One of the best ways to ensure you don't waste an ounce of your garden this year is to preserve it using a home freeze dryer.
Save Your Garden and Your Money Using a Freeze Dryer
August and September are prime season for filling your kitchen with all of those delicious fruits and veggies you spent months growing, so why not continue to enjoy your garden all winter long by preserving it using a home freeze dryer.
5 Reasons Why You Need a Home Freeze Dryer
Freeze-dried foods can be stored for up to 25 years without compromising its nutritional profile, so your garden haul will be just as healthy for you as the day on which it was preserved. Amazingly, when you freeze dry food, it loses only a nominal amount of its precious nutrients, minerals and vitamins and it's the only method of food preservation that does not affect the flavour, colour or shape of your food. For these reasons, freeze drying is hands down one of the best methods of food preservation.
You can save hundreds or even thousands of dollars on your yearly grocery bill by preserving your garden using a freeze dryer. With the rising cost of food in grocery stores, freeze drying fruits and vegetables from your own garden is economical, especially when you consider freeze-dried food can be stored up to 25 years. It also means you can take advantage of a bumper crop year and bulk sales by preserving it.
Reduce Food Waste
In an average year, a family of four could easily save 2 to 4 months worth of food that may have otherwise landed itself in the trash. Having a freeze dryer at home will enable you to reduce the amount of food you're throwing away and that puts money back into your pocket, not the trash bin.
Protect the Environment
Rotting food produces methane, which is a greenhouse gas that has a negative impact on the earth's climate and temperature. It is largely responsible for climate change and in North America alone, food waste amounts to about 193 million tons of greenhouse gas. That's equivalent to the greenhouse gas emissions that 41 million cars would produce over an entire year if driven continuously.
What sets freeze drying apart from other methods of food preservation is that virtually any food can be freeze dried and once treated, it's shelf-stable and can be stored at room temperature up to 25 years. The food itself requires little to no preparation before freeze drying and once processed, it'll be very light in weight since the water is removed, and the food can be reconstituted easily using water or eaten in its freeze-dried state.
Recommended reading: The essentials of freeze drying
You define what is important by how you dedicate your time and for many of us, our health is high up on our priority lists. Even the busiest of people can find ways to reclaim their time and make their health a top priority and here's how:
How to Create More Time For Your Health
Tip No. 1 -- Write it down and organize your thoughts
Make a list and check it twice or better yet, strike it off. Creating lists helps to put those tasks on paper and have a visual reminder of what needs to be done, which will help you to prioritize and better manage your time. Lists also have a wonderful, positive psychological impact by helping to de-clutter your thoughts, while giving you a feeling of control and filling you with sense of accomplishment as you take care of your business.
There are many apps available to keep track of your task list, or go old school and use a pen and paper!
Tip No. 2 -- Get more sleep and function better
This seems like a no-brainer, but your body functions better on an adequate amount of sleep. When you're tired, the more difficult it becomes to stick to your healthy habits, whether that's eating loads of healthy foods, following your workout routine or simply managing your stress levels.
Try disconnecting from distractions 30-60 minutes before bedtime and allow yourself to decompress. Aim to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep every night to ensure you're running at peak performance.
Tip No. 3 -- Online shopping saves time
Online shopping is incredibly convenient for people on the go. From kitchen appliances to groceries to exercise equipment, you'll always find what you're looking for online and you'll have access to better discounts, infinite choice and no pressure sales.
If you're like most households, you tend to purchase a lot of the same grocery items on a regular basis and nowadays online shoppers can maximize their time by saving a personalized online shopping list to place repeat orders, stay focused and avoid impulse buys.
Tip No. 4 -- Turn off technology and increase your self-awareness
With technology creeping into all aspects of our lives, we should all strive to live in the moment. In truth, often times our phones leave us more stressed, jealous, annoyed and sad as a result of the over consumption of information and social media overload. Unsurprisingly, more people are opting for screen time over the company of others, which means more of their down time is spent online rather than with their significant other.
We experience amazing health benefits when we disconnect from our phones, including reduced anxiety and depression, improved attention, increased happiness, greater self-awareness.
