There are several preservation alternatives if you want to save summer produce for the winter. Canning, freezing and pickling are the most popular. If you’re new to food preservation, here are some tips to guide you.
1. Use the best quality produce you can find. Fruits and veggies that are overripe are better for purees, sauces and soups than preserving whole. If there are bruises or soft spots, cut them off. However, if there is too much decay, the produce is not a good candidate for preserving.
2. If you are canning, inspect jars for cracks or chips and make sure the lids aren’t bent. Do not use defective jars, lids or sealing rings for canning. Those darling vintage jars you found at the garage sale are better for a decorating project. For canning, use new or gently used. It’s important to adhere to strict safety rules. Old jars might not hold up well in water baths. Remember, you don’t want to make anyone sick.
3. Wash jars in the dishwasher before using. The high heat from the drying cycle will sterilize them.
4. For novice canners, it’s best to start with tomatoes or fruits that have high amounts of acid. Acid is enemy of bacteria. Wait until you’ve got some experience to can meat or other low-acid foods.
5. If you are freezing fruit, wash and dry pieces well. Berries and cherries should be frozen in a single layer and then transferred to a zipper-closed freezer bag. Remove as much air as you can. I like to use a straw to suck out air. My own DIY Cryovac. You can also cut fruit into smaller pieces and remove seeds or pits first, too. Remember that the fruit will have more moisture when it’s thawed and will be best used in baking, jams/jellies and smoothies, rather than eating out of hand.
This week, the Sunday Supper tastemakers developed recipes that save the best of the summer harvest for later in the year. They had a blast coming up with ways for us all to enjoy blackberries in the dead of winter or stretching our skills by learning to use the dehydrator. We know you’ll want to try Books n’ Cooks‘ Blackberry Chia Seed Jam and Watermelon Butter from Palatable Pastime. How fantastic to be able to save a little sunshine for a wintry day. Almost makes it easier to say good-bye to the long days of summer. Almost.
Join us at 7 p.m. ET tonight for our weekly live Twitter chat. You can bet this week’s online dish will be lively thanks to hosts Stacy of Food Lust People Love and Heather of Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks. In the meantime, check out this week’s recipes:
- Blackberry Chia Seed Jam from Books -n- Cooks
- Cherry Lemon Jam from Food Lust People Love
- Chocolate Blackberry Preserves from The Redhead Baker
- Gilded Bluebarb Jam from What Smells So Good?
- Hamburger Dill Chips from A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Piri Piri Hot Sauce from Curious Cuisiniere
- Southwestern Salsa from The Freshman Cook
- Spiced Peach Jam from Cosmopolitan Cornbread
- Spiced Vanilla Rhubarb Jam from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Strawberry Balsamic Syrup from Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Watermelon Butter from Palatable Pastime
- Blueberry Peach Fruit Roll-Ups from Cupcakes & Kale Chips
- Dried Pineapple from Take A Bite Out of Boca
- Fermented Spicy Daikon Spears + A Cocktail from Culinary Adventures with Camilla
- Simple Pickled Cabbage from Simply Healthy Family
- How to Freeze Blueberries from Pies and Plots
- Peach Crisp from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Roast Tomato Soup with Basil-Butter Croutons from Caroline’s Cooking
- Summer Veggies from Momma’s Meals
- Raspberry Vinegar from Magnolia Days
- Black Radish Pickles from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
- Bread & Butter Pickles from Adventures in All Things Food
- Homemade Bread and Butter Pickles from Life Tastes Good
- Mustard Pickles from Jane’s Adventures in Dinner
- Pickled Cherries with Five Spices from Nosh My Way
Preserving in oil or butter
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