Preserving Peppers

Have a lot of AeroGarden peppers on your hands? Learn how to preserve your peppers such as jalapeno, sweet bell pepper, anaheim, and poblano to name a few- plus tomatoes! The three major methods of preserving peppers are freezing, drying, and canning.

Freezing Method

  1. Freezing is the easiest way to preserve peppers, keeping them crisp with fresh flavor.
  2. Remove stems and seeds. Hot peppers can be frozen whole if you want to include the spicy seeds.
  3. Chop the peppers in strips or cubes.
  4. Lay flat on baking sheet or cutting board and place in freezer. Once frozen solid, put into freezer bags, date, and use within 8 to 12 months.

Drying Methods

  • Air dry: hang the peppers in a dry climate for 3 to 4 weeks. Make sure to space out the peppers for good air flow.
  • Food dehydrator: this method is the fastest drying method and is a good alternative for humid climates.
  • Oven dry: You can always use the oven to dry out the peppers but it will take 1 to 2 hours. Bake at 150°F with oven door cracked open to let moisture out. Rotate peppers every 30 minutes.

 

Canning Method

Canning is great for salsa and other pickled recipes. Find a recipe you like and go from there. The possibilities are endless!

Tip: Wear gloves when preparing hot peppers and wash hands before touching your face to avoid burns.

-If you do get burned, follow these steps:

  1. Apply rubbing alcohol to burn area to remove pepper oils
  2. Then use apply milk to irritated area. The milk contains the chemical casein and removes the pepper burn from the skin. Follow by soap and warm water.
  3. Apply olive oil to burn area for about one minute and wash off.

 

Garden Tip: Jalapeño

This Mexican pepper, Jalapeno, ranges in the medium-hot level, about 5,000 Scoville units.  This seems pretty tame when compared to the #1 hottest in the world- The Carolina Reaper at 2,200,000 SHU and former world champ- The Ghost Pepper at 1,041,427 SHU.

AeroGarden Peppers

Growing Tip:

  • Give the plants plenty of space to grow. This is the reason why the seed pod kits come with a certain amount of pre-seeded grow pods and plant spacers depending on the size of your AeroGarden.
  • Feed it extra nutrient upon the 3rd feeding and moving forward. For 3 and 6-Pod gardens, give an extra 1/2 capful. For 7 and 9-Pod gardens, give an extra 1 capful.
  • Schedule grow light to be on during the day. This decreases stress on the plant.
  • Pollinate often.
  • Harvest when the peppers are large and firm. Cut from the plant when they are green or red. The longer the pepper is on the plant, the redder and hotter it gets.

 

Jalapeño Hummus

Kick off the football season with this green hummus that packs its own kick of heat! This healthy and easy appetizer is perfect for this weekend’s game!

 Image & recipe credit: Taste And See

This green hummus has just the right amount of heat and puts a spicy twist on traditional hummus. Get this gluten-free vegan recipe at Taste And See. Use your fresh AeroGarden herbs and peppers in this recipe which showcases parsley, cilantro, and September’s Seed Pod Kit of the Month jalapeno peppers.

Not growing Jalapeños? Start a Jalapeño garden this month and get the Seed Pod Kit 25% OFF

 

Tips for Preserving Seeds

Do you want to save your seeds for next year? Here’s how to store them properly to ensure germination!

Seed Expiration

We guarantee germination for 1 year from the date of purchase of the seed pod kit. However, typically the seeds remain viable for 2 years if stored properly. Exposure to excessive heat or humidity may shorten the lifespan of a seed.

Seed Preservation

The best way to preserve the seed pods is by storing them in a cool dry place out of direct sunlight – a place where the temperature will not fluctuate much. The refrigerator is generally the best place to store seeds. But stay away from the freezer, any seed that cannot be dried properly should not be frozen or else you risk damaging the cell wall of the seed. Some seeds store better than others. Tomato seeds, for example, can last for more than four years if stored well!
If you have your own seeds and are using a Grow Anything Kit, ensure your seeds are properly dried. Let them air-dry for about a week before placing them in an air-tight container. Store them in an area that is cool and dry year round. When you are ready to plant your seeds, keep them in their closed container until they reach room temperature to avoid unwanted condensation.

