Home preserve food is always the best because it saves you a lot of money, organizes you in a better way, adds more variety to your food, stock up more flavors, ensures safety, and tastes better. There are numerous numbers of ways to preserve food at home.
Methods using salting, sugaring, freezing, fermenting, drying, heating, etc are some of the easy ways that can be adopted and executed easily at home without much of the hassle and fancy essentials. Just basic kitchen ingredients and natural resources like sun and clean water.
Instead of relying on expensive, packaged, and commercial food stocked up in the aisles of supermarkets where you do not have control over the type of process and the ways it’s delivered to you. This blog will help you simplify all the easy home methods to preserve your own fresh food by yourself.
What is better than to open a jar and throw in the homemade sun-dried tomatoes over a slice of buttered toast with a hot coffee on a relaxed Sunday morning. So, have a read:
ART TO PRESERVE FOOD – A STEP TO SUSTAINABLE LIFESTYLE
Growing and preserving your own food is one of the most important aspects of sustainability. Traditionally, food preservation was a way of life, and families passed down their skills to successive generations. Our grandparents may have preserved their own food, but with the arrival of the Industrial Age and the mass production and mass transport of readily available food, many people no longer considered food preservation a necessity, so the knowledge was not passed on.
Read more: COMPLETE GUIDE ON SUSTAINABLE EATING
In this article, we will briefly discuss five of the most common ways you can preserve food. We will first look at three methods that predominated for millennia before the Industrial Age, and then we will discuss two more recent approaches.
As a result, many people are unfamiliar with the different ways to preserve food. Using salt, sugar, oil, vinegar, and alcohol are all interesting methods our ancestors may have used to keep their harvests. Some traditional methods of preserving food have been shown to have a lower energy input and carbon footprint when compared to modern methods.
WHAT IT MEANS TO PRESERVE FOOD
Food preservation is the method of treating and taking care of nourishment to stop or slow down Food decay, loss of quality, edibility, or wholesome value and in this way allowing for longer food capacity. Food preservation avoids the growth of microorganisms (such as yeasts), or other microorganisms (microbes or parasites), as well as abating the oxidation of fats that when uncovered to air, light, or dampness or by bacterial activity, result in unpleasant taste and odor.
Food preservation may moreover incorporate forms that hinder visual disintegration, such as the enzymatic browning response in apples after they are cut amid food preparation.
Maintaining or creating nutritional value, texture and flavor is an important aspect of food preservation, although, historically, some methods drastically altered the character of the food being preserved
WHY WE NEED TO PRESERVE FOOD
Food preservation is essential because it extends the length of time during which the food is nutritionally viable and safe to eat. Most fresh fruits, vegetables, and animal products spoil quickly without refrigeration, dehydration, or preservation.
The most popular and effective preserving techniques employ salt, sugar, vinegar, or brine. Most bacterial and fungal spores cannot live without oxygen and do not survive prolonged immersion in boiling water. They can’t survive boiling temperatures, acidic environments such as pickle brine.
Food spoilage may be defined as any change that renders food unfit for human consumption. These changes may be caused by various factors, including contamination by microorganisms, infestation by insects, or degradation by endogenous enzymes (those present naturally in the food).
In addition, physical and chemical changes, such as the tearing of plant or animal tissues or the oxidation of certain constituents of food, may promote food spoilage. The enzymes contained in the cells of plant and animal tissues may be released as a result of any mechanical damage inflicted during post-harvest handling. These enzymes begin to break down the cellular material.
The chemical reactions catalyzed by the enzymes result in the degradation of food quality, such as the development of off-flavors, the deterioration of texture, and the loss of nutrients. The typical microorganisms that cause food spoilage are bacteria.
Food preservation works because the preserving agents prevent bacteria, mold, and other potentially harmful organisms from growing on the food. Dry preserving techniques, such as packing food in salt, draws water out of the food, making it an inhospitable environment for microorganisms.
Wet-preserved foods undergo heat processing that kills microorganisms, and the vacuum seal created by proper canning prevents life-sustaining oxygen from entering the container.
Many processes designed to preserve food involve more than one food preservation method. Preserving fruit by turning it into jam, for example, involves boiling (to reduce the fruit’s moisture content and to kill bacteria, etc.), sugaring (to prevent their re-growth), and sealing within an airtight jar (to prevent recontamination).
WHAT CAN BE MADE OUT OF ‘PRESERVE FOOD’
Fruits, vegetables, meats, fungi, milk.
1.Fruits: jams, jellies, dried fruit, canned, bottled, freeze-dried, frozen, pickled.
2. Vegetables: dried, pickled, frozen, bottled, canned, freeze-dried.
3.Meats: pepperoni, salami, ham, bacon, jerky, pickled meat or fish, smoked fish, smoked hock, salted anchovies in oil, canned sardines, canned tuna, etc.
