Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Vacuum Sealers

The other day, I was tempted enough to make Molly's Peanut Butter Biscuits - well, my version of them, using cashew nut butter instead of peanut butter and gluten free flour.

When I finished making them, it occurred to me that every time I do make something like these scrummy biscuits we end up throwing out part of it because we are not very big cake or biscuit eaters. So, I thought I would be proactive and save some at the outset. The obvious choice would have been the freezer, except that ours is rather full at the moment. What to do?

Light bulb goes off - the vacuum sealer!!!! I had just been using it to package the baby corn prior to freezing it (bottling seemed like too much work, on reflection). So, I set about making small packets of delicious biscuits for us to munch some time in the future.

Then it occurred to me - the vacuum sealer is an ideal way to package many foods we might dry. They can then be stored in the cupboard, without taking up valuable freezer space.

Actually, I originally purchased the vacuum sealer to package produce prior to freezing to reduce the risk of freezer burn. It works a treat - I have been able to store sweet corn in peak condition from one year to the next. And there is no need to blanch, as all air is removed.

We found ours on ebay (see picture from ebay store at left) and I've been very happy with it. Yes, it uses plastic bags, but I think the savings in food wastage more than make up for the environmental cost of the bags and the small amount of electricity needed to suck and seal. Also, with dry goods you don't need to use any more energy to store - a ccol, dry cupboard is all you need. Despite the fact they use electricity, I think they are a great addition to the household buffering themselves against peak oil.

If you are thinking of purchasing one, however, do your homework and check out the specifications. We found that some of the better known brands were not as good as the one we eventually purchased (for about $150, I think).

Apologies for the dead meat in the pictures for all of you who might be sensitive to such things . . .

love and light
naturewitch

7 comments:

Rapunzel said...

I've thought of buying one of these time & time again, but with my family shrinking at the moment (one daughter just married, another off to college), I'm not sure I'd benefit as much?

naturewitch said...

Hey Rapunzel
I actually think you might get more use from it, as you can put away the bits that might otherwise go to waste now your babies are leaving home. And you could always use it to package up home baked goodies to send your college freshwoman . . . xx

Erica said...

I have been pondering one of those for a long time!

Asclepius said...

Just investigating your blog as you found mine :). Your cats are gorgeous!

naturewitch said...

Welcome, asclepius! xx

Cheryl said...

HiNaturewitch.... as you were so kind in trying to identify my mystery plant, thought I would let you know that it is some sort of helenium (as you guessed). Having been through to many sites noone can identify which type. I have now left the info and pics with the national collector and await further info......there are apparently many missing from the national collection, old and lost varieties....wouldn't it be great if I had one......

Thanks again for all your help.....

naturewitch said...

Hey Cheryl - that's interesting news indeed! Would be great if you had a specimen of a old or "lost" variety. Don't you just love plants? xx