Preserve food to save money
Food waste is one of the many negative factors of modern living, and when so many different types of food can be preserved, in a variety of ways, there is no excuse for it. Preserving food not only reduces waste, but also allows you to enjoy seasonal produce all year round. Discover how you can save money while preserving some of your favourite foods with these easy to follow tips.
A chest freezer is an investment that larger families should consider. Capable of storing foods for around six months, a freezer can be stocked with homemade meals such as lasagne, shepherd’s pie, stews, and many other dishes that can be cooked straight from frozen. You can save money by buying ingredients in bulk, and by creating dishes that can then be frozen. Never throw away surplus food, research if the dish you have cooked can be safely frozen and eaten at a much later date before freezing in a suitable sealed container
Pickling is a preservation method that has been used for centuries. There are so many different vegetables that can be pickled including cucumbers, carrots, peppers, turnips and beets. It is really simple to pickle foods and all you need is vinegar water, and some spices. You can find some fantastic advice on how to pickle certain vegetables, hygienically and effectively here.
An alternative to pickling is canning. If you don’t like the taste of vinegar, canning could be the perfect way for you to preserve your favourite vegetables. Pressure canning is suitable for low acidic foods, meaning almost every vegetable and most fruits can be canned. Home canning involves putting produce in sterilised jars with water and salt. A popular vegetable to can is the green bean. Discover all about Canning Green Beans at SimpleFamilyPreparedness.Com.
Dehydrating foods is one of the oldest methods of food preservation, with experts believing that prehistoric man dried foods to save for the winter. Dehydration is the process of removing moisture from foods and this inhibits the growth of microorganisms that lead to decay. Some of the foods that are suitable for dehydration are apples, bananas, apricots, cherries, onion, garlic, parsnips, potatoes and peppers. Dehydration products are readily available, or you can dry foods in the oven at low temperatures, and also in the sun.
Jellies and marmalades
Sugar acts as a preserving agent by drawing out water from the cells of foods making it an inhospitable environment for microorganisms. Berried fruits are popular ingredients for jelly, and oranges for marmalade. Perfect for those with a sweet tooth, jams can be made from left over fruits to prevent waste, and are a delicious addition to breakfasts, and as cake fillings.
With so many different ways to preserve food, you are certain to find at least one to suit your tastes. Preserved foods make excellent gifts, so why not make several batches of canned and jarred foods to give to friends and family? Attach pretty labels with the contents and date the products were preserved for gift your loved ones will truly appreciate.