Best ways to store vegetables and fruit for the winter
Spring and summer are not only treating us well with sunny weather and relaxed atmosphere, they also offer an abundance of mouth-watering fruits and vegetables. From cherries, plums and various types of berries to tomatoes, cucumbers and other delicious veggies, gardens are thriving during the spring and summer days. It would be a shame not to store some of them for the winter.
Drying: Drying preserves food by reducing the moisture content, thus preventing spoilage organisms to grow. From herbs, vegetables and fruit to meat and fish – just about everything can be dried. Food can be dried several ways; either by the air in hot and dry climates, in an oven or using a dehydrator. It is recommended to dry just one type of food at once and slice fruits and veggies to the same thickness.
Pickling: Any fresh vegetable and even some fruits, such as pineapples and blueberries, can be pickled. Just add vinegar, herbs or spices of your choice, salt and sugar, if required. Pickling is a good way to preserve perishable foods for few months. However, don’t forget: pickled food is not canned food.
Canning: Food that is canned is kept in jars or other hermetically sealed contaners, that have been sterilized by heat. You can go for water bath canning, which includes filling jars with acidic food, such as tomatoes or cucumbers in vinegar, covering the jars with lids and boiling them in water until a seal is formed under the lid. Or you can decide on a more advanced method, called pressure canning.
Sugaring: Tasty jams and marmalades, served with butter and freshly pressed orange juice, are a great choice for a winter breakfast. Therefore, grab your favourite fruit, boil it to reduce water content and add sugar to prevent the regrowth of bacteria.
Freezing: It is a great thing to have your lunch almost ready during busy working weeks. Frozen make-ahead meals can be taken out of the freezer, put into a refrigerator during the night and cooked just when you're ready to eat. Additionally, fruit and vegetables in your freezer are a good choice for making delicious desserts or tasty sauces during cold winter weekends.
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