Top 5 Ways to Preserve and Store Your Garden Harvest

Garden Vegetables
Garden Vegetables

There is always a special feeling attached to planting in a garden, seeing it grow, harvesting, preserving, storing, and then enjoying the fruits of your hard work. The periods where you have more great yields from your garden harvest are indeed a blessing, but for you to enjoy your garden produce all year round you need to learn to preserve them. Food Preservation and storage is fast becoming somewhat of a lost art, and it is quite embarrassing. Our great-grandmothers and grandmas all witnessed the basic economic movements and placed real value in learning and teaching food preservation to their daughters to take similar actions.

Some may be of the view that such skills are not as significant in this modern era, but I believe self-sufficiency is at all times very important. What necessary actions you take when you see an excellent deal at farmers marketplace or the grocery store? What is your response like when you get offers for agreement on a bushel of the harvest that always gets your attention in one way or another? What steps do you take when you get a bountiful harvest of green beans, berries, and others? There is only so much of any one food you can eat before you start losing your appetite or it begins to go wrong. If you know much about preserving your garden harvest, you can apply it and use your preserved produce all year round. Learning to protect and store your garden harvest is a practical skill we all need to utilize.

Dry Pack Frozen Strawberries
Dry Pack Frozen Strawberries

Freeze your Harvest

An excellent place to begin preserving and storing your garden harvest is by freezing it. Freezing is a unique way of storing fruits such as berries and peaches that have short lifespan especially once they are ripe. It is quite comfortable and straightforward, and anybody can do it. All you need do is cook your harvest into some preferred freezer friendly meals, or wash and blanch them before preserving them by freezing. Blanching veggies are essential for the reason that it stops enzymatic action (preserving color, flavor, texture) and eliminates bacteria.

The only real drawback of freezing is that you have a limited amount of space in your freezer. You can also develop the habit of placing labels (with dates) on frozen food as well. By taking this step, you would know the content before pulling it out to defrost and how long you preserved it in there. The following fruits freeze particularly well:

  • Blanched apples and beans (including runner and French)
  • Blueberries
  • Cranberries
  • Gooseberries
  • Peas
  • Rhubarb
  • Raspberries
Homemade Jam
Homemade Jam

Can your Harvest

Canning is amongst the most useful ways to preserving food. Most of us still have memories of our grannies canning fruits and vegetables. It is almost a lost skill that needs reviving. There are two known canning approaches:

  • Pressure Canning. And
  • Water Bath Canning.

The water bath canning is safer for most produce like fruits and jams. Nevertheless, if you wish to can meat or low-acidic veggies like green beans, you will be required to make use of pressure canning to make sure the preserving is safe. If you live in areas with considerable altitude, you also are expected to pressure can.

Everything you make can be canned, from chili and green beans to peas and pie filling too. Canning is feasibly most splendid due to its zero-space requirement in your freezer or fridge. You can also store canned foods in your basement, pantry, root cellar, or on kitchen shelves. Heck, you can preserve canned foods underneath the spare bed if you do not have enough space! Properly canned food lasts a lot more than any other means of preservation or storage.  Canning offers a great way to preserve your garden harvest and feeding your home.

If you have not done the canning process before, it is best you learn from trusted guidelines available. One of the things to bear in mind with the canning process is that higher levels of heat can affect part of the nutritious content of your canned food. So, it is worth discovering other food preservation and storing types.

Jars of Dehydrated Fruit
Jars of Dehydrated Fruit

Dehydrate your Harvest

If you lack enough space for storage, you can also consider dehydrating your food. You even can begin by making use of your oven pre-configured to its minimum level. Try drying some slices of apple, cereal, or any other food type you use in baking all through the year. You can make further exploration and make fun finger food like fruit leather, kale chips, and even dried vegetables that you can use in making soup.

Pickled Vegetables
Pickled Vegetables

Pickle  your Harvest

Another old-fashioned favorite, this method preserves and stores food by pickling it. When you hear somebody say “pickling” veggies, it at most times often implies they are keeping the vegetables in vinegar. Due to vinegar’s acetic acid constituent (should be no less than 5%), several sources say that produce conserved in it do not require to be chilled. Pickling involves dipping them in salt water made from salt, sugar, water, and other pickling spices. You also can make use of fresh leaves by inserting them in vinegar, then letting them stay close to 2 months in the dark. At this stage, you can strain them out and leave a pleasing flavored vinegar which you can use in dressings and other things.

The most frequently pickled item is obviously pickling, and it is an exceptional place to begin. But do not stop there. You can also pickle cabbage, carrots, okra, peppers, and a wider variety of other fruits and vegetables. Play with it and discover more choices you might like. Pickled plants make an excellent addition to snacks and salads all through the year. Once you begin pickling, you might just resolve to try fermentation on a bigger scale. It is a slippery slope, and you have been cautious.

