Store The Taste of Summer!
Don’t let your summer produce go to waste this year. If you have far too much to eat now, use these methods to store the taste of summer! Creating something new out of your produce is extremely satisfying and you’ll save money by storing produce through winter.
It’s best to chill any perishable crops (such as fruit) before preserving
them. Don’t wash newly-picked veg until you just before preserving as this can encourage bacteria growth.
Certain fruit and vegetables need to be preserved in the same way, take a look at how to preserve your produce below -
- Root vegetables need to be stored, frozen, conserved or pickled.
- Onions can be stored, frozen, dried, conserved or pickled.
- Apples store extremely well. They can be stored, frozen, dried, bottled, conserved or pickled.
- Soft fruit must be frozen, bottled, conserved or pickled.
- Vegetable fruits must be frozen, dried, conserved or pickled.
- Tomatoes have to be either frozen, dried, bottled, conserved or pickled.
- Pods and cobs aren’t great at preserving but can still be frozen, dried or pickled.
- Brassicas are probably the worst veg to preserve. You can free or pickle them.
Making pickles, chutneys and ketchups is a brilliant way to preserve veg with a little extra something! Use a combination of vinegar, salt or sugar to preserve and add spices for flavour. If your crops haven’t quite ripened in time, try to make green tomato chutney – a brilliant alternative. Ketchup is made in a similar way to chutney, just pureed. Remember to remove the seeds and skin using a sieve before mixing. Regular pickles shouldn’t be missed either – salt vegetables first to remove moisture and then boil with vinegar and sugar to make a sweet pickle. Fruit and vegetables conserved in this way must be eaten within a year.
Freezing will keep the vitamin content of the crop and stop bacteria from spreading and spoiling the produce. Blanch veg first in boiling water straight after picking. Cool quickly then dry and pack into bags. Beans, sprouts and broccoli are the most successful veg. Slice apples and plums then toss with lemon and sugar before freezing.
Drying out food prevents bacteria from multiplying. Apples must be cored, sliced and soaked in salt water before stringing in indoor washing lines for 3-5 days. This technique is also great for chillies and mushrooms too. Tomatoes should be halved, covered with salt and then left to dry on baking parchment in the oven. You can then store them in jars of olive oil. You can alternatively buy a dehydrator for about £50 or use an over on low heat.
Sugar keeps bacteria at bay. Simmer fruit in a pan before adding sugar. Boil currants in water and add sugar, boil again for 10-15 minutes, put a dollop of the mixture on a plate and if it wrinkles its ready to put in jars! Use any conserved fruit within a year.
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