Most of the time, when people think of vacuum sealing food, their first thought is about packing cooked food and fresh meat. It’s because not many people know the many benefits of packing produce inside vacuum-sealed bags.
Vacuum sealing is one of the best things ever invented in the area of food preservation. It keeps food from contamination and ensures it’s free of oxygen during storage, which can be very bad, as oxygen promotes the growth of bacteria. With vacuum sealing, you can significantly reduce your food waste and reduce your monthly costs, as you can ensure that you can eat as much of your food as you can.
How vacuum sealing works
Vacuum sealing was invented to keep food from spoiling. By letting food rest in a place free of oxygen, vacuum seal bags prevent oxygen from spoiling the food. Throughout the first few years of vacuum sealing, only restaurants were using it, but now they are much more common and have found their way in regular households.
If you don’t have a vacuum sealer yet, note that there are two kinds that you can consider. There are handheld vacuum sealers that require less space, and there are bigger countertop units that are much bigger but are also more effective and better for most purposes. Either way, both can be used in vacuum sealing fresh produce.
Storing your vegetables
If you want your vegetables to last as long as they can inside the bag, you have to make sure that you have prepared the vegetables for storage properly. If you’re going vacuum-seal big vegetables, you need to chop them into smaller pieces to make sure they will fit the bag.
Furthermore, when it comes to vegetables, you need to blanch them in boiling water, put them in an ice bath immediately, and drain the vegetables once they are cool. Before placing the veggies inside the bag, make sure to remove any excess water. By storing them as little pieces, you have vegetables always ready when you need a side for any meal.
Freezing vacuum-sealed vegetables allows you to pasteurize the vegetables, which prevents freezer burn. Since some vegetables also last shortly, vacuum sealing helps them last around four times longer to make sure none of your veggies gets wasted. It also saves time, as the vegetables are already good straight out of the freezer.
Storing your fruits
Of course, you can’t store your fruits in the same way you store vegetables. When it comes to fruit, the first thing you need to keep in mind is that not all fruit have the same texture, and some are too soft to withstand vacuum sealing, like berries and grapes. If you want to store fruits that are easy to damage or crush, try to freeze them beforehand to make them harder, so they won’t be destroyed when being vacuum sealed. All you have to do is wash the fruit, dry, and pre-freeze. After freezing, you can go straight to putting the fruits inside vacuum seal bags.
With some fruits like avocado having such a short life, vacuum sealing can make them last longer.
Reheating vacuum-sealed food
When retrieving stored vacuum-sealed food from the freezer, of course, you can’t eat it as it is. Lucky for you, reheating vacuum-sealed food isn’t that hard, as all you have to do is take the bag out of the freezer, put the bag in a pot of hot water, and let it heat up as you want. Once it’s hot, you can snip the bag and put the food on your plate. It’s not that hard, right?
If you don’t like the hot water method, you can open the bag, put the cold food on a microwavable plate, and heat it for a few minutes. Reheating is one of the best things about vacuum-sealed food. Not only does it keep food fresh, but reheating is so easy that it’s usually doable in 10 minutes or less.
What else can I store in vacuum seal bags?
Other than vegetables, meat, raw goods, and cooked food, you’ll be surprised at the number of things you can also put inside vacuum seal bags. With the starch molecules in food like chips and bread attracting water molecules from the air, which causes them to go stale, packing them in vacuum seal bags can be a good way to keep them good.
You can also pack other snacks like trail mix, nuts, popcorn, and cereal in vacuum-sealed bags to prevent them from losing their freshness. If you have kids, you can even use the bags to pack your kids a tasty and fresh snack for school.
Also, if you often have leftovers, you can vacuum seal them to prevent spoilage and to reduce food waste. By doing this, you can save a lot of money, as it means you won’t be wasting too much of the food you buy.
What you can’t put in vacuum seal bags
Almost every type of food will last longer inside these bags. However, here are some examples of the small number of food that won’t do well when vacuum-sealed:
- Vegan cheese
- Soft cheese
- Freshly-cooked vegetables
- Whole apple
Most types of food will last long when vacuum-sealed, as long as you prepare it the right way, and you use high-quality vacuum seal bags that will help your food stay tasty and fresh and will help it last longer and free of contamination.