better for me.

  • Koni Johnson says:

    I dry them and then run them through a grinder.It’s just like onion powder except leeks.I put it in everthing I can.

  • Nancy says:

    Koni,
    What a wonderful idea! I’m going to try this!

  • Michele Hufnagel says:

    We live in Michigan. We pile straw on top of the leeks and let the snow pile up over the leeks. When the ground freezes, it pulls away from the leeks. We harvest them from the ground all winter and they are delicious!

  • Nancy says:

    Michele,
    We did that with carrots when we lived in Maine but I never thought to use that technique with leeks! Thanks for stopping by and sharing your wisdom!

  • Jess says:

    thank you so much for the idea/instructions on how to dry leeks! I did this today with my whole harvest and it was perfect. I used the oven method and it took about 5 hours. I used a coffee grinder to grind them up. They are *perfect*

  • Nancy says:

    Jess,
    I think dehydrating is a wonderful way to preserve your harvest!

  • Paul W. says:

    This is my first year growing leeks and now I have a bunch of them. I am greatly relieved that I can dry the dark green part (my favorite part), because I don’t have room in my freezer for them! The white part I left whole, though, and left only about 1″ of green at their tops before putting into freezer in freezer bags. I hope that’s okay.
    Some say to blanche first. I didn’t.
    The dark green part I’ve got spread out on my carpet, drying. I’ll put them in the oven at 170 degrees tomorrow. Thanks again.

  • Nancy says:

    I slice my leeks and then either freeze or dehydrate, both work very well for me!

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