Monday, July 21, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Master Food Preservers: Save the strawberries

By
From page B6 | August 16, 2011 |

Plump, juicy, red, ripe strawberries pop up at every roadside intersection to tempt passersby with tasty spring goodness.

Who can resist stopping to buy a basket or three? With such an abundance of the delicious fruit available at this time of the year, smart consumers will find many ways to preserve the scrumptious berries.

Keep fresh strawberries in the refrigerator, in a partially opened plastic bag or in a plastic clamshell to keep the humidity level up. Store in the crisper drawer, and do not wash the fruit until just before eating. Washing will cause the berries to spoil faster because of the added moisture.

The best way to wash strawberries is under cold, running water. While the temptation exits to fill the sink with water and soak the berries, resist it. Contaminants may be spread through the standing water to all the fruit, and the safest cleaning method remains rinsing under cold running water, perhaps with a soft rub on the surface of the strawberries while washing.

For any fruit that will not be eaten within seven days, the University of California Davis Extension recommends several satisfactory methods of preservation.

Strawberries may be frozen, dried or made into jams and jellies. Freezing strawberries, with or without a syrup pack, results in a product with good flavor but a “mushier” thawed result, although sweetening before freezing keeps the texture better than not.

Jams and jellies made with strawberries usually require the use of pectin. Although freezer jam requires no cooking, most jams and jellies combine cooked fruit with sugar and pectin to create a wonderful spread for toast or bagels.

Strawberry jams and jellies may be safely processed in a water bath canner, following the times and temperatures on the recipe instructions.

Dried strawberries can be eaten out of hand as snacks, mixed into cereal or added to ice-creams and milkshakes. Completely dried berries can be crushed to a powder and added to “smoothie” drinks.

Strawberries make wonderful fruit leathers and may be combined with other fruits for a variety of flavors. The University of California Davis Extension recommends preheating strawberries to 160°F before using in a puree for fruit leathers. This destroys bacteria and mold that may be on the berries and preserves the color of the fruit while hastening drying.

To make fruit leathers at home, simply line a cookie sheet with plastic wrap. Puree the strawberries and pour onto the plastic wrap, spreading the puree to a thickness of 1/8-1/4 inch in the center of the mixture. Dry at 140° for up to 18 hours in the oven, about 4-8 hours in a dehydrator or for 1-2 days in the sun.

If solar drying, be sure to keep insects and birds from infesting the fruit leather while it dries. When the leather peels easily from the plastic wrap and pressing in the middle does not leave a mark, the process is complete.

Eat and enjoy the great taste of strawberries.

Questions about safe home food preservation? Call the Master Food Preservers of El Dorado County and leave a message at 530-621-5506.  A Master Food Preserver will return the call.

The Master Food Preservers are also available free of charge to speak to organizations and clubs about food safety or food preservation topics. Just call the number above to arrange for a speaker for small or large groups.

For more information about the public education classes and activities, including the free public classes on food safety and pressure canning, be sure to go to the Master Food Preserver Website at ceeldorado.ucdavis.edu/Master_Food_Preservers/.

Comments

comments

.

News

Highway 50 collision fatal

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1

 
IRS unveils Taxpayer Bill of Rights

By News Release | From Page: B1

EDH community unites to patch up historic barn

By Mike Roberts | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Stay connected through sheriff

By El Dorado County Sheriff's Office | From Page: B1

Bird tests positive for West Nile

By Ross Branch | From Page: A1

 
P’ville hires Camino superintendent

By News Release | From Page: B1

 
Heard over the back fence: Public swim times announced

By Bob Billingsley | From Page: B1

County gets partial refund on promotional event

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A3

 
Jeepers expo Wednesday in Georgetown

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A3

Help SWR with squirrel babies

By Sierra Wildlife Rescue | From Page: A9

 
.

Opinion

The rural life: Save the day: Neuter and spay

By Jennifer Forsberg Meyer | From Page: A4

 
Different place, different priorities

By Mountain Democrat | From Page: A4

California rambling: Giving cities a pass

By John Poimiroo | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
.

Letters

Ready for Hillary?

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 2 Comments

 
Fukushima

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

Diamond Springs Firefighters Union is corrupt

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
100+ years and thanks

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

A thank you note

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
Prada belongs in Berkeley

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

.

Sports

Sports Scene: July 20, 2014

By Jerry Heinzer | From Page: A6

 
Roundup: July 20, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A6

Season over for Post 119

By Mike Bush | From Page: A6 | Gallery

 
Valley View Sports Park

By Julie Samrick | From Page: A6 | Gallery

Under the Scoreboard: July 20, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A6

 
Schedule: July 21-26

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A6

Becker slips by in wild KWS finish

By Gary Thomas | From Page: A6

 
Sophia Barden wins strut title

By Special to the Democrat | From Page: A7

.

Prospecting

How to safely help a horse

By Wendy Schultz | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Railroad Museum offers a fun ‘History Happy Hour’

By California State Railroad Museum | From Page: B4

 
As we were: Money for home repairs

By Ken Deibert | From Page: B4

Volunteer kitchen help needed in EDH

By Health and Human Services Agency | From Page: B10

 
Marshall Medical Center to host day of fitness and fun

By Marshall Medical | From Page: B10

 
Kids parade for free admission to the fair

By Amador County Fair | From Page: B10

.

Essentials

Crime Log: July 6-8

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A2

 
.

Obituaries

Betty Ellene Hock

By Contributor | From Page: A2Comments are off for this post

 
Douglas J. Beam

By Contributor | From Page: A2

Jerry Grant Young Jr.

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
Kathryn Noreen Nolan

By Contributor | From Page: A2

.

Real Estate

.

Comics

Speed Bump

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
American Profile Crossword

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Tundra

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
Horoscope, Tuesday, July 22, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Horoscope, Monday, July 21, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
Shoe

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Sukodu

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
Rubes

By Contributor | From Page: A8

New York Times Crossword

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
TV Listings

By Contributor | From Page: A8