The Ultimate Guide to Food Preservation
Check out this guide to food preservation to learn all about canning, freezing, food dehydration and more.
Whether you are simply interested in learning how to compost or are striving to live completely off the grid, “The Ultimate Guide to Homesteading” offers something for anyone looking to increase their quality of life and decrease their carbon footprint.
Courtesy Skyhorse Publishing
From building a yurt and raising animals to food preservation and herbal remedies, The Ultimate Guide to Homesteading (Skyhorse Publishing, 2011) by Nicole Faires is all you need to live off the land. With diagrams, charts, photographs, original illustrations and comprehensive, detailed instructions that anyone can follow with relatively few supplies, this massive full-color book answers all of your self-sufficiency questions. Learn everything you need to know about food preservation in this excerpt from Chapter 7, “Food, Field, and Garden.”
The Ultimate Guide to Freezing Food
What is blanching?
Before freezing vegetables, you must blanch them. There are two ways to do this: boiling and steaming. Blanching slows or stops the enzymes that make vegetables lose their flavor and color. If you blanch too much then they will lose nutritional value, but blanching too little will speed up the enzymes.
How to blanch using the boiling method:
1. Wash, drain, sort, trim, cut vegetables.
2. Put one gallon of water per pound of prepared vegetables, or two gallons per pound of leafy greens, into a pot and bring to a boil.
3. Put vegetables into a wire basket, coarse mesh bag or metal strainer and lower into the pot.
4. Keep boiling for the specified time for that kind of vegetable.
5. Cool the vegetables in ice water for the same time that you boiled them (except corn on the cob), stirring occasionally.
6. Drain thoroughly and pack into a container and freeze.
How to blanch using the steam method:
• Asparagus: small stalk, 2 minutes; medium stalk, 3 minutes; large or all stalk, 4 minutes.
• Broccoli: 5 minutes.
• Brussels sprouts: small heads, 3 minutes; medium heads, 4 minutes; large or all heads, 5 minutes.
• Butter beans: small, 2 minutes; medium, 3 minutes; large or all, 4 minutes.
• Cabbage: shredded, 1 1/2 minutes; wedges, 3 minutes.
• Carrots: whole, 5 minutes; diced or sliced, 2 minutes.
• Cauliflower: 3 minutes.
• Celery: 3 minutes.
• Collard greens: 3 minutes.
• Corn on the cob (Note: cooling is twice the time): small ears, 7 minutes; medium ears, 9 minutes; large or all ears, 11 minutes.
• Corn whole kernel/cream style: 4 minutes.
• Eggplant: 4 minutes.
• Globe hearts artichoke: 7 minutes.
• Green beans: 3 minutes.
• Green peas: 2 minutes.
• Greens: 2 minutes.
• Irish potato: 3–5 minutes.
• Jerusalem artichoke: 3–5 minutes.
• Kohlrabi: whole, 3 minutes; cubes, 1 minute.
• Lima beans: small, 2 minutes; medium, 3 minutes; larger or all, 4 minutes.
• Mushrooms: whole steamed, 5 minutes; slices steamed, 5 minutes; buttons/ quarters steamed, 3 1/2 minutes.
• Okra: small pods, 3 minutes; medium pods, 4 minutes.
• Onions: until center is heated, 3–7 minutes.
• Parsnips: 2 minutes.
• Peas: edible pod, 1 1/2–3 minutes.
• Pinto beans: small, 2 minutes; medium, 3 minutes; large or all, 4 minutes.
• Rutabagas: 3 minutes.
• Snap beans: 3 minutes.
• Soybeans: green, 3 minutes.
• Summer squash: 2 minutes.
• Sweet peppers: halves, 3 minutes; strips/rings, 2 minutes.
• Turnips: 2 minutes.
• Wax beans: 3 minutes.
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