Food Pickling

Reporter: Natalie Bonjolo

It's the taste of a bygone era; around the country home cooks like Megan Forsyth have rediscovered the lost art of pickling.

Jams, jellies, sauerkraut, salsa- all pickled and preserved the old fashioned way.

Megan's so passionate about her products, she challenged herself to pickle for 365 days straight, canning an incredible 1629 jars.

She now runs her own classes, and this morning she's showing us a few tricks of the trade.

Preserving and pickling is all about making the most of what's in season. "You can buy things in bulk, buy things locally, in season and preserve it for 12 months or more"

For jam simply blitz up a batch of cheap strawberries.

Next add powdered pectin.

Lastly, add lemon juice, to preserve.

Using jars sterilised in boiling water, Megan pours in her mixture and whala, jam which will last for 12 months.

For her girls Katie and Rosie, it's about feeding them, food she knows has no nasties and while almost any fruit or vegetable can be preserved, there are dangers.

Megan says "if you don't follow a safe home food preservation recipe, the main thing that can happen is food poisoning" and garlic is one of the worst offenders Megan is adding this clove to flavour pickled runner beans.

Now she fills the jar with beans but it's the pickling solution that's most important, vinegar, water, and pickling salt must be exact quantities to prevent bacteria such as botulism. "You can twist for instances spices and things you can adjust or omit things, but things like sugar, vinegar, salt; they are the preservative so they definitely need to be included"

Close the lid and "then I'll pop it back into the boiling water and boil it five minutes to seal it."

Fresh pickled beans, which will last for 12 months, next another family favourite. "Now, were going to make some homemade sauerkraut great for BBQ's this summer."

Simply add salt to shredded cabbage and let juices drain then pop it into a jar to further ferment. "Leave it to ferment for 2 to 6 weeks depending on how you like your sauerkraut."

And finally, something sweet.

"Now we're going to make some homemade probiotic Greek yoghurt. Yum" Megan simply mixes a small quantity of store bought yogurt with warmed milk. Pop on the lid and store in warm water for 12 hours.

Megan says "it's easy to do it's cheap to make and something you can put in your diet every day."

A homemade healthy breakfast, her kids adore and Megan reckons YOU too, can pickle a pepper and make Nana proud. "Anyone can make some jam at home in their kitchen with a pot and a spoon and make their own preserves up."

For more details on Megan's classes

www.foodpreserving.org