Are you in love with seasonal produce at the peak of its ripeness? Do you want to buy local, thoughtfully grown fruits and vegetables? Do you like to save money on high-quality food? Don’t you wish that you could save less expensive produce for the middle of the winter?
If you answered yes to the above questions, then you might be a real foodie- and you might need a little preservation inspiration to save all that delicious real food to eat year round.
Whether it be from your garden, local farmer’s market, or just a really good grocery sale, preserving fresh, high-quality fruits and vegetables can help you to save money and eat better at any time of year.
While I’ve still got lots to learn about preservation, I’m certainly not a newbie either. Saving the harvest turns into my full-time job in the fall. But even I, as much as I am passionate about it, still get sick of preserving sometimes. And when that happens, I often just need a little motivation to get going again. For me, trying new recipes can serve as an incentive to get the job done.
That’s why I’m happy to share two preservation recipes from the Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle with you! (Many thanks to the authors for graciously allowing me to share the recipes!) The Bundle is a digital library of all things natural health and home, fitness, and food related- with a bunch of great bonuses to boot. I am SO thrilled about my copy, and it’s already served as a serious kitchen inspiration for me. (Because who doesn’t need a kick in the pants to keep up the cooking and canning sometimes?)
Up til the past year, most of my preservation has been done via canning. The acquisition of a dehydrator and the growing knowledge of other preservation methods changed this for me.
Dehydration Inspiration (Do you like how all these titles rhyme?)
The first recipe I’m sharing today is from Kendra Stamy of A Proverbs 31 Wife, author of Food Preservation Made Simple. In this practical introduction to basic preservation, Kendra gives beginning homesteaders an easy-to-follow guide to freezing, dehydration, and canning. Here’s Kendra’s method for a simple, but extremely flavorful favorite of mine- dehydrated tomatoes!
You may have tried sun-dried tomatoes, which normally come in a ridiculously expensive tiny jar at the grocery store. Most of us, however, probably wouldn’t prefer to dry our tomatoes outside in the sun, as they are highly prone to spoilage- and attract a lot of bugs besides. You can, however, make your own “sun-dried” tomatoes in a dehydrator at home very easily. (There are other methods of drying too, but that’s for another post.) Here’s how:
- Wash tomatoes
- Dip in boiling was just until skins split, then remove skins and slice 3/8″-1/4″ thick.
- Dehydrate at 155 for about 8 hours, or until tomatoes are leathery.
And you’re done. Bistro sandwiches, anyone? (These things are delicious in soups, sandwiches, on eggs, pretty much anywhere… give them a try!)
Fermentation Inspiration (Still rhyming. Sorry, can’t help myself.)
The second recipe I get to share with you today is from the gals of Oh Lardy! Tamara and Kelly wrote a friendly guide to all things fermented- Oh Lardy’s Guide to Fermentation. The book gives a thorough and entertaining read on the why and how of fermenting, and a great variety of recipes to try too. This was book was a great introduction for a beginner like me!
We’ve been trying our hand at fermenting several vegetables over the last several months- green beans, radishes, red peppers, and most recently, sauerkraut. But I had never quite built up the gumption to try fermented fruit. I decided that my end-of-summer peach overload was a perfect reason to give it a try. Here’s Oh Lardy’s fermented version of peach chutney:
Fermented Peach Chutney
- 1 ½ c peeled and chopped peaches
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Grated zest of 1 lemon
- 2 T organic sugar
- ¼ c raisins
- ¼ t cinnamon
- ¼ t allspice
- dash nutmeg
- pinch of sea salt
- 2 T whey or ½ t culture starter
- Filtered water
- Mix ingredients together (except water)
- Add to pint-size mason jar. Press down with wooden spoon or clean fist.
- Cover with a bit of filtered water if necessary.
- Put on lid and leave at room temperature for 2 days.
- Transfer to refrigerator and enjoy! Will last 1-2 months in refrigerator.
I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this. It’s pleasantly tangy enough to know that you’re getting a dose of good bacteria by eating it, but sweet enough that my kids keep asking me for “another spoonful of chutney, please?” Sure thing, guys. 🙂
Want more real-food preservation and inspiration to keep you going for a long time? The Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle, as part of its many resources, features a fantastic collection of 23 real-food focused books to inspire your kitchen. From freezer cooking to meal planning, salad dressing to drinks, lunches to cheeses, and learning to culture food, the bundle’s got you covered.
Have other foodie interests? This virtual library also includes paleo and allergy-friendly e-books. Want to think outside the kitchen? You can use the bundle read up on natural remedies, homesteading basics, essential oils, healthy kids, fitness, and natural home care too. The bundle doesn’t stick around forever though- it’s only available September 9th-14th. Want to snag yours before it’s gone? Find out more here.
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