Food preservation means stopping or slowing down the natural decomposing of foods. This helps you preserve your favourite foods and keep them for longer. Here are 4 basic ways to increase your food’s shelf life.

Freeze your food

Freezing is the easiest and most effective method to preserve food. It is crucial to freeze your food while it is still fresh and store it in resealable freeze-grade bags or airtight containers that you can use over and over again. Freezing helps to prevent bacteria from growing on the food. 

To prevent freezer burn, it is important to cool hot food first before freezing it. Freezer burn can alter the taste and texture of your food, so it is best to cool it down first and then use the appropriate containers designed for the freezer.

Frozen vegetables in plastic bags in freezer

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Dry your food

Consider dehydrating your food as this preservation technique involves drying your food to store it for later use. The drying process removes all the moisture from the food, which makes it difficult for bacteria to grow. 

This allows the food to last several weeks or even months without refrigeration. There are different ways to dry foods such as air-drying, oven-drying, and using a dehydrator.

Sun-dried fruit

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The canning method

The canning method involves preserving the food in an air-free environment. Without air getting to your food it is difficult for bacteria to form, allowing your canned foods to last longer. 

There are two ways to can your food

1. Boiling water baths – which is good for high-acidic foods.

2. Pressure canning – used to can meats and most vegetables, which are mostly all low-acidic foods.

Preserved vegetables in the jars

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Pickle your food

Pickling is a great way to store extra vegetables. When deciding to go the pickling route, you need to follow the proper way of doing it. The process involves fermentation using brine or vinegar. The vegetables will lose their crunchiness the longer they remain in the brine or vinegar solution.

For the best results, pickles should be made from young, fresh vegetables and fruit, with vinegar, and fresh, whole spices and herbs to keep the flavour.

pickled red onion in JAR

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By learning how to safely preserve food at home, you can reap the rewards and enjoy your grown crops for longer. 


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