Cooking fruits and vegetables: 10 tips

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Canning is an energy-saving method of stocking fruit and vegetables and is also worthwhile for smaller households. Compote and jam are made quickly and already pre-cooked vegetables, antipasti or ready-made tomato sauce are most welcome, if you want to quickly bring a healthy meal on the table.

1. To be preserved by heat

Without preservation, fruit and vegetables, as well as other foods, are colonized by microorganisms such as fungal spores or bacteria and spoil rapidly. Prolonged heating (awakening) with temperatures between 75 and 100 degrees Celsius destroys the germs. In addition, escape water vapor and hot air. In this case, the lid pressed by spring clips with the underlying rubber ring acts like a valve. From the outside so no air can flow. The slow cooling creates a negative pressure in the glass, which permanently causes a firm and hygienic closure after removal of the clamps. The content remains at least one year, but usually lasting for many years.

Cooked tomato sauce

Pre-cooked fruits and vegetables do not have to be boiled down anymore, they only have to be filled in hot

2. Add hot instead of boiling

Hot filling of fruits or vegetables takes hardly any time. The principle is simple and can be used for pre-cooked food such as compote, tomato sauce, chutney and relish. The same rules apply to cooking as when cooking. So only use clean glasses and flawless ingredients, boil them with sugar, salt, vinegar and spices for five to ten minutes depending on the recipe and fill up hot. Close the glasses tightly and allow to cool. Important: During cooling, a vacuum must also be created, so that the lid bulges slightly inward in the middle. Shelf life: six to twelve months.

Prepare fruits for cooking

Freshly harvested currants are particularly suitable for the preparation of juices or jellies

3. Success rules for cooking

Cleanliness is the most important factor in preventing failures. For this reason, clean old and new glasses, lids and rubbers with hot water before use with rinse aid, rinse and drain on a fresh kitchen towel. Put glasses and lids in a damp cellar in boiling water for a few minutes to kill mold. Check circlips or screw cap, sort out cracked rings or damaged lids. When cold, fill the casserole with cold water in the casserole, add pre-cooked fruit and vegetables with warm or hot water. It is essential to comply with the setting temperature and duration, depending on the type of fruit or vegetable. Detailed information can be found in books and on the internet.

Self-made juice

If you make your own juice, you can also experiment and use more unusual fruits such as mirabelles

4. Juice win with and without steam

You can traditionally win smaller amounts of juice. Wash and clean the fruits or vegetables, chop them up, boil them with a little water until soft, put the fruit mass in a coarse kitchen towel and drain in a large colander or suspended over a bowl over night. The juice thus obtained is re-boiled and bottled hot or processed into jelly. For larger quantities, buy a steam extractor. The principle: Hot steam breaks the cell walls of filled fruit or vegetables, the juice comes out and can be filled through a thin tube directly into the prepared bottles. Duration: 30 to 60 minutes depending on the contents and filling quantity.

Fill Weck Casserole

If a canning kettle is used, the manufacturer's recommended filling system should be followed

5. Fill the casserole properly

An automatic timer with temperature controller and timer is available from as little as 70 euros and is practical if you regularly boil larger quantities. Canning jars with recessed lid can be stacked particularly well. Make sure, however, that the "towers" are loosely movable next to each other. Unlike traditional mason jars with domed glass lids, so-called round-edge glasses are filled with a recessed lid (from Weck) to just below the edge. Because less air is trapped, color, taste and most of the vitamins are better preserved. With a glass lifter you can safely remove the narrow vessels from the hot water without scalding.

Fill preserving jars

For cooking you need only a few accessories

6. Not just for professionals: practical accessories

For cooking you only need a few tools. A ladle with a large outlet hole made of food-safe, heat-resistant plastic or stainless steel is part of the additional purchases.The funnel allows rapid filling and prevents otherwise usually inevitable smearing of the vessel edges. Modern spring clips replace the previously used, cover spanning Einweckklammern. Three or four provide a secure hold and an all-round uniform pressure on the lid and rubber rings.

Cooked cucumbers

The rubber ring between glass and lid ensures that the jar is also really tightly closed

7. Check the preserves regularly

After cooling down and also at regular intervals during storage, check that the glasses are completely tight so the vacuum is intact. Unfortunately, even with the most careful preparation, it may happen that the content begins to ferment. First indication: The tab of the rubber ring no longer points down, but bends upward. If the breakdown occurs directly after cooking, you can usually use the contents quickly, you discover the damage only after some time, throw away what is left in any case!

Preserve fruits with sugar

For jams and jellies sugar serves as a natural preservative

8. Preserve fruits with sugar

Sugar is a natural preservative, and those who value the most natural jam can refrain from adding further additives when preserving jam and jelly. Above all, pectin-rich fruits such as thorny or currants, apples or quinces also gel. However, you must boil the fruit mass for at least half an hour and possibly make several times a gelling. With gelling aids made of pure apple pectin or agar-agar (organic shop), it only takes a few minutes to boil, straight strawberries or rhubarb lose their appetizing color quickly in the glass and the jam becomes pale or greyish. Most gelling agents, especially sugar-saving products (for example gelling sugar 2: 1 or 3: 1), additionally contain chemical preservatives such as sorbic acid and foam stoppers.

9. Stir and foam

When preparing jam or marmalade, constant stirring is important so that the fruit mass heats up evenly and does not touch the edge of the pot or bottom. Protein-rich fruits foam heavily. This foam has to be mixed in gently or skimmed several times with a perforated foam trowel, because it often contains impurities or turbidity, which later reduce its durability. Tip: A stitch of butter slows down foaming, many gelling agents contain hardened palm fat instead.

10. Boil vegetables: Sour makes it tough!

Like sugar, salt and acid prevent bacteria and other germs from multiplying. Together with various spices, they give cucumbers, mushrooms, mixed pickles, pickled tomatoes or peppers the popular sweet and sour taste. Lemon juice and mild wine or sherry vinegar also preserve the natural colorants, such as healthy beta-carotene. First prepare a broth, pours it still very hot on the layered vegetables in vegetables and then sterilized them as usual.

Video Board: 10 Incredibly Useful Cooking Tips - Gordon Ramsay.

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