My eldest son and I are fans of pickled beets (and almost anything else pickled), so each year we turn some of our garden bounty into beet pickles. These make a great side dish (vinegar is good for digestion and helps fight acid reflux). If we have a good stockpile, sometimes we thinly slice some of the pickled beets and run them through the freeze dryer. The freeze dried beet chips make an interesting snack food. (And yes, these are gluten free, for anyone who is watching out for gluten.)
I made up a batch of these pickled green tomatoes to use up some of the unripe tomatoes knocked off the vines during our recent hail storm. We picked all the storm damaged fruit, and trimmed off the spoiled bits, saving the undamaged parts for preserving. I found a number of green tomato recipes, but pickled green tomatoes seemed most likely to appeal to my family. (The crew groaned out loud at the green tomato mincemeat recipe.) We like dill pickles, so why not dilly green tomato pickles?
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 for pears, plus tips to prevent browning.
Learn how to make apple jelly with no added pectin and your choice of sweetener – sugar or honey – to enjoy for fresh eating or canning with this easy recipe. The natural pectin in apples prompted the authors of Stocking Up III to call apple jelly “the simplest of jellies” because it is made with only apples and sweetener. Make a little jelly or a lot – you can use the sweetener guidelines to adjust for the amount of apple juice you have available. You can also make a spiced apple jelly by adding spices during cooking.
Each year we buy a couple of cases of peaches from the local Knight's of Columbus fundraiser. Some are eaten fresh, but quite a few are preserved for later. These low sugar peach jam recipes are an annual tradition. (We also enjoy Peach Raspberry Jam.)
We make up at least one batch of each peach jam – usually two. Peach jam is also a great way to use up peaches that are too soft and ripe to be canned on their own.