10 Important Time Saving Hints for Home Preservers

MAKE SURE ALL EQUIPMENT IS ON HAND BEFORE STARTING - There is nothing worse than coming up short on lids or sugar, spices or some other needed ingredient once you get started in canning.

STORE HARVESTED VEGETABLES in plastic bags and chill quickly if you are not going to get to them right away.

TRAY FREEZE VEGETABLES - If you are faced with huge quantities of vegetables and not enough time, try tray freezing them. Wash the vegetable, dice and/or chop. Spread out on cookie sheets and place in the coolest part of your freezer and allow to freeze. Once frozen, veggies can be tossed into freezer bags and/or vacuum packed.

TRAY FREEZE BERRIES - Whenever strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries come into season, I wash them in cold water, drain well in a colander and tray-freeze them on cookie sheets without sugar. When frozen solid, they go into freezer bags. Berries can be used later for jams, jellies, pies, puddings, smoothies, etc.

APPLESAUCE - The fastest and easiest method of making applesauce is with a hand-cranked strainer, like the Roma Sauce Maker. Apples need not be peeled or cored, just cooked until soft and pureed in the strainer.

PUREES - Overripe, unblemished fruits can be frozen whole or sliced to make quick purees when defrosted. Fruit puree is perfect for smoothies, pancake and waffle toppings dressings for fruit salads, and other

PUMPKINS AND SQUASH - will store well until late fall or early winter when you have more time for processing.

HEAT SYRUPS FOR FRUITS - Try using a coffee maker pot to pour the syrup into the jars, instead of utilizing a ladle to save time and mess!

FREEZING STRAWBERRIES - To keep strawberries from absorbing large amounts of water, hull the berry AFTER washing.

DEFROSTING BERRIES - Place frozen berries into a bowl, cover with sugar, and then cover the bowl, to minimize exposure to air and promote better color, texture, and flavor retention.

If you decide to try out dehydrating and making your own healthy fruit leathers with no additives, you will be surprised just how quickly these nourishing snacks will disappear. May I suggest you be sure to have plenty of fruit leather inserts or Teflex sheets on hand so you can make lots and lots for kids and family? The make great gifts too!

Get Grandma Marilyn’s Famous Fruit Leather Recipe here