Taco Lettuce Wrap

Try this tasty, nutritious and quick recipe! Make these flavorful tacos using lettuce, cilantro and chilli peppers from your AeroGarden for a healthy, low-carb alternative to traditional tacos.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 chili pepper, stemmed and chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 6-12 cilantro leaves
  • 6 lettuce taco shells

PREPARATION

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and cook the onion until it begins to wilt, about 2 minutes. Add the meat and sear, chopping with a spatula into small pieces until the pink color is gone. Add the garlic and chile and cook for 2 minutes or until the garlic is soft. Add the salt, chili powder, black pepper, chili pepper, cumin, cilantro and a tablespoon of water, mix well, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until well blended. Wrap with lettuce taco shells.

Makes: 6 servings

Ask AeroGarden: Watering Your Plants

Question:  “Some of my seed pods are experiencing poor growth or not even germinating, but my basil is growing perfectly. What is the problem?”

Answer:  “This is most likely a problem with the type of water you are using. We recommend that you use distilled water. Distilled water has no mineral content and is perfect for hydroponic applications. Our liquid plant nutrients have the exact measurement of minerals for optimum plant growth. When distilled water meets with our nutrients it results in pH balance. Some plant varieties are more tolerant than others to pH imbalance. Basil, for instance, is known to thrive in imbalanced conditions, but many other plant varieties will struggle with poor growth and even lack of germination. In addition, most filtered water, hard or softened water, bottled drinking water, well sourced water, and some municipal tap water, depending on the state in which you reside, will also cause imbalance.Go ahead and refill your garden with distilled water and nutrients. This will restore pH balance!

Get to the root of it! Feel free to ask your question at ask@aerogarden.com and get an expert answer from the AeroGarden team.

Ranch Dressing

It’s not hard to understand why ranch dressing is so popular: It’s creamy without being heavy, with a good herbal kick and a subtle garlic presence. There are countless recipes for it, but this version, made with fresh garlic and fresh herbs, tastes so much brighter than those using garlic powder and dried herbs.

INGREDIENTS

    • 1/2 cup purchased or homemade mayonnaise
    • 1/2 cup well-shaken buttermilk
    • 1 clove garlic, peeled
    • 1 tablespoon finely chopped onion
    • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus additional to taste
    • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
    • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
    • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
    • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh dill
    • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

PREPARATION

In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise and buttermilk. In a mortar and pestle, mash the garlic and onion with the fine sea salt to create a paste, or use a large heavy knife to mince and mash the garlic and onion with the salt into a paste. Add the garlic-onion paste and dry mustard to the buttermilk mixture and whisk well to combine. Add the chives, parsley, dill, and freshly ground black pepper and whisk well to combine. Season the dressing with additional fine sea salt. DO AHEAD: The dressing can be prepared ahead and refrigerated, in an airtight container, up to 1 week.

Makes about 1 cup

ACTIVE TIME: 20 minutes

TOTAL TIME: 20 minutes

Courtesy of Epicurious

Chlorosis: Diagnosing Pale, Yellow, or Yellow-White Leaves

Are your leaves a pale, yellow, or yellow-white color? If so, your plant may be experiencing chlorosis.

Chlorosis is a condition where leaves yellow or blanch due to lack of chlorophyll, which is responsible for the green color of leaves. A plant that is chlorophyll deficient has little or no capacity to create carbohydrates using photosynthesis and may die unless the cause of the chlorosis is treated.

The most common cause of chlorosis is a lack of nutrients. The leaves will become pale or yellow if the plant does not have enough nutrients to synthesize all the chlorophyll it needs.

Perfectly natural pale yellow leaves

However, this process can also be natural. A plant will have two starter leaves known as cotyledons when the seedlings first emerge from the soil. Over time, the plant will start to produce its typical adult leaves. The cotyledons help the plant begin growing, but once it’s producing more leaves, they are no longer needed and will often yellow and eventually fall off. If these are your only yellow leaves, your plant is perfectly healthy!

 

 

Pineapple and Cilantro Moscow Mule

This tropical cocktail is summer fun for everyone and can easily be made into a mocktail by leaving out the vodka and adding more ginger beer.
Image & Recipe Credit: TMIO
Ingredients
  • 6 cilantro leaves
  • 4 tablespoons pineapple puree
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • ice
  • 1½ ounces vodka
  • ginger beer
Instructions
  • Gently muddle the cilantro leaves in a sturdy glass to release their oils.
  • Add ice to the top.
  • Pour the vodka over ice
  • Add pineapple puree and lime juice
  • Top with ginger beer
  • Stir, garnish, and serve
*Pineapple puree- blend pineapple chunks in blender until smooth.
*Optional- to sweeten the drink add some agave.
Serves: 1 drink