Whether you have an allotment, a small vegetable patch, or a couple of fruit trees in your conservatory, it’s great to be able to preserve what you grow. Preserving what you grow means that you can enjoy nutritious food year-round, and keep your food bill under control.
The problem is that it can be hard to find enough time to get everything done while the fruit and vegetables are still fresh enough to work with. All too often, everything matures at more or less the same time, which can make it hard to keep up. But, if you are organised and follow these tips, you will be able to preserve your excess produce and get the most out of your homegrown fruit and vegetables. Here’s how to do it.
Tap into the power of gadgets
Investing in the right gadgets will save you hours of unnecessary work. This range of food mixers will make it super easy to grate, blend, and chop.
Fill every inch of your freezer
The right food processor will make it easy for you to puree cooked vegetables. These are ideal for adding to soups. Once pureed, they can be ladled into ziplock bags and sealed up. Provided you do not overfill the bag, you will be able to lay them out flat and freeze them in stacks. Taking this approach ensures that every single inch of space in your freezer can be used, because there are no air gaps like there would be if you were to cut your vegetables into strips or separate them into florets.
It is also worth investing in a set of storage containers that are actually designed to stack one on top of each other. Once the freezing process is complete, you can take them out of the tubs, put each block of food into a high-quality bag, and pop them back into the freezer. Everything will still fit neatly together, and your tubs will be available for your next batch of homegrown produce.
Use every cool spot in your home to store your harvest
If you’re short on space in your kitchen cupboards or freezer, dont be shy about storing your fruit and vegetables in other parts of the home. There are lots of ways to do it. You can find out more here. As you will see, you do not necessarily need a root cellar to keep lots of vegetables, and some fruits, fresh enough to eat.
Plus, of course, you can always dry some of what you grow. Herbs are particularly easy to dry; you can see from this article about preserving herbs there are lots of easy ways to make the most of what you grow.
When it comes to preserving food, it’s important to be organised. Keep an eye on your vegetables and watch out for signs that things are reaching maturity. If something is nearly ready, think about how you are going to preserve it and do some of the preparation in advance. For example, wash all the tubs you are going to use, sharpen your knives and make sure everything you need is to hand, a few days before.
It may also be worth setting aside a whole day for preserving. On that day avoid doing any other cooking. Instead, think ahead and prepare a meal that can simply be left on the stove to heat up.
What are your top tips for preserving your homegrown harvest?
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