Tip No. 5 -- Schedule your exercise and stick to your routine
Make an appointment with yourself to exercise and don't cancel. It seems simple, but you're more likely to stick to your fitness routine when you make a point of scheduling time for it.
Have you ever wondered how you and your family would survive in an emergency situation where access to food was limited or worse, non-existent?
Freeze Dryers Are Lifesavers
Emergency preparedness is not a situation we want to imagine, but it's a reality that we cannot ignore. Preparing for a disaster by ensuring you have an adequate amount of food stored at home can reduce the fear, anxiety and losses that disasters can cause.
Keeping a three-month or more food supply at home is a major benefit as it will:
- Prepare you for the unexpected should disaster strike;
- Save you money in the event that food prices sky rocket;
- Ensure you maintain an adequate food supply should access to food be limited;
- Fuel your body with nutritious and balanced meals so you can maintain your energy stores; and
- Allow you to focus your time and attention on more pressing matters in an emergency situation.
Freeze-dried Fast Facts
- You can freeze dry individual food items (veggies, fruits, dairy, meat) or an entire dish (lasagna, casserole, desserts, pie).
- Freeze-dried foods can be re-hydrated back to their original look, texture, flavour and colour using hot or cold water.
- Making freeze-dried food at home means you can accommodate food allergies and sensitivities.
- The quality of home freeze-dried food vs. store-bought is far superior. You can control your food source and adjust the flavour of your dishes.
- Freeze drying at home will result in savings in the bank! Purchase your food in bulk, avoid food waste, freeze dry large quantities of food at a time and compared to commercially prepared freeze dried meals, home freeze drying is a fraction of the cost.
If you're curious to learn how freeze drying works, then you'll love this quick video on freeze drying meals. Yum!
Have you tried freeze-dried foods? Comment below!
We love our pets and it's no wonder, they bring us a lot of joy and provide us with companionship. That explains why Canadians are constantly in search of better ways to care for and pamper their furry friends.
Make pet nutrition a priority
Most pet owners are looking for ways to keep their pets in tip top shape, which includes a healthy balanced diet and plenty of exercise.
Unfortunately, commercially prepared dog and cat food often contain the same hormones, pesticides, and antibiotics found in store-bought prepared foods for humans. On top of that, the meat that goes into commercially prepared pet foods is often unfit for human consumption.
A guaranteed way to gain control over your pet's diet is to prepare your own pet food at home, with ingredients from sources that you trust.
Freeze dried pet food is better
Many pet owners are using a freeze dryer to make their own pet food. There are numerous reasons why home freeze-dried pet food and snacks are better than store-bought; they're healthier, easier for your pet to digest, and tastier, plus you not only reduce your food waste at home, your pet has the benefit of better nutrition, improved health and higher energy levels.
Top 5 reasons why you should make freeze dried pet food
- Freeze dried foods have a long shelf-life (up to 25 years), so you can prepare large batches and store the food without any worry that it'll spoil or that the nutrition will be compromised.
- Freeze-dried foods are free of additives and preservatives. You also have the ability to customize your pet food, while considering any allergies or sensitivities your pet may have. You can easily reduce your pet's exposure to the offending ingredients when you make the food at home.
- Most people are surprised to learn that freeze drying does not affect the flavour, colour or shape of their food, which means the food is recognizable and tastes as it should.
- Did you know that the freeze drying process does not use any heat, so the loss of any nutrition in the food is minimal. That means freeze-dried foods are just as healthy for your pet as the day on which they were preserved and all of those wonderful vitamins, antioxidants, and enzymes remain intact.
- The time it takes to prepare your food for freeze drying is minimal, and the freeze drying process itself takes around 24 to 36 hours from start to finish for about 16 pounds of food.
If you're curious to learn more about freeze drying, check out our freeze dryer introduction.
Each year Canadians spend over $4 billion on their pets and of that amount, a whopping $2 billion goes toward pet food alone.
Today's guest blogger is Wendy Busse, a registered dietitian who has helped hundreds of people lose weight and eat healthier. According to her, a major key to success is having nourishing meals that can be quickly and easily prepared at home, or just as readily on the go. The easiest way to do this is with your own home freeze dryer.
