Vacuum Sealing Tips to Save Summer Produce
You spent all summer tending to your garden, collecting the freshest fruits and vegetables. Now, with the changing season, it’s time to start storing away some of your fresh summer produce to use over the coming months. There are a few different ways you can store your summer produce: canning, freezing or vacuum sealing. While canning your summer produce will keep it fresh for months, it is a very time-consuming process. Freezing your produce will only keep it fresh for a few weeks,as eventually freezer burn will start to set in. Vacuum sealing your produce will give you the freshness and long-lasting quality of canning, while providing the convenience and ease of freezing your produce.
Vacuum sealing and freezing your summer produce will provide you with fresh fruits and vegetables for up to one year. Follow the vacuum sealing tips below to prolong the lifetime of your produce and save money.
Prepare your produce for vacuum sealing
There are a few things you want to do with your produce before vacuum sealing them up. The first thing you should do is wash all of your fruits and vegetables. You want to ensure that you’re sealing fresh, clean produce and that no dirt or bacteria enters the vacuum seal bag. Next, peel any produce that requires it and remove stems or roots. Lastly, cut up produce into smaller pieces. These last two steps will help preserve the freshness of your produce.
Your preparation process may run more smoothly if you plan out how you want to use your fruits and vegetables in the future. For example, if you want to vacuum seal peppers and onions for a future stir fry, it would be a good idea to put these vegetables in the same vacuum seal bag. That way, when it comes time to prepare that dinner, you can take that bag out of the freezer and you’re ready to go! You could do the same thing for stew or soup mixes and even fruit salad.
Blanch and flash freeze produce
After you have washed, peeled, and cut your produce, you should blanch any vegetables that will be getting vacuum sealed. The blanching process will keep the color, flavor and nutritional content of your vegetables intact. Once you have blanched your veggies, make sure they are completely dry before moving on to the next step.
Prior to vacuum sealing your produce, you’ll want to flash freeze fruits and vegetables. Flash freezing your fruits and vegetables will lock in the freshness and flavor by forming ice crystals from the juices. You can flash freeze at home by putting the produce on a tray and spreading it out, making sure no pieces are touching. Leave the produce until frozen and then place in bags to prepare for vacuum sealing.
Vacuum sealing tips
Once you have prepared, blanched and flash frozen your produce, you’re ready to vacuum seal. First, place the produce in your vacuum seal bags but be sure not to overfill them. Leaving 3 to4 inches at the top of the bag will allow you to reuse the bag. Once the food is in the vacuum seal bag, make sure to push it away from the seal to ensure the area of the opening of the bag is dry and clean.
When using the oliso Vacuum Sealer, push excess air out of the bag then use the Zip Disc to close your vacuum seal bag. On your vacuum sealer, select the dry or moist setting. If sealing just produce with no marinade, select dry. Lay the bag flat and the place the indicator circle directly over the arrow on the drip tray. Slide the bag forward until you reach the “bag edge” line. Then the oliso vacuum sealer will seal your produce! When the bag is fully sealed, the vacuum sealer will beep twice and the “done” light will be illuminated.
oliso Smart Vacuum Sealer
Using the oliso Smart Vacuum Sealer will allow you to reuse your vacuum seal bags up to 10 times. Standard vacuum sealers will require you to cut and make your own bags, but not with oliso! oliso’s Smart Vacuum Sealer is designed to create a small incision in the bag, pull the air out, and then reseal the bag around the incision using heat from the unit. Other benefits of the oliso Smart Vacuum Sealer include:
- Seals liquid with ease
- Powerful dual motor system
- Three vacuum sealing modes
- Hands free and automatic sealing
- Accessory port to vacuum seal wines and oils
- Compatible for sous vide cooking
- Small enough to fit inside a kitchen drawer
What summer produce will you be storing away for the Fall and Winter? Share with us in the comments below!