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Friday, May 28, 2010

The Wonderful FoodSaver

I love my FoodSaver. My hubby bought me mine as a Christmas gift. (I know, he's romantic like that! ) Truth be told though we both really wanted one and they were having a sweet deal thru the survivalblog last year. (And free shipping)
There are tons of ways to use one of these wonderful tools! The one most people are familiar with is the use of bags to freeze meats, veggies, fruits, anything you want to keep air out of.
I had to flip my freezer recently and found several packages of different meats I had put up last year around this time. Still as good as the day it was sealed!
Our FoodSaver came with two rolls of bags, a vacuum hose, a wide mouth jar sealer, and a large and small canister. Well it wasn't long before I discovered how expensive the bags can get. I'm pretty particular now about what I use my bags for. But the use of jars really started getting my attention. If the lid's are good and you get a good seal you can put up all sorts of stuff. I use my old canning lids for this and they work just fine. It also recycles those old lids.
Just think, you can open a fresh can of coffee, pour it in a jar, seal it up and it will retain its freshness. We don't drink alot of coffee ( I know....weird ) so vacuuming it makes good sense.
If you looked in your fridge right now....do you have an onion or peppers or some veggie in a plastic ziplock? You know you do. I use jars to seal up all those type things up in jars and set them in the fridge. They last at least twice as long stored in jars. I hate tossing out fresh veggies because I didn't use them fast enough.
Another wonderful thing to store with the FoodSaver is cheese. I hate it when my cheese starts to mold. Put your bulk cheese in jars and vacuum seal them after each use. You would be amazed at how long cheese will keep like that. With no mold either! I even put up my leftovers in jars and seal them. Again, they keep longer.
I use jars to help with food rotation as well. I have buckets of things stored and when I need to get into some them, I don't really need the whole bucket. So I will fill a jar with dry milk,yeast, or sugar, or salt or "fill in the blank" and reseal the bucket. Then I vacuum the jars after each use.
Eventually you run short on jars!
So here I was using all my widemouth canning jars for storing dry goods. I didn't have (and still don't) a small mouth jar adapter. It set me to thinking. I went surfing the net and finally found a solution. And not just ANY solution. I found a way to not only seal my smallmouth jars, but almost any jar that has a rubber gasket for a lid. Like your spaghetti sauce jars, jelly jars, peanut butter jars. Anything with the rubber seal on the lids. It doesn't matter what weird size lid it is. Even Pace picante jars with their weird shape can be used. The secret is......the large canister that came with my "package" deal. You can buy these separately at their site. You fill your recycled jar, put the lid on it, place it in the large canister and vacuum the air out of the canister. Release the vacuum and take the jar out. The lid should be concave and sealed. It works great and I don't have to forfeit my canning jars. Just be sure to check your jars for a good seal while doing your pantry check. I have found that sometimes,even when using regular canning jars, they sometimes loose their seal. Therefore, I recommend using bands on your vacuumed jars. You don't want a surprise when you go looking for that jar of dried carots!
There are tons of other uses for the FoodSaver, but I will save that for another time!

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