Raspberry Vinegar with Honey

Thanks so much to Annie for allowing me to do a guest post on her blog! I’m happy to be here and share the good things in life with her readers!

Raspberries have been a favorite since childhood. Even as a little girl, I knew that when I had my own home, raspberries would be at the top of the list. Not only are the fruits delicious, but they grow well even in cold climates, which is a double-bonus for northern folks! While I don’t own land (or a cottage) yet, I am part of a community farm with a wonderful raspberry patch, from which my man and I get a full harvest each year. I’ve been promised I can dig my own starts from these bushes when we do purchase land! Oh yes, that excites me! And at that point, I’ll be refreshing my mind with Annie’s blog post on how to grow and care for raspberries!

In my mind, no summer is complete without these red, luscious fruits! When harvest season rolls around, I have a difficult time actually using them. A winter freezer without whole, frozen raspberries is like a bank account without money! I usually talk myself into sacrificing half the berries for a few cordials, a batch or two of raspberry kvass, mini-jars of delicious jam and of course, raspberry vinegar!


With this fermented liquid, brilliancy of color is equally matched by brilliancy of flavor. And the salad dressing you can make with the finished product is lovely. Because good things are meant to be shared, I’m going to share my favorite raspberry vinegar recipe with you today! The recipe makes approximately 7 C of the finished product. Both fresh and frozen berries are viable options. If using frozen fruit, be sure to thaw before beginning the process. Hint: making vinegar from frozen raspberries in early spring while snow blankets the earth is a wonderful way to curb the garden itch!

 

raspberries, berries, fruit

 

Raspberry Vinegar with Honey

Ingredients:

  • 4 C raspberries (x 3)
  • 6 C chlorine-free water (x 3)
  • 1/2 C raw honey
  • glass jar or bowl
  • 2 finely-woven cloths

Directions: place 4 C raspberries in a glass jar or bowl. Add approximately 6 C water. Cover the mouth of container with a cloth and secure to keep fruit flies out.

 

raspberries, berries, fruit, grow berries

 

 

After 24 hrs have passed, place a second cloth in a colander and place colander over a bowl. Pour berries and liquid into cloth-lined colander, straining the liquid. Tie up the ends of cloth and hang from a kitchen cupboard, allowing juices to drip into the bowl for several hours.

 

raspberries, berries, fruit, grow berries

 

 

When dripping has ceased, toss berries or save for morning smoothies. Place another 4 C of new raspberries in the container or jar. Take the strained, red raspberry water and pour over fruit.

 

raspberries, berries, fruit, grow fruit

 

 

Let it also set for 24 hrs. Strain as instructed above and toss the old berries. On day 3, repeat the process by pouring twice-infused liquid over another 4 C fresh fruit, once again letting it stand for 24 hrs. Strain liquid for the 3rd time.

In a glass jar, bowl or in a crock, add 1/2 honey (crystallized or liquid), then add the deep red, raspberry-infused liquid. Come back 24 hrs later and stir honey. It will quickly dissolve. Be sure to cover the open-mouthed container with a cloth, tightly tying down to keep fruit flies out. The aroma of fermented fruit is certain to attract them!

Vinegar ferments best in temperatures of 60-70F (15-21C). Let it sit without a lid for 2-5 months. When fermentation begins, you’ll see tiny bubbles on the sides of the glass. Several weeks later, it will smell slightly sour. The process to completion will take several months. Be aware that if you seal up vinegar while its still in the fermenting phase, pressure will build and explode glass jars and bottles! Error on the side of caution: if you must seal it up, be sure to check for pressure 2 days later! If free from pressure build-up, vinegar is done processing and has gone “flat.” It’s delicious, ready to use immediately.

 

Autumn Rose is an author, blogger and chronic Lyme survivor. She is passionate about bringing nutrition into her home and for this reason cooks from scratch, gardens and practices raw food preservation. She loves old fashioned living and leads what she refers to as the simple cottage life. Together, she and her husband are working to implement this lifestyle while saving to purchase land. There, they hope to build their own cottage and lead a life focused on what really matters most. Her tutorials, writing and musings can be found on her blog hopeforbetterliving.com.

The 5 Easiest Vegetables to Grow

Vegetable gardening is supposed to be fun, right? It should be!

It is so tempting to plant a huge garden with dreams of preserving most of it and having fresh healthy veggies all season long. Wonderful to see all those rows of food, glorious food. Dreaming of my garden always starts in the dead of winter for me. And in my mind, what a beautiful, healthy, huge garden it is!

No doubt, we have had some large gardens here. That was when I could garden all day long, every day. Now that we have a Garlic Farm, well….I guess that means I will still garden all day long. Just not in my vegetable garden. I’ll be hanging out in the garlic patch!


 

If you are new to vegetable gardening, that is another reason to only grow the easiest vegetables your first year. Starting small with gardening is always the best way to go. Focus on what your family likes to eat and then plant that. Find a way to preserve the extras. You can use what you learn this year, for next year. Expand if you want or keep it the same size.

Vegetables can be very different from one another, in terms of how much care or labour you need to put into them. Instead of planting veggies that take more time and work, plant the easiest ones! It will make your time in the garden less stressful and yet you will still get fantastic harvests for fresh eating and preserving.

And this is where reality can (and should) bring us to a screeching halt. It’s the work part of things we all need to keep in mind. And we need to be realistic about just how much time we do have that we can spend in the garden. And how much time do we want to spend in the garden.

We all have priorities and lots of things to do every day. Planting too large a garden can easily cut into time you need (or want) to spend doing something else. If you live on property or have a large yard, you already know there are a lot of chores that need to be done.

Maybe you’ve got a full time job, or coaching sports or doing other things that keep you away from home for most of the day. Maybe aging or medical issues need to be taken into account.

 

How about only growing the 5 easiest veggies?

 

the 5 easiest vegetables to grow

 

I’ve made a list of our top 5 Easiest Vegetables to Grow. Then I explained how to prepare the bed, sow the seeds and other things you will want to know.

 

Sign up for our newsletter and then download your own copy of 5 Easiest Vegetables to Grow

 

A twice monthly newsletter for you means keeping updated on our latest adventures and special articles just for subscribers. Special offers, too!

Then plan on spending less time in the garden and more time for the other things in your life!

 

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The 5 Easiest Vegetables to Grow