Every now and then, you crave the taste of a fruit that isn’t in season. You may suddenly miss eating mangoes in the middle of winter, or pears during summer, for example.
The problem is that you will have a hard time finding these fruits during the wrong time of the year. Even food distribution companies may need much more time to source and deliver them to you. And even if you find them at the supermarket or farmer’s market, they will be significantly more expensive – the thought of buying them may cause you to quickly lose your appetite.
Having Access to Your Favorite Produce Any Time of the Year
Still, there is a way for you to satisfy your cravings for certain produce all year round. Have you heard of home food preservation?
Food preservation is a food preparation method that has been around for years. It has been used since the early 19th century. Back then, it was something that every household had to do to ensure that their harvest and other stocks of food will not spoil easily, and so that they can keep and eat them for longer periods of time.
Although this practice has fallen by the wayside in the past several years because foodstuffs of all kinds have become available in supermarkets year-round, DIY food preservation is becoming quite popular again today. This is thanks to the following reasons:
Preserving your own food allows you access to your favorite produce anytime
Whether you want to preserve produce you harvested from your garden or farm, fruits and veggies that were given to you, or ones that you bought from the market, you can eat them months after you got the food if you preserve them.
There are different types of food preservation techniques (canning, salting, smoking and drying are just some examples), many of which you can do at home. As such, you will not have a hard time choosing the best one that will allow you to enjoy the quality and taste of your favorite produce all year round.
You avoid wasting excess produce
DIY food preservation is a great way to avoid throwing out the extra fruits and vegetables you got from your garden, neighbors, or the market. It helps you save the time and effort of finding different ways to cook or enjoy them all before they start to rot.
Preserving your extra produce will also enable you to share your bounty with others; turning your fruits and veggies into jams, jellies, or dehydrated products and putting them in beautiful jars and containers make for excellent gift ideas.
Professionals from wholesale food and beverage stores say that you could practice swapping your homemade products with the preserved produce made by other people who are also into this food preparation technique.
Home-preserved foods are more nutritious and chemical-free
Store-bought processed foods can last for a long time and are either more flavorful or have a different taste compared to the same food in their original or fresh state.
Why? It’s because of the large amounts of additives and preservatives. They may taste great and you get to satisfy your cravings, but your body will be taking in a lot of harmful chemicals each time you eat these.
When you preserve your own produce at home, on the other hand, you can control the type and amount of ingredients you will use. This means that if you want to dehydrate some mangoes, you are free to add only a half teaspoon of sugar, or even none at all, if you prefer.
You can be a 100% sure that you are eating something healthy, preservative-free and tasty.
You capture and preserve your favorite foods’ natural taste
Since you won’t be adding artificial ingredients to your preserved foods, you get to maintain their natural flavors at the peak of their fresh state.
Even with the absence of artificial preservatives, ensure you choose the right preservation technique and some additional ingredients that will further bring out the best flavors. You will then get to enjoy the best taste of your favorite fruits and veggies even months after keeping them in the pantry or fridge.
They are convenient food products to have at home
Preserved foods are easy and quick to serve. If you have dehydrated veggies, for example, simply add them to salads, soups, stews and sandwiches. If you or your kids are hankering for something crunchy and tasty, simply fry or bake dehydrated kale, beets or sweet potatoes.
Dehydrated fruits like apples, strawberries, and oranges can be eaten as snacks; simply take them out of their packaging and you’re good to go. You can take them anywhere you go, too.
Home food preservation is cost-effective
When you preserve your foods at home, you save money, especially if you have free access to a garden or fruit- and vegetable-bearing plants or trees.
You won’t have to buy your favorite produce at the grocery store or farmer’s market for a while, which means you won’t have to spend a dime on some of your ingredients or meal and snack staples.
Preserving foods is now easier to do
Lastly, in the past, canning, dehydrating and other food preservation methods took several hours or days to accomplish, so you had to wait for some time before you could enjoy them. But thanks to modern technology, there are now various pieces of equipment you can use to preserve your favorite fruits and veggies in a much quicker and easier manner.
These gadgets are simple and quite fun to use, too; you could even get your kids involved in your food preservation activities. These can make fantastic family bonding activities.
With plenty of benefits to be had, it’s easy to see why home food preservation is a valuable practice that today’s households should consider adopting.
Jad Asaad is the Marketing Manager at Horeca Trade LLC with more than eight years of experience in digital, online and offline marketing. He started his career in Beirut working in a creative agency and then moved to Dubai to further expand his career. He created and implemented award-winning high-impact digital and offline marketing campaigns that consistently generated revenue streams and improved performance in targeted segments.