Posts tagged: honey

Natural Preservatives

Despite the negative image preservatives have gained over the last decades due to the media concerns over their effects on health, not everything that falls into this category is bad. In truth, preservatives are important for keeping food safe to eat, and not all of them are synthetic. Nature has left us many preservatives, and if you know how to use them you can preserve food for a very long time in harsh conditions.

1. Bain-marie boiling

The Bain-marie is a method of preservation by double boiling food to certain temperatures. It is mostly used for tomato sauce to store it over winter. After you mince the tomatoes you boil them for one hour, then add salt and oil until everything is homogenous.

bain-marie

The second step is to put it into glass recipients (jars or bottles) as glass is the best material to store food because it preserves its consistency, as opposed to plastic and wood, which always retain the smell and flavor of stored materials. The recipients are then put into another larger recipient filled with water and are boiled like that for about half an hour more. Before putting the lids, seal off the bottles with cellophane. The heat pushes the hot air outside, and the oil should reach the mouth of the bottle so that when you seal it off there is no air in it. Stored in the basement, they can last for years. Of course, this method can be used for mostly anything: fruit juice, guacamole, coconut milk, mashed vegetables, you name it.

To make matters simpler, you can just buy a bain-marie equipment.

2. Oxygen deprivation

oxygen

Oxygen is the source and sustainer of life, but also it is unmaking. Everything on the planet deteriorates and dies because of oxygen. Oxygen alters tissues in time (we call it aging), and the same effect happens with food as well. This is why void packed foods don’t go bad, and avoid packing machine is vital for food storage. It’s only 100 dollars and you can make big provisions with it, from dried fruit to meat and dairy products.

3. Salt

salt

Before refrigerators existed, and especially in the Middle Ages, meat was preserved using salt. You may have heard of the term corned beef or salt fish; this means treating the meat with sufficient salt up to the point where mold and bacteria can no longer develop. Salt dehydrates the meat, and bacteria need water to grow. You can try this at home: salt a slice of meat and leave it out of the fridge for several days. You will notice the absence of foul smell and it will still be good to eat. This method can also preserve food for years on end if done properly.

4. Lemon

lemon

Ascorbic acid (vitamin C) is one of the most powerful antioxidants, and it also draws water from other surfaces. Though not as powerful to last for years, lemon juice can preserve food out of the fridge for several days. You can test it most easily with avocado, one of the fastest oxidizing fruits: after squeezing a lemon over it, it won’t blacken within the hour.

5. Vinegar

vinegar

Acetic acid is a good natural preservative that is used for many non-artificially preserved products, such as mustard and other sauces, but only use wine vinegar. Other types of vinegar contain artificial acetic acid. This is one of the best preservatives, provided you can stand the smell and flavor.

6. Horseradish, Ginger, and Wasabi

horseradish

Horseradish, along with its Asian relatives, ginger, and wasabi, contains the same active ingredient (Allyl isothiocyanate), which is a great preservative against alteration and bacteria. You need 2 ounces of any of them (minced) in a quart of water to have a natural preservative for your food.

7. Hot Peppers

hot peppers

Red Peppers, Jalapeno, or any other species of hot peppers all share a common compound, which makes them hot: capsaicin. Given its heat for the human tongue, it’s not hard to imagine what it does for bacteria. It’s no coincidence that all the cultures who live in tropical and equatorial climates all share an abundance of capsaicin in their cuisine: it’s not merely a traditional whim, but it comes from old methods of preserving food in warm and dirty environment.

8. Honey

honey

Honey products and propolis has many antiseptic uses since ancient times, and not only by humans. If bees – some of the cleanest organisms on the planet – use it against fungi and bacteria, so should you. These substances are extremely stable against bacteria because of the low water percentage, low PH, and hundreds of anti-bacterial natural compounds secreted by bees.

9. Drying

drying

When it comes to dried food, the same principle applies as with salted meat. You can find dried fruit, meat and vegetables at the supermarket, but you can also make your own. Use your oven to dry tomatoes, fruits, and sausages, then store them in the pantry vacuum sealed.

Final Thoughts

As for other natural preservatives you could include in your bug-out bag, you should take into consideration grapefruit juice (also a great antiseptic and antibiotic), rosemary extract, sugar, Neem oil, garlic, oregano, cinnamon, mint, eucalyptus, and rose oil.

Last but not least, do not forget the oldest method of preservation and probably the best there is: freezing. If you find yourself in the wild during a Wyoming winter, food preservation will be the last of your problems.

10 Foods You Can Store For 100 Years

10 Foods You Can Store For 100 Years

French bread will only last a few days before it goes bad. And canned goods will last you a few years.

So all food has an expiration date, right? Wrong!

Some foods can last a century. Yes, that’s right. A hundred years!

Here are 10 foods that can last (pretty much) forever. In fact, if stored properly, they will never spoil and will stay as fresh as the day you bought them — and will make a great addition to your pantry or emergency food supply.

So feel free to use that 10-pound bag of jasmine rice from 1998 that you were saving for Y2K. As long as it was stored correctly, it’s just as good for you as the day you bought it.

