The long, lazy days of summer seem to go by in a blink, taking with them the best-tasting fruits and vegetables of the year. In winter we long for the flavor of a summer tomato and make do with what we can find at the supermarket. But what if you could save your summer, or at least the tastes of summer? With a high-quality vacuum sealer, it’s easy to preserve the unique flavors of ripe tomatoes, cool cucumbers, sweet berries and other seasonal delights.
If you plan to vacuum seal liquids or liquid-rich foods (like those juicy summer fruits), make sure you choose a chamber vacuum sealer, like the Hamilton Beach® NutriFresh™ Food Vacuum Sealer, rather than a simple suction sealer. Why? Suction sealers, also called external sealers, work by suctioning air out of the vacuum sealer bag, which makes sealing liquids a messy undertaking. Chamber sealers pump air out of the entire sealing chamber rather than pumping air only out of the bag. Because the pressure is equalized inside and outside of the bag, liquids tend to stay put instead of being suctioned out the open edge of the bag. The result: less mess, better seal.
Saving food means saving money
The good news is that chamber vacuum sealer machines, previously found primarily in restaurants and other food-related businesses, have made their way to consumers and become much more affordable in the process. But even if a chamber vacuum sealer cost several times its price, it would be a great investment.
The average American family of four tosses out $2,275 worth of food each year. Why? The most common reason given is that the food has spoiled or is thought to be spoiled. A vacuum sealer can put an anxious mind at ease by ensuring that food is in fact properly sealed. A sealer with an integrated date coder can also quiet that nagging question we all have while standing at the fridge or freezer: “How long has this been in here?”
Another way a vacuum sealer machine can save money: it encourages at-home cooking by making it easy to prepare food in advance and save it for those evenings when making dinner is simply out of the question. If your family is spending $67 or more a week on takeout, the average amount found in one survey, simply substituting your own “freezer delights” for restaurant takeout could save as much as $3,484 a year.
Tastes worth saving
Whether you’ve already ordered your chamber vacuum sealer and extra vacuum sealer bags or are still waiting to be convinced, try these recipes that take full advantage of the flavors of summer. We think you’ll find that food this good is worth preserving.
If there’s a better way to save and savor summer cucumbers, we haven’t found it. This dill pickle recipe will have you wondering why you ever purchased pickles in a jar.
For those who prefer a sweeter pickle, these bread and butter delights make any hamburger better, and they’re great on the plate next to barbecue. Try them fried to enjoy the classic treat of summertime state fairs.
Summer tomatoes and fresh basil leaves make this marinara sauce something special, something you’ll enjoy even more in the colder months to come.
Basil loves the summer, and we love basil in all kinds of summer recipes. To preserve this herb of summer, whip up some pesto and seal it for a taste of summer all winter long.
Although this pesto calls for sun-dried tomatoes rather than those fresh from the garden, this recipe tastes like summer with fresh basil, garlic and walnuts. Toss pesto with any kind of pasta and grill some fresh veggies, like asparagus and bell peppers, to mix in.
What summer flavors do you plan to save for fall? Let us know in the comments below.