How to Vacuum Seal Fruits and Vegetables

350x266xfrozen-strawberries.jpg.pagespeed.ic.cp3k6XK9rmIts always a joyful feeling when season’s fresh vegetables finally arrive in the market. Also, some people these days are into growing their own kitchen gardens. When the gardening season come, the mere sight of freshly ripe tomatoes and colorful vegetables feels amazing.

This is the time when we start making our favorite vegetable dishes rich in flavor and aroma. However, as soon as the gardening season comes to pass, we realize how much we are going to miss these fresh vegetables. Well canning is an option to store vegetables for prolonged consumption in the off-season. But canning is very time-consuming and in our busy lives it can be just another chore we would dread to do. Using freezing procedures consume less time than canning. Well, freezing also leads to freezer-burn after a short-period of time, since air surrounding the bare vegetables help grow bacteria and molds. So, removing air can help in freezing vegetables and fruits for long time.

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Vacuum sealing is a greatly effective and quick way to prepare your vegetables and fruits to stay for another season. Vacuum sealed fruits and vegetables remain unaffected by the bacteria and molds, since they are sealed in vacuumed packages. Yes, that’s amazing. Now you can grow big quantity of veggies and fruits in your kitchen garden without having to worry about their storage. Just bring a hand held vacuum sealer or a model that seals with heat and you are good to enjoy rich flavors of fresh veggies and fruits for another season.

If you have never used a vacuum sealer and don’t know how to vacuum seal fruits and vegetables, then don’t worry because we have got you covered. Read on to develop understanding about vacuum sealer and how you can employ it for storing your fresh harvest of fruits and vegetables for prolonged use.

Preparation of Fruits and Vegetables for Vacuum Sealing:

Its so important to prepare fruits and vegetables for vacuum sealing. Though, vacuum sealing fresh fruits and vegetables and storing them in the refrigerator seems like enough but it is not. The fresh veggies and fruits stored without preparation can get spoiled. At low temperature of refrigerator and vacuum sealed environment of package, whole fruits and vegetables release certain gases that interfere with the freshness of food. Also, when these vegetables are stored along with the dirt from the soil, the anaerobic bacteria grow just fine in the oxygen-deprived packages.

So to prepare fruits and vegetables for vacuum sealing, you should start by peeling large fruits and vegetables. Cutting them into smaller pieces is also a great idea. However, smaller veggies and fruits can be left whole. Also, clean them with water and make sure they are free of any dirt.

Vacuum Packed Carrots

To end the ripening process and to avoid release of gases in the package, veggies should be blanched quickly for about 4 minutes in boiling water. By doing so, the ripening process will stop and the germs will be killed. Also, short timing will keep intact the original rigidity of vegetables. Soon after blanching, put them in a bowl of ice water. This action will stop the cooking process taking place in the vegetables.

Once you are done with peeling, cutting and blanching, drain the water from vegetables and fruits by using paper towels. The veggies and fruits should always be properly dried before vacuum sealing. Also, if you are planning to use them in portions then divide them in portions. You can also store similar veggies in the same packages and others in different package.

How to Flash Freeze before Vacuum Sealing (for longer storage)

sealedVacuum sealing and refrigerating vegetables and fruits is good for storing around 3 to 4 months but for longer periods, it doesn’t work. So if you want to store fresh vegetables and fruits for longer time you can flash freeze them before vacuum sealing. The flash freezing mechanism is also quite helpful in retaining the original juices and texture of fruits and veggies. Unlike traditional freezing methods flash freezing locks the juices and flavors in the form of ice crystals in the food.

Though, flash freezing is a typical laboratory process but with some right improvisations it can be done at home too.

You can start by spreading the prepared fruits and vegetable pieces on a large sheet or tray forming a single layer of food. Make sure pieces are not sticking with each other. Put that tray in freezer for specific period of time to freeze the food. It would be more ideal if you cover the fruits and vegetable pieces with ice before putting into freezer. This action will ensure even freezing. You will see every bit of food will be covered with ice crystals in its original texture. If you want to check the freshness, pick a piece and heat a while in microwave. You will be amazed at its appearance and fresh flavor. Once done flash freezing, fruits and vegetables are good to go in vacuum sealed packages.

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Finally, Vacuum Seal Vegetables and Fruits:

Here is a step by step procedure to vacuum pack vegetables and fruits. Follow and enjoy the harvest for a long time this year:

  • When you have prepared the vegetables and fruits for sealing put them into a bag. The bag or container will be recommended by your vacuum sealer manufacturer.
  • Don’t overfill the bag. Always leave enough space at the open end of bag to allow proper sealing. If you leave 3 to 4 inches of space you can use and reseal the package almost 4 times. So be smart and leave space.
  • Make sure vegetables and fruits are not wet and there is no moisture on the top end of bag. Clean the end of bag to remove moisture and any dirt. This will ensure proper sealing and fresh food.
  • If you have planned to consume the veggies and fruits in portions then create batches of food and eat fresh each time.
  • Put the open end of the bag in vacuum opening and press the unit until all the air is vacuumed from bag and machine seals it. If you have automatic sealer then you will just have to push start button. However, in either case see manufacturer’s manual and follow the instructions.
  • You will see as the bag is vacuumed, it would shrink and become flat. There should be no wrinkles and folds on package, as it suggests presence of air in the bag.
  • Once vacuuming is done, machine will seal it. Be patient and let the machine finish sealing. While sealing, support the bottom of package by your hand.
  • After sealing all the packages, mark them. Mention the name of vegetable or fruit in the package and write the sealing date for your own record. It will help you track time of each package and support you in being proactive.
  • Make it a rule to consume the oldest package first. If in any case you feel the texture, color or smell of food has changed drastically, don’t risk your health. Never restore spoiled food, especially alongside fresh food packages. Throw away the spoiled veggies and fruits.
  • Put your packages in the freezer and enjoy the fresh fruits and vegetables for another season.

Many people ask, for how long vacuum sealed fruits and vegetables stay fresh? Well, it depends on many factors. The proper preparation and sealing matters, as it keeps food from spoiling early. Also, simply storing the vacuum sealed fruits and veggies in freezer and flash freezing fruits and veggies makes a real difference. The storage period of the latter is longer (almost 1 to 2 years). Nevertheless, if your veggies and fruits are coming from your kitchen garden then who would wait to taste each package for that long.

When there is a good yield of veggies and fruits, its an amazing feeling. So don’t let this joyful feeling fade under the worries of consuming and storing the food. Get a vacuum sealer and try the above mentioned steps. Once you have stored food for a long time and each time you cook rich flavored veggies, you won’t stop repeating it every year. So eat at your pace and store with ease by using vacuum sealer. If you have any queries on how to vacuum seal vegetables and fruits, please ask in the comments. Also, don’t forget to give us feedback and share your experience of vacuum sealing vegetables and fruits.

Read more: Foodsaver 4840 Review

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