Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Preserving Food To Save You Money

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From keeping lettuce crisp to enjoying homemade tomato sauce year-round, preserving food is a wonderful way to make things last. Preserving food not only saves you money but keep food out of the compost bin. Since the summer months are extremely short, imagine how delicious your creamy pasta would be with your homemade natural tomato sauce in the middle of winter. It's only natural to want to enjoy your favorite foods throughout the year, and to keep them tasting as close to fresh-picked as you can.

Here are four great ways to preserve your food:


Home cooks have been preserving food in jars for centuries, and these days we have plenty of resources to do so safely and easily. After the initial investment in jars, a canner and a few accessories, the expenses are minimal. Canned goods go far beyond the usual tomatoes and green beans. Modern canning recipes allow you to create unique and memorable foods for gifting or for you and your family.

TIP:  Home-canned goods should be used within a year for optimum quality, but are safe for much longer, as long as safe canning methods were used. 


When it comes to nutritious preserved foods, freezing is second only to fresh foods. While freezing can affect the texture of some foods, most vegetables, fruits, meats, soups, and even herbs can easily be frozen in airtight containers for use all year long. The key is to start with cold foods so that the time it takes for them to freeze is very short. This minimizes ice crystals and preserves the color, texture, and taste of your foods.

Try freezing cold berries or chopped vegetables in a single layer on a baking sheet. Once frozen, transfer to a freezer bag or Mason jar for storage. You'll be able to pluck a single berry or measure 2 cups worth from the container without defrosting the entire batch.

TIP:  Nuts, seeds, and whole grains can be stored in the freezer to extend their shelf life and prevent spoilage.


Dehydrating foods is a simple and easy way to keep vegetables, fruits, and even meats stored away until you are ready to use them. Drying preserves foods by taking all the moisture away; without moisture, bacteria cannot grow and your foods stay delicious for months - even years. While there are plenty of dehydrators available, many recipes are possible using a regular home oven. Fresh herbs can be dried in a microwave or just hanging from your ceiling.The best thing about drying is that it uses very little energy, and the preserved foods are lightweight - easy to store and transport.

TIP:  Dipping fruit slices in pineapple or citrus juice before drying can preserve their color and prevent browning.


Fermentation brings us some of our favorite foods: cheese, yogurt, beer, wine, pickles and even chocolate. Nearly every culture in the world makes use of the natural preservative of fermentation. This works by transforming the natural sugars in foods into tart and flavorful foods that tend to resist spoilage at cool temperatures. Fermentation is made possible by the action of beneficial bacteria  - the same bacteria that keep our immune and digestive systems healthy. So fermented foods are not only practical, they also deliver a healthy dose of probiotics. Another benefit of fermentation is that no special equipment is required. You can get started with as little as a knife, a cabbage, some sea salt, and a couple of weeks later you'll be enjoying sauerkraut!

TIP:  Every ferment is unique because of the bacteria and yeasts that are naturally present in the air and foods in that region. The same recipe can taste different across the globe!

I have already begun canning and freezing some of my favorite summer fruits and veggies.  I've never tried drying or fermenting my food, but I plan on trying these methods soon.

Let me know what your favorite method of food preservation is!

Intuitively Yours,
Laurel ♥

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