Friday, November 02, 2007

Food Saver - Take Two

A reader asked a great question about the food saver in the previous post. She said that she had one but they didn't use it much because if the food contains liquids, they get sucked out of the bag and the bag won't seal properly.

BTDT.

The solution is very simple, but it's a little more "work".

All that you do is freeze the food *before* you vacuum seal it.

And example, I make my own yogurt from store bought plain full fat yogurt quarts. But it only take a few tablespoons to make a whole quart of homemade yogurt, so to keep it from going bad, I freeze it in an ice cube tray. When it's frozen, I pop them out and then I can vacuum seal them, 3 to a pack. Which is exactly what I need to make the homemade yogurt.

For things like stews, chili, etc, just pre-freeze in some type of container that releases food easily. Silicone baking dishes come to mind. Or even an old butter container or a plastic bag. Once it's frozen, THEN you can pop it out of the first container and vacuum seal it.

Same with things like cookie dough. Just freeze it in the shape you want it on a cookie tray. Then vacuum seal it!

I hope this is helpful!

10 comments:

Eileen said...

Wow. This is a good idea. How much is a vacuum sealer? And the bags? Thanks.

Hi. My name is Alanna. said...

Good suggestions!

Question (I haven't scrolled thru all your posts so you may have answered this months ago): Why do you make your own yogurt, and why from store-bought yogurt that is already yogurt? That may sound really dumb! Forgive me!!

"My Little Wonders" said...

Great tip!
Did you post how to make the yogurt in a past post? I was thinking about making my own too.
Thanks Lori

My name is Michelle. said...

Eileen, I bought mine a few years back and JC*Pen*ey and I think I paid just over $100 for the machine which came with a roll or two of bags. I now buy my bags at Sam*'s and the last box cost close to $40. I bought it about a year ago and I have over half a box left. I'd guess that I spend an average of $10-$15 a year on bags or less. There are cheaper ones out there too I hear. :)

Alanna, not dumb at all! It's just money. Good organic full fat yogurt cost about $4 a quart. I use about 1/4 - 1/2 cup of the yogurt(added to organic milk) to make a full quart of full fat organic yogurt. I can get 4 cups of organic full fat milk (bought by the ½ gallon) for $1.50. Soooo...I'm getting full fat organic yogurt for about half price. Plus, it is fresh. I can keep yogurt all the time without extra store trips. And I always have some to drain for whey if I need it. :)

Lori, I don't think I did post it. I don't have a yogurt maker or anything like that. It takes a candy thermometer, milk, and a small amount of yogurt (for starter). I make mine with a cooler, towel and heating pad! LOL If you're brave and want the recipe, I'll share it. Let me know! I'll be making it in a day or two and I could put up pics.

Eileen said...

Hi again, Michelle ;o). I just began blogging today and wondered if I may link you?

My name is Michelle. said...

eileen, I'd be honored.

:)

Denise said...

Michelle,
i'm so excited to be on your side bar!! I don't even remember when or how I found your blog. But since I started reading, I've made my own laundry soap (twice now!) and made your delicious meatloaf a lot(my daughter said "I could eat this everyday!"). You have been inspiring!! Thanks so much!

Anonymous said...

Michelle,

I can't thank you enough for writing a whole post on my question! I am so honored! And thankful.

Honestly, it would NOT have occured to me to flash freeze it first... *blushing* My husband bought my food saver for me and just asked again why I don't use it. I will have to start again! I definitely want to give this a try!

And pre-freezing in a container that pops out easily: GREAT idea!

So I am guessing that you don't have any trouble with freezer burn, even though you freeze it a little first?

Now for yogurt...we are big Yo Baby fans here, and it is quite pricey. So you freeze your yogurt...I never thought of that either! How is the consistency when you thaw it? Something my family will be okay with?

Thanks again for all of your help! It is truly a blessing :)

-Lauren

My name is Michelle. said...

Denise, you are the sweetest thing. Thank you so much for your kind words.

Lauren, another commenter made a great suggestion (maybe even better, I've not tried it yet) to just go ahead and freeze it in the unsealed vacuum bags! I'm gonna have to give that one a try. Oh, and as far as the yogurt goes...I freeze the plain yogurt in ice cubes that I use to *make* more homemade yogurt (because it only takes a little bit and I buy it by the quart. I'll end up using the same quart to make probably 10-15 quarts of homemade yogurt over the course of 4-5 months). We don't eat it straight after it's been frozen. But I *do* know that the cultures are still alive (or else they wouldn't make more yogurt). The consistency is pretty close to the same (after it's completely thawed and stirred-it tends to seperate while thawing), but I honestly have no idea about freezing it to eat later. Maybe someone else knows?

Anonymous said...

Here is a tip: As time goes by - my foodsaver professional II is about 8 years old, the black rubber gasket inside, the one that is on the bottom tends to get cracked and you will notice the machine takes longer to seal. What you do is rub olive oil on the rubber gasket and put it back in a different position, the machine works like new. Also, don't waste money buying bags at full retail - get a coupon over at Foodsaver Coupons Page at Stoorz.com