Preserving your daily consumed food like fruits and vegetables is essential to ensure that they stay nutritious, delicious and fresh always. There are various methods to protect your favourite produce and fruits. A few best methods to preserve them are fermenting, canning, pickling, freezing etc. Let's have a closer look at how these methods work in preserving your food.
Freezing, pickling, dehydrating, canning, air-tight storing, fermenting, and repackaging are a few favourable methods to keep your fruits and produce fresh and healthy.
1. FREEZING PRODUCE AND FRUITS
A traditional and common form of food preservation/storage is freezing. Often fresh produce and fruits are stored in the form of small chunks and pieces. For instance, bananas must be peeled and frozen when they are brown and over-ripened so that they can be used later while preparing smoothies.
Produce like onions, spring onions must be chopped and stored freeze in a re-sealable bag or empty containers. Storing the chopped produce in the freezer helps them to stay fresh for a longer time. Freezing your produce raw is the best way to prevent browning as well as preserve the nutrients in them.
Another great way to freeze your produce and other fruits is to store them in fat or olive oil so that they stay healthy as well as delicious. Fruits like apples, peaches, berries and mangoes can be preserved this way!
Fresh produce pickled in a glass jar with brine or vinegar is again a traditional and best method to preserve fruits and veggies. Using jars for pickling makes good storage space and a mouth-watering snack that's tasty and nutritious. Pickled veggies and fruits can be garnished on salads and any Indian flatbreads.
One of the most commonly used efficient methods for home food and vegetable storage, preservation is dehydrating them in a freezer dryer or under the sun. Dehydrating the food increases the shelf life but with a slight flavour and texture transformation. Freeze-drying and dehydrating fruits and produce makes them lightweight and a convenient option to carry to have them as go-to snacks.
One of the most effective ways to preserve food for the long term is canning them. Canning your fresh fruits and vegetables using the pressure canning method helps in storing the food without using a refrigerator. A pressure canner is a heavy weighted equipment with screws clamps and a vent along with a pressure gauge. You can directly heat the food in the canning jars to a temperature hotter than boiling water.
One essential note to be made is that all the low-acid or alkaline foods must be processed in a pressure canner which means that all the unpickled vegetables must be using the canning method to be preserved.
For a great diet and gut health, fermentation is the best option to preserve your food. Fermentation does not require any added liquid or heat. Fermentation of food only needs small glass jars and salt as a natural preservative to store food for a long time. Fermenting your food is one of the oldest means of preserving the food.
The process is longer than the other methods and alters the food's colour, texture as well as flavour. Usually, homemade fermented food can be categorized as pickled and fermented. Fermented drinks and meals include kimchi, coconut, yoghurt and kombucha.