- Author: Dayna Ravalin
- Editor: Noni Todd
By Dayna Ravalin UCCE Master Food Preserver Program
Do you enjoy fishing, hunting game, or stocking up on a bargain at the grocery store? Knowing how to safely preserve proteins can save you time, reduce food waste, and help you prepare a healthy meal in a short amount of time. Additionally, food is expensive. Food preservation minimizes food waste and will help you get the most out of your investment. Whether it's meat, poultry, seafood, or beans, by having ready to use protein foods on hand, you are also safeguarding another resource: your time!
If you fish, you could have a jar of tuna ready for use in a fresh Niçoise salad any time of year. Or, if you find a great sale, you could can meat and have BBQ sandwiches ready in minutes! For pasta night, you could have a jar of your homemade spaghetti and meat sauce that will take just minutes to heat. Beans, prepared and preserved by you, can be quickly added to soups and stews. The initial preparation does take time; however, you'll gain the satisfaction of making quick and affordable meals during those busy weeknights!
To safely can seafood, meat, poultry, and beans, a research-tested recipe and a pressure canner are required. Proteins are low acid foods and are susceptible to bacterial growth. Many bacteria in foods are destroyed by boiling at 212?; however, some bacteria like Clostridium botulinum are destroyed when the temperature in the pressure canner reaches at least 240?. When canning proteins, the temperature of the canner needs to be kept consistent during the entire required processing time. Processing times will vary depending on the food and jar size. Canning at high altitudes requires an increased pressure in accordance with tested recipes. Always follow tested recipes exactly.
To learn how to safely preserve your next catch and other proteins, register today for the UC Master Food Preserver Program's Preserving Proteins workshop on Saturday, January 28, 10:00am to 12:00pm at the UCCE auditorium, 2156 Sierra Way, in San Luis Obispo. Participants will learn a variety of preservation techniques for proteins including pressure canning basics, freezing, and drying. Master Food Preservers will also discuss hot smoking as a method for adding flavor.
The class fee is $20. Class size is limited, and pre-registration is required. Register at https://ucanr.edu/proteins.Fee waivers are available. Visit our website for more information https://cesanluisobispo.ucanr.edu/Master_Food_Preserver_Program/