Summer – Sun – Vegetable Time. The majority of vegetable varieties have a limited window of freshness. According to a study conducted by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, roughly 40 kilograms of fruits and vegetables go to waste in German households. This not only entails inefficiency but also imposes an environmental strain and resource depletion. Not to mention the resultant feelings of guilt. We’re committed to addressing this issue.
Extending the Shelf Life of Foods
For gardeners and conscious seasonal shoppers, a common question arises: What to do with the valuable produce from gardens or local markets that won’t be immediately consumed? Wasting items in which time, energy, and resources have been invested is far from ideal. Are there alternative methods to enhance the longevity of food, beyond the usual canning, storing, and freezing? Not all of these techniques are suitable for all foods, and not everyone has access to traditional storage solutions like cellars. Moreover, the traditional canning process can often negatively impact the texture, taste, and nutritional content of foods. A contemporary and gentle approach to prolonging the freshness of foods and enabling further processing without compromising quality is the method of vacuum sealing.
In this procedure, a vacuum sealer such as the LAVA V.300 Black employs a powerful pump to remove air from either a vacuum container or a channel food vacuum seal bags bag. For delicate foods that might be affected by pressure changes, it’s advisable to use pressure-regulated sealing. Storing items in sealed bags is particularly advantageous for space-efficient refrigerated storage. The bag’s opening is sealed immediately after the vacuum process, ensuring an airtight closure. This removal of air significantly slows the natural decomposition process caused by microorganisms and enzymes, extending the shelf life of foods up to fivefold without necessitating freezing.
In vacuum-sealed bags, the texture, as well as the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients of fresh foods, remain almost unchanged. Refrigerated storage suffices for maintaining quality. If freezing foods is still a preference, using vacuum-sealed bags offers an added shield against the undesirable freezer burn. Employing this method substantially enhances the usability of preserved foods, resulting in a significant reduction in waste disposal.
Achieving Clean Vacuum Sealing Success: If You Follow Our Advice
- Ensure your vacuum packing machine, utensils, and hands are all clean.
- Opt for freshly harvested or market-fresh vegetables.
- Prioritize locally sourced vegetables over imports.
- Pre-remove any damaged or pressured areas.
- Divide larger vegetables (e.g., broccoli, cauliflower, and assorted cabbage types) into portions.
- Due to the potential for gas generation, blanch cabbage and beans before vacuum sealing them.
- Peel certain vegetables (like potatoes, asparagus, and carrots) beforehand.
- Clean and let mushrooms drain/dry before vacuum sealing.
- After blanching, pat dry the vegetables with kitchen paper.
- Exclusively use unused, brand-new vacuum bags.
- For pre-cooked vegetables or ready-to-eat meals, consider the use of vacuum containers.
- Refrigerated vacuum-sealed vegetables can last for up to 20 days.
- Frozen vacuum-sealed vegetables can last for up to 36 months.
Summer Vegetables Ideal for Vacuum Sealing
There are no limitations in this regard. Nevertheless, certain types of vegetables tend to have a longer shelf life when blanched or lightly cooked before being vacuum sealed. Utilizing seasonal vegetables also offers several benefits, including affordability, high vitamin content, and ethical considerations. With short distances between local vegetable fields and markets, the produce arrives freshly harvested, with fewer imperfections and minimal loss of nutrients. Additionally, the flavour is more robust compared to vegetables grown in distant greenhouses. Tomatoes, zucchinis, and cucumbers from Spain?
For those who prefer imported mass-produced produce over regional options during the summer, this might be where their interest wanes. For everyone else, there’s a call to action: Choose for the betterment of yourself, your local community, and the environment — extending your positive impact beyond the current season. By preserving portions of fresh vegetables, you always have the right quantity at hand. With adept storage practices, the delectable summer produce can continue to grace your table well into the winter months.
Vacuum Sealing: Raw vs. Blanched PreservationVacuum Sealing: Raw vs. Blanched Preservation
The question arises: Should you vacuum seal your vegetables raw or blanched? Fresh raw vegetables tend to have a limited shelf life, lasting only a few days. However, by utilizing vacuum sealing, you can extend their storage time in the refrigerator to a remarkable 20 days. The benefits become even more pronounced when considering frozen storage. Our premium summer vegetables, when subjected to vacuum sealing and freezing, maintain their quality for nearly four times longer than typical frozen vegetables. The latter usually last around 10 months.
For optimal vacuum sealing results, understanding the specific vegetable type, quality, and unique attributes is essential. Certain vegetables are sensitive to pressure changes, and for these varieties, an invaluable accessory comes into play: the pressure regulator. This tool allows for precise adjustment of vacuum strength and can be effortlessly added to all Lava commercial grade vacuum sealers.
To wrap up, we’d like to introduce you to a selection of our favorite vegetable types. These options can be relished either in their fresh state or blanched after emerging from the vacuum-sealed bag, ensuring a delectable culinary experience throughout the summer months.
Tip: For those yearning to savor freshly harvested asparagus throughout summer and autumn, securing these elegant spears during the asparagus season (late April to mid-June), followed by peeling, blanching (sans salt), portioning, vacuum sealing, and freezing, will ensure delectable future consumption.
Cauliflower: Prepare cauliflower florets before vacuum sealing. Blanch them in unsalted hot water for three minutes, then cool in cold water for five minutes. Dry, vacuum seal, and store in the refrigerator or freezer.
Brussels Sprouts: Choose vibrant green Brussels sprouts for freshness. Boil uniformly sized florets in lightly salted water for five minutes. Continue as with cauliflower.
Peas: The round green peas can be preserved raw or cooked. When opting for the former, place them directly into the vacuum-sealing bag. Vacuum seal, freeze, and you’re done.
Zucchini: No pre-boiling is required for zucchinis before vacuum sealing. Slices of approximately two centimeters thickness are perfect. If portioned zucchini slices are frozen, there’s no need to thaw them before cooking.
Herbs: Herbs, while distinct from vegetables, add a unique touch to dishes. Vacuum seal garden herbs whole or already chopped for freshness when used later.