CAN IT!

HEALTHY GAR­DEN­ING GUIDE

Best Health - - CONTENTS - pho­tog­ra­phy by JA­NIS NI­CO­LAY

EASY DIY PRE­SERV­ING

WHAT ARE THE BEN­E­FITS OF DIY?

It’s a great way to add a fruity com­po­nent to meals all year long be­cause you can pull out a jar and en­joy spring fresh­ness in De­cem­ber. Pre­serves are so ver­sa­tile and great for cook­ing and pair­ing with cheese – plus, they’re just fun to make!

WHAT QUAL­I­FIES AS A PRE­SERVE?

There are tech­ni­cal def­i­ni­tions, but we think of it as “ev­ery­thing that can be pre­served in a jar.” So that’s jams and jel­lies, but it can also in­clude pick­les, sal­sas, mar­malades, con­fits and chut­neys. Some pre­serves call for pectin, but we pre­fer not to use it in our recipes be­cause we find it in­flu­ences the look and flavour of our cre­ations.

WHERE DO YOU START?

For any kind of pre­serve, you first need to ster­il­ize your equip­ment and any­thing that will come in con­tact with your prod­uct. This in­cludes boil­ing your tongs, spoons, fun­nel and lids. For the jars, wash them and put them in an oven at ap­prox­i­mately 225°F for 30 min­utes.

WHAT’S NEXT?

The next step is to prep your fruit. This means chop­ping and adding any spices, herbs or other flavour­ful add-ins. Then you’re on to cook­ing! We have three meth­ods, which de­pend on the level of nat­u­ral pectin found in the fruit you’re us­ing.

WHAT ARE THE COOK­ING METH­ODS?

For fruits with very lit­tle pectin, such as blue­ber­ries, you would use a method called “two-cook.” Bring the fruit to a boil, re­frig­er­ate it overnight and cook it again the next day.

For fruits with a lit­tle more pectin, you would do the “pre-jam” method, which in­volves mac­er­at­ing the fruit. If you’re us­ing straw­ber­ries, re­frig­er­ate your fruit (that’s been prepped with sugar and lemon juice) overnight to ex­tract all the lovely juices, which are strained out and cooked the fol­low­ing day. Once that juice has been cooked and re­duced, add the straw­ber­ries back in.

For high-pectin fruits, such as rasp­ber­ries, you would use the “straight to it” method, which means cook­ing and jar­ring the fruit the same day.

HOW DO YOU JAR THE FRUIT?

We set the mix­ture to 220°F, put the pre­serves into warm, ster­il­ized jars, put the lids on and process them in a wa­ter bath.

IS THERE A LOT OF OP­POR­TU­NITY TO BE IN­VEN­TIVE WITH PRE­SERV­ING?

Yes, that’s the whole idea be­hind our book. Don’t worry, try dif­fer­ent things and ex­per­i­ment. b

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