Kitchen Products To Preserve Food Without Using Toxic Food Additives
Did you know your kitchen has many natural food preservatives? Natural preservatives are healthier and work similarly to chemical food additives.
Processed foods kept on the grocery shelves look so tempting; however, the amount of food additives these products contain is hazardous to health in the long run.
Food preservatives are added to improve the shelf life of a product and prevent them from becoming stale. Many natural preservatives can be found in your kitchen to preserve food.
If you wish to keep your food fresh for a longer time, we have some magic kitchen ingredients to do the job.
Here is a list of natural food preservatives to increase the shelf life of food.
One of the most powerful foods to fight bacteria, kill yeast and viruses in the body, it’s no surprise that garlic helps in food preservation. (Source)
In a study, it was found that fresh garlic cloves can increase the shelf life of raw camel meat by up to 4 days at room temperature and 28 days in the refrigerator with no sign of microbial growth and spoilage.
Garlic is one of the best ingredients for home food preservation and suitable for both plant-based dishes and animal protein dishes like soups, dips, and salad dressings.
You can toss a clove or minced garlic in any food you wish to keep fresh for a longer time.
Himalayan Sea Salt or Pink Sea Salt
Salt is one of the oldest and best natural preservatives for food. It can be used to preserve anything from poultry to meat and fish to vegetables and desserts.
Salt removes the moisture from the food and reduces the amount of water, minimizing the risk of bacteria growth.
Any salt works fine, but if you use Himalayan sea salt, it’s even better; you will get an extra boost of many trace minerals.
Just use a pinch on unprocessed Himalayan salt on any food item like soups, pasta, dressings, dips, vegetable dishes, or spreads.
Certain spicy ingredients like mustard, cayenne, and hot sauce are also the best natural food preservatives. Spicy foods help to fight the bacteria and keep the food fresh for a long time.
Cayenne pepper and green pepper have the strongest antimicrobial properties to fight against mold, yeast, and other bacteria found on cheese.
Chilli peppers are a good alternative to chemical food additives. Add some spice to your soups, sauces, and dips to keep them fresh.
This not only has a comforting fragrance but also rosemary has amazing food preservative properties. Rosemary essential oil and extract have antioxidants and the presence of antimicrobial activity. You can use it as home food preservation ingredient for meat, fats, and oils to prevent them from going rancid.
Lemons are a good source of citric acid and are exceptionally good preservative. The ascorbic acid present in lemon juice and flesh is a natural antioxidant, while the citric acid has antibacterial properties. It also helps in improving the color, flavor, and taste of the food.
Lemon juice prevents the vegetables and fruit from turning brown (usually happens with apples). It makes an effective natural food preservative for plant-based meals. However, it is not strong enough to preserve meat.
We all got to know about pickling from Grandma. Pickling is a process of preserving vegetables with the help of vinegar. It allows you to keep the fruit, vegetables, and eggs fresh for several months, and not only this, but vinegar also helps in enhancing the flavor.
The acetic acid present in Vinegar kills bacteria and microbes that spoil food and creates an environment that is not suitable for their growth.
Traditional pickling solutions use water, vinegar, salt, and sometimes sugar too.
Honey is an age-old preservative, which is in use since ancient times. All thanks to its unique acidity presence and ability to suck the moisture. Honey never turns bad as long as you do not dilute it with any other substance like water.
It happens because, just like salt, honey has a high concentration of sugar that draws moisture and prevents the growth of yeast and other microbes like staphylococcus aureus.
Honey is rich in antioxidants that help slow down the shelf life of fruits and vegetables and prevent them from turning brown.
Sugar is a natural food preservative that helps remove water from food and prevent the growth of microorganisms. Salt and sugar work on the same science concept that is dehydration or osmosis. Sugar tends to soak water from the food items that may cause bacterial growth and helps in preserving food for a longer time.
Two Easy Food Preservation Methods:-
If you wonder how you can preserve food using simple methods, then these below mentioned tricks are all you need.
Fermentation is an old method of preserving food and increasing the shelf life of vegetables and fruits by months.
Kimchi, Sauekruat, pickles, beet kvass, garlic, and onions are some of the examples of Lacto-fermented foods.
Lacto fermentation is a method that uses salt and water and prevents the growth of bad bacteria and creates a thriving environment for good bacteria.
The good bacteria are responsible for breaking down the sugar present in the fruits and vegetables, which then produces lactic acid. Lactic acid creates the required amount of acidity to preserve food and prevent bacteria and mold growth.
Lacto fermented foods stay edible for several months if kept in a cool and dry place.
Freezing is the easiest and hassle-free method of preserving your meals and keeping them edible for up to 6 months. The only condition is that they need to be sealed in air-tight containers and kept in temperature below 0 degrees.
Homemade sauces, baked goods, animal protein, and fruit can stay fresh for six months in the freezer, and dairy products will be edible for 1-3 months.
Freezing the vegetable help to increase its shelf life, however before freezing, Blanche the vegetables to keep their nutrients, texture, enzymes, and colors intact.
Wrapping Banana Stems
When you buy a bundle of bananas, you can take a small piece of plastic wrap and tie it around bananas’ stems.
Bananas release a gas called ethylene as they ripen. Plastic wrap around the stems helps in containing the gas and slowing down their ripening process.
Vinegar and Water Soak
Water and vinegar soak can make the berries stay fresh for longer. Place the berries in a large bowl and add 10 parts of filtered water and 1 part white vinegar. Mix, Drain, Rinse and dry, then keep them in an airtight glass container.
For leafy greens, asparagus, herbs, or any other vegetable with stem, you can increase the shelf life by placing them in a glass jar with 1 inch of filtered water.
Processed foods found in the grocery stores contain synthetic and chemical food additives. These chemical food preservatives can negatively affect health in the long run. Don’t be disheartened! We have mentioned a list of natural preservatives to increase the shelf life of homemade fresh foods.
These magic kitchen ingredients will keep your foods flavorful and fresh.
Let us know which of these natural preservatives for food have you used before.