Kitchen Tip Tuesdays: Food Saving without a Food Saver
I've talked a lot about using my Food Saver vacuum-sealing device, especially recently. Since the vacuum-sealed bags keep the food fresh for so long, I find that I only need to make meatballs once or twice a year; same with my homemade pepperoni. It's nice to get something made and stored away, and have quick (but still homemade!) meal solutions to pull out of the freezer. :)
One thing I don't use my Food Saver for, however, is cookies. I like having frozen cookies in the freezer, ready to be pulled out a few at a time for lunches or snacks. Here are some of my reasons for not preferring the Food Saver for cookies.
Although the Food Saver bags are re-sealable, the bag gets smaller each time, since you cut part of it off. And since I store my Food Saver on our porch (and only get it out when I'm doing some bulk cooking!) it's definitely not convenient to have to pull it out to re-seal a bag after I've taken 3 or 4 cookies out.
The Food Saver also has such powerful suction that you need to press the "manual seal" button before the air is all out, to avoid completely smashing the cookies. Another way around the "smashed cookies" outcome is to freeze the cookies before vacuum-sealing them. However, sometimes frozen cookies have sharp edges, and the suction can cause anything very dry (like my dehydrated green peppers!) or slightly sharp to puncture the bags.
The solution? Use a high-quality zipper freezer bag, and fill with your cookies. Place the end of a drinking straw at one end of the seal, and seal the bag the rest of the way. Suck the air out of the bag with the straw, and then quickly slip the straw out and seal the bag.
I find that this method works quite well for cookies or other softer baked goods. And best of all, you don't need to purchase special equipment!! :) Oh, and it's much more sanitary than just using your mouth on the bag of food. Not that I would ever do something like that...
And in the interest of full disclosure, I did not come up with this idea myself. I read about it online somewhere, quite some time ago. I honestly can't remember where I read it!
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