Dry Beans Stored in Pantry
Dry Beans Stored in Pantry

Cold Store your Harvest

Another excellent method is the least Cold Store. It is the most straightforward means of preserving and storing food. Fruits like apples, cabbages, and root vegetables can be stored well in a cold, dark, and dry place. This storing option is the reason most houses have root cellars. Nowadays, your pantry might also be an excellent location for storing and preserving this type of product. If you are lucky to own a basement, you could smartly arrange some shelves around to keep loads of food for the coming months.

CONCLUSION

Learning a preservation and storage process for your garden harvest is vital to enjoying your hard work. Preservation and storage process for food during the harvest months are created to make your produce last long into the winter periods. Although some means might best be suited for some garden produce, you would always find a method to meet your demands. They are lots of information online relating to how to safely and adequately preserve and store your harvest. You can learn and apply such steps towards self-support and economic freedom. Learning new ways is always fun, and I can assure you would enjoy the processes involved in each of the techniques mentioned above. Yes, practice makes perfect, so whenever it is time to enjoy your garden harvest, always remember to set some aside and apply these storage techniques.

Buttery Baked Carrots

Buttery Baked Carrots Side Dish
Buttery Baked Carrots Side Dish

I found this recipe in one of my old cookbooks from the 1940s and it makes a quick and easy side when the weather is cool in the fall and winter. Especially, when you need to put a side dish on the table for a holiday celebration like Thanksgiving or Christmas. This can be a really easy side dish to make, if you take advantage of the shortcut method and replace the grating stage with matchstick carrots which simplifies the process and saves time.

Buttery Baked Carrots Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. Fresh Carrots
  • ½ cup Maple Blended Syrup
  • ½ cup Butter or Margarine, Melted
  • ½ tsp. Salt (Optional)
  • ½ Pepper (Optional)
  • ½ tsp. Cinnamon (Optional)

Buttery Baked Carrots Recipe Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Wash, peel and coarsely grate 2 lbs. fresh carrots, to measure 8 cups.
  • Place grated carrots in a 2 1/2- to 3 qt. Casserole pa
  • Add maple syrup
  • Add melted butter or margarine
  • Add salt, pepper, and cinnamon.
  • Toss gently until thoroughly coated
  • Place in oven to bake, covered
  • Use a pair of tongs to stir after about 15 minutes.
  • Return to oven for final 15 minutes, until carrots are tender
  • Stir before serving.

Buttery Baked Carrots Servings

  • Serves 6 to 8.

Buttery Baked Carrots Notes

  • Turnips, rutabaga or parsnips provide ideal alternates to the carrots in this delicious recipe
  • As a shortcut, the grated carrots can be replaced with matchstick carrots, which is a serious time saver.

What is a Panna Cotta?

Panna cotta with fruits and mint
Panna cotta with fruits and mint

The Panna Cotta is an elegant super simple dessert to prepare, made with flavored milk and set with gelatin.

A variety of cream and milk types can be used to create a Panna Cotta which may include whole milk, skim milk, condensed milk, evaporated milk or even in some cases a combination of milk and yogurt or cheese, such as, cream cheese, ricotta cheese, or cottage cheese.

Traditionally, the flavored Panna Cotta serves as a base and is decorated in flavored with additional toppings, sauces, fruits, and berries.

Most frequently seen in restaurant settings, Panna Cotta’s are a very simple and fashionable dish to serve at home and every cook should learn to make it.

Panna Cotta Related References

Slow Cooker Ham Hock Kettle Beans

Bowl Of Ham Hock Kettle Beans
Bowl Of Ham Hock Kettle Beans

This recipe is the epitome of home comfort food.  With a bit of cornbread and a tab of unsalted butter mix in my bowl, this one of my favorite breakfasts. Although, most people will think of it as a dinner dish.

Ham Hook Kettle Bean Ingredients

  • 1-pound pinto beans
  • 1/2 large onion, minced, (about 3/4 cup)
  • 3 celery stalks, diced (about 1 cup) (optional)
  • 1 medium carrot, diced (about ½ cup)  (optional)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 large smoked ham hock
  • 6 to 8 cups of chicken broth, vegetable broth, or water
  • 2 teaspoon blended chili powder  (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon ham base (optional)
  • 1 cup chopped ham hock or 1 large whole ham hock
  • Salt and pepper, to taste (optional)