1. Raw Honey

Shelf-life: Indefinite

Honey may crystallize over time, but in terms of safety, this gold liquid is nearly immortal. If it’s stored in a sealed jar, it can last for centuries, according to the National Honey Board. Raw honey has such longevity that it has even been recovered from Egyptian tombs. Honey can sweeten your hot tea, alleviate seasonal allergies, and also can be used to treats wounds and burns. If your honey does crystallize, just place the jar in warm water until the crystals dissolve.

2. Pemmican

Shelf-life: Indefinite

Pemmican was first made by Native-Americans and later by European fur traders and settlers. It was made from the meat of a large game like buffalo, bison, elk or deer. The lean meat was cut into small pieces and dried by putting it over an open fire. Then it was mixed with fat and pressed into little cakes. Sometimes, berries were tossed in for extra flavor. Pemmican makes a great survival food. In fact, it was given in rations and used by British soldiers during the Second Boer War (1899-1902).

Check out the full article: How to make Pemmican – The Ultimate Survival Super-Food

3. Rice

Shelf-life: 30 Years to Indefinite

Rice is the perfect food for storage. And, like honey, has been found perfectly preserved in Egyptian tombs. White, jasmine, wild, Arborio and basmati rice all have an almost indefinite shelf life. White rice is considered by many to be the ultimate survivalist food to stockpile in order to be ready for a food crisis. But brown rice doesn’t have the same good fortune; its high oil content makes it turn rancid faster. Just be sure to store rice in an airtight container to keep out any bugs. I like to put bay leaves in bulk bags of rice to keep the bugs away.

4. Apple Cider Vinegar

Shelf Life: Indefinite

You can buy apple cider vinegar and not worry about it going to waste. So stock up on this healthy condiment and use it for salad dressings, marinades or even household cleaning. And if you feel a sore throat or cold coming on, put a tablespoon in a glass of water and drink it; you’ll feel better!

Learn more about vinegar here >>> 99 Domestic Uses For The Common Vinegar

5. Salt

Shelf Life: Indefinite

salt-womenDOTuchealthDOTcom-400x266

Image source: UCHealth.com

Sea salt is the healthiest salt, but regular table salt is fine. Salt adds taste, preserves meat and helps food keep its texture. And if stored properly, it will never go bad. In the event of a grid failure, salt makes a great way to cure meat. Here is what one source says:

“Historically, brining and salting have been used as a method to preserve meat. Some methods were as simple as submerging the meat in a barrel of salt water. The salt solution was judged ready when it would float a raw egg. This solution would require approximately 8 pounds of salt to 5 gallons of water. Cover the meat completely with the solution and leave covered until ready to use. From the amount of salt, it requires you can see that it pays to store a substantial amount.”  Read more interesting facts about salt here >>>27 More Reasons To Stock Salt

6. Vanilla Extract

Shelf Life: Indefinite

Made from dried, cured vanilla beans, the pure vanilla extract has a sweet, rich flavor. And since it’s made from alcohol, the pure vanilla extract will stay fresh and flavorful forever. However, imitation vanilla does not have the same lifespan, so make sure that you buy the more expensive vanilla extract. From cookies to cupcakes, the pure vanilla extract is usually used for baking. But historically, it was used to treat burns, cuts, and wounds.

7. Sugar

Shelf Life: Indefinite

White, brown and powdered sugar will last forever. If it hardens over time, you can break up the chunks by warming it up and stirring it, just like with honey. Sugar doesn’t support bacterial growth, but don’t forget to store it in an airtight container to keep the bugs and moisture out. And sugar can be used for more than just a sweet treat — it makes a great scrub to use on your face and body.

8. Soy Sauce

Shelf Life: Indefinite

As long as it’s never opened, soy sauce will last forever. Soy sauce is made from fermented soybeans, salt, wheat, and water. The high sodium content of soy sauce helps to preserve it. But if you’re gluten intolerant, make sure that you buy a soy sauce that is gluten-free. From stir-fries to soups, soy sauce is an important ingredient in Asian recipes. My favorite way to eat soy sauce is to make a quick sauce by mixing ¼ cup of honey, ¼ cup of water, and 2 tablespoons of soy sauce. It makes a great stir-fry sauce or glazes for chicken.

9. Bouillon

Shelf Life: Indefinite

Because bouillon has large amounts of salt, it can last a long time. However, over time, the taste of the bouillon can be altered. So if storing bouillon cubes, it’s best to use a food sealer or seal in Mylar bags. It makes a great survival food used in broth or soup to deliver much-needed electrolytes to the body. I use it often in soups and stews; it’s a great way to save money and keep food costs low.

Flu Shot

10. Powdered Milk in nitrogen packed cans

Shelf Life: 25 Years to Indefinite

In a difficult situation, powdered milk makes an emergency source of calcium and vitamin D for young children. It can last indefinitely in nitrogen-packed cans and can be placed in the freezer. And if the powdered milk develops an odor or turns yellow, it’s time to discard.

So whether you’re planning for a disaster or simply want to have a pantry stocked with non-perishable food for an unexpected snowstorm, having these 10 food items is important. And if you store these foods properly, they might just last forever.

What foods do you keep stocked that will last forever? Write your response in the comments below:

By Kimberlee Hertzer

www.offthegridnews.com

Sturdy Staples: 9 Foods That Can Outlast You