9 Prep and Preserving Methods

Hang Dry

For fruit and herbs all year round, try stringing your onions, garlic, herbs, peppers, and tomato clusters, then store in a airy place out of sun and heat.

Sun Drying

This method is a great preservation method to preserve nutrients and takes only a few days. You’ll need a box or tray that will then be covered by a clear glass or plastic sheet to transmute sun rays and heat into a solar “oven”. This will produce a much lower temperature than an oven, which will maintain nutrient structure inside the fruits or vegetables of choice.

Dried Fruit and Veggies

To make dried fruit and veggie chips, you will need to find yourself a tray. Something that works well is chicken wire attached inside a frame. You can then place the frame on legs. If you keep the legs in buckets of water, there will be less chance for bugs to crawl up the legs onto your tray. Turn every day until they are dry. You can dry beans, leaves for tea, fruits, and vegetables.

Fruit Leathers

This process is done by cooking the fruits and then letting it dry. This brings out the sugars for a leathery texture. You can make Pumpkin, squash, beets, or any other fruits and meaty vegetables. You will first wash, then cook, then puree, add honey and spices, and then spread on a tray to dry in your solar drier, under the light and heat of the sun.

Make Flour

You can make flour out of so many food items! Pumpkin, banana, sweet potato, beans, and other grains. You will need to (if necessary, cook then) dry the food and then pound into a powder. You can also try using a food processor for this part. The most important thing is to make sure it is dry. To make a fine flour, you will want to sieve the powder out and continue pounding the rest. Then place in a jar in a dry storage to then use mixed in with your regular flour or experiment with a new recipe.

Pickled Cucumber

Along with many other vegetables, such as peppers, beets, beans, etc, you can pickle and keep your cucumbers for any time. I know I crave them in the winter when there aren’t any cucumbers around. Wash them, and cover with a salt water mixture. Leave for 2 days and then drain. Add sugar and white vinegar into a pot to boil and dissolve. Add cucumbers and then can into clean jars. You can add pickling spice to the sugar vinegar mixture, if you have access.

Kanji Pickled Carrot Drink

A delicious and popular Indian drink. Wash a few pounds of carrots and grate into a jar. Add clean water, salt, hot spices, and close lid but leave a tiny hole for gas to escape. Ferment for 7-10 days, Strain out the carrots and drink the liquid!

Canned Tomatoes

Wash and remove bad tomatoes. Roma or Cherry are great for this. You will then dip into a pot of boiling water and remove quickly. This is to remove the skin. Fill a jar with tomatoes, add a little lemon juice or vinegar. submerge jars in water, boiling for 30-50 minutes and then let cool.

Curing Potatoes or Pumpkins

To keep potatoes for a long keep in the cellar or food pantry, it is best to keep freshly harvested potatoes in a warm shady place with air flow for a week before putting them in a food pantry. This will thicken their skin and allow them to stay better for longer.

 

Written by: Kelsie Crane

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