Monday, March 30, 2020

On Preserving Food

How many of you read the title of this post and immediately thought this would be a post about canning?  I'll be quite frank and say I've never canned a thing and currently have no interest in it.  I can also tell you that we have a pressure canner and books on the matter, but it's more of an interest to hubby than me.  Let's shake that idea loose and talk about the other options.

From our house in El Paso, TX

What are the other options?  Well in our house there are three ways that we preserve food - freezing, drying, and vac-sealing.  In most cases, vac-sealing is used in conjunction with freezing or drying foods.

We all have a freezer and it's something most of us use in our day to day life.  We often fill our freezers with prepackaged or processed food, but I think we sometimes forget to freeze our assets.  I freeze all kinds of things - stale bread, vegetable trimmings, meals for later, stock, and any number of other ingredients.  Don't worry, there will be a post later this week to dive into this farther into this, but remember your freezer isn't just for pizzas, fries, and forgotten bags of veggies.

Dehydrating or drying foods, not as common as freezing, but can be a more stable way to preserve food.  This is a great way to preserve fruits for snacking and baking, veggies for soups and stews, jerky for the summer hike your planning.  That same stale bread from the freezer can be turned into dry breadcrumbs.  We'll dive into this one further as well, including which dehydrator we own and why we chose it.  Dehydrators aren't just for jerky and fruit leather.

Vac-sealing is something we use most often for freezing meat for later use.  We buy our meat in large family packs most often, bring it home and break it down into sizes that are better for two.  It's a bit of work, but it saves us a lot of money all the way around.  However, that's not the only use. We have a jar attachment that allows us to vac-seal mason jars of dried foods, specialty flours, and other dry ingredients.  So while this isn't a stand-alone method, it's a great helper in the preservation of your pantry.

My goal is to share with you other ideas for using each of these methods for preserving food.  Ways that might fit into your lifestyle a bit easier than traditional canning. These methods might also be of more interest to you as well.

How do you preserve your food to extend its shelf life in your pantry?  Are you a canner? A dehydrator? A Freezer?

Wednesday's delve into dehydrating and storing your dried foods.  Then on Friday, we'll look at better ways to fill that freezer.

4 comments:

  1. I freeze and have canned in the past but it is such a pain!!!

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    1. I have never done any canning. It's never been interesting to me, but freezing and dehydrating are are totally fun to do.

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  2. I've wanted a dehydrator but can't bring myself to buy another kitchen gadget/appliance.

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    1. For us it's not another gadget. We bought a good quality one that can be more than just a dehydrator. You can raise bread in it, there are ways to set it up to make yogurt, along with the drying of fruits, veggies, jerky, etc.

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