Wild Gourd Farm

Organic Gardening in St. Louis City

Frugal Friday: Preserving Peppers

We’ve been busy as ever working the gardens, harvesting and selling what we can. Last week the Cherokee Street International Farmers’ Market (which got an excellent write-up in the St. Louis Post Dispatch a few weeks ago) got rained out after an hour and a half, and we found ourselves with a ton of peppers (and tomatoes, but that’s a post for another day) on our hands. We’ve pickled peppers before but we just don’t use them often enough to justify all the work.

So we decided to freeze our extra peppers. It’s really the easiest way to preserve them. All you have to do is rinse, de-seed, and chop them before tossing into resealable bags. It helps to have a big enough bag that you can spread them all out in one layer, then store flat or roll the bag up to conserve freezer space.

We ended up with 3 gallon-size bags of peppers, mostly sweet banana but also some hot banana peppers. Once frozen they won’t be good raw, but we’ll throw them into stir fries, egg dishes like omelettes and quiches, and Mexican dishes throughout the winter.

We also roasted some peppers, by de-seeding and halving them before broiling them in the oven for 15 minutes, until the skins blackened. After cooling, the skins are easy to remove- more so in the meatier bell peppers than the thinner banana peppers. We have one serving in a plastic container in the fridge and one in the freezer to enjoy later.

As for our jalapeños and cayenne peppers, we’ve got big plans- dehydrate, crush into a powder, and use as seasoning… better than hot sauce when you don’t want the vinegar-y taste. We’ve already exhausted our supply of hot pepper powder from last year!

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