The first food preservation technique was probably how animals saved food by burying it under the ice. And then we humans started doing it too! Be it pickles and jams or chutneys and sauces, we’ve been preserving food for a long time.
The idea was to preserve our favorite foods (with their goodness intact) for later, when we may not have easy access to them owing to season change… or even a food shortage!
Having a full pantry is always a good idea, something we’ve learnt from famines, the covid pandemic and conflicts afflicting several countries these days. So whether it is food bought in bulk or saving home-grown produce, food preservation always comes to the rescue and becomes your savior.
There are many different ways of preserving food that can be used at home to stock up on food not just for a rainy day but also for guilty indulgences! While traditional methods to preserve food like refrigeration, preparing pickles etc. are common, several modern methods like preserving foods in oil are also fast making their way into home kitchens.
Every method, however, lends a different taste and texture to food. It is important to know what technique should be used for which food, so you don’t end up freezing cucumbers and canning potatoes!
Let’s look at some easy ways of preserving food at home:
If you’re a novice to food preservation, this is probably one of the modern ways of preserving food and is extremely easy to do. It can be used for a whole host of foods from fruits and vegetables to meats and dairy.
Even if you plan to turn them into a sauce or jam later, you can flash freeze these foods till you get around to doing it. Berries, mangoes, peas, broccoli carrots, tomatoes, avocados, herbs, meat, seafood, and even tofu are just some of the foods that can be preserved by freezing.
Pickling is an ancient and international technique of food preservation. It is soaking in foods in either vinegar or brine, to keep them fresh for longer. Carrots gherkins, sauerkraut, cucumbers, , miso duck eggs, and, chutneys, are just some examples of pickling. Pickled, foods are easily available too and can be a yummy addition to your menu. A pickle may save you just when you’re in a pickle!
Root Cellar and Cool Storage
This is yet another one of the simpler methods of preserving food and is relatively effortless. All you need is a cool dry storage area like an unheated pantry or a cool damp one like a root cellar. You can keep whole raw veggies like potatoes, cabbage, apples, onions, and garlic beets in a root cellar storage. Carrots and beets do well in a box of moist sand and minimal processing is required for shell beans, pumpkins , squash and dry corn.
Water Bath Canning
For pickles, jam, jellies, sauces, salsa and canned fruit, water bath canning is the ideal preservation technique. All that’s needed is a large stock pot and a canning rack. Although the method is called canning, it uses easily available mason jars.
Berries, apples, pears, pineapple and grapes are some of the fruits you can preserve this way. This method of preserving food doesn’t work well for meat, poultry, dairy and low acid veggies though.
You can dry foods like raisins sun dried tomatoes, or cranberries under the sun or use the home oven at a low temperature in case you don’t have a dehydrator. You can make and store healthy snacks like fruit leather, kale chips, dried cherries and apple slices that can be used in granola or trail mix.
Food preservation is a great way to increase the shelf life of food and eat your favorite food items any time of the year regardless of the season. But if you don’t have the time or resources to preserve foods yourself, you can easily pick some from the wide assortment at Providore.
There are blackcurrant and apricot jams, tuna canned in sunflower oil, Maldives fish chips, sun dried tomatoes, peaches in syrup, salsa and sauce to name a few.
So what’re you waiting for? Check out the vast selection of preserved foods on offer and order now!