Preserving berries and vegetables

Of course, the most delicious, aromatic and healthiest are all fruits ripe and fresh, but unfortunately this time is relatively short. So how can berries and vegetables be stored for a longer period of time?

All foods should generally be kept in the dark, mainly from direct sunlight, as sunlight affects fats – they rancid. The same is true of foods that are high in fat. Sunlight also destroys the vitamins in food.

  • It helps to preserve vegetables if they are not washed immediately and stored in a cool paper bag.
  • Carrots last longer than sprayed with onion peel
  • Potatoes should be kept in the dark. In daylight, potatoes produce a substance that is dangerous to humans – solanine, which accumulates especially in green areas and germs. Solanine can cause headaches, abdominal pain and diarrhea. Solanine is whole potatoes and cannot be removed by cooking, frying, baking or cutting out green pieces. So avoid brown spots or green potatoes. However, do not store potatoes and onions in the same cabinet, as this combination accelerates the spoilage of both foods.
  • The vegetables must be washed and dried beforehand, after which they should be wrapped in a paper towel, which absorbs excess moisture and prevents wilting.
  • Spices should be placed in dark, cool and dry airtight glass jars and do not spice jars over the stove! Spices do not last forever. Dried herbs do not keep in the cabinet for more than a year, but freshly ground spices have a shelf life of up to two years. Peppercorns and other uncrushed spices can be stored for up to five years, so it is advisable to crush them directly from the grinder during cooking.
  • The herbs can be stored for much longer than they are placed in the storage box after washing, letting the towel dry, closing the box tightly and placing it in the refrigerator.
  • Garlic and onions are better preserved at room temperature and in the dark. For example, put them in a paper bag with air vents and protect them from direct sunlight. Keep onions and garlic in the refrigerator, where they may become slightly moldy.
  • Do not store fruits and vegetables in a plastic bag, as they are easily spoiled there. Keep fruits separate from vegetables. Apples, pears, plums, apricots, etc. emit ethylene gas, which significantly accelerates fruit ripening and overripe. If you do not want the cucumber or potato to rot quickly, keep them separate from the fruit. Onions and potatoes should also be stored separately, as this combination also accelerates the spoilage of both foods.
  • Bananas also emit ethylene gas so that the bananas do not stain so quickly, wrap the end of the banana bunch around the food. This slows down their overcooking while maintaining freshness. It is also advisable to break all the bananas apart.
  • Store tomatoes at room temperature and not in direct sunlight. You can bake semi-raw tomatoes at room temperature in a paper bag, where they cook to taste. You can only put tomatoes in the refrigerator if there is a risk that they will overripe, which will slow down the ripening process.
  • Basil and lemon balm do not keep cold, you can keep other herbs in the refrigerator. Keep the basil stuck in the kitchen or on a windowsill, just like a flower. It is beautiful to look at and the kitchen also comes with great aromas. The basil can also be finely chopped with a mortar or pestle, add a little olive oil or water and store them in the freezer as ice cubes. If necessary, you can just take one basil cube and add it to the soup, for example.
  • You can keep the lemon fresh for a long time by placing it in a water jar and changing the water there 1-2 times a day. But lemon is best preserved in sugar. Sprinkle the sugar on the bottom of the box and place the lemons so that they do not come into contact with each other.
  • Sweet fruits are put in the refrigerator and sour fruits are left out of the refrigerator, says old folk wisdom. For oranges and mandarins, a cooler environment is preferred, ideally between 2-5 ° C. Lemons and grapefruits can be damaged by freezing and it is therefore preferable to store them at a temperature of 10-15 ° C. The lime can be stored under both of the above conditions, but the preferred temperature is 8-10 ° C.

Drying

Berry drying is one of the oldest methods of storage. In the old days, fruits, berries, mushrooms and herbs were dried to preserve them over the winter. Since effective drying used to require quite a lot of knowledge, it was a good undertaking. You have to learn and know that. Dried vegetables can be stored for years, but drying destroys the vitamin C they contain and reduces the content of other vitamins. Up to 50% of nutrients can also be lost during drying. Also different in appearance and taste of the fresh product, dried fruits are generally shriveled, chewy and not suitable for decoration.

Dried products generally have a reduced volume, a harder texture and most of the volatile components have disappeared. Some heat-sensitive materials have degenerated and some substances have even been oxidized. Therefore, the properties of the dried product are significantly different compared to before drying.

Freezing

Berries and fruits can be successfully frozen and then reheated. Freezing food is one of the most common storage methods that slows down food spoilage. In order to store in the freezer, the temperature must be at least -18 – 10C. The lower the temperature and the faster the freezing, the better the nutritional value of the food. Home refrigerators are frozen at -18 ° C, industrial refrigerators are -30 to -40 ° C. The berries and mushrooms are stored in the freezer until the next season. Do not re-freeze frozen and thawed foods. Bacterial growth begins as soon as the food has thawed.

