Helpful Tips for Preserving Jalapenos
If you are lucky enough to have your own mini jalapeno garden, it is time you learn the ins and the outs of preserving jalapenos so that your harvest does not go to waste. There are several different ways that preserving jalapenos can be done, ranging from drying them out to freezing them. This article will explain several easy ways to make your jalapenos last several seasons in order to keep your family wowed by your culinary pizzazz.
Freezing Your Peppers
One of the simplest ways to preserve your jalapenos is to freeze them. This method requires very little time and effort on your part, and is ideal for the busy gardener or cook. Begin by taking your jalapenos and scrubbing them down thoroughly. It’s really important when freezing or saving any food item that you remove any dirt, harmful chemicals, and bacteria before sealing them up.
Once your peppers have enjoyed a thorough washing, you can place them into large freezer bags with zippered openings. It’s very important that you use good quality zipper storage bags, specially designed for freezers. If you don’t, all the hard work and time you put into your peppers will be wasted—regular bags don’t keep out freezer burn at all.
You may wish to peel the skin off of your jalapenos before freezing them, but it’s not really necessary. Once they are thawed, the skin comes off exceedingly easy. The choice is up to you.
Drying Your Peppers
One of the most common methods of preserving jalapenos is to dry them out and save them for later use. You can choose to do this one of two ways. First, you can string them up and let them air dry over the course of a few weeks. If you want a speedy method, however, you may instead opt to dry them out in your oven. Peppers can then be crushed into powder, used for decoration, or even rehydrated to be used in cooking.
To air dry them, scrub your jalapenos and dry them off thoroughly. Take a long piece of string and attach the jalapeno stems to it, allowing them to hang from it. Make sure they are spaced a few inches apart from each other though. Hang them up in a dry, well ventilated and well lit place, preferably near a window. This process will take a while, but it is well worth it and you can enjoy your peppers for a long, long time.
To oven dry them, prepare your peppers first. Begin by scrubbing and drying them. After that, you need to slice them lengthwise down the middle. Put them on a baking sheet and bake them on low, around 100-130 degrees. Turn them every few minutes and keep at it until all of the moisture is gone. You may also wish to bake them with your oven door open.
Additional Methods for Preserving Jalapenos
The previously mentioned methods are simply the two most common ways people prefer to preserve their peppers. You are certainly not limited to these ways. In addition to freezing and drying your peppers, you can also look into canning them. Canning keeps them good for a very long time, and since they can be stored in the pantry, many people prefer this method. It should be noted that it is quite tedious to pull off though.
Some people also like to pickle their peppers. Pickled peppers can make a delightful snack for adventurous taste-fiends, and there are several excellent recipes online that will show you step by step how to complete the process.
Regardless of how you want to go about it, learning various ways to preserve your jalapenos will help ensure that your garden’s harvest does not go wasted and unused.