Posted by on 10/08/2014

x_1826_674452_0_14101005_500Sometimes, you just need a certain type of food, whether it’s for a recipe or just because you have the urge to eat it. Unfortunately, our favorite fruits and vegetables aren’t available year-round.

That’s why preserving food is a good idea, it’s also much healthier than opting for the chemical-filled products at the store. Preserved food is more nutritious, you’ll save money and preserving fruits and vegetables is a great way to get the best flavor.

There are six general food preservation methods: fermentation, acidification, drying, root cellaring, home canning and freezing.

You ferment foods by allowing one type of microbe to act on a food substance. This allows the food to convert some of its components into alcohols or acids.

Acidification involves dunking fruits, vegetables and herbs in vinegar.

The preservation method of drying includes removing the water so help concentrate flavors. Food dehydrators are available to make this process easier and the food should then be stored in an air-tight container.

Cellaring is a method that refers to storing producing for a long period of time by keeping it in a cool, dark spot. This spot can be in your garage or basement.

You can preserve food by home canning it. The easiest method of canning is called water-bath canning in which you’ll sanitize the can or jar in water so that you can safely store food.

Freezing is one of the easiest methods of food preservation. Berries are the easiest to freeze and require very little preparation.

When preserving food, be sure to do so at the peak of harvest so that you can save it for the colder months or when the food isn’t in season.

5 foods that are easily preserved

Here are some tips for preserving a variety of foods:

Apples: You can easily make apples into applesauce to can for later use. You may also want to try preserving them to make dried apple rings as an easy after-school snack for the kids. If you want to preserve apple slices, be sure to use the water-bath method.

Greens: Hearty varieties of greens including kale and spinach can be easily frozen. You can also dry them into chips and store for later as they can make a great snack in between meals.

Peppers: The only downfall to peppers is that they don’t always last the longest. If you know that you’ll want to keep your homegrown peppers for later use be sure to freeze them. They can be frozen as slices or chunks. For hot peppers, dry them whole before stringing together and fermenting in hot sauce.

Beans: The best way to preserve wax, yellow and green beans is to pickle and water-bath them. You may also want to try drying and freezing the beans. If you want to preserve lima beans, make sure you dry them before freezing. As for any other bean, drying works well for preservation.

Berries: You don’t need to do much to berries in order to preserve them. Just make sure that you wash them off, pat dry and then freeze. You can freeze them with or without sugar. If you want to stock up on homemade jam, use the water-bath method.

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