As our summer garden begins to wind down, we find ourselves seaching for ways to preserve peppers.
This year’s garden has been bountiful with the crop of green bell peppers and now all of our sweet, medium, and hot peppers are ready for picking all at the same time. Of course, we can’t use all of these peppers within a week or two before they begin to go bad. Therefore, we had to find various ways to preserve them for use throughout the year.
How To Preserve Peppers
One of our favorite ways to preserve peppers is to freeze them. You can freeze all types of peppers and it is super easy. We store sliced green peppers, whole jalapenos and roasted red peppers. Simply cut the peppers and remove the stems and seeds. Cut into half, fourths, or slices. Place the peppers on a baking sheet spaced evenly apart and flash freeze them for 15-30 minutes. This freezing method will help keep the peppers from sticking together. Store in air tight and freezer safe containers or bags. We even freeze our stuffed green peppers using the same procedure for an easy and healthy meal in the middle of winter.
We frequently talk about drying and grinding down our Chinese 5 Color peppers into pepper flakes and powder. However, peppers of all kinds can be dried and stored for winter use. You can dry peppers in a hot and sunny area, in a dehydrator or in the oven on the lowest setting. The important thing to remember is that peppers will dry based on their water content and their size. The thicker the pepper the longer it will take to dry. We dry peppers of similar size together to reduce the amount of attention that you need to devote to remove peppers that get done quicker than the others. You can dry peppers whole, remove the top and stem, or cut into desired sections.
Of course you can preserve your peppers using the canning process. It is important to follow an approved method and recipe for safe consumption in the winter. Most canning recipes for peppers will require the use of a pressure canner. You could also can peppers by pickling them. This doesn’t require any special equipment – just time to allow the pickling process to take place.
Preserving peppers is well worth the time and effort to enjoy the taste of your garden in the middle of winter.
Mary and Jim
To receive our Recipes, DIY and Gardening articles each week, sign up to follow the blog via email in the right hand column above, “Like” us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.