Preserving vegetables for the winter - 31. August 2019
The winter is approaching and if your garden was productive during the summer, you will find a lot of vegetables in the pantry.
There is no better idea than to start preserving those vegetables for the winter, luckily for us there are many ways in which that can be done:
Freezing is one of the easiest way to preserve vegetables and they can be frozen in many different shapes and forms according to the usage.
The largest part of vegetables are suitable for freezing, excepted cabbage and potatoes which do not perform well. It's a good idea to blanch the vegetables before to store them in the freezer. To blanch them you simply need to boil them for a set amount of time (usually 3 minutes) then dunk them into freezing water to cool them before freezing.
Some vegetables like pumpkins, potatoes and onions can be safely stores in a cool, dark and dry place for up to 12 months.
The best way to dry vegetables is with the use of a dehydrator but your oven can also do the trick. Some vegetables like peppers and tomatoes can also be dried on bright sunlight.
Dried vegetables and herbs can then be used in many recipes such as soups, stews or as a condiment.
Fermenting vegetables is a big trend right now, it's fairly simple but one must be sure to follow the right steps. Lacto-fermetation would be the most suitable process to be done at home. You can find plenty of information online on it.
Despite we might not be accustomed to home pickling, it is a very simple process and all you need is: water, vinegar, salt, sugar and a seasoning of your choice. The vegetables that are most suitable for pickling are: beets, carrots, cabbage, asparagus, beans and peppers.
Some of the firmer vegetables should be blanched before pickling. Once pickled, vegetables can last in the refrigerator up to a month, but they should be canned if you're not planning to consume them sooner.
Canning is one of the most common methods to preserve vegetables, but it must be done very carefully to avoid the development of harmful bacterias.
Some vegetables can be canned after a boiling water bath, but some others require a pressure canner.
There are plenty of other ways to store vegetables through recipes such as for example: sauces, pesto, sundried tomatoes in olive oil, chutneys, marmelades etc.