There is a world of ways to preserve your food
Food storage is one of my passions. I love being able to purchase food and preserve it for my family. It gives me comfort and security for the uncertain times that may be ahead.
People have been preserving food for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. In ancient times dehydrating was done naturally by the wind and sun and the Romans were masters at drying fruit.
Food dehydration is the process of taking moisture out of food. Today the main source of energy to dehydrate food is electricity. Air is moved over the food with a fan that blows the moisture away from the food and out exhaust vents. The heat in a food dehydrator usually ranges from 130 to 155 degrees.
You can get canned food anywhere, why should you dehydrate your own food?
- It preserves the freshness from your garden
- It is less expensive to “Do IT Yourself” than purchasing already dehydrated food
- You can control the quality of the product
- Dehydrating extends the shelf life of your food for up to 5 years
- It’s perfect for getting your pantry together. See the post 3 Month Food Supply – Stocking Your Pantry for more ideas
Each fruit and vegetable has its own level of dryness and drying time. Some are dehydrated until they are crisp and some are pliable. You’ve got to do your research to know which it is. This publication from the Georgia State University Extension office – How to dry Fruits & Vegetables is a great place to start. I also have several books that I recommend for food preservation. My favorite for dehydrating is Keeping the Harvest: Preserving Your Fruits, Vegetables & Herbs by Nancy Chioffi and Gretchen Mead
Freezing is perhaps the simplest way to preserve your purchases or harvest. All you really need is a reliable freezer and containers to put the food in.
I like to use one-gallon freezer zip bags because I think it gives me the most control over portion sizes. You can also use old plastic containers that you find at garage sales. Glad makes those inexpensive storage containers that are reasonably priced. Get creative with what you use, just be sure to leave enough head space for liquids to expand.
My FoodSaver was a great investment and something that I use daily almost daily. Placing food into FoodSaver packages and removing the air will give you even longer freezer storage time.
You might not think about these other preservation methods…
What preservation methods haven’t I mentioned?
Preparing and Canning Fermented Foods and Pickled Vegetables a publication from the US Department of Agriculture
Vegetable Storage in Root Cellars a publication from the University of Alaska
Meat Curing a publication from the University of Oklahoma
Take some time to view the other food storage pages by PreparednessMama: Canning Techniques – Food Storage Basics– Wholesale Bulk Buys – Long Term Food Storage – Other Preservation Methods – Grains – Thrive Life – Kitchen Tips – Recipes – for other in depth articles on getting your food storage plan together.