Search Results for: preservation

How to preserve blackberries

I love to preserve blackberries.   It’s so easy to insure the great taste of summer in your food preps with just a small amount of work.  Rich in bioflavonoids, vitamin C and antioxidants, blackberries are nutritional power houses perfect for long term food storage pantries.   Here are my favorite ways to preserve blackberries.

There are more was to preserve blackberries than just making jam and fruit roll ups. Learn how to preserve blackberries to use in smoothies, oatmeal, muffins and more. Learn how to make seedless blackberry powder to stir into yogurt and use in baking. Preserve the fresh taste of summer all year long!

How To Freeze Blackberries

One way to preserve blackberries is to simply wash them using a 4:1 solution of water to vinegar, allowing them to air dry and then ‘flash freezing’ them.

To flash freeze,  simply lay out the now dry berries on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  Pop the tray into the freezer until the berries are frozen, then  package them in a  freezer safe container.

By ‘flash freezing’ the berries first, you’ll be able to simply pour out the amount of frozen berries you need.

simple-ways-to-preserve-blackberries

Preserve blackberries without the seeds.

I prefer my blackberries in a seedless form, especially in smoothies, or my son’s blenderized diet.  First,  rinse the blackberries with the 4:1  water to vinegar solution and puree them in a blender.   With the back of a spoon, push the blackberry puree through a sieve into a clean container. Easy!

how to deseed blackberries

Fill ice cube trays  or the trays used to freeze baby food with the blackberry puree, and freeze. Frozen blackberry ice cubes are a fun way to preserve blackberries.    The result is a whole bunch of frozen blackberry puree ice cubes that  can be added to smoothies,  thawed to flavor yogurt,  or as  base for popsicles and more!

How to use blackberry 'ice cubes'.

How To Dehydrate Blackberries

Dehydrated blackberries last for years when stored properly.  Rinse berries in a 4:1 solution of vinegar water  and  allow to air dry in a dehydrator set to Cool.  Dehydrating wet blackberries makes them flatten out.

Once the blackberries are dry,  set the temperature of the dehydrator to 125F and allow them to dehydrate for 18-20 hours.  Blackberries are done when you can easily crush a berry into powder with just your  fingers.

How to dehydrate blackberries

Make Blackberry Powder

Fill a sieve with dehydrated blackberries and crush them with the back of a spoon, catching the powder in a bowl.  You’ll be left with just dehydrated blackberry seeds in the sieve which you can throw in your compost pile.

Sprinkle blackberry powder in  teas and juices, or  into  your daily water intake.  Spoon blackberry powder over your morning oatmeal or yogurt and into your smoothie for a ‘grit-less’ drink.

Rehydrate your blackberry powder and use it in your favorite blackberry jam recipe.  Bonus!  No seeds!

Use dehydrated blackberries in place of fresh blackberries to make a blackberry flavored simple syrup to use to flavor cocktails and sodas.

Too busy to preserve blackberries yourself?

I  store cans of freeze dried blackberries in my long term food storage.   A quick trip to  Thrive Life  and you could do the same!

Need more information on how to dehydrate foods?  I recommend Dehydrate2Store.

What foods are you preserving this harvest season?

Pressure Canners Tutorial

Tis the season!  No, not that season.  Canning season! The season where families like mine harvest their garden goodness, plop it into little jars, and process it in one of my pressure canners to last at least through the winter.  If we’ve had a really great harvest we might even get lucky enough to can up enough of summer to last a couple of years.

Often people hear the word ‘canning’ and run for the hills.  I promise it’s not that hard, and it is very safe as long as you follow a few simple directions.

how to use a pressure canner

The Pressure Canner.

This is the type of canner you might be the most familiar with.  This is actually an All American Canner.  You can find cheaper varieties, but after years of canning we finally traded up to this baby and I wish now I would have done so much sooner.  The All American has no need for the rubber gaskets that other pressure canners require.  It also comes in a size that allows you to process 14 quarts at a time.  It’s built to last too.  I’ll be passing this sweet thang down to my kids when I cross over to the great canning season in the sky.

Modern pressure canners are lightweight, thin-walled aluminum or stainless steel kettles. Most have twist-on lids fitted with gaskets. They also have either  a dial gauge for indicating the pressure or a weighted gauge (which both regulates the pressure and indicates…..that’s the ‘rattling noise you’ll hear). Pressure canners can usually handle either one layer of quart or smaller size jars, or deep enough for two layers of pint or smaller size jars.

Foods that REQUIRE a pressure canner:

  • vegetables
  • low acidic fruits
  • meat

These items need a pressure canner rather than a water bath canner because ordinary water bath canners can only reach 212 F and can not to kill the types of bacteria that will grow in low acid foods. This temperature can be reached only by creating steam under pressure as achieved in quality pressure canners.

A few thoughts on canning dairy.  I know a lot of people who are now ‘canning’ butter.  The professionals at my canning extension suggest that home canning butter is not a safe idea.  There may be a ton of people who have canned their own butter and lived to tell the tale.  I choose not to put my family at risk.  The fat found in butter can actually protect C. botulinum and toxin formation even if the butter has been pressure canned. I may be a wuss, but I’m a wus that won’t end up in the emergency room.

Here are a couple of the best websites for canners-

National Center for Home Preservation:  This website gets into the nitty-gritty of canning including safety requirements.

Food in Jars:  I dare you to spend time on this site and not want to start up your own canning engines.  From book reviews to their Canning 101 posts, this site is pure canning crack.  Go ye now and dream.  You can come back and thank me later.

Now there may be those of you wishing I had written this post much earlier in the season…..like when your area hadn’t already been blasted by the first frost of the season.  The idea that canning isonly a summer/fall activity is no longer true.   Do you participate in Zaycon Foods?  You could spend a day or two pressure canning hamburger or chicken!

Are you an experienced canner?  A beginner?  What do you can the most of?