Workshop on Preservation of Home Grown Fruits & Vegetables

Workshop on Preservation of Home Grown Fruits & Vegetables

Food preservation can be defined as the process of treating and handling food in such a way as to stop or greatly slow down its spoilage. This includes several methods by which food is kept from spoilage after harvest or slaughter. Such practices date to prehistoric times. Food processing practices prevent the growth of microorganisms, such as yeasts, and slow the oxidation of fats that cause rancidity.

Have you ever had trouble storing your fruits and vegetable harvests? or have you given them to your friends and family because it’s hard to store a bulk harvest? If yes then watch our workshop held on 16th July, on “Preservation of Home-Grown Fruits & Vegetables” with our speaker Simin Badar. She has done her MSc in Mathematics and is a great plant lover. She grows lots of fruits and vegetables on her farm and in this workshop, she will be showing us different ways of preserving your fruits and vegetables very easily at home. You can connect with her on her Facebook account “Simin Badar

Topics to be covered:
1. Different ways of making Pickles
2. How to make Jams
3. Drying fruits and vegetables

Also, you can use the code SIMITAOS to get a 5% discount on TAOS Products. Do check it out on our website here.

Simin and her preservation tips and tricks: 

“Hello everyone welcome to the workshop by TAOS. So today we have Simin Badar with us, today’s topic is the preservation of homegrown fruits and vegetables Simin has a very beautiful farm where she grows multiple fruits and vegetables and gets a very great harvest, and the purpose she does this is to preserve them and to be able to use them for later. So today, she will tell us or show us the methods she uses to preserve these excess fruits and vegetables.” Said Zehra. 

“So first, I use Solar Drying. So, I have rose petals that I have dried and put in a glass jar I usually do sun drying but if the weather is not good I would prefer a Dehydrator. You can buy it from Amazon for drying the products. If you don’t have a drying machine (dehydrator), you can cut them and dry them in sunlight. This is one of the methods which I use. The main advantage is, after drying the fruit in sunlight or a dehydrator you can store it for a longer period.

The second method can be for making Jams, Juices and purees can be done. It is for fruits if you are using vegetables you can sun dry them. So you can dry every kind of fruit and vegetable through the sun drying method, but you need drying, but you need to ensure for reusing you can put it in water and it can be used again. 

The third method is for fruits and vegetables where you can extract the juice from fruits. From the extracted juice you can make jams. For instance, if you have to make juice or jam from mango, you have to extract the pulp first and if the pulp is around 1kg you, can add 700-800 grams of sugar or jaggery. Then mix and cook it on your stove for the desired consistency for jams, and for juices, you have to make it less thick. After making it, you can use it for around one year. To check the jam, you can take a spoonful of jam and mix it in water, if it does not mix in water then it is ready to use as a jam. Make sure to check the jam consistency and don’t overcook it. You can also make pickles from raw mango or vegetables. You can even make tomato puree from tomatoes. For the puree that I cook, first I cut the tomatoes then make juice out of them, and then cook till it gets the desired consistency for the puree. For 1kg of tomato, I add around 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of sugar and cook it, after cooling down I add 1 tablespoon of vinegar to it. Lemons can be kept in a glass jar and they should have any drop of water in a glass jar. The lemons must be completely dry then add them to your jar and add lots of raw sea salt. In 15 days to one month, the lemons are ready to use for making pickles. It can be stored for 1-2 years. 

Regarding coriander, it usually dries very fast. So if you sun dries it then you can store it for a longer duration. You can either make powder out of it or store the leaves of coriander in a glass jar.” Said Simin.

1. “Can you tell us about the fruits that you get in bulk on your farm and it good for storing?” Asked Zehra. 

“We usually get Karonda which we use for making jam, juice, or pickles. We also have mangoes, I use the raw mangoes after drying them up and pickling them. I use them for making jams and juices.” Said Simin.


2. “what are the care and precautions that are needed when we sun dry our food?” Asked Zehra. 

“When you are storing it, use a glass bottle that should be completely dried. You can also keep it at room temperature. It can be good for 3-4 years and it will have an amazing smell.  For Potatoes, you can wash and cut and dry them so it well is easy for future use. Regarding dust, you can wash it before use. If I am using a dehydrator I have the advantage of no dust on food items.” Said Simin. 

3. “how much time does it take for a vegetable or fruit to Sun dry, when you are using a dehydrator?” Asked Zehra. 

“The sun dry method dries food items in summer in 2-3 days. A dehydrator also takes the same time but it will work continuously for 72 hours only. If you added mint, rose petals or tulsi leaves it will be ready in 12 hours only. But if you are taking tomatoes or onions then it will take some extra time, around 2-3 days and you have to keep in mind to check it regularly.” Said Simin.

4. “which method do you prefer more, Sun drying or Dehydrator?” Asked Zehra. 

“I prefer Sun drying more than a dehydrator. So any citrus fruit can be sun-dried but you need to keep in mind to add salt to it, or else the moisture in it will spoil it. You have to be careful, with regular checks, not to put your hand or wet spoon in the container as it will spoil the fruit.” Said Simin. 

5. “when you are talking about citrus fruits, how can they be used later on after drying?” Asked Zehra. 

“So I use the citrus fruit to first make the juice then I use it in making jam or jelly out of it.” Said Simin. 

“So, many people don’t have a farm in their house, but rather have a tree. 

6. “how many fruits are required to make one jar of jam?” Asked Zehra.

“For making jam out of fruits, you require around 1-2 kg of fruit. Around 5-6 kg of juice extract to 1-2 kg of jam and when you add sugar & another thing the quantity may increase.” Said Simin. 

“So a lot of people grow herbs in their kitchen gardens. So,

7. “which is the best method of drying herbs?” Asked Zehra. 

“So you have to remove the stem and take the leaves of the herbs like coriander, mint, tulsi, etc., and then dry those in the sun or you can use a dehydrator. You can even make a paste of the herbs add salt to it and then freeze it in the fridge. You can apply the sun-drying method to curry leaves also. So regarding curry leaves, they will grow fast in the rainy season, and then there will be no movement in the plant and it will again start to grow only in the rainy season of next year.” Said Simin. 

“So for people with less amount of sunlight in their homes or who do not have a proper balcony or terrace to dry something. So,

8. “which method do you suggest is best for preserving?” Asked Zehra. 

“So you can go for a Dehydrator. It’s a good product which is around 4000 rupees. The dehydrator is of 5 shelves or layers. You can dry things using it. You can dry the mint or tulsi leaves in just one day. You can even dry vegetables and fruits like grapes into kishmish (raisins). So dehydrator is good for vegetables, and non-vegetarian items like meat or fish, and you can also dry fruits in it. You have to be careful while using potatoes in the dehydrator, use all five shelves or if you have all on one shelf then keep the other shelves as it is.” Said Simin.

“So a question by the viewer.

9. “Heard of ‘Kasuri Methi’, what all other things can be preserved by drying and its uses?” Asked Zehra. 

“You have rose petals, tulsi leaves, mint, coriander, curry leaves, and methi as said by the viewer. Since I am not in the medical field I won’t be able to tell you more benefits of these.

Tulsi is good for colds and coughs. You can even use it in your tea and is good for metabolism.” Said Simin. 

“Thank you, Simin, for being with us and giving us your valuable time & sharing your knowledge with us. Thank you, everybody, for joining us today for this workshop.”