4.Fungi: dried, pickled.
5.Milk: cheeses of all kinds are preserved milk
Any of the food that is not in the fresh food section has been preserved in some way.
RULES TO PRESERVE FOOD
1.Always use reliable and up-to-date directions.
2.Can, freeze or store produce that’s fresh and in good condition.
3. Over-ripe fruits and vegetables or those with rot or mold are never going to improve after home food processing or cold storage. And they may cause food safety problems.
4. Use high quality, just picked, the peak of ripeness produces whenever possible. Be extra careful about sanitation.
5. Clean your utensils, equipment, work surfaces, and your hands when doing this work.
16 EASY HOME METHODS TO PRESERVE FOOD AT HOME
Have you ever tried to store your own food to ensure that you are getting the best ingredients from the market, storing it, and then consuming it like a boss feeling satisfied and clean? Bonus; you save extra money and get the best. Let us talk about naturally preserving or storing our food and some easy ways to store your favorite stuff by yourself.
1.SALT THE FOOD – Preserve your food with some edible kitchen salt and left in a cool dry place. Salted fish, salted fish, salted cabbage can be cured by this.
2.SMOKE IT – Expose your food to the smoke of wood to flavor and brown it…and then eventually preserving it. Meat can be cured by this.
3.DO SOME PICKLING – Ferment your fruits and vegetables and meat either by salty water or acidic solution which is usually vinegar.
4.SUGARING ALWAYS WORKS – Dehydrate your food and then pack it with sugar.
5.FREEZE THE DAMN THING – Immersed the food in ice and salt brine (salty water).
6.SUN DRY IT – Food to be preserved should be sun-dried in a single layer and then stored by soaking in oil.
7.FERMENTING – store your food in airtight containers to produce lactic acid in sour food.
8.BURY IN YOUR GARDEN – BURY THE FOOD in the dry soil to constrain it from light and oxygen.
9.CANNED PRESERVATION – Food is processed and sealed in airtight containers.
10.CURE IT – Food is preserved by using the combination of salt sugar smoke spice etc.
11.COOLING IT DOWN – Cooling preserves food by slowing down the growth and reproduction of microorganisms and the action of enzymes that causes the food to rot.
12.DO SOME CONFITING – slow cook your food with oil or sugar syrup and then store it in an airtight container in a cool dark place.
13.JUGGING – stew the food in covered earthenware.
14.JELLYING – Food is cooked in material including gelatin, agar, maize flour, and arrowroot flour.until they solidify to form a gel.
15.HEATING / BOILING – Food is cooked/boiled until reaches about 100* C.
16.CANDIED – Food is covered in heated sugar syrup.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF PRESERVING AND STORING FOOD
1.Food preservation prevents the food from being spoiled by the action of enzymes and microorganisms.
2.Food preservation increases the safe storage period of foodstuffs.
3.It increases the availability of out of season foodstuffs.
4.It increases the availability of various foodstuffs even at distant and not easily approachable places.
5.Makes the transportation of the food materials easier.
6.Food preservation makes up for the deficiencies in the diet.
DRAWBACKS OF PRESERVED FOOD
1.Vitamins B and C are lost in the freezing process.
2.Freezer burn can affect texture and flavor.
3.Many vegetables and most fruits lose their crispness when frozen, even if when you blanch them for a short time.
4.Some items also change texture when frozen and do not taste/feel the same when thawed out and eaten.
5.Pickling alters the taste of foods permanently, therefore the pickled item might not be a possible consideration as a substitute for a fresh ingredient in a recipe.
6.High-sodium products like pickles can cause higher blood pressure so moderate your pickle consumption.
MODERN INDUSTRY METHODS TO PRESERVE FOOD
Techniques of food preservation were developed in research laboratories for commercial applications
3.Artificial food additives
5.Pulsed electric field electrification
8.High-pressure food preservation
To know more read https://www.britannica.com/topic/food-preservation
We know that these days everything is available at every corner of the world and the best part is you can eat whatever and whenever you need to. But it comes with the price and a packaging and preservative which makes it completely unnatural.
So now that we know so many ways to preserve food and store it, we can easily make different enhancers and condiments to eat and add to our food. From frozen berries to garlic confit, sun-dried tomatoes to candied fruits, from olive pickles to fruit compote, salted oranges to smoked roots, we can do it all just by taking out a little time and patience to help our needs.
Let’s just skip one lazy Sunday, head to the nearest farmers market, get yourself your favorite fresh fruits, vegetables, oils, and prepare your choice of naturally preserved food.
Always remember the good things in life are always simple.
You do not need a bag full of ingredients, but just basic kitchen ingredients like salt, sugar, oil, water, and fire. Also, natural drinking water and beautiful sunlight. Do you say no to things which you can do it yourself? Because you should!
So, have you started to preserve food yet? Comments below