We all know that there are many ways on how we can preserve produce, but which one is the best?
Let’s find out the factors to consider when choosing a food preservation method.
The Kind Of Food Your Family Regularly Eats
Think about the food your family usually eats. Through this, you’ll have an idea of what kind of food you would want to preserve and what method to use. For instance, berries can be frozen, dehydrated, or made into jam. Apples can be dehydrated well and placed in cold storage. Bananas can be frozen and dehydrated but are not supposed to be canned or place in cold storage. Green beans can be frozen, canned, fermented, or dehydrated.
How You Will Use It Later
Think of how you will be using the food once you already know what you can do with a specific food. If you like your veggies steamed or made into soup or mashed potatoes, then it’s best to freeze or dehydrate them. If you prefer them as a side or on a sandwich, you pickle them. If you prefer your fruits in smoothies, it’s best to freeze them. However, if you love to add them to your oatmeal, you may dehydrate them like berries.
A Storage Space
Consider where you will be placing your preserved food. There are different space and storage requirement in each preservation method.
Dried Or Dehydrated Food
Probably the best option, when you have limited storage or space, is drying or dehydrating your food. When you dried or dehydrated your food, it will take up the least amount of room and will store the longest. This method is the oldest food preservation methods and is the ideal way of preserving meat, fruit, vegetables, and herbs. Yet, you should consider that you need a plan for consuming all this dehydrated food. Store dehydrated food in glass jars with oxygen absorbers, plastic containers, airtight bags.
The freezer is one option of storage spaces. You should always keep in mind that freezing changes the texture of most fruits and some veggies. Green beans and berries are the ideal foods to freeze. One way to freeze berries is to scatter them on a tray, then put it in the freezer. After they have frozen, put them in a bag. You can prevent berries from clumping by freezing them in batches.
Canned, Pickled, And Fermented Foods
Canning, pickling, and fermenting are the food preservation methods that usually require the use of jars. A cool, dark place is also needed in storing these finished jars full of canned goods. You can store certain preserved food in your basement when you run out of storage room on the pantry or freeze. If you don’t have a basement, which can also serve as a cold storage area, then you can consider storing your jars in a closet or even under the bed. If you live in the right climate, you might want to consider building your own root cellar to store your nuts, vegetables, fruits, or other foods. In order to be able to store food properly, four specific elements are needed in a root cellar: darkness, ventilation, shelving, and humidity.