DIY Guide to Preserving Food at Home
Storing food from your garden or local farmer’s market is a great way to have healthy, mostly preservative free food for your family. Here are the most popular DIY methods of preserving food at home with links to some great sites with detailed how to’s.
Acidic foods like tomatoes, fruits or jams and jellies are the simplest foods to can. The food is placed in clean, warm bottles, sealed and then boiled in water for a set period of time. Most other types of foods need to be canned using a pressure method. You’ll need a special pressure canner – either a stove top or electric variety.
While the equipment cost can add up, you’ll be able to re-use everything year after year. Check out these sites for more information on canning methods and supplies:
Because canning requires special equipment, freezing is a popular alternative especially if you have the space. You can freeze just about anything but save your freezer space for meats, fruits and leftovers. Unless you’ve got a bumper crop, frozen veggies are plentiful and cheap at the grocery store year round. Download this freezing chart
to see how long you can keep various types of food.
Drying works well for spices, fruits and even vegetables. Little preparation is needed, but it takes the longest time especially if you “sun dry” foods. Use your oven or special food dryers to speed things up. Store your dried goodies in air-tight containers. Find details on drying foods at this site
. You’ll also find information on canning and some recipes there.
Consider making mixes with ingredients you buy in bulk or using some of your garden bounty that you’ve dried. Stored in your pantry in air tight containers, you can create baking mixes (our own guide!)
, sauces, side dishes and soups. Here are some other posts with great recipes for creating your own mixes – anything from main dishes to desserts:
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