You’ve had an abundant season of growing peppers. Hot peppers, sweet peppers, and everything in between. And now the harvesting season of your peppers is here. Your baskets are full, your jars and freezer bags are ready and you have an entire weekend to spend preserving your little garden gems. There are many methods of preserving peppers. Let’s explore some of the more popular and not so well-known methods.
- Roasting – You don’t need any fancy equipment to roast peppers. You can use a gas grill, a gas burner on your stove, or your oven. Using a grill is simple and saves on the heat factor in the kitchen. Wash the peppers and place them directly on the grill until the skin blisters. You may have to turn them once or twice. You can then put them in freezer bags and save them for the dead of winter. This same process goes for the gas burner on your stove. If you use the oven, place the peppers on a roasting pan. Turn the broiler on high and stay close so they don’t burn. Once again, you may have to turn the peppers.
- Freezing – First, purchase some high-quality freezer bags. Next, cut the peppers lengthwise and remove the seeds and innards of the peppers. Remember to always wear gloves if you are handling hot peppers. Place the peppers in the bags and put them in the freezer. Some folks will blanch the peppers before putting them into the bags.
- Drying – Drying peppers is just so beautiful! The easiest way is keeping the stems as long as possible when you harvest the peppers. Get a heavy-duty needle and thicker thread. Find a comfy place to sit, thread the needle, and poke the needle through the stem. Don’t crowd the peppers too closely together. Hang them up in an area with some airflow. Be patient! And before you know it, they will be dried and ready to use now or later. Keep the dried peppers in an airtight container like a large glass jar. You can also use a food dehydrator to dry your peppers. Each dehydrator is different. Follow the directions of your dehydrator.
- Cooking – Go online, grab a cookbook, or talk to friends to find some yummy recipes for salsas, sauces, soups or side dishes. The possibilities are endless!
- Arts and Crafts – Yep, that’s right. There are some crafty ideas for your dried peppers like holiday decorations, party favors, or decorations for greeting cards.
After this amazing season of growing peppers, take the time to preserve your efforts.