  • Vegetables – Vegetables should be washed, cleaned, processed (cut into pieces) before freezing. Frozen vegetables usually last 3-6 months.
  • Fruit – berries are recommended to freeze immediately after picking. It is recommended to wait a few days before freezing apples, plums, peaches. Most fruits can be refrigerated for 8-12 months, citrus and their juices for 4-6 months.
  • Nuts – freeze well and keep for about six months.
  • Bananas can always be frozen. Peel and cut the banana into small pieces beforehand, and put in a plastic bag in the freezer. When frozen, they fit well into the smoothie. When the frozen bananas are crushed in a pitcher mixer, it becomes a delicious cold treat with a consistency reminiscent of ice cream. But never put bananas in the regular fridge. Never store a banana in a regular refrigerator. Otherwise, the peel will turn black and the banana flavor will be spoiled.

The taste and structure of frozen food change due to the water (ice crystals) it contains. Therefore, the thawed frozen berries are stewed and are not suitable for decorating sweets.

However, it should be noted that if the nutrients have been in the freezer for a long time and the packaging is not airtight, the foods will have a specific “refrigerator taste”.

Vacuum packaging

For example, solids can also be vacuum packed, which significantly extends the shelf life of food. When packaged in this way, the shelf life of food is extended 3-5 times. During vacuum packaging, almost all the air is sucked out of the food packaging. As a result, the bacteria in the food no longer have enough oxygen to function and the food spoils. At the same time, it must be remembered that the aging of foodstuffs will never stop completely and food cannot be preserved forever. Dry matter – flour, coffee, tea, nuts, biscuits, pasta and rice can be stored at room temperature, dry for up to 120 days, but when vacuum-packed, all these foods can be stored for 360 days.

Salting

Salting is a very old way of preserving food, it can mostly be used to preserve meat, fish, vegetables, and mushrooms.

The effect of salting is based on the fact that, at a certain concentration, common salt makes the foods to be salted dehydrated (water is extracted from the cells). The result is the so-called. a physiologically dry environment where most microbes either cannot develop or die. Saline also reduces the activity of enzymes that break down proteins.

Salting is the preservation of foodstuffs with sodium chloride (NaCl) or common salt. It is added to foods in solid or liquid form. However, it is recommended to use coarse salt with mineral supplements, which is more beneficial to health, because coarse salt also contains other chemical elements necessary for the body, such as potassium and magnesium.

The sodium and chlorine components of common salt are essential for human life, but excessive consumption of common salt is harmful. Salt is a factor that promotes hypertension. There is a proven link between excessive salt intake and high blood pressure. Excess salt also puts a strain on the kidneys, which must excrete salt from the body.

However, salted foods lose much of their nutritional value because brine releases a lot of nutrients.

Parboiling

The mushrooms are mainly boiled. During cooking, the foodstuffs to be cooked in cold water are allowed to boil once, after which the cooking water is poured off. Depending on the purpose of the digestion, the process may be repeated a few times.

The purpose of parboiling is to make poisonous or bitter-tasting mushrooms edible. Depending on the species of fungus, this is done with one or more waters. Organic mushrooms are cooked for a shorter time, while mushrooms with stronger flesh and bitter taste are cooked for a longer time. Each time the boiling water is drained, because the toxins released from the fungi accumulate during the boiling.

Jams

Jams, jams, kissels, jams, all of which are generally made by cooking or heat treatment, which retains only 40% of the nutrients, all vitamins are lost. Due to the heat, the food loses most of the nutrients, original taste, texture and smell.

Preserve in the marinade

Marinating

Marinating is the seasoning and maturing (from a few hours to a few days) of meat, fish or vegetables and vegetables with various spices, oils, vinegars, citrus or sauces.

At the same time, pickling is also known as one of the ways to store food for a longer period of time. While quick marinating is mainly used for meat and fish, a longer marinade is usually used for fruit.

First, the jars are distilled with boiling water. The food to be marinated is then placed in a jar, poured over the marinade and the lid of the container is sealed.

Canning

Because canning is used in canning, many nutrients are lost in canned food. About 40% of the nutrients remain, and the taste of the canned food also changes due to preheating and added herbs.

Freeze-drying

Freeze-drying, also known as lyophilization, is the removal of ice by sublimation and the removal of bound water molecules by vacuum. Virtually all foods can be freeze-dried. During freeze-drying, food is frozen by reducing the pressure and adding heat so that the frozen water in the food can sublime. As the temperature of the operation is below 40 ° C, the freeze-dried food is called raw food.

Chemical preservatives

One way is to use different chemicals that kill all the bacteria in the food and at the same time destroy the minerals, vitamins and nutritional value, and later poison the food consumer. It is the preservation of large-scale industrial foods with preservatives, which we will not dwell on here. Because it’s not healthy!

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