Preserving Foods

I will update this page as necessary

During the summer when vegetables are abundant I 'put them away' for winter.  In fall when the animals are slaughtered I put them away, too. 

As you can see, I rarely freeze/can prepared dishes because that limits our menu.  I prefer to preserve the individual ingredients so that I'm able to use them in multiple dishes.  For instance, I'm able to use the stew meat in curry, risotto, casseroles, sloppy joes, stroganoff, and, of course, stew.  I'm able to use the ground meat in bolognese, meatloaf, chili, tacos, maccaroni, etc....  The only 'recipes' I have canned are tomato soup and bean soup.   

Here's how I treat each item.  The word "can" means pressure can*I never water bath can:

BEETS:
  1. pickle
  2. cook, peel, then slice and can
BROCCOLI:
  1. Blanch and freeze

CABBAGE:
  1.  Blanch and freeze
CARROTS:
  1. wash and freeze for use in stock
  2. wash, slice, and freeze
  3. juice then freeze the pulp in quart bags (drink the juice)
  4. juice then can the pulp in pint jars (you can also freeze the juice)
  5. wash, slice and can
  6. saute the pulp with onions and then can
CAULIFLOWER:
  1.  Blanch and freeze
CELERY and CELERIAC:
  1.  Wash, slice into 1" pieces and freeze for use in stock
  2.  Both are good juiced but celery pulp is very stringy even when minced
  3.  Celeriac pulp I can with onions and carrots

CHARD:
  1. Wash, de-rib, slice thinly, saute (ghee, lard, or coconut oil), and freeze
  2. Chop the ribs and freeze separately for hummus.

FENNEL:
  1. Clean, slice into 1/2" pieces, saute (ghee, lard, or coconut oil) and freeze

FRUIT:

      1. Citrus (lemons, limes, oranges) I zest, peel, and juice, freezing each part separately.  The peels and pits are high in pectin and can be used to make jam.
      2. I freeze berries to make into ice cream (let it thaw a little then whirl in blender with honey)
      3. The rest I make into jam using homemade pectin (commercial pectin is created from apples which are very high in pesticide reside.)  You can make your own pectin from organic apples, or use fruits that are naturally high in pectin like cranberries and citrus. 


GARLIC:
       1. coddle in ghee, lard, or EVOO and then freeze
       2. peel and then freeze
       3. peel, slice thinly, dehydrate, and then grind into powder


GREEN BEANS:
  1. Wash, trim, and freeze
  2. Wash, trim, blanch and can

HERBS:
  1. Wash, roll into logs, freeze
    chopping a log of frozen cilantro
  2. Make pistou and freeze in ice cube trays
  3. Dehydrate and store in glass.  I just did some LOVAGE and it smells exactly like fresh!

KALE:
  1. Wash, blanch, and can
  2. Wash, derib, slice thinly, saute (ghee, lard or coconut oil) and freeze

LEEKS:
  1. Wash, slice into 1" pieces, and freeze for use in stock 
  2. Wash, thinly slice, saute (ghee, lard, or coconut oil), and freeze

MEAT (beef, chicken, lamb, and pork):
  1. cook ground meat, then can
  2. can stew meat raw
  3. can chicken breasts raw (DO NOT CAN GROUND POULTRY)
  4. make broth and can it
ONIONS:
  1. I save the peels for use in stock - freeze in ziplock bags
  2. chop and freeze for use in stock
  3. dice or slice and freeze (double bag to contain odors)
  4. dice or slice, caramelize and can
  5. dice or slice, blanch and can  

PEAS:
  1.  shell and freeze
PEPPERS (hot)
  1. wash, dehydrate, then grind into powder
  2. wash and freeze
PEPPERS (sweet):
  1. wash, de-seed, slice and freeze
  2. wash, roast, peel and freeze
PUMPKIN:
  1. cube and can
SCALLIONS (green onions)
  1. wash, slice into 1" pieces and freeze for use in stock
  2. wash, thinly slice and freeze 
SPINACH:
  1. wash, blanch, drain and freeze
  2. wash, blanch, drain and can in both pint and quart jars
TOMATOES
  1. wash and dehydrate
  2. freeze whole
  3. cook and can - whole, seedless, and soup
TURNIPS:
  1. peel, blanch, and can

* The only  pressure canner I have ever used is the All American. It has a weighted gauge and a dial gauge so there is very little room for error.  It will also never need a new gasket.  Mine is small because the location of our vent hood precludes a taller one.  So far, it's worked for me; but, I might get a second one for those times when we have 'processing parties'.  NOTE: this canner is aluminum so I NEVER COOK IN  IT!  I only can in it where the food never comes in contact with the pot.

These are my favorite websites for canning advice:
https://www.simplycanning.com/
http://healthycanning.com/

Some people think canning destroys all nutrients but that is not true.  Yes, some vitamins are destroyed, but all vitamins continue to deteriorate the longer uncooked foods are stored (either in the fridge or the freezer), whereas canned food retains whatever nutrients are left after the canning process is complete, and there are quite a few.

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