Quick Food Preservation

Refrigerating, freezing, and dry storing are the trifecta of quick preservation. Learn more at TwiceasTasty.com.
Preserving your harvest often seems like a daunting, time-consuming task, involving pounds of produce, stacks of jars, and boiling kettles on some of the hottest days of the year. Large-batch canning can operate that way: as a project, albeit one that fills your pantry. But it’s not the only way to preserve what you grow. Preservation can happen every time you come in from the garden with a little more than you and your family will eat at the next meal.

Refrigerating, freezing, and dry storing are the trifecta of quick preservation. As I mentioned while describing their pros and cons last week, produce preserved in these ways requires minimal prep and handling. Most of the tools and packaging you need are likely already in your home. Storage times can vary widely with these techniques, but some tips and tricks will let you get the most out of each. Best of all, a wide range of food can be preserved simply and easily with these quick preservation techniques.
Read more about quick food preservation

Prepare to Preserve

Whatever your type of produce, storage space, or free time, you can save your harvest. Learn more at TwiceasTasty.com.
How’s your garden growing? If it’s anything like mine, you’ve moved beyond planting to weeding and harvesting—and harvesting, and harvesting. With so much food coming ripe so quickly, it’s time to dig out the canning kettle, dehydrator, crocks, and other preservation tools that will let you enjoy homegrown (or farm fresh from a CSA) produce the rest of the year.

Later this month, I’ll be teaching a free online workshop through Free the Seeds that focuses on preparing to preserve your harvest. It’s a big topic, with far more information than I can share in one session, so I’ll be expanding on that topic all month here at Twice as Tasty. Be sure to join me online July 15 so that I can answer your questions directly (sign up for the Free the Seeds mailing list to receive a registration email), and then check back here for additional tips, tools, and recipes that save your harvest. You’ll also find pages of information on basic tools and techniques here.
Read more about preparing to preserve

Buckwheat

I’ve found many reasons to love buckwheat: it’s gluten free, packed with protein, and easy to prepare. Get buckwheat recipes at TwiceasTasty.com.
My first memorable encounters with buckwheat grouts were in Russia. In the United States, roasted buckwheat grouts are typically sold as “kasha,” but in Russia, all the каша I ate as a hot breakfast cereal was a mix of grains. My Russian friends tended to cook buckwheat on its own—traditionally in an oven until it softened to a porridge—and serve it as a savory meal more than a sweet one.

I’ve since found many reasons to love buckwheat. Despite its name in English, it’s not a type of wheat: it’s actually a gluten-free seed in the same plant family as rhubarb. So if wheat isn’t on your diet, buckwheat is your friend. Unlike some gluten-free grains, it’s packed with protein and amino acids. Soaking it removes some of its phytic acid, which can make it easier to digest. A presoak also speeds up the cooking process—instead of a slow bake in a low-temp oven, you can have it ready from the stovetop in 5 minutes for a modern take on каша сименуха, a traditional Russian breakfast, or for an easy dinner with roasted vegetables.
Learn to make Buckwheat Porridge with Mushrooms and Eggs and Roasted Vegetables with Tofu and Buckwheat

Beans and Cornbread

Homemade vegetarian baked beans can have the perfect balance of sweet and tang. Get bean recipes at TwiceasTasty.com.
Baked beans can be a vegetarian’s guilty pleasure. Cans on the store shelf often make up for the lack of bacon by upping the sweetness factor, taking the beans out of the “healthy food” realm and putting them in the same category as store-bought granola and sweet potato fries. It’s unfortunate, because when cooked properly, vegetarian baked beans can have the perfect balance of sweet and tang.

I’ve always found canned vegetarian baked beans to be cloyingly sweet. Then I got hooked on beans in tomato sauce when I lived in London. These navy beans stewed in tomato sauce and popped into a can aren’t exactly gourmet, but the first flavor on my tongue wasn’t corn syrup. The Brits are great fans of them as beans on toast. As filling as this meal was on a backpacker budget, a stand in Covent Garden went one better: for a few quid, I could get a giant, piping hot jacket potato smothered in these beans. Since then, I’ve upscaled the beans, but I still love to serve them in baked potatoes.
Learn to make Vegetarian Baked Beans and Baked Polenta