Ham Hook Kettle Bean Directions

  • Glean the beans removing any foreign items like stones, dirt clods, bits of leaves, twigs, etc.
  • Wash the beans in cool water by covering the beans with water and stirring them. Then carefully dump off the water letting any small bit’s flow away with the water. This process should be repeated until the water remains clear and clean.
  • Cook’s Note: I usually wash my beans in the slow cooker pot to save on dishes.
  • Add the beans, onions, celery, carrots, garlic, bay leaf, blended chili powder, hame base, and ham hock to the empty slow cooker.
  • Fill the slow cooker with 6 to 8 cups of chicken broth, vegetable broth or water, but no more than a ½ inch from the top, so, it will not boil over.
  • Cook’s Note: to expedite the cooking process, I usually heat the broth in the microwave a couple of cups at a time and poor the broth in the slow cooker.
  • Cover and slow cook for 5 ½ -6½ hours on high, or 7 ½ -8½ hours on low until beans have softened and begin to fall apart.
  • Cook’s Note: I usually put the beans on in the early evening on high, when retiring for the night, I turn the slow cooker down to low for the night; adding broth, if necessary to ensure the beans will not run dry during the night.
  • Remove the bay leaf; also, remove the ham hock bone and skin from the slow cooker and strip off any meat. Chop any large pieces of meat, which you see and add back into the slow cooker.
  • Salt and pepper, to taste if desired.

Shortcut Corn Chowder

Corn Chowder
Simple Weeknight Corn Chowder

The shortcut corn chowder is an easy soup for any weeknight. The basic soup only has three ingredients, which can be easily embellished according to your taste.

  • The shortcut corn chowder is an easy soup for any weeknight. The basic soup only has three ingredients, which can be easily embellished according to your taste.The basic ingredients are:
    • One can of condensed Cream of potato soup
    • One can cream of corn
    • Two cans equivalence of milk for one can equivalent of milk and one can equivalent of vegetable or chicken broth

    Combine and stir well in a saucepan. Then, heat on medium low temperature, stirring occasionally, until the pot a thoroughly warm and just starting to simmer. At that point, it’s ready to serve.

    If you want to embellish the recipe a little bit here are some ideas:

    • Add some chopped fresh green onion or chives to that color
    • Some folks, like that a little bit of black pepper
    • Bacon bits or, even, a little butter

What is Fruit Butter?

Apple and Rhubarb Fruit Butte
Apple and Rhubarb Fruit Butter

Fruit Butter is a preserve, much the same as Jams and Jellies, which once cooked to a paste has a dense, smooth, and creamy consistency and an excellent accompaniment for toast, scones, and bread.  However, fruit butter is much lower in sugar and sweeteners.  Fruit butter is an old concept, which has been in use, at least, since the 1700’s.

Cherry Pie Recipe

Cherry Pie
Cherry Pie

Cherry pie may well be my favorite type of pie, there is something about the combination of sweet and tart which appeals to my taste buds. And in the early summer, when cherries are in season, what better way to take advantage of the abundance of this fruit. I have very fond memories of family cherry trees in our neighborhood, which metaphorically produce tons of cherries every summer or, perhaps, given the number of trees in our neighborhood when I was growing up, not so metaphorically.

Cherry pie ingredients
Cherry pie ingredients

Cherry pie ingredients

  • Butter 150 gr (5 oz)
  • Eggs 2 pieces (only yolks)
  • Sugar 200 gr (7oz) (100 gr in the dough and 100 gr in the jam)
  • Vanilla sugar 10 gr (1\2 oz)
  • Lemon juice 1 tsp.
  • Salt pinch (1/8 tsp.)
  • Flour 250 gr 8 oz(1/2 lb. )
  • Cherry 200 gr (7 oz)
  • Cinnamon 1 tsp. (optional)
  • Cornstarch 1 tsp.

Cherry pie cooking directions

Cherry pie crust ingredients
Cherry pie crust ingredients
  • Let’s the pie crust; to do this, we mix sugar lemon juice and butter

Note: the butter must be very soft, before use; so, remove it from the refrigerator and bring it to room temperature (About 1.5-2 hours).

  • Add the yolks and mix together
Butter mixture for crust
Butter mixture for the crust
  • Add flour to the butter mixture and knead the dough with your hands.
Adding flour to crust butter mixture
Adding flour to crust-butter mixture
  • When thoroughly mixed (do not overwork), wrap the dough in food film and put in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
Cherry pie dough
Cherry pie dough
  • To make the cherry filling, put fresh cherries (without cherrystones) and sugar put in a saucepan.
Pitted cherries and sugar in pan
Pitted cherries and sugar in a pan
  • Boil and after boiling add starch (mixed in a small amount of cold water) and cinnamon,
  • Bring back to a slow simmer and cook until thickened.
  • Take the dough from the refrigerator and spread the dough evenly it into the pie pan sides and bottom. I used the 16 cm pie pan.
Cherry pie pan lined with dough
Cherry pie pan lined with dough
  • The add the filling and bake 40-45 min. 190 C\375F\4 gas mark.
Oven ready cherry pie
Oven ready cherry pie