One of my goals for this summer was to try my hand at canning and preserving. It’s not something I have ever done before-I have no childhood summers at Great-Aunt Betsy’s putting up jars of peaches to instruct me, just modern blogs and books. Fortunately, since preserving seems to be the new fad these days, there are an overwhelming number of books available. I have yet to purchase any because of the sheer number-how do you decide?!?-but I’ve checked a few out from the library and taken notes on interesting recipes. I’ve also spent a lot of hours in the blogosphere, gleaning wisdom from those who actually have some experience with this sort of thing.
One of the main methods of preserving I’ve been researching is lacto-fermentation. When I say this to people, they give me a highly confused look, as they have never heard of such a thing. It’s kind of a lost art. But lacto-fermenting is actually a long-standing traditional technique. And it’s based on the reality of our own bodily systems: if you feed good bacteria, you won’t allow bad bacteria to grow. Lacto-fermenting, or encouraging the beneficial lactobacilli to grow, preserves the food, enhances digestibility, and is rich in probiotics, which support a healthy immune system. For a great summary of the benefits as well as recipes, check out The Nourishing Gourmet.
Yesterday I put up three quart jars of Lacto-Fermented Escabeche, which is a fancy way of saying pickled peppers. I don’t know if I picked a peck or not, but I am excited to see if I pickled them correctly. I also blanched some broccoli for the freezer and canned some tomatillo sauce. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to the Lacto-Fermented Roasted Tomato Salsa because I forgot to buy cilantro at the produce market. Seriously, how could I forget cilantro?
I hope to continue working through all these preserving recipes, and many more besides. A couple of friends are excited about getting together and having a tomato-canning party, since almost all canned tomatoes are processed in BPA-lined cans, which is quite unhealthy, so I’ve been stockpiling different recipes for roasting, drying, and canning tomatoes. I think I will also try my hand at other pickles such as cucumbers and carrots, and perhaps some cortido, which is a Latin American sauerkraut. Along with all that, I signed up for Nourished Kitchen’s Preserve the Bounty challenge, and am slowly working through some of the recipes, like preserved limes. If all goes as planned we will enter fall with an entire stockpile of tasty preserved fruit and veggies waiting to liven up my winter menus.
This post is part of Monday Mania at The Healthy Home Economist