Several people have asked me, “What's the difference between dehydrating and free drying?” or “What's the difference between a dehydrator and a freeze dryer?”. Although they perform similar functions – food is dried for storage – how they do it and the resulting product is quite different. We'll take a look at the equipment involved and the final product. [Read more…]Translate the Site
Buzzing around Instagram and online freeze drying groups, I see a lot of photos of people showing off their home freeze dried goodies – and a lot of freeze drying mistakes. We got our home freeze dryer earlier this year, and it's pretty easy to use, but there are some things you should avoid to get the best results for your food and your freeze dryer. Some of these tips are for flavor, some shorten your drying time, some avoid messes and a few are real safety issues. [Read more…]Translate the Site
Our neighbors have a beautiful pear tree that's over 50 years old, and each year they invite us to share in the harvest. Big tree = many, many pears, so over the years I've used many different ways to preserve pears. No matter how you store them – canning, freezing, drying, freeze drying or fermenting – their high sugar content makes them a naturally decadent dessert. In this post I'll cover both short term and long term storage options. [Read more…]Translate the Site
My youngest loves peaches, so we make sure to preserve peaches for year round use. We always get a case or two of peaches for a local fundraiser. We're still working on trying to get peach trees to survive as part of our permaculture food forest. We're right at the edge of peach friendly territory, but our place gets a lot of wind, which the trees don't like very much.
Each year I use a variety of peach storage methods, stashing some for us to enjoy and some to use as gifts. (I have yet to find someone who does not appreciate homemade peach jam.) In this post I'll cover the easiest way to peel peaches, as well as canning peaches, dehydrating peaches, freezing peaches, peach jam and freeze drying peaches. [Read more…]Translate the Site
Preserving Strawberries for Year Round Use
The boys and I go strawberry picking locally every year, just like I used to go with my mamma. (The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, and The Big Hungry Bear used to be one of my oldest son's favorite books when he was little.) The strawberry season is short here – generally 2-3 weeks at most, depending on the weather, but we try to get out picking at least twice. For strawberry storage that we can enjoy year round, I use several different methods of preserving strawberries. In this post, I'll give tips for fresh strawberry storage, my favorite storage methods, and some fun strawberry storage ideas from friends.