Vacuum Sealing Vegetables
Vacuum sealing is a quick, simple way to prolong the life of food. The vacuum sealer is generally used in conjunction with sealing bags. These bags usually come in rolls. The roll is actually one long continuous open bag. Cut the bag 3 inches or so longer than the item to be sealed. Place one end in the sealer and press the button. Run the sealer through the entire cycle. The first part of the cycle will run the vacuum, the second part seals.
When one side of the bag is sealed, fill it with the food to be stored. Place the open end into the sealer. Press the button again. The excess air will be removed, and the bag will become flat and rigid. Then the bag will be sealed by the heated metal bar. When sealing a bag, be sure to place the bag evenly within the sealer so that the seal is continuous and complete.
Vegetables should be blanched. After blanching they may also be tray frozen so they can be frozen together, yet later be separated into serving size quantities. Most vacuum sealed bags may be heated in the microwave or even boiled to prepare the food for eating. Freeze the bags, vegetables should be good for 2-3 years. Fruits may also first be tray frozen.
When vacuum sealing liquids in a bag, it is best to freeze them first and then put them in the bag. This will prevent the liquid from being sucked out by the vacuum and it will also make the product easier to stack.
Powdery foods should first be put into another plastic bag to prevent the powder from being sucked out and from interfering with the sealer. Food with sharp edges should be wrapped in a paper towel to keep them from puncturing the bag.
Meats can be place directly in the bag to vacuum seal, but they can also be tray frozen to ensure juices stay. If pre-freezing is not an option or desired, they can also be vacuum sealed with a paper towel (to absorb excess juices). Store vacuum sealed meats in the freezer. Most meats will be good for 2-3 years.
Prepared dishes should generally be pre-frozen and may be kept for over a year. Baked goods should also be pre-frozen.