Most people (about 99% of Accra and Kumasi residents) have got a lot of foodstuff than usual to prevent their family from going hungry during this lockdown season and some of the stuff bought may perish after a short while.
But don’t worry, foods can be preserved inexpensively using some very simple methods. Here are some preservation methods you can consider.
There is Cool and Temperature Storage.
This is one of the easiest home preservation options and includes cool and dry storage such as unheated pantry or porch.
Some foods you can preserve using this method are tubers, carrots, tomatoes, garlic etc.
The Dehydration Method or The Drying Method.
In this method, the foodstuff is dried by air drying or using the oven. The water quantity is drained from the foods which help keep the food for a longer period than it should have taken. Some foods like vegetables, fruits, jerky, fruit leathers, fish etc.
Your foods can be CANNED too! You can use:
• The Water Bath Canning process where a large stockpot or kettle with a lid is used. Jars sit in a canning rack (or other material) so they are not directly in contact with the bottom of the pot and are covered with at least two inches of water in the pot.
Water bath canning helps preserves high acid foods(ph of 4.6 or below)such as fruits, jam, tomatoes paste etc.
• There is the Pressure Canning process and this also requires high temperature and high-pressure steam, a pressure canner is not the same as a pressure cooker, although some pressure canners can also be used for pressure cooking. You can pressure can foods like beans, carrots, corn, meat, soups etc.
Freezing and Refrigerating.
This method is very common. You should also know that not only cooked foods can be frozen or refrigerated. Tubers, vegetables, powdered foods etc can be preserved by this method. But some foods such as vegetables can be steamed or cooked before freezing to stop the enzyme action and ensure the best quality. Some foods you can refrigerate are tubers (you can cut your yam, cassava etc into sizable pieces and refrigerate them), fruits, vegetables, stews, jams, soups, drinks etc.
Your yoghurt, kimchi, chocolate, cheese etc which are low in acid can be changed into high acidic foods. Food ferments through the use of salt, whey or specific starter cultures. This makes it easier to digest and more nutritious. Fermented food is also known as “live culture food” giving them a longer shelf life to store or allowing them to be canned in a water bath canner instead of a pressure canner.
Don’t let your family go hungry peeps. These are some simple methods to help preserve your foods during this lockdown period and any other day.
Be safe. See you soon!
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