Many ways to preserve
Many ways to preserve
There are so many ways to prolong the shelf life of fresh foods and meats. New ideas and trends appear every year so you can enjoy fresh foods and home processed products.
The first things to decide is what you want to preserve, the size of the portion, and how you’re going to store them.
Methods of storing foods vary on where you want to store them — a pantry, large freezer, or fruit cellar. The processes are easy but there’s a lot to them. The “go to” website for preserving all types of food belongs to the National Center for Home Food Preservation. The web address is nchfp. uga.edu. They have step-by-step instructions and recipes. It is impressive with lots of ideas and processes. The General Information on each method gives you tips and recommendations to keep your food safe.
Most grocery retailers have available mixes or kits for making various finished products. This is great for people who want to have ready-to-use preserves but don’t have the time, training or place to make them. There are mixes for salsas, pizza and pasta sauces, all varieties of pickles, chili, ketchup, jams and jellies. They also have all sizes of jars from ½ pints to quarts for storage.
Fresh vegetables are great frozen. No nutrients are lost in the cooking process and they taste amazingly fresh. Frozen in plastic freezer bags or vacuum-sealed in specially made plastic bags are a great way to keep the summers harvest ready to use we you are ready to use it.
Drying foods is a great way to store fruits, vegetable, meats, and fish If you don’t have the cash to outright buy a dehydrator or sealer, they are a couple of reputable mail order companies that let you make monthly pay-ments. Fingerhut.com has home dehydrators and high-end models. Monthly payments range from $7.99 to $46.99. SeventhAvenue. com has dehydrators for $20 a month. They also both also carry vacuum sealers and smokers.
Smoking foods has become very popular and trendy. Everyone has their own signature way to smoke foods that are eaten right away but you can also smoke to preserve food.
The only limits to preserving food to last the rest of the year is your imagination. Having a readymade supply of the things you like to use in your recipes can be economical, as well as, convenient. So hit the garden, the Farmer’s Market, or your grocery store while produce is abundant and stock up! If you have any questions feel free to contact me at your Charles City Hy-Vee at 641-228-1726.
Chef Ted Smalley