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Before giving some useful tips for preserving vegetables, I want to tell you a little about what you mean by preserving vegetables and why we preserve vegetables and other foods?

How to preserve Vegetables

Preserving vegetables means the process of storing vegetables for a longer period of time using different methods to prevent the vegetables from going to waste. Here are some commonly used methods of preserving vegetables:

Freezing Vegetables – This is the method of freezing vegetables in a refrigerator or cold storage

Dehydrating Vegetables – This is the second most popular method of storing vegetables and involves different drying methods such as dehydrating the foods or vegetables in sunlight or in the microwave oven.

Storing Cooked or Boiled Vegetables – The third method of preserving vegetables is a little professional and is used mostly by the food industries to store vegetables in metal cans with tight lids. Usually, the process involves boiling the vegetables in water with temperatures up to 140 degrees, before sealing them in cans. The vegetables can also be blanched, boiled, cooked, soaked in brine or other fluids for preserving them.

Why do we preserve vegetables?

In old times, people used to preserve vegetables and other edibles so that they could use them in time when there was no food available like in winters. But today, we usually preserve vegetables for two reasons:

Firstly to enjoy those vegetables in the season when they are not available like green peas are cultivated in winter and if you preserve them properly, you can enjoy them in June and July as well.

Secondly we preserve vegetables when large quantity is available and there are chances that they may spoil.

How to preserve vegetables

Here are some basic tips for preserving vegetables and by following them, preserving will become more easy and safe for a long time:

  1. To preserve vegetables, the most important thing is keeping every thing hygienic during preservation of vegetables.
  2. Remove a thin layer of vegetable’s skin before preserving it.
  3. Wash vegetables properly with lots of water.
  4. Cut vegetables into bite size pieces for freezing or canning.
  5. For dehydrating, cut vegetables into small pieces.
  6. Use plastic bags for freezing vegetables.
  7. Bags should be properly washed before adding vegetables to them.
  8. Mouth of the bags should be tightly closed.
  9. Put a small quantity of vegetables in each bag, so that whenever you need to utilize them, you use the whole bag.
  10. Once defrosted; if frozen again there are chances that vegetables may get contaminated.
  11. Vegetables can be easily defrosted by simply running luke warm water over them.
  12. The place where you are dehydrating vegetables should be clean and free from germs.
  13. If you are dehydrating vegetables under the sun, always cover them with a thin muslin cloth.
  14. Dehydrating in micro wave oven is hygienic but it takes more time.
  15. Using some salt on vegetables will make dehydrating faster and proper.
  16. Dehydrated food must be stored in a proper hygienic place covered with a tight lid to prevent air and moisture from entering the pot.
  17. Vegetables with a high acid level like tomatoes are recommended for freezing or canning rather than dehydrating.
  18. Vegetables with a low acid level should not be canned as they require a high temperature of more than 140 degree which is difficult to attain at home.
  19. Vegetables should be either cooked or boiled properly before canning.
  20. Tightly close the lids of cans once you have added the vegetables to them.
  21. A conscious check on preserved vegetables should be kept to make sure that they are not in contact with anything contaminated.
  22. For large number of vegetables, dehydrating under the sun is most convenient.
  23. Prefer using home preserved vegetables than market preserved one.
  24. For preserving, it is best to use young and tender vegetables.
  25. If you blanch or boil the vegetables, cool them immediately in the same amount of water, preferably ice water to preserve their nutrients.
  26. Make sure you use the best quality freezer bags or air tight containers to prevent freezer burn.
  27. Before freezing the bags, squeeze as much air out as possible.
  28. Label each bag with the name of the vegetable and the date of preservation, so you can use the old ones before using any newly preserved vegetables.
  29. Once packed, freeze them immediately.
  30. Make sure your freezer is already ready to take the preserved vegetables. You should clean it a day early and also set the freezer control at -10 a day before freezing to speed up.

There are other methods of preserving vegetables and fruits too, and include pickling and preparing jams and jellies.

In: General/ Posted by admin

1 Comment »

  1. [...] sure to read up on more posts for preserving vegetables and storing herbs and [...]

    Pingback by Tips for food storage « Cook It All — June 18, 2010 @ 4:15 am

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