Preserving the Harvest

posted in: Nutrition | 0

Since it is harvest season it only seems right to preserve it.

This can be done in numerous ways be it canning, freezing, pickling, fermenting, drying and cold/dry storage. This will just be a quick primer to get you on your way to saving all of the fruits and veggies that you grew this summer. Do not let all of that hard work go to waste. How will you preserve the harvest?

Canning

Get those foods cooked up and then put them in the water bath. I’m not going to go into specifics, but get a bunch of wide mouth glass jars and go to town. Great option for quick processing and plenty of room for storage.

Freezing

Certainly a great option. This can be done with raw food that is picked at the height freshness. It will lose some nutrient content, but overall a great choice. The biggest drawback here though is space. It can take up a lot and is where large freezers come in handy.

Pickling

This is done using an acidic medium, usually vinegar, in the jar. A very good option when preserving, but doesn’t offer the probiotic benefits of the next choice…

Fermenting

Here is still my favorite because of the probiotic benefits. This can be done with some type of culture starter or salt to make an acidic environment as a by-product. The possibilities are endless, but my favorite is still the classic sauerkraut.

Drying

There are several different methods here. Some require heat and others not. Either way the lower the heat the better (under 110 degrees Fahrenheit to keep food enzymatically intact). I like to hang herbs upside down before putting them into storage. Air drying on trays or in a dehydrator can be another excellent way. Finally you can use your oven, as long as it has a very low setting, to quickly dry foods before packaging.

Cold/Dry Storage

Have you ever heard of a root cellar? This was a cool dry place to put root veggies so they would store for the winter. It is that simple. If you have a place like this, you can keep your potatoes, winter squash, carrots, etc. for a few months once things stop growing.

Now you can enjoy the fruits of your labor throughout the winter!

Have a Great Day!
Nick Horowski

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