How to Preserve Herbs, Vegetables and Fruit in Vinegars as Holiday Gifts [video]

Homemade vinegars are great ways of locking in the flavours of herbs, home grown fruits and vegetables. On the dinner table, flavoured vinegars can add a little extra to meals; and if you are really productive they also make lovely Christmas gifts for friends and family.   As anyone with a sizeable herb or veg garden knows, all those herbs and crops have a relatively short life in the kitchen garden so it’s a great way to make the most of a glut.  And so, in this video we will teach you how to preserve herbs, vegetables and fruit in vinegars.

Preserve Herbs, Vegetables and Fruit in Vinegars

Firstly, before getting started ensure that your bottles are sterilised and safe for use. You need to create a sterile environment for pickling to prevent bacteria from getting in that grows mould and ruins all your hard work. Wash all bottles and jars thoroughly in soapy water and ensure they are rinsed after.  Then dry and sterilise them by baking them in a hot oven and fill them with the preserves as soon as possible after this process.

Creating flavoured vinegars with fruit:

  • Place the fruit into a bowl and gently bruise them to let out some of the juices, add 1 pint of white vinegar to every 1lb/500grams of fruit.
  • Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel or cloth and leave this for four days, making sure you stir the contents twice a day.
  • After four days, strain the liquid through muslin cloth and place the liquid into a pan.
  • Add 250 grams of sugar to every pint of liquid, boil for ten minutes and pour into the jars.  When cooled, store the jars in a cool, dark place.

Vegetable vinegars:

  • Simply place chopped vegetables into a jar and add the vinegar, this can be left for two to six weeks.
  • Following this you’ll need to strain the contents of your bowl or jar through a muslin cloth in a similar way to the fruits method described above.
  • Decant the liquid into bottles, seal and store them.

Herb vinegars:

  • Start by harvesting your favourite herbs, wash them and allow them to dry.
  • Gently bruise the leaves to release the aromas, push the sprigs into the bottle.
  • Warm the vinegar in a pan close to boiling point and then pour into your bottles making sure you cover the herbs with the liquid.
  • Ensure the cap is well sealed and store in a cool, dark place.

What is your favourite fresh produce to preserve or do you use a rather unusual? Let us know in the comments below.

How to Preserve Herbs, Vegetables and Fruit in Vinegars as Holiday Gifts

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