At harvest time, there is an abundance of local fruits and vegetables. If you want to preserve it to enjoy it at a later time, you can can it. An advantage compared to purchased canned food: homemade products are free of additives and have only short transportation methods.
Supplies from the jar: boil
A popular method of preservation is canning. For example, cherry is suitable, Pears and peaches, as well as beetroot, peas, beans, carrots or tomatoes. If you do not have a special canning container, you can use the oven: first, rinse the jars with boiling water or put them in the oven for ten minutes at 140 degrees to sterilize them.
Boil it in the oven at 180 degrees
If necessary, peel and wash the vegetable or fruit, chop them into equal size and place in cups. Fill up to the bottom of the rim with cold water. Alternatively, you can preserve vegetables in a sauce made from salt, herbs and fruits with sweetened water. Clean the edges of the glass with a clean cloth. Close the jars tightly, fill the drip pan with water, and place the jars inside. Put on rail shelves in the oven and heat up to 180 degrees. Turn off the oven when the liquid starts to enter the pearls in the cups.
Leave the cups in the closed oven for 30 minutes, then remove them and let them cool down. If stored in a cool, dark place, cooked foods can be kept for several months.
Pickled sour or “pickled” vegetables
Sour pickling in English “pickle” is especially easy. A mixture of one part vinegar, one and a half to two parts sugar, two and a half to three parts of water, plus salt (20-30g salt to one liter of water) and according to your taste, spices and herbs, suitable for the main drink.
We put chopped raw vegetables in sterilized jars and fill them with broth. Very firm vegetables can be pre-cooked. Important: Cover the vegetables completely with the broth. First, close the jars tightly and store them upside down, let them cool and let the vegetables ripen for a few days. If stored in a dry and dark place, the pickled vegetables will last for several months, depending on the variety. Pickles taste good with sandwiches, fondue, and raclette.
Very healthy: lactic acid pickling (fermentation)
Lactic acid fermentation should be distinguished from sour pickling. It is well suited to all hard vegetables such as cabbage (sauerkraut), cucumbers, carrots, and beans Pumpkin or paprika. The vital materials are preserved to a large extent. The vitamin C content is increased and vitamin B12 is produced. Special fermentation vessels are suitable for steeping lactic acid, and screw-on lids or Weck jars for smaller quantities.
Chop or slice the vegetables, mix in a bowl with salt (about 2 to 5 percent of the total amount) and press firmly with your tamper until enough liquid has leaked out. Then place a layer in a clean glass. Make sure the vegetables are kept under the brine and not in contact with oxygen. If there is not enough liquid, add boiling salt solution (20 to 30 g salt per liter of water). Close the jar, but not too tightly, as the gases are released during fermentation and must escape.
The lactic acid bacteria now convert the sugar into lactic acid. Mold and other unwanted bacteria cannot reside in an acidic environment. The ideal temperature for this fermentation process is 20 degrees for the first few days. Then store a little cool.
Old process: drying
Drying or dehydration is the oldest method of food preservation. Many types of fruit are suitable, for example Apple, apricot or peach, but also tomato, Mushrooms and herbs. Fruits and vegetables must first be thoroughly cleaned, peeled, sifted if necessary and cut into chunks.
Drying in a convection oven works very well: mushrooms and herbs need a temperature of about 50 degrees, fruits from 50 to 70 degrees, and vegetables about 80 degrees. If you don’t have a fan oven, you can easily keep the oven lid open with a wooden spoon. Depending on the size, thickness, and water content of the fruits, drying takes between six to twelve hours, with the herbs being consumed three to four hours. Fruits, for example, are ready when they feel leathery and can be bent.
Practical for drying: dryers
It is more energy efficient with special electric dryers. They keep the set temperature very constant for hours and give off less heat to the room air. Since it usually consists of several floors, different types of fruits and vegetables can be dried at the same time.
Airtight jars and jars or plastic bags are suitable for storing dried fruits and vegetables.
Fresh in the cold: freeze
The easiest and most popular way to preserve is to freeze. To do this, the vegetables must first be boiled, that is, put them in boiling water for a short time and then dip them in ice water so that they retain their natural color. Depending on the hardness and size of the vegetables, cooking times range from two minutes (peas, pepper) to seven minutes (artichokes, whole carrots).
Herbs can be frozen immediately – washed and chopped. In the case of delicate fruits such as strawberries or berries, it is advised to place the individual fruits first on a tray and freeze them before placing them in a freezer bag. This way they will not stick to each other later. At temperatures not lower than 18 ° C, it keeps fruits and vegetables for about a year. If previously emptied, the shelf life will be greatly extended.
In void: vacuum sealing
The method of storing food in a vacuum, that is, in a place without air, is relatively new. Fresh fruits, vegetables and meats are “sealed” in plastic bags after the vacuum device completely absorbs air from the bag. Soft fruits such as berries should be frozen before sealing with compressed air, and gas-forming varieties such as cabbage, peas and beans should be boiled.
Food can be stored in the fridge, where it can be enjoyed three to four times longer than wrapped or frozen food.