Preserved food such as jams and sauces are staples at most households, mostly bought from stores. A lot of people disregard making their own preserves thinking that it requires special skills or equipment and that it is time-consuming, but these are not true. Making your own preserves at home does not require you to buy a new kitchen or cooking tools and it can be a fun family activity.
What are preserves?
Preserves are food you can store for long periods of time and eat them beyond their usual shelf life. The most common kind of preserves are jams, but other food items such as sauces, pickled vegetables, and salsas are also kinds of preserves.
So why are homemade preserves better than store-bought ones?
Homemade preserves do not have added preservatives.
When you make your own food, you know what you put in it. When you make your own preserves, you decide on your own ingredients. You can add or lessen stuff as you wish as long as it still tastes great. Jams, for example, are high in sugar content. If you do not like to feed your kids too much sugar and artificial sweeteners, you can make your own jam with less sugar.
You can store preserves for a long time.
If there are fruits or other types of produce that are only available at certain times of the year, you can prolong their life by preserving them. It is one way of making sure your extra fruits and veggies do not go to waste beyond their usual shelf life.
You can save and earn money by preserving food items.
Making preserves for your own consumption will definitely help you save a part of your grocery budget since you can cut down your grocery items if you already have some of them at home. You can also earn money by doing the same thing. Preserving fruits or other food items that get costly at certain times of the year can help you make profit if you sell them past their peak or harvest season.
They are simple and easy to make.
Again, you do not need to have professional kitchen equipment to make preserves. You can use even your trusty vegetable chopper at home to slice your fruits, veggies, and other ingredients into small pieces, then use your basic kitchen pans and other tools if there is some cooking involved. If you wish to sell your preserves, it will help a lot if you have a pressure canner as it is very suitable for canning low-acid ingredients in appropriate compression.
Aside from these, there are many other benefits you can get from making homemade preserves whether for your own consumption or as a simple gift to your loved ones. Some of the best preserves we can recommend are jams which are the most popular, salsas for special occasions, and pickles as a healthy side dish or condiment.
Try making some yourself and see how it can help you practice a healthier and more sustainable lifestyle.
If you want to make hassle-free strawberry jam, try following this simple strawberry jam recipe – it’s our favorite!
Take a look at more cooking ideas, recipes, and money-saving tips for the kitchen.