Preserving The Harvest: Garden Jalapenos

by Tammy Taylor

*this post contains an affiliate link

I’ve been using my solar oven pretty heavily this year and I’ve finally dehydrated all my excess garden tomatoes for the summer.  (again for those of you asking, I have a * Sun Oven solar oven and I love it!)  I’ll use the dehydrated tomatoes in numerous ways – to make tomato paste for homemade pizza and to thicken my homemade blender salsa, among other ways.  This late into summer is usually so very hot and dry that the garden stops producing and I just try to keep the garden watered enough to struggle it along in hopes of getting some kind of tiny fall garden production.  This time of year 99% of my garden is out of production but we do have one last veggie going strong – FIERY-RED JALAPENOS!

I'll Use Dehydrated Jalapenos For A Little Home-Grown SIZZLE In Our Food. #TaylorMadeHomestead

I harvested all the jalapenos remaining on the garden plants and brought them inside.  After a quick wash & dry I set out to cut them thinly and uniformly.  I’ve learned from past  mistakes that no matter how well or often you wash your hands, processing jalapenos will leave your skin burning for days.  So I have incorporated this clever way of slicing the peppers – I use a sharp shrimp fork to pierce the pepper on the very edge of one side & start slicing the pepper longways in thin slices.

I'll Use Dehydrated Jalapenos For A Little Home-Grown SIZZLE In Our Food. #TaylorMadeHomestead

Um hummmm…  Don’t even try to act like you’re not secretly jealous of my high-dollar cutting board!  A family member who still has children living at home saves me the lids from tubs of ice cream – these are always my cutting boards on the ranch because:  They’re recyclable, the lip around them keeps juices from spilling onto my counters, they’re easily bendable to pour the chopped food from them and when these lids get all scratched I simply recycle that one & start using a new one.  But I digress…

Now that my peppers are all sliced I use the knife blade to transfer the jalapeno slices to a rack topped with parchment paper, sliding the pepper slice from the blade with my shrimp fork. Even though my hands are washed well both before & after processing the peppers, using this minimal-touch method keeps those jalapeno oils from soaking into my skin and burning for days.  Since I’ve been dehydrating tomatoes lately so after I pull those dehydrated tomatoes from the parchment paper I just add the jalapenos using that same paper.  Reduce – Reuse – Recycle.  (does anyone know if parchment paper can go into the *tumbling composter after these peppers are dehydrated?)

I'll Use Dehydrated Jalapenos For A Little Home-Grown SIZZLE In Our Food. #TaylorMadeHomestead

Anyway since the rack is topped with parchment paper the jalapenos wont fall through the grid as they dry & shrink.  Now that they’re all prepared I place my rack of peppers into the solar oven, leaving the door unlatched to allow some of the heat to escape and I point the oven’s reflectors toward the sun.

sun-oven-coupon-299

At first the temps will soar pretty quickly even with the door unlatched.  If it gets too high I’ll move the oven so it’s not as directly aligned with the sun, which will gradually reduce the inside temps.  Although I don’t mind an initial internal temperature of about 300 I like to keep the inside temps to around 200 after the first hour or so to keep my thin slices from burning.  Depending upon cloud cover and how well you monitor the temps inside the oven, these slices will slowly dehydrate in about 5-6 hours.

Now I just bring in the brittle dried jalapeno slices & grind them into a flavorful powder.  I’ll use this powder to spice our food with a little home-grown sizzle!  No jalapenos from the garden are wasted, no plastic bottle of commercially-produced seasoning entering the house.  Win/Win!

~TMH~

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36 thoughts on “Preserving The Harvest: Garden Jalapenos

  1. Katy SkipTheBag.com

    Hubby’s been pickling our jalapenos. I’ll have to see if I can divert the next batch to make these! Thanks for sharing at the #WasteLessWednesday Blog Hop!

    Reply
  2. Katrin

    I have to go check out your solar oven that sounds so interesting, I haven’t heard of it ever before! The cutting board idea is also great, it bugs me when the whole counter gets dirty with juice and what not, so using the lids is really clever!

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Homestead Post author

      I beg for these lids from my baby sis, Katrin. Like you, I hate when the juice from a sliced tomato or juicy fruit goes off the cutting board. These lids are perfect in my kitchen. ~TMH~

      Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Homestead Post author

      I hear the voice of painful experience in your words Brittany. I (for one) feel your pain! LOL ~TMH~

      Reply
  3. Lisa M

    I love the cocktail fork idea. I always wear gloves to do mine….isn’t that the worst when you get it on your face before you wash your hands?? ugh! Thanks for linking up with Green Thumb Thursday. I hope to see you back this week. Lisa

    Reply
  4. Pingback: What’d You Do This Weekend? #86 | Recipes and Ramblings with the Tumbleweed Contessa

  5. Deb

    Wow! You’ve got peppers coming our your ears! Love your dollar cutting board and thanks for sharing your slicing tips! I grew very few peppers this year but enjoyed what we got in quiche, and salsa! Happy Harvest Season! Deb

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      Jalapenos are one of my favorites Deb. I pulled up & brought in my jalapeno plant last year to overwinter it in the garage. I replanted it this spring thinking it would be ahead of the game in the garden but it’s really taken until fall for it to find its own – that plant is as high as my waist now! I’ll be preserving lots of jalapenos this year for sure, gotta love it! ~TMR~

      Reply
  6. Nicole Ramage

    I’ve found that sometimes when cooking with jalapenos, they leave a lingering flavor in the pan even after it’s been washed. Does that happen in the dehydrator too? Thanks for sharing these with #yuckstopshere link up. Please come share again next week.

