Fall is one of the best times of year when you are a gardener because it means it is time to harvest! If you grow a garden, or frequent the local farmers market, it's a good idea to learn some preservation techniques so you can enjoy your bounty all year long. I'm going to be sharing my 3 favorite ways to preserve food from your garden.
3 Ways to Preserve Food
The most common type of preserving food is by canning. Bottling fresh produce from the garden is easy to do.
There are two types of canners. There is a water bath canner and a pressure cooker type canner. If the things you are canning are acidic, like tomatoes and fruit, or pickled things, you can boil them in a water bath canner. Things that are non-acidic, like potatoes, carrots, other veggies, and meat, need to be bottled using a pressure cooker canner.
I have a whole post dedicated to Canning 101 with all the information you need for starting out with canning.
I love my dehydrator! I mostly use it for fruit and jerky, but it can dehydrate just about anything. It is a great option if you have limited space to store your preserved food. They are easy to use and quiet while running.
When dehydrating food in the dehydrator, it is important to have the food be equal thickness. When slicing, try to keep them uniform so they dehydrate at the same rate.
Dehydrators have a temperature dial so you can control the heat. Most will also have "fruit" or "herb" settings as well. But if not, simply google how high the temperature needs to be for that certain item.
Grapes take a bit longer since they are covered in a skin. In my dehydrator it takes a few days. Things like apple chips only take a day or so. Keep your dehydrator somewhere where you can keep an eye on it and check to see when the food is done.
If you don't have a canner or enough space to store jars upon jars, freezing is a good way to preserve food.
Before you freeze your produce, you are going to want to blanche them first. In a blanching pot, bring water to a boil. Add in your produce and allow to cook for a minute or two (depends on the produce). Then pull out the inner pot to drain. Dump the produce into a sink filled with cold water. Blanching will seal in the flavor and keep the color of the food.
If you freeze produce using a regular baggie, it will last a couple of months in your freezer. If you vacuum seal it, it can last up to 2 years! My vacuum sealer was less than $40 and has worked really well for me. The bags are inexpensive. Plus it is super satisfying to watch the air get sucked out! Watch my video below to see it in action.
Watch my new video for more information about ways to preserve food from your garden! I'd love it if you could give it a thumbs up too.
Do you can, dehydrate or freeze the food from your garden? What are your favorite ways to preserve food? I'd love to hear your ideas or tips in the comments below!
Supplies: *affiliate links*
Canning jars: Amazon Prices are high right now. Your best bet is local grocery stores, hardware stores, or feed stores.
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Water Bath Canner:https://amzn.to/3bqwNJW
Pressure Canner: https://amzn.to/3wSRWGo
Vacuum Sealer: https://amzn.to/3chmhoy
Vacuum Sealer Bags: https://amzn.to/3niLjdf
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I took my granddaughter blueberry raking 2 years ago and we froze, in small batches, several gallons we had collected. I still have a few bags left to finish this winter. Thanks for always providing great info on home care and life skills! I forgot about the dehydrator. Blueberries dried next time will be a fun treat!
I wish blueberries grew better here! We can only grow them in containers and it never yields enough to do anything but eat a few handfuls fresh. What a fun thing to do with your granddaughter!