Summer is finally upon us and with that lots of great hiking and camping opportunities. In this video, Wendy shares with you how freeze-dried meals and snacks can make your camping trips and long hikes a lot easier.
With a home freeze dryer, Wendy tells us, she can pack most of the food her family needs for an entire trip in a big Rubbermaid container. But the biggest advantage, she says, is being able to make meals with very little prep time or dishes to wash. Now, who doesn't like the sound of that?
Comments? Suggestions? Let us know in the comment section below after you watch the video.
About the Author: Wendy Busse is a registered dietitian from Alberta, Canada with a passion for helping people embrace delicious dining through mindful meal planning and eating. She can be reached at www.wendybusse.com
Spring has sprung and we have gardening on our minds. We couldn't think of a better time to share why we have fallen in love with greenhouse gardening.
Greenhouse gardening is growing in popularity
Did you know that the idea of growing plants in controlled environments has existed since the Roman times. Fast forward to the 21st century, many technological advances have been made to make greenhouses more efficient, affordable and user-friendly, which is empowering gardeners to turn a part-time hobby into a full-time passion.
Greenhouses are for all gardeners, whether you want to dedicate a few minutes or a few hours a day to gardening. If you have visions of your kitchen fully stocked with delicious, homegrown fruits and vegetables, then you're not alone. Greenhouse gardening is growing in popularity among vegetarians, vegans, raw vegans and foodies in general and it's no wonder as it offers many advantages over outdoor gardening.
Top 4 advantages of greenhouse gardening
- Controlled Environment - Greenhouses create an optimal growing environment where plants are shielded from bad weather and protected in a temperature controlled environment. Sunlight and outdoor temperatures can vary greatly from day to night and from season to season, but in a greenhouse, these are factors that you will not need to consider. Humidity is also an important aspect of growing a garden. Plants in outdoor gardens typically face some level of stress in drier conditions, but greenhouses keep the air humid which plants adore. Outdoor gardeners also have to deal with pathogens and insects invading their gardens, but greenhouse gardens are far less likely to be invaded by fungi, bacteria and pest. These types of outdoor gardening pests wreak havoc on your garden and can be very time consuming to deal with and detrimental to the health of your plants.
- Garden in any Weather - You won't need to wait for a sunny day to garden when you have a greenhouse. Rain, wind or frost, a greenhouse protects your plants and YOU from bad weather. It makes gardening more convenient and comfortable, day or night. Bonus: use your greenhouse space to store your tools, equipment and supplies.
- Extend Your Growing Season - Your growing season is prolonged by several months in a greenhouse. Ground frost or even snow, depending on how low the temperatures drop in the winter, cause water in plant cells to freeze. You can easily spot plants that have been affected by frost as they'll appear limp and their leaves blackened. Greenhouse gardening enables you to eliminate the risk of your plants being damaged by ground frost. Depending on where you live, it could also mean having the ability to garden all year round. A longer growing season means higher yields, which translates into more delicious raw food on your table and savings in your pocket. Not a bad deal. It also means you are not bound to the typical planting season, which makes greenhouse gardening more flexible.
- Grow Organic - A wonderful benefit of gardening at home is the ability to have full control over the use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers. With the use of these harmful synthetic pesticides and fertilizers in conventional farming, more consumers are choosing to buy organic produce or simply wanting control over the food they consume. When you grow your own produce, you have the reassurance that it's free of synthetic pesticides and it's been ripened naturally. There is also a growing consciousness that the benefits of eating organic foods extend beyond one's own health and extend to the health of the entire planet. Did you know that food on average travels about 2,500 kms before it reaches our kitchens. Agricultural processes in general contribute to a large proportion of global greenhouse gas emissions, so you're doing your part to reduce those greenhouse gas emissions and protect the planet when you grow your own produce.
If you want to see for yourself the growing power of a greenhouse, then visit our Greenhouse product page to watch a fun Greenhouse video of Jared, a young boy who planted tomato plants inside and outside of his family's greenhouse. You won't believe your eyes.