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      Nicole, I know what you mean but these peppers were dehydrated on parchment paper so there was no residual pepper heat remaining in the solar oven when they were done. I will warn to hold you face AWAY when opening up the unit when dehydrating – jalapeno fumes will send ya coughing! ~TMR~

      Reply
  7. Pingback: Fall-Back Friday: Dehydrating JALAPENOS

  8. Amanda @ The Kolb Corner

    My Jalapeno plant just got a second wind with the cooler temps in South Texas and it looks like I’m in for another good amount! I love the fork idea! I always wear gloves when I slice mine up, but they are so bulky I find it hard to get a good groove. Thanks for sharing your tips and ideas!

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      I always wore gloves too Amanda but after the first several jalapenos the gloves are always coated in slippery juice & it gets harder & harder to grip the jalapenos. The fork trick worked great. ~TMR~

      Reply
  9. Heather

    I freeze all of my jalapenos. Mainly because it is the easiest thing for me to do 🙂 Just wash, dry, and put in a bag. Then throughout the winter I will take them out and put them in crock pot meals for some heat, or just cut them up. Surprisingly they still make very delicious stuffed jalapenos 🙂

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      I’m with you Heather, I always have a bag of frozen jalapenos in the freezer too. I’m surprised they still stuff well though, may just have to give that a try. ~TMR~

      Reply
  10. ColleenB.~Texas

    I looked to see if you had a tried and true hot salsa recipe for canning? Wasn’t able to find any on your blog except for these hot peppers. Me and hubby don’t eat the Hot stuff but do know some that do and wanted to can some up to give in gift baskets. I know there are many recipes on the internet but I like using recipes that someone else that I kinda know who have made it themselves. :} Thank you

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      Colleen, we have canned salsa before years ago – like the pasta sauce you have to be very careful to NOT add any more veggies than the recipe calls for to ensure the safety of your canned product. Anyway, the salsa we canned was beyond hot, incorporating the hottest peppers we could get our hands in (which included home-grown habaneros – whew!) I much prefer to freeze my tomatoes and make blender salsa fresh: http://taylormaderanch.com/blog/recipe-blender-salsa-easy-and-healthy/ I know that doesn’t answer your canning question but maybe gives you something to try. We love it! ~TMR~

      Reply
      1. ColleenB.~Texas

        This is great and gives me a good start. Thank you. I also will be using the Hottest peppers possible. The people that I will be giving the canned salsa to like their salsa Hot so I want to see the sweat running off their forehead when they eat it. ………Fiery Hot. :} Your recipe here; does it make a pint or a quart size? Hope to get some fresh tomatoes at the Farmers Market this weekend. Thanks again for the recipe

        Reply
        1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

          Hummmm Colleen, I’ve never measured, it just makes a large bowlful of fresh salsa – maybe between a pint & quart although it depends on how much liquid you drain out of the tomatoes. We like ours kinda chunky so I drain most of the moisture off. Let me know how you like it! ~TMR~

          Reply
  11. Robin

    While it makes holding a knife a little tricky, I coat my hands in olive oil before handling peppers. Keeps off the burn while it moisturizes!

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      I had never heard of that Robin, although I do use olive oil to moisturize my hands from time to time. ~TMR~

      Reply
  12. Feral Turtle

    I love your Sun Oven and your amazing crop of peppers!! I have to wear those disposable gloves when I work with hot peppers. I always tend to put my fingers in my eyes and feel like I’ve just been pepper sprayed….lol. Visiting from the Mellywood Mansion. Cheers

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      I’ve used disposable gloves as well and they were certainly a lifesaver when processing jalapenos, but I didn’t like the way they felt on my hands so I started looking for another solution. But you’re right – I can almost FEEL the pepper-sprayed feeling you described – YES! LOL ~TMR~

      Reply
  13. Mel

    We were still getting them in winter I dehydrated a bunch of chilli a while back I kind of hope this years crop is a little less. I’m so jealous of that sun oven, I want one!

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      I sure enjoy mine Mel, and I love that it does such an awesome job a dehydrating veggies too. I’m HOOKED! 🙂 ~TMR~

      Reply
  14. Nikki

    I’m visiting from Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways blog hop. LOVE your cutting board! lol. I hadn’t thought of using plastic lids, but it makes a lot of sense.

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      LOL Nikki – I truly do prefer to use these lids as cutting boards, especially with juicier fruits/veggies. Plus I’m a repurposing fiend sometimes. 🙂 ~TMR~

      Reply
  15. Emily @ Simple Life Of A Fire Wife

    Oh my gosh I still have jalapenos coming out like crazy too! Great idea for using them! I love your high-tech cutting board too 😉

    Reply

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