The 6 Things You Need to Preserve the Summer’s Bounty

As soon as I get used to the towering stacks of fragrant peaches and plump berries at the farmers’ market, the summer season comes to an end, and they’re gone. It always seems to go by in the blink of an eye.

A few pieces of equipment make it possible to cheat the laws of nature and preserve peak-season summer produce so it can be enjoyed long after the growing season is over. Nothing fights off my winter blues more than savoring flavorful peaches during those cold, gray months.

If the word preserving conjures images of toiling over Mason jars in a sweltering kitchen, don’t fret. There are plenty of ways to safely preserve food that are less labor intensive than home canning or fermenting. Whether you want to turn berries into fruit leather, dry slices of apples and mangoes, or freeze a bumper crop of tomatoes, here’s the best gear for preserving food at home, no matter your skill level.

If you want to make fruit leathers, dry berries to plop in your morning cereal, or ensure that the herbs from your garden don’t go to waste, you’ll want a dehydrator. Although you can use your oven in a pinch, it can be hard to keep it at the sub-200-degree Fahrenheit temperatures necessary for drying. A dehydrator, which pushes hot air at a controlled temperature through several trays of food, is more efficient and consistent.

Keep in mind that although the actual dehydrating process is mostly hands-off, preparing food for drying can be hard work, since you’ll need to clean, peel and slice a mountain of produce to get a decent yield. Dehydrators are also bulky, so they’re not ideal for small kitchens.

However, avid gardeners, hunters or anyone who regularly buys fresh produce in bulk at farm stands will benefit from the Nesco FD-1018A Gardenmaster Dehydrator (about $110), which holds eight trays of food. In our tests it dried everything evenly without needing to be monitored or rearranged to achieve even drying.

We also recommend the Samson Silent 6-Tray Dehydrator (about $115), which automatically shuts off and can accommodate larger items like flowers. However, this model requires you to shuffle the trays midway through drying.

Sahred From Source link Real Estate

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