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Retain the goodness

Home & Living

Make the most of seasonal products with a little preparation and preservation

Can you smell it? After a long and languid summer, the season’s produce has grown ripe, fragrant and juicy. And, with markets, stores and gardens bursting at the seams with colourful, flavoursome and nutritious produce, there’s no better time to whip out the pots and pans, blenders, jars and preservation equipment and make the most of the season.

Blend and cook, while still fresh!

One thing is certain: with a veritable palette of enticing colours and flavours, there’s no shortage of food inspiration. This spells great news not only for you – and your nearest and dearest – but also for your iCook Family Set and limited-edition* iCook Blender, which get to shine in the kitchen.

* while stocks last

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Seasonal fruit like cranberries, melon and blackberries combine beautifully with cucumbers, carrots and celery for delicious – and healthy – smoothies. Gorgeous ripe tomatoes are just the thing for cooling gazpacho, while the weather is still warm. Once temperatures drop, the likes of squash, potatoes, pumpkins and leeks are ideal for creamy, heart-warming soups and roasts. Many of the season’s most desirable produce – including plums, figs, fennel, peppers and pears – can also be turned into jams, pickles and chutneys to delight your taste buds. So pull out those cooking supplies and set off on a gastronomic journey.

So much to eat, so little time

Of course, no matter how delicious, there is only so much you can eat. And since it would be a shame to put all of nature’s finest in the bin, why not try your hand at food preservation? Traditional methods, such as fermenting, pickling and canning, are in vogue and surprisingly easy to do.

  1. Fermenting – is the preservation of food in a salt or whey brine that activates healthy bacteria, enhancing nutrient content.

  2. Pickling – is the preservation of food using vinegar, water and salt (or sugar) in a cold environment. Tip: you can use the iCook sealable mixing bowls to fridge-pickle seasonal favourites like artichokes.

  3. Canning – involves placing leftovers in a sterilised glass jar and sealing it for months. Tip: Whip up a range of soups and sauces with your iCook Blender, then transfer them to mason jars. Offer them as thoughtful gifts or store them in the pantry.

  4. Compote – is the preservation of food by slowly cooking it in a sugar syrup (sometimes with spices) then placing it in a sterilised jar.

  5. Optional: Blanching – this step might be needed for some vegetables to taste good when you are ready to prepare them later in the year. Tip: use your iCook Family Set to batch-cook this variety of meals. Keep some in the sealable mixing bowls for the week ahead and freeze the rest.

  6. Freezing – involves sealing leftover food in a dedicated container and storing it in a freezer.

Preservation tips

While each method of preservation is unique, they do have some things in common. For best results:

  1. Always use unspoilt, good-quality, ripe fruit and vegetables

  2. Sterilise all glass containers and storage vessels with boiling water

  3. Dry the rims of glass containers prior to using them

  4. Only use containers that can be sealed air-tight

  5. Don’t be afraid to experiment with various techniques, herbs and spices

  6. When freezing raw fruit or vegetables, blanch it first for best results

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