It’s hitting the peak season for stone fruit in Washington, and the state’s fresh peaches, nectarines, plums and prunes will be available on grocery shelves nationwide through late September.
But you can preserve those delicious fruits well past peak season, and the Washington State Fruit Commission has created the website www.sweetpreservation.com to provide would-be “canners” with preservation tips, canning recipes, craft ideas, downloadable jar labels and more.
Fruit canning and preservation has made a comeback in recent years and is surging in popularity across the U.S and Canada. Jarden Corporation reported in 2011 that sales of canning jars have increased by 30 percent since 2008, and if displays in grocery stores are any indication, this trend is not showing any signs of stopping.
Here are a few tips to help you “put up” your fruit and enjoy a healthy, nutrient-rich treat year round.
* It’s not all about jars. Many fruits – including peaches, apricots and plums – freeze easily, and it’s simple to pack them in a freezer bag with syrup or sugar, or as a purée.
* Know what to look for when buying fruit. As a rule of thumb, peaches and nectarines should be purchased at their ripest and used immediately when preserving – pick fruit that is firm with good color. For plums, select ones that are fairly firm to slightly soft, and avoid those with wrinkled or broken skin.
* Turn your efforts into thoughtful homemade gifts and party favors for weddings, hostess gifts, holidays and beyond. Downloadable canning labels can be printed at home and coupled with unique packaging for a striking presentation.
* Many hands make light work. Throw a fun preservation party at home and let everyone pitch in, then divide the fruits of your labor.
About the Washington State Fruit Commission: Founded in 1947, the Washington State Fruit Commission is a grower’s organization funded by fruit assessments to increase awareness and consumption of regional stone fruits. The organization is dedicated to the promotion, education, market development, and research of stone fruits from Washington orchards. For more information, visit www.wastatefruit.com.
Read more here:Resources and tips for canning fresh fruit – phillyBurbs.com.