How to make canned with our fruits and vegetables
Whether containerized crops (pots, planters, cultivation tables, etc …) or family garden crops in the plot. The usual thing, if everything has gone well, is that we have plenty of fruits and vegetables.
These surpluses of fruits and vegetables, apart from serving to distribute and make happy family and friends, can be used to prepare excellent preserves, which depending on the product and its conservation form, we can consume throughout the year.
Drying of vegetables and fruits
When a vegetable or fruit is harvested, a natural drying process begins. Drying is one of the simplest ways to preserve food. Some vegetables lend themselves to being consumed dry by the variety, if we use the right seeds we will have hanging tomatoes for the whole winter, dry legume, potato, onion and garlic, carrots and roots in silo and herbs for infusions, all in a natural way.
With other vegetables and fruits, we resort to forced drying with a fabric that ventilates and dried in the sun or air. We can also dry with an electric dryer that is fast and very safe, takes up little space and pays for itself quickly.
If we have small surpluses of various vegetables, we can cut them into small pieces, dry them and store them in jars. These will serve us to make soup in winter, simply adding a tablespoon of rice flour that will make them a little thicker, so you will not need to add anything else.
Dried fruit is great. Apples, figs, strawberries, peaches and nippers are delicious and a source of natural sugars all year round. If we keep them in jars when they are very dry they last a long time. This variety of preserves can be consumed in different ways. We can take the dried fruit alone, in breakfasts accompanying it with cereals, or add it to cooked dishes, or simply use it as sweets for children.
Almonds, hazelnuts and walnuts should be harvested before they fall from the tree. If we let them dry in boxes or baskets we can last a long time.
Fruit plants should be harvested at the right point of ripeness, medicinal and aromatic plants when they start to flower and roots in autumn when most nutrients are in the root, this way their properties are better used.
Surplus vegetables can also be stored in water and salt. This type of preservation is usually called “fermented”. Cut pieces of vegetables, preferably Any hard vegetable serves, but a good example to make fermented are cabbage, cauliflower, carrots, turnips, radishes and onions.
To carry out the fermentation correctly we must cut the vegetables to pieces and put them to macerate in glass jars, adding a solution of water and salt to 10%. For a good fermentation, we must leave the jars with the vegetables in water and salt in a cool place covering the jar simply with a gauze. A few days later you can close the jars and store them in a cool, dark place or in the fridge. This method of preserving is ideal for making it with vegetable leftover from the daily kitchen. With four cabbage leaves, half a carrot and a slice of onion we can now make a good conserve.
Preserves in vinegar
Other types of vegetables such as pepper, cauliflower, gherkins, can be preserved simply with Vinegar. A very easy way to make preserves in which we can add herbs that we like and have at hand to aromatize as bay leaf, thyme, garlic, etc.. You can use apple vinegar and dilute it with a little water to taste so that it is not so acid or add a little honey and sweet herbs like aneto so that it is bittersweet.
Salt and sugar as preservatives
Sugar is an ideal preservative for fruits. With it we can make jams, jams, juices, etc.. Also with sugar, we make the so-called bittersweet, ie a mixed preserve of fruits and vegetables, seasoned with vinegar and the same sugar. The salt also serves as a good preservative since it dries the products to preserve. An example of this can be delicious lemons pickled with salt for garnishes.
Bittersweet recipe or chutney
The Chutney or Bittersweet, as we have already commented, is a type of preserve that can be used as a jam or as a delicious sauce to accompany any dish. It is made with vegetables, sweet, sour and dried fruit, sugar, vinegar and a variety of spices. For this recipe, you can use the last summer vegetables such as little green tomatoes or some melon that will no longer ripen. As you can see from the orchard you can take advantage of everything.
In this case, we leave you with the recipe of a homemade Chutney:
- Vegetables: about 2 kilos of zucchini, green tomato, onion and carrot.
- Fruit: half a kilo of strawberries, 1 melon, 1 lemon, 2 fresh oranges and 200 g. of dried raisins.
- Other ingredients: 750 g. sugar, 1 litre of apple vinegar and a teaspoon of each spice, cinnamon, clove, ginger and curry (sweet or spicy).
In a casserole put all the diced vegetables and fruits, the citrus fruits with the skin, and add all the other ingredients. Cook over low heat for 1 hour or until everything is soft and well macerated.
When hot, fill the glass jars and close them well. To make it last longer, sterilize it in a bain-marie and store it in the pantry.
We recommend waiting 1 month to use it since it is the minimum time needed for the different flavours are well mixed.