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Storing/Preserving/Freezing Veg.
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gardening-girl



Joined: 25 Feb 2009
Posts: 6024
Location: Somerset.
PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 09 10:19 am    Post subject: Storing/Preserving/Freezing Veg.  Reply with quote    

Having grown so much veg on the allotment, our next step is to store as much as possible for the winter.Can anyone help with the following questions?

1. Best way to keep beetroot/carrots.Do they freeze well, or is it worth keeping in sand?

2.Runner beans, have never enjoyed eating them frozen,what am I doing wrong, they come out like mush.Are they any good salted?

3.Any ideas for tomatoes?I have made loads of roasted tomato passata, and loads of ratatouille.Any other ideas please.

As its raining yet again, it looks like it will be an afternoon in the kitchen.

Thanks in advance

gil
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 08 Jun 2005
Posts: 18380

PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 09 2:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I don't find beetroot and carrots freeze well.
Beetroot I'd keep in sand, or pickle.
Carrots I leave in the ground as long as poss, or store in sand. I sometimes sweat them with onion and then freeze. Or I freeze them blanched but only use for soups.

Runner beans : I chop into 1" lengths, blanch and freeze; don't have a problem doing this.

Tomatoes : being lazy, I've also been known to slice and freeze them, but would only use in recipes where they go to mush anyway, e.g. spag bol, curry, soups.

How about Tomato chutney, ketchup....

judith



Joined: 16 Dec 2004
Posts: 22789
Location: Montgomeryshire
PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 09 2:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

1. I would go for damp sand for the carrots. For the beetroot it depends how you eat them. If you eat a lot of soup, then it might be worth cooking, puréeing and freezing them. Otherwise as for the carrots.

2. I don't like frozen runner beans either, so I content myself with eating them for practically every meal while they are in season and then waiting until next year. I've never tried salting them, but I might have a go this year - has to be better than frozen! Otherwise there's chutney (if you like khaki-coloured food!) or picallilli.
Alternatively, leave them to get big on the plant and then harvest them for the beans inside - these you can either dry or (much easier) freeze.

3. Tomatoes - have you tried drying them? I get through jars and jars of SDTs in oil every winter. As Gil says, there is also ketchup - homemade is delicious.

boisdevie1



Joined: 11 Aug 2006
Posts: 3897
Location: Lancaster
PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 09 2:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Tomatoes you can freeze. OK, they fall apart like strawberries but then you can make a simple tomato and garlic sauce with them. Or make lots of tomato sauce for use in recipes later.

fivespud364



Joined: 11 Nov 2008
Posts: 185
Location: well and truelly Somerset now
PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 09 4:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I don't blanch my runner beans just slice them and freeze them that seems to do the trick

gardening-girl



Joined: 25 Feb 2009
Posts: 6024
Location: Somerset.
PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 09 5:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Judith, drying tomatoes sounds good. Do you just put them in the oven on low?
We also use loads of SDT in oil, so this sounds like a good glut buster!

judith



Joined: 16 Dec 2004
Posts: 22789
Location: Montgomeryshire
PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 09 5:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I have a dehydrator, but I'm pretty sure that the low oven method works just as well. Perhaps there will be someone along in a minute who has done it.

(And I hope you know it is agony discussing gluts of tomatoes - mine are still very stubbornly green )

gardening-girl



Joined: 25 Feb 2009
Posts: 6024
Location: Somerset.
PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 09 6:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

We are very lucky, we have a poly tunnel!

Nicky Colour it green



Joined: 25 Jun 2007
Posts: 8698
Location: Devon, uk
PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 09 8:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

i find beetroot freezes well. I steam it first, then skin it, then box and freeze it.

Jonnyboy



Joined: 29 Oct 2004
Posts: 23924
Location: under some rain.
PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 09 8:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

oven dried tomatoes. Almost cut in half, leaving a sliver of skin as a hinge. Deseed and then sprinkle a little salt in the cavities. Place cut side down for 30mins to help extract more liquid.

oven to 60 deg C. place cut side up on a rack and cook for 10-12 hours. If your oven won't go that low keep the door ajar.

Store in jars filled with cheap olive oil.

You can bottle tomatoes in brine as well, that works well.

Slim



Joined: 05 Mar 2006
Posts: 5525
Location: New England (In the US of A)
PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 09 12:54 am    Post subject: Re: Storing/Preserving/Freezing Veg. Reply with quote    

I can't really imagine devoting freezer space to beets and carrots, as they cellar so well! (check out the book Root Cellaring)

I usually leave carrots in the ground, with lots of mulch on top (so the tops of the carrots don't freeze too hard, and so I can get to them under the snow)

Marts



Joined: 06 Sep 2005
Posts: 352
Location: London
PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 09 11:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Another good book for storage methods is

How to store your Garden Produce

gardening-girl



Joined: 25 Feb 2009
Posts: 6024
Location: Somerset.
PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 09 3:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Thanks for that Marts, I feel a book order coming on.

Just Jane



Joined: 16 Mar 2006
Posts: 140
Location: France
PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 09 10:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

judith wrote:

3. Tomatoes - have you tried drying them? I get through jars and jars of SDTs in oil every winter. As Gil says, there is also ketchup - homemade is delicious.


How dry do you dry them before putting them in oil? Also do you just pour olive oil over them or do you heat it first or put it jar of tomatoes covered in oil in the steriliser? - have recently invested in a dehydrator and have read warnings about botulism & don't want to kill anybody. First attempt at drying (without oil) were delicious but started to go mouldy after about 3 weeks in the fridge

judith



Joined: 16 Dec 2004
Posts: 22789
Location: Montgomeryshire
PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 09 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I've never had enough tomatoes before to have enough to dry, so I've always made them with bought SDTs in the past (hope to rectify that this year though). I soak them in a mix of water and vinegar for a couple of hours to rehydrate. I put them with the herbs into sterilised jars and then pour on cold oil and seal. I don't make up huge batches at once and store them in the fridge just to be on the safe side. They have never gone off kept like this, and I'm still here to tell the tale.

That said, there are a couple of threads on the site about the risks of botulism with oil-based preserves. Might be worth tracking them down and reading them first - they will either terrify you so much that you won't want to do it at all, or at least give you an idea of the potential risks. (I have stopped adding garlic as a result, and now store the jars in the fridge even before I open them).

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