preserving excess crop

Discussion in 'General chat' started by PDB, Jan 22, 2008.

  1. PDB

    PDB Junior Member

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    Hi
    Can any one give me some idea of good ways of preserving excess food, is freezzing the way to go or is that for only some things and do you just put them straght in the frezzer. I had to many tomms and tryed to make chutny with them (not very nice to sweet and not spicy) sometimes I get to many eggs I will normaly geve them to freinds tryed pickleing some. I am now getting lots of beans. I have just been given a recipy for mango chutny so I hope that will sort that one out.
    Thanks
    Paul
     
  2. elliceh

    elliceh Junior Member

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    Hey Paul, if you are really serious about preserving, it sounds like you need a pressure canner. Using one of these, you can preserve low acid foods like beans, pumpkin and even meat. Something which can not be done with the normal Fowlers Vacola water bath method. You can still use normal jars or Fowlers or Mason jars.

    A pressure canner uses higher temperatures and run at a set PSI to superheat and form the vacuum. This is the only way to make sure low acid foods are safe from the botulism bacteria, clostridium botulinum.

    I have been looking for one of these for a while now, but they are mainly an American tool. The cheapest i have found will set you back around $250 including postage from the states. Its cheaper to buy from the states and pay freight than buy from Australia.

    Its a little bit out of my budget at the moment, but if you are looking into it, let me know. It could be cheaper to get 2 at the same time!!
     
  3. Chook

    Chook Junior Member

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    Hi Paul,
    When I have excess I normally cook it into whatever it is intended -apricots I make jams, chutney and pies etc, cabbage I make stir fries, steamed, or filled leaves, tomatoes would end up as chutney, sauce, pizza base etc- and then freeze when they are cool. I pack everything (thats not runny) in aluminium foil and label with the date before freezing, or seal in jars. Some fruits I dry and bag (taking the air out), these are either frozen or put in bottles. Once I had a heap of garlic so I made lots and lots of garlic bread to freeze (I ran out of flour, yeast and practically everything else). Luckily my kids love homemade over shop bought products!!!!
    Chook
     
  4. DJ-Studd

    DJ-Studd Junior Member

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    The only problem with this is that high temperatures denature and kill of the enzymes in the food. Fermentation is the best method of preservation, however I'm not sure for what period of time you can store fermented foods?
     
  5. elliceh

    elliceh Junior Member

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    I don't know if its that bad DJ, most pressure canners hold temp between 102 and 115C. Just above boiling point really. I imagine normal cooking of foods would reach these temps at least.

    The difference with pressure canners is is that the temp is able to be monitored and held steady, as well as the pressure which helps form the vacuum. Pressure canning has always really been known as a safe and healthy form of preserving because of the way it preserves the nutrients.

    I'd be interested to know more on this DJ as its a very new issue to me and I've been researching these for a fair while now.
     
  6. ppp

    ppp Junior Member

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    100 degrees cannot be exceeded in normal cooking (in water) because at sea level water boils at that temperature (and less if you live at elevation).

    Water boils at higher temperatures at greater air pressue, this is why the higher temps can be acheived in a pressure cooker.

    These "enzymes" in the food are quite simply bacteria. Killing them means the food lasts longer which is the point of preserving.. surely??

    My parents and grandparents have always made jam and "bottled" fruits. (not using a pressure cooker though!). Not only does this preserve excess, but it can actually also greatly add value, taste and variety to the use of the basic foods...
     
  7. elliceh

    elliceh Junior Member

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    I was meaning more frying/baking/grilling which is very common, which (in my oven anyway) can exceed 300C.

    I don't know much about enzymes and what they are, but plenty of nutrients can withstand temperatures as they are common elements. Besides its unlikely everything you eat would be from the pressure canner. Fresh fruit and veg is still the way to go when possible.

    But when there is an overload of something, then preserving is definitely the way to enjoy it all year round.
     
  8. Loris

    Loris Junior Member

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    I bottle some stuff for treats, generally stone fruit but I really love dehydrating stuff because it is easy and quick and then you don't have to load them in the freezer. They're light, easy to store and don't take up much space. Check out dehydrating.
     
  9. DJ-Studd

    DJ-Studd Junior Member

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  10. elliceh

    elliceh Junior Member

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    Thats interesting DJ, but we cant get away from the practicalities of cooked and preserved food. If you like variety that is. Imagine the waste of all our beautiful fresh produce if we couldn't preserve it.

    Its good to know how beneficial fresh/raw foods are for us tho. Thanks for the article.
     
  11. DJ-Studd

    DJ-Studd Junior Member

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    Not a problem. Good excuse to feast on the produce? Gorge yourself on berries like I do? The only problem then is that 3 weeks later you're left with none :lol:
     
  12. elliceh

    elliceh Junior Member

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    :lol: Last time i gorged myself on the seasonal produce (apricots) I was sitting on the loo most of the night and the next day lol.

    I like to save some for later on in the year too.
     
  13. pokarekare

    pokarekare New Member

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    I was wondering if you could use a normal pressure cooker to can vegetables if you use jars that will fit easily into it?
     
  14. elliceh

    elliceh Junior Member

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    I reckon you could as long as you are absolutely certain that it holds a constant and high enough temperature and PSI. Thats the only difference with the actual canners - they regulate and have the gauge so you can see where its held at and can adjust it accordingly.
     
  15. Mrs Parker-Bowles

    Mrs Parker-Bowles Junior Member

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    Hi PDB,

    We preserve as much of what we don't eat fresh as we can. If I find that we've already got enough sauce, relish, chutney, paste, passata, and whole tomatoes I'll search the web for something new. This year it was tomato jam. As you can imagine that's was a lot of kg's worth of tomatoes not including what we ate fresh and are still giving to our family and friends.

    I'd recommend two things.
    1) Grab yourself a copy of Jackie French's: Backyard Self-sufficiency. It costs about $18. She has all sorts of ideas about preserving things from your garden.

    2)Get out to a couple of garage sales and sift through peoples old cookbooks. If you're lucky you might even find a nanna's handwritten book (they are full of this sort of thing). Or second hand book stores or ask someone's Gran if they have any they'd like to share.

    Oh, and for what it's worth - We set ourselves up with a Fowlers Vacola Kit. At first we thought, boy howdy these jars/lids/rings/clips get a bit expensive but, now - a couple of years down the track - we looked at what it cost us to set up properly (everything new) and we shake our heads because we've spent more on bullltish items that don't serve us even half as well. We use them all the time. To help cover the cost we have a selection of our excess bottles on our buffet with a jar beside. When family come over they take what they want and stick 50c or $1 in the jar. They are happy about that system because they appreciate that rings and lids need to be replaced every now and again. Also because they'd rather our preserves than the crap they get at the supermarket, esp. because they can't buy some of the things we make.

    I hope this helps.

    Regardeners,

    Jodi.
     

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