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Fruit & veg

Preserving, What do you do or planning to do.

Before the big harvest lets discuss what works and what ups up in disaster

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Steve Worthing

A thread to discuss how to preserve the glut of Vegetables and fruit from the harvest.

I'm growing (and the method i plan to preserve)

Baby Sweetcorn- Blanching in boiling water, refreshing in iced water then freezing in freezer bags.

Tomatoes- Drying in the oven (50c for 4-5 hours to semi soft) with garlic and then in jars with olive oil. How long do they last in the jars unopened? anyone tried it?

Bell peppers- not sure at the mo, might go for the slicing , blanching, refreshing freezing method or preserve in oil

Cayenne Chills- total drying (oven 50c for 10 hours) for chilli flakes to put in a pepper grinder. May preserve some in olive oil (semi dried)

Aubergine - Roasting in Oven until soft then preserving  in olive oil

Peas- Blanch,refresh,freeze

Green beans- I seem to be ok at munching these away so won't have many left


Very interested in what you have tried or are planning to do. Has anyone bought i Dehydrator machine?



Just made 15 jars of blackcurrant jam. Little beads of sunshine to have with porridge in the winter.

I have mangetout peas. also called eat all peas because I have usually eaten them all before they get into the kitchen.

Where I work someone has chickens but can't grow veg. I intend doing some swaps of excess veg for eggs.

When we get fed of up eating raspberries I will freeze them.

I find frozen beans are never anything like fresh so I don't do it any more. We eat our fill during the summer, and then  eagerly anticipate next years crop.

Sweetcorn. If I beat the bl**dy squirrels to them we will have a feast, with freshly boiled cobs and butter dripping down  our chins.

Steve Worthing

Also with the Chillies, making a Sweet Chilli sauce


I have made redcurrant jelly with marjoram and strawberry jam.  I have spiced blackcurrant jelly on the go with more fruits to be picked tomorrow and probably frozen for winter crumbles.

OH has just harvested the last of the rhubarb for me to make chutney and I have chillies ripening to freeze, dry and make chilli jam. 

Autumn raspberries, tayberries and damsons still to come plus crab apples.

I make tomato chutney and can in mason jars ,like you would  jam.It  is great with cheese.If you would like the recipe I will post it. It is really good.



Chillis get made into sweet chilli sauce or chilli jam or get frozen whole for chopping into dishes during winter.  Don't have a lot of room for veg but have some courgettes and tomatoes that are getting used up at the minute but any extras will be made into pasta sauce and frozen.

Shrinking Violet

Chilies are strung up and hung in the kitchen.  They gradually shrivel and dry and can then be blitzed in the food processor (with or without seeds if you want more or less heat!) and used through the winter to sprinkle into soups, casseroles etc. 

Beans never taste as good from frozen - but I chop them up quite small (about half cm length) and quickly blanch.  Then I mix with finely diced and blanched courgettes, sweetcorn and peas.  I find they quickly (too quickly!) get used up, either as a mixed veg or as additions to soups etc.  They also can be used to make a summer veg quiche, and the loss of texture is less noticeable!  Also fine French Beans can be blanched whole and then chucked into a stir-fry for additional taste etc.

Summer fruits (an embarrassment of raspberries atm) will be frozen in 1lb lots to be defrosted and turned into jam when the kitchen is less hot, likewise red and black currants. 

Any glut can be turned into mixed veg chutney or "jumbleberry" jam.


Peppers I just cut in half and freeze; don't bother with blanching.  Chillies I just freeze whole.  No blanching.

Hi Steve,love the idea of jams pickles ,all of it but earlier this site got some good advise about garlic in oil as i wanted to do it also,sorry i cant remember who it was but apparently it can be very dangerous,its not the same as the garlic and oil we buy, one i did do went very wrong and was chucked,have a bit of a check for safety mate, but for the rest of it im getting all the info i can and still looking for a good jam pan,decided not to buy one of the new electric ones.and got all mi recipes ready to go.
Good luck Alan
this is really good for advise for freezing i dont know how to make it into a straight forward connection like others do when you click on it but its a good one
Shrinking Violet

Alan - the large preserving pan that you want is sold in good kitchen shops or Lakeland.  I think they're called Maslin Pans - large capacity with a wide surface area to allow for rapid boiling (without boiling over).  They aren't cheap, but will last a lifetime.  I have had mine for over 30 years, and have just finished making a batch of redcurrant jelly, now cooling in the jars.

btw I use added pectin when making jam - it cuts the amount of boiling time to just a few minutes (saves on fuel) and means that the jam isn't boiled to death at the expense of the taste of the fruit.  You can get sugar with pectin added or liquid pectin is sold under the brand "Certo".  Much easier - and they have a website with lots of good recipes.

Hope this helps.

Steve Worthing

Well after all that i munched the lot

(with a little help of friends and family) 

But heres what i did with my Chillies

Fish Sauce, Sugar, White Wine Vinegar, Sherry Vinegar


Cayenne Chillies


150g chopped chillies with seeds, garlic, ginger


Add the vinegar and blitz with a food processor


After blending


De-seed and remove the pith from the rest of the chillies and finely dice


Add the chillies and sugar


Start over a low heat to make sure the sugar is fully dissolved


Get it up to a rolling boil (for around 45min)


Cook until it starts to coat the back of a spoon (runny syrup)


Store in jars, it will thicken a bit when cooled (mines gone to a tomato ketchup consistency) Should keep for a while. 


Steve Worthing

I have found the cheapest place to get air tight containers/jars is Ikea 80p for the small ones £1 for the bigger one.


I have lots of the old kilner jars with the screw on lids with glass insert in the middle.  I use them to pickle beetroot (adore beetroot) and until recently have had trouble finding the rubber sealing rings to fit.  I have now found them on eBay and they work a treat so don't throw out your old kilners.



Going to pickle beetroot this afternoon. No malt vinegar in sight, I use wine vinegar, much more gentle flavour. 

I have grown white beetroot this year and was wondering if it would take to the same treatment with maybe cider vingar - any ideas about that?

Jim Macd

I make chilli jam and a chilli and onion spiced jam. I also dry them. I use a dehydrator, it works great. I've tried freezing some too, chopped up first. Plums, apples and crabs, get made into jams and jellies. I cook and freez a lot too for pies and crumbles later. I don't have any crop from the apples that store yet, they're too young. I don't grow verg except toms and only grow enough to eat fresh, though inevitably a lot goes in the freezer for makig dhal. 


Matty - 'white beetroot' - does it taste the same as the red variety?

My chillies are still drying in the GH. Will try your recipee next year Steve.

Have lots of pickled beetroot though and tomato chutney. There's a freezer full of currants, blueberries and roasted toms.

Picked the last of the peppers today and I've still got aubergines in the GH grown for seed collecting which just keep getting bigger. There's also two bags of spuds yet to be emptied and celeriac was pulled today. Not sure yet what to do with the celeriac, don't recall ever having eaten it before, may have some with Sunday lunch...Zoomer goes off to find a cook book....    


Don't know Forester, supposed to be sweeter - have yet to try it. Will let you know