Storing Your Surplus Home Grown Goodies
My Dad got a bit over excited with his new allotment this year and planted far too may bean and courgette plants. With U.K allotment waiting lists in their thousands who can blame him really! As a result of his over exuberance we now have a courgette mountain on our hands aswell as a years supply of runner beans piling up…
So after you’ve passed on your excess home grown fruit and veg to friends and family why not check out some of these ways to preserve your veg for the coming months.
Some vegetables can be frozen without any preparation, whilst others require blanching (cooking breifly in boiling water) first. For courgettes – choose young ones, cut into 1 inch pieces, and blanch. For beans (runner and french) select young ones, cut ends off and blanch. With spinach – select young leaves, blanch and press out excess moisture before freezing. Potatoes – interestingly, are best frozen in cooked form. Try to choose even sized new potatoes
Bottling fruit and veg is a great way to preserve them for the autumn and winter months when they are no longer in season. Ensure that all your bottles are sterilized and that you use only the finest of specimens. Berries, cherries, apples, pears and plums can be bottled along with tomatoes. Here is a recipe for cherry tomatoes and basil.
1 kg of cherry tomatoes
5 cloves of garlic
fresh basil leaves
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of sugar
Peel the garlic and wash the tomatoes. With a cocktail stick prick the skins of the tomatoes. Fill the jar with tomatoes and add the basil, garlic and salt and sugar between the layers. Next line an oven tray with cardboard and place the bottle on it. Make sure the lid is on top but not sealed. Heat the oven to 120 c/250 f and leave bottle to sterilize for 45 mins. Seal and then leave to cool. More bottling info here.
You can always bake your veggies into cakes and bread and freeze them too. Have a look at this delicious recipe for a Courgette Loaf Cake or this one for courgette muffins. You can also make vegetable soups and freeze these too.