HERE ARE A FEW USEFUL TIPS THAT MIGHT HELP WITH CERTAIN ISSUES YOU MAY BE HAVING AROUND THE KITCHEN OR GARDEN. WETHER YOU HAVE SO MANY HERBS YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH OR YOU’RE LOOKING TO TRY SOMETHING NEW WITH YOUR GROWN PRODUCE, WE HAVE THE ANSWERS FOR YOU.
Freezing Your Herbs
Got too many herbs to know what to do with? Don’t chuck them away, here is an easy way to store them ready for use whenever you need them!
Freezing herbs may sound like a strange idea but it really works. And there are many different ways to freeze them depending on how you want to use them or store them.
Here’s our favourite way to make them.
- Pick your freshly grown Seedcell herb.
- Rinse them under a tap to make sure they’re as fresh as possible.
- Cut of their long stems, but the little ones between leaves are fine.
- Chop finely.
- Spoon into an ice cube tray. Fill the trays to the top with herbs.
- Cover in water until each tray is full, but fill slowly or you’ll end up with herbs everywhere!
- Put the tray in the freezer for about 24 hours.
- Put your new herb cubes into a freezer bag to keep them extra fresh for longer.
Some people prefer to use oil instead of water to fill the trays but we have not noticed much difference in taste. However freezing your herbs in oil will mean the cubes soften and melt much faster. What you are left with are perfect little cubes of fresh herb ready to be dropped into any sauces or soups. Freezing herbs is a great way to make sure you have fresh herbs during the winter months when they are out of season. And saves you from needing to keep buying them.
Treating your soil
When growing plants indoors, its always a good idea to use good quality peat free compost. This is because it’s both environmentally friendly and also proven to work very well. You can also buy soluble plant food tablets which dissolve readily in water and is rapidly absorbed by flowering and fruiting plants giving fast results.
We cant use all these chillies at once! If your crop of chillies is too big for you to eat in one sitting (which it probably will be unless your super human!) then there is an easy solution for you to store them for up to a year. By drying your chilies not only will you be saving your taste buds but you will be able to keep your crop for a very long time. Drying your chilies will also enhance their flavour and intensity!
There are 3 ways to dry your chilies:
Sun dry – simply place your chilies on a tray in the sun every day for at least 3 days until your chilies are a dark red and their skins are tough. This technique only works in warm, dry climates.
Oven dry – to oven dry your chilies you will need an oven that can go as low as 100c or even as low as 80c if possible. Lay the chilies on a tray and place it in the oven. Leave the door slightly ajar if possible. flip the peppers every hour or two to speed up the process. This process can take over a day so is not the most power efficient process.
String dry – our favourite way to dry chilies, the easiest and most attractive method of drying chillies is using string. By threading or tying the stalks to a length of string you can create beautiful bright red mobiles out of your chilies.
The chillies should be hung in a well ventilated environment (you can use a fan!).
Food dehydrator – food dehydrators are made for this job, and it should take about 12 hours for the chilies to dry.
To speed up these processes you can slice the chillies long ways and remove the seeds before hand. The amount of time it takes for the chillies to dry will vary among types of chilli, as some will have thicker skins than others.
Only ripe chilies should be used for drying. Do not dry any chilies that are damaged. Any chilies with cuts or marks are more likely to rot or go mouldy. These chilies can still be eaten fresh and ripe but should not be dried.