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Preserving without Heat

December 10, 2008

I have only been growing my own vegetables and preserving them for a few years now. The first thing I thought of was heat canning, and have spent a number of hours getting water to boil. This was not entirely satisfactory to me, however, because it just didn’t seem very efficient. Heat intensive processes are inefficient at small scale, such as my kitchen! So this year I ditched the water canning and decided to try other methods.

I recommend the book Keeping Food Fresh and basically followed the guidelines there for drying, lacto fermenting and preserving in olive oil.

While you can’t taste the results, here’s what they look like.

These are dried veggies and I dried them with the sun. Great way to keep nutrient quality intact and very light weight for storage and transportation. Shown are onions, tomatoes, pears and peppers.

Lacto fermentation is a fascinating process. All you need is salt and chlorine free water. Here are examples of pickles, a vegetable medley including beets, and shredded zucchini.

Olive oil is a more expensive preservative. But the oil isn’t lost, just borrowed while preserving and becoming a flavored oil when the vegetables are consumed. Many vegetables are sauteed briefly in vinegar before storage in oil. Shown are sweet pepper, tomatoes and a vegetable medley including carrots. Onions and garlic and herbs are often mixed into these.

One Comment leave one →
  1. April 18, 2009 8:33 pm

    What a great way to store food. I have also seen people use geothermal vents and solar thermosyphon systems to heat and dry foods. Perhaps a solar oven like system could be used to dry foods.

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