Did you know that refrigeration was not refined and used everywhere until the 20th Century? Before then, people had no other choice but to try and preserve their food for as long as possible. With that, the idea of canning, freezing, drying and pickling your food was born. We’re going to run you through our tips on preserving your food for as long as possible using these methods.
The most popular foods to can are fruits, vegetables and meats. You can use either cans or glass jars to put your food in. Once food is in, place the lid on firmly and not too tight. Once you have filled the jars, cover them with water in a pot and bring to a boil. After about 10 minutes, pull the jars out of the water and let them cool. As they cool down, they will form a vacuum seal as they cool!
Freezing is one of the best ways to keep food for longer. The best foods to freeze are fruit and meats. It will extend the life of food, and keep it good for longer. It also works well for meals. If you make a big batch of food, you can keep the leftovers in the freezer for a couple of months and they’re still good to go!
Drying is a great way to preserve fruits, vegetables, herbs and even meats! And all you need is the sun – how cool is that! People have been drying tomatoes, chillies, mangos and meats since the beginning of time. Of course, now, we have things like dehydrators that make preserving food by drying a lot easier! If you do want to use the sun however; all you have to do is put your food of choice on a clean surface and keep them in the sun for a few weeks. Whether or not this will work all depends on what climate you live in though!
All you need to make this technique work is salt and acid. Pickling requires you to soak your desired food in a brine with salt. Once pickled to your satisfaction, simply transfer them to a jar full of vinegar. If you’d like, you can refer to our method of vacuum sealing in canning to keep things fresh for longer.
Preserving food is such an easy way to keep things for longer, whilst also changing the flavour. Always good to mix things up, right? Your dishes will definitely have a little extra something if you use these techniques!
**All of those methods are a guide, and should be cross-checked with a recipe of the food you are trying to preserve, as times vary depending on food.