There really isn't much in the world of raising, preserving, and cooking your own food that is easy, quick or even clean. There is no getting around it, it is a lot of work. Worth every bit of it but still, any little thing that can aid in any of these areas is greatly apreciated!
And that is what I have for you today. A simple little adjustment that will do all three. This is the easiest, quickest and cleanest way to blanch vegetables.
Blanching is the process of partially cooking a vegetable to prepare it for freezing. This process helps the vegetsable to retain it's flavor and texture. It won't have the texture of the raw vegetable but the texture of the cooked version. Many vegetables will become fiberous if you freeze them without blanching them first.
It may not sound that bad.You may think "oh, I'll just save myself the work and throw them in the freezer as they are." Trust me, you don't want to do this. A fibrous carrot is not very pleasant to eat.
Take a look at the video for full instructions on this better way to blanch vegetables then scroll down to find more helpful tips.
Oh, I almost forgot. This is also a debut of something. Can you figure out what it is?
The Easiest, Quickest, Cleanest Method to Blanch Vegetables
Vegetables That Need Blanching
Wash vegetable and chop them into uniform size. Keeping them all the same size helps them to blanch evenly. Blanching lengths are different for each vegetable. You want to only cook them half way. They will finish cooking when you use them in your meal. Denser vegetables like carrots and kohlrabi need longer while things like spinach are ready rather quickly. Test them as they blanch to find the right balance.
Vegetables and Fruit that Don't Need Blanching
These vegetables can be put into the freezer just as they are after washing. Most often, depending on what you plan to use them for, you will still ant to chop them up so they are ready to go right into the pot, pan, or smoothie blender. They won't be any fun to cut up after they have froze.
Remember to par freeze your vegetables after blanching by spreading them on a pan and freezing them before transferring to a storage container. If you put them right into the container they will become one solid mass.
Have you done any blanching before? Have you heard of steam blanching before this video? Let me know what you are planning to blanch in the comments below.
Until next time, blessings to you and yours!
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With canning and processing the harvest comes much chopping of vegetables and fruit. It is the most time consuming part of the entire process. So what are our options?
Well, we can stick to doing it by hand. This is great if you don't have much to do. Why dirty a bunch of equipment for a samll amount of produce? Purchase a good knife (we really like are Rada cutlery), keep it sharp, and your good to go!
If you have larger quantities a food processor is very handy. They are effective and produce nice even results. The largest capacity food processor I've ever seen was a 12 cup kitchen aid. It sounds like a lot but when you are producing bushels of produce at a time it still takes hours to get everything chopped.
For the canner who processes the largest quantities of food, it's time for the meat processor. Oh boy, does this do the trick! This is definitely the fastest way to chop vegetables. With a meat grinder you can feed the vegetables continually, never stopping to empty one batch and refill. Nope, just keep on feeding the grinder and watch it come out the other end perfectly chopped. We are never going back people. This has changed canning season for good and in such a good way!
Choosing the right plants for your pollinator garden can be quite the task. It is recommended that you have a minimum of 5 blooming plants but preferably 20 in bloom for the duration of your season, early spring thru fall. It doesn't seem to bad but then you start thinking of the bees and think "NO, I need 20! I got to feed those pollinators!" Well, I do anyways. But the reality is that I have a lot of square feet to cover. It's going to take some time.
We can't save the pollinators in one day yet they will appreciate any and all of our efforts. So let's give ourselves a break and do what we can now, knowing that it is a work in progress. Every year will get better, more plants can be added and spaces can be enlarged!
A guide to choosing the right plants for your circumstances can be found below as well as planning worksheets. The planning worksheets got my efforts organized and helped me to see clearly where I need to feel in with more varieties.
Have you heard me talk about Kiwi before? If you follow us on Facebook or Instagram you know the she is our little Lowline Jersey cross. She's a tiny little thing- definitely a mini!
It is sad that so much knowledge has been lost with our ancestors. Technology has taken over and many skills have been long forgotten. Skills that are still very valuable especially on the homestead! I'm grateful that there is an emerging trend to re-learn these skills. One such being how to make a pectin free jam and preserving other homegrown foods!.
There is still one thing that baffles me, the copious amounts of sugar. Surely our ancestors did not use this much sugar! One recipe we looked at called for 6-7 cups of sugar to 5 cups of fruit! That much sugar surely erases all the health benefits of the fruit!
We really enjoy zucchini at our house. It can me made into a tasty dessert, deliscious dinner, lunch or breakfast, frozen, dried, or canned for latter use. So versitile!
This past week I've tried two new zucchini recipes and both were big hits. The one I;'m going to be sharing today almost even beat homemade doughnuts according to my 7 year old daughter.
It went like this:
Daughter- " This is the best breakfast I've ever had in my life!"
Dad- " It's really good. How can you go wrong with zucchini and sausage, but what about doughnuts?"
Daughter- " ok, maybe not better than donughnut, but it's gooood!"
Just so you know zucchini is my husbands fav veggie. Still, can anything beat fresh homemade doughnuts? I don't think so. Ok, I'm absolutely positive! So you know that when something almost does it has to be dang good!
Salads are such an easy meal for summer time and a great way to get all our greens (7 cups a day!). Some people are intimidated by growing lettuce and shy away from it but there's no need, it easy!. Today I'm going to give you my best tips for growing lettuce so that you can have a continuous supply for quick and easy summer time meals that don't heat up the house.
You guys I am loving our terraced pollinator garden! It still has a way to go but it has been so much fun and we are making a lot of progress.
I love to garden. I always have and always will I'm sure. I've done it since I was a small child with my mother and sometimes my dad as well. I can't think of a time when I didn't garden. Even in high school I helped here and there. My first apartment balcony was filled with flower pots, and as soon as spring hit, the side of the steps of my first house was adorned with flowers.
It started with flowers then I incorporated garden vegetables and now I have the best of both worlds in this little paradise of a farm we are so blessed to live on! The best part about it is that my kids are right there next to me. And they actually enjoy it! They are just as excited about growing as me! Even about eating all those tasty vegetables!
I'm telling ya people, garden with your children. It can bring them a lifetime of healthy eating habits and endless memories of spending quality time learning something new with YOU!
To get you started I have made a list of the best plants for gardening with kids. The criteria to make this list includes ease of planting, ease of care, kids preference to the flavor, and the abundance of fun it is to grow. This is just a starting point. I hope that once you get going you venture into new things.
*I've included links to the varieties we use. I am in no way affiliated with rareseeds.com or Baker Creek (same company). I just truly love the variety and quality of their seeds! I know they are just as much against GMO's as me which gives me a piece of mind when ordering from them. I'm sure you will love them too!
The Best Plants for Gardening with Kids
Hello, I'm Jaci. I love wandering around in my gardens admiring God's creation. I'm passionate about whole foods and clean eating. I look forward to sharing my farming and homestead adventures and helping you reach your gardening goals! If you have any questions then don't be shy, I'd love to hear from you. Send me a message and I will be glad to help!