10 Best Natural Methods of Food Preservation
Do all the packaged and processed food items up on the shelf of a supermarket seem all tasty and healthy to you?
Welcome to the bandwagon!
And having said that, you should have taken the cue already of how unhealthy a processed food can be. The term unhealthy is a low-tier term itself, food items with artificial preservatives are legit health hazards.
And according to our hectic lifestyle, it is not easy to cook fresh dishes every day, unless you want to have raw vegetables, is it?
So, how to make all these everyday-kitchen-hustle smoother for once and for all? Well, we are about it spill it out for you – Natural Preservatives.
WHAT ARE NATURAL PRESERVATIVES?
Natural preservatives are natural food ingredients which have a clever side use as a preservative. Unlike any other chemical preservatives, natural preservatives do not reduce the nutritional value of food and keep the food fresh for a longer period.
Our ancestors have been using these techniques since donkeys ears and even our grandmothers and mothers have been using them for preparing jams, Pickles, Murabba and Wine.
“So… what’s so special about them,” you may ask… and you SHOULD ask!
They all used Natural Preservatives! These natural preservatives work just perfectly fine compared to any other synthetic artificial preservatives.
But the tricky part is no one really knows how to use natural preservatives in food. We see, use and consume these ingredients every day, yet we are completely ignorant about the good effects of these ingredients.
So, here we are going to talk about those seven natural preservatives for baked goods and cooked foods. Keep reading.
10 BEST NATURAL PRESERVATIVES WE SHOULD START USING
Lemon or lime juice is the best natural ingredient you can find to preserve your food with. The lime juice contains ascorbic acid and citric acid which are naturally antibacterial and antioxidants.
So, if you want to retain the colour or flavour of any dish, lime juice will work just fine as a preservative. Also, lemon has great use as a natural preservative for fruits; especially apples and avocados.
A little lime juice on the apples prevents it from turning red and preserves its nutritional content at the same time. In a nutshell, sprinkle some lime juice on your vegetable-based food dish and watch the wonders.
However, the lemon really does not work as a preservative for meats. In fact, preserving peeled garlic, fresh turmeric/haldi and chopped ginger in lemon and eating it daily with your meals will help lower the cholesterol in your arteries and veins thus providing a boost to your immune system and smooth working of the heart.
If you ask me about the oldest way of preserving foods, salt is the answer. Salt effectively absorbs the moisture from a food dish and reduces the amount of water in a food dish for bacteria to grow on.
Thus, salt is the best preservative for meats, fish, vegetables and even desserts. Surprisingly, you can use salt as a natural preservative to keep your food items fresh for several months. it is the key ingredients in the preservation of pickles too.
Freezing and Drying
When it comes to the natural preservation process, nothing can ever beat freezing and drying If you are looking for a solution of natural preservatives for baked goods, just freeze it. It is the most hassle-free way of keeping food items fresh for days.
However, it is not really healthy to freeze your vegetables for long because it might destroy all the nutritional value of those vegetables.
Also while freezing you must take care that the cold chain should not be broken. No wonder the best and most costly life-saving medicines are kept in the cold chains to preserve them for a longer time.
Drying is another effective method of preservation of herbs like curry leaves, mint leaves, fenugreek leaves, basil, ginger, garlic. You have to ensure that they are not exposed to moisture. The shelf life of dried products is about 6 months. You can store it in your room or inside your refrigerator.
Garlic is another useful preservative that has the anti-viral quality to keep your food items fresh for a longer time. Just toss up some sliced garlic in your soup or any other food dish and see the magic.
It has been seen that raw garlic can preserve meat for 4 or 5 days at room temperature. Also, garlic enhances the functions of other natural food preservatives as well.
Tracing back to the pre-historic era, honey was the most used natural preservatives. The presence of highly concentrated sugar in honey does all the work as a preservative.
It absorbs the moisture out of any food item and also keeps it fresh for a longer time. Honey is mostly effective for fruits and vegetables.
Usually, known as pickling, vinegar is an amazing natural way of preserving foods. The acetic acid in vinegar kills the bacteria and makes such an environment which is unsuitable for bacteria.
Vinegar is the perfect choice for keeping fruits, vegetables, and eggs intact for days, even months. Also, vinegar is an essential ingredient to the pickling process which also includes salt, water, and sugar.
Not everyone will believe it but Cayenne Pepper is an excellent natural preservative for different food items. Even red chilli pepper has been recognized as one of the best natural preservatives in different food industries as well. So, now it does not harm to spice your food a little up, does it?
It is true that high concentrated sugar is a big help if you are looking out for natural preservatives options. It soaks up the water from a food item and forms an environment that does not let bacteria live. Sugar works as a fine natural preservative for many food items such as fruits, fruit juice, vegetables etc.
The rosemary oil or extract has an essential antioxidant and antibacterial activity which keeps all the food items fresh just like the first day. Also, Rosemary oil is a great natural preservative for fruit juice and jam.
Although it is not a popular natural food preservative yet, it is a great way of preserving fruits and vegetables for months. It is a white powdery substance made of diatoms.
It is mostly known as the richest source of silica but nowadays it is slowly gaining popularities as food preservatives.
Just layer up your food with this white powder and you can watch the magic of this substance by yourself. Also, you can easily find it at your local stores.
SOME QUICK NATURAL TRICKS OF FOOD PRESERVATION
Apart from all these natural uses of different kitchen ingredients, you can use some quick tricks that will help you in food preservation your food to stay fresh for a longer time.
• Banana Stems– If you do not want your bananas to rot first, wrap up their stem with a fresh plastic.
• Bouquet– If you want your herbs to stay fresh for a long time, it is better to keep them in a vase with some water in it.
• Canning– For fish or meats, canning is the best way of preserving. So, next time when you buy artificially preserved food items, think again!
Use these natural preservatives in food presercation and keep your food fresh and healthy.
Happy Food Preservation to you!