When I first went vegan, I loved the idea of canning! I wanted to make my own jams, pickles, and spreads but I had no idea what it involved. After some brief research I realized that it seemed like a lot of work and equipment, so I let that idea go. People were really getting into canning things though and I had to wonder why. Almost every website I scroll through has something about making their own jam, sauerkraut, or pickles. For a while I felt left out, but I realized that I didn’t have to jump on that bandwagon and I could do my own food preservation.
Lets be honest, I am not the type of person who plans ahead to make a day ordeal out of something like that, and honestly I just don’t have the space or equipment to do so right now. That being said, spending a whole day prepping vegetables and fruits didn’t necessarily appeal to me. This isn’t to mention the fact that you have to sterilize the jars and make sure they seal properly to ensure you don’t get a food borne illness. I really had to ask myself how I was going to preserve my food if I wanted to have fresh vegetables in the winter. I found the answer and it was way simpler to me.
I started to prep vegetables and fruits and freeze them! Last year I did this with a dozen bags of green chilies. I took the time to peel and seed all of them and froze them in individual bags and had green chilies all winter long! I have also done the same thing with bell peppers, onions, kale, stone fruit, bananas, rhubarb and other fruits and vegetables. By simply blanching, shocking, and freezing kale, I got perfectly cooked fresh, local kale at the snap of a finger. The nice thing about this is not having to plan ahead. If I had an ingredient I knew I would want to save for later months, I could cook it however I wanted, let it cool, then freeze it in Tupperware or a zip top bag. A lot of the time, I will simply cook something up and throw it in the freezer so I am able to use it before it spoils, thus creating less food waste. Also by doing this, I can season them in a way that is actually useful to me. With most canning recipes, the vegetables are in a brine or the fruit is in a syrup, and that doesn’t appeal to me if I am going to cook with it later on. My method takes up a good amount of freezer space but it is worth it to me.
This is by no means a negative reaction to canning. I have great respect for the people who take the time to organize, sanitize, and prep everything! I also love the final product of pretty much all canned goods. I just don’t prefer it as a method of preservation, especially when it comes to fresh vegetables. I hope this tip is helpful to some of you and highly recommend it if you are in a pinch for time, like I usually am!