Warmer weather is coming my way, so it’s time to make sure I have plenty of room in my freezer. I still have peaches, strawberries, nectarines, and blueberries from this summer, and need to make some jam and cobbler for the freezer. I just ran out of all my dehydrated fruits except apples, so I decided to try dehydrating frozen fruit. It worked, and in fact, it’s quicker to dehydrate frozen verses fresh fruit, especially blueberries.
I love home dehydrated fruits because they don’t have a sickening sweet sugar coating. Also, store bought dehydrated fruit is extremely expensive. Of course, I give dehydrated fruit to my family for snacks and use them in trial mix, but I also use them in homemade oatmeal, homemade granola bars, and even in iced tea. I throw the dehydrated fruit in with the cold water and tea bags, and strain the fruit out with the tea bags. Our favorite so far is strawberry, and next I’ll try pineapple.
Along with cleaning out my freezer, I’m also emptying jars left and right. We finished up the honey-spiced peaches, chunked pineapple, pasta sauce, peach jam, apple sauce, corn, and many other canned items. Although canned food is shelf stable for years, it’s best to rotate your stock on a yearly basis to ensure the best quality. I got a pressure canner last year for my birthday, and started really experimenting with it last spring. We moved this summer, so I lost the time to keep up. Our new house has a flat cooktop, and you cannot pressure can on a flat cook top. We will be swapping out the stove very soon, because I never know when I will get a great produce deal.
So as my freezer gets more barren, and my collection of empty jars piles up, I’ll be dreaming of new canning recipe experiments and re-stocking my supply.