Green Moms Carnival: Food Preservation



Well, folks, I'm back from my unplanned blogging hiatus.  Everything is fine here -- no tragedies or major crises.  Just everyday life with small children, as well as hot days with no a/c and some hip pain that make sitting in front of the computer highly unattractive.

July's Green Moms Carnival is all about food preservation.  Food preservation is something I really want to attempt this summer and fall.  I wanted to try freezer jam and write about it for the carnival, but haven't managed to do it yet, so instead my food preservation is limited to freezing baked goods:

The carnival, hosted by Farmer's Daughter, has some fabulous ideas for freezing, canning, drying and more.  I'm looking forward to browsing all the posts myself.  I do still plan to make strawberry freezer jam using organic strawberries from my farmers' market, so if you have a great recipe (especially one that uses less sugar or a natural sweetener like honey instead of sugar), please send it my way.

I also recently discovered that I have a friend who cans, and she has very generously offered to help me can tomatoes this year.  I hope to can enough tomatoes so that I don't have to use any store-bought canned tomatoes this year.  I have eliminated almost all canned food from my diet, but still rely on canned diced tomatoes and tomato sauce for several recipes when tomatoes are out of season, which I would like to stop doing, especially since tomatoes are acidic and more likely to contain plastic that has leached from the can lining.  And wouldn't it be so lovely to use reusable glass jars instead?  Yes, it would.

So those are my high hopes for food preservation during this summer's harvest: strawberry freezer jam and canned tomatoes.  And maybe I'll try drying some fruit as well, just for kicks.

What are your food preservation plans and aspirations for this summer and fall?

5 comments:

  1. I am thinking about getting a smallish chest freezer for my apartment (our freezer is tiny). It would be great to have some freezer jam, frozen fish and homemade bread etc. stocked up. But...I'm wondering if you know of any way to freeze stuff that doesn't involve plastic. I don't really want our food frozen in plastic for a long time before we eat it. Any ideas?

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  2. The carnival was full of so many suggestions-I am completely inspired! Your recipes look great. I have high hopes for trying out a few of the tips, but I don't know how realistic I'm being. Not much is getting done these days except for a lot of swimming and refereeing!

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  3. megwrites, jam is easy - glass jars. I'm guessing you already know that one. I currently freeze my bread in plastic bags and the meat in whatever packaging it came in. You could wrap meat in aluminum foil I'm guessing first, although some folks have concerns about that. Or pack your meat really tightly into pyrex containers, maybe put a layer of wax paper or aluminum foil across the top and then the plastic lid (to avoid contact with the plastic). For what it's worth, I worry less about leaching at cold temperatures. Your other option is stainless steel of course. The challenge would be packing the containers as full as possible to keep the air out. You might check if My Plastic-Free Life has any resources on this:
    http://plasticfreeguide.com/

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  4. groovy, yes intentions and dreams always surpass reality, maybe esp. in the summer.

    megwrites, another idea is to maybe buy your meat from a butcher that will wrap the meat in paper (which is lined with wax -- ingredients???), and then stack those inside a glass container. You could also bring your own glass containers directly to the butcher and have them put the meat in those -- since you want to fill up the container completely to avoid freezer burn, you might want to put something b/t the meat and the plastic lid (wax paper?) if you don't want your meat in contact with plastic. That's all I can think of. Hope that helps! Let me know how it goes.

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  5. I freeze absolutely everything in glass jars. I made apple sauce last winter and filled the freezer with the jars of all sorts, mostly from pasta sauce etc. None broke. Leave at least an inch between top of product and top of jar and let thaw slowly at room temperature.

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