I hate when it gets to the end of winter and we have to say goodbye to some of the tastiest produce of the season. I never want to let go of my fresh figs or pumpkin soup! But there are so many ways to preserve winter fruit and veg so you can enjoy them all year round.
Can them, pickle them, dry them out, even turn them into chutney and jam. Seriously, the possibilities are endless and soooo delicious. Plus they make a super cute, thoughtful, homemade gift!
Below are some of my favourite recipes that make ordinary fruit and veggies taste absolutely amazing, and in most cases, even better than they did before!
Making jam is the perfect way to preserve your favourite winter fruits.
The best fruits to make good quality jam out of should contain an adequate amount of pectin and acid. So that includes fruits like sour berries, grapes, sour cherries, plums and cranberries. Make sure the fruit is already nice and ripe as it makes for a more flavoursome result.
Here’s my top pick:
Homemade Plum Jam:
Makes about 10 standard sized jars.
2. Pickling and Fermenting
Pickling is great because it can be done with almost any fruit or vegetable! However, pickling works best if the produce was picked no longer than 24 hours before. Fermenting is a little different in that you use salt and water as well. Fermented vegetables create their own acidic liquid that has amazing health benefits including healthy digestion.
Here’s my favourite recipe for preserving cabbage:
Sauerkraut in a Mason Jar
Makes approx. 1 kg
*Recipe courtesy of The Kitchn
Drying out produce is a fantastic way to keep them edible all year round. In terms of vegetables, garlic, popcorn, chili peppers, tomatoes and chili peppers are the best to use.
Because drying also removes the juice of fruit and vegetables, it can completely change their flavour! Often this means flavour is intensified. Take dried tomatoes for instance – yum!
Oven Dried Tomatoes
Makes 2 cups
Who doesn’t love a great chutney? Perfect as an accompaniment for roasts and steaks. It doesn’t stop there though, we love to make sweet chutneys with fruit as well. For spicy chutneys, you’ll want to use ingredients like tomatoes, onions and green capsicum. For the sweeter ones, we love fruit like mangoes, dates or rhubarb. My personal favourite? Date and rhubarb. This one makes for a seriously scrumptious addition to any cheese plate.
Date and Rhubarb Chutney
Relish, like chutney, can be made from either fruit or vegetables. However, for this type of thing it’s best to use the ones that aren’t way too juicy (otherwise you’ll have a sloppy soup on your hands!) Cranberries are perfect to preserve during Winter, especially if you want to use them at Christmas time!
Give this recipe a go:
Cranberry-Orange Relish with Mint
* Note – this relish can be frozen and kept for up to three months!*Recipe courtesy of Bon Appetit
Still not convinced? Check out some of these amazing ideas…