Methods of Food Preservation

A-Z How to Preserve Different Types of Foods

So what’s the best way to preserve food? Well, the lowest energy techniques are generally root cellaring, season extension (especially in climates that require little or no protection), solar/ambient dehydrating and lactofermentation. The fastest ways are generally root cellaring (the overall winner), season extension, solar dehydrating and freezing.

The most nutritious methods are generally lactofermentation, season extension and root cellaring, followed by freezing for short periods. Canning and freezing are generally speaking not best at much, and I’m personally working on reducing them in my life. The best tasting way? Depends on the food. For each one below I’ve listed the methods in order of my personal preference, but you’ll have to experiment and see what you like.

Happy Preserving!

How to preserve: 

  • Apples: root cellaring, dehydrating, canned as applesauce or butter
  • Apricots: dry, canned as sauce
  • Asian greens: season extension, lactofermentation
  • Asparagus: fresh
  • Bananas: dried, frozen
  • Basil: frozen as pesto
  • Beans, dry: dried
  • Beans, green: eaten fresh, pickled/lactofermented
  • Beets: root cellared, pickled
  • Blueberries: jammed, dried
  • Brussels sprouts: season extension
  • Carrots: root cellared, season extension
  • Cabbage: root cellar, lactofermentation
  • Corn, sweet: dehydrated, canned, frozen
  • Corn, pop: dry
  • Corn, flour: dry
  • Citrus: root cellared, salted (preserved lemons), sugared and dehydrated (orange slices), liqueurs, dried (peel), canned (juice)
  • Cranberries: jammed, sauce, frozen, dried
  • Eggs: root cellared, on the hoof
  • Figs: dry
  • Garlic: root cellared, dried
  • Greens: season extension, lactofermentation
  • Grains: dry
  • Herbs: most dried, some salted
  • Lettuce: season extension
  • Meats: on the hoof, canned, frozen, dried
  • Milk: fermented as cheese and yogurt, frozen, preserved as salted butter
  • Onions: root cellared
  • Pears: root cellared, canned, dried
  • Peas, snap and snow: frozen
  • Peas, shell; dry, frozen
  • Peaches: dry, canned
  • Peppers, sweet: dried, frozen
  • Peppers, hot: dried, frozen
  • Plums: jam, dried
  • Potatoes: root cellared
  • Pumpkin: root cellared, dry, seeds dried (the USDA recommends against canning pumpkin or squash at home)
  • Raspberries: sauce, jam
  • Squash: root cellared, dried, seeds roasted and dried
  • Strawberries: dried (fabulous), jam
  • Summer squash: frozen
  • Tomatoes: Season extension, root cellared, dry, canned
  • Zucchini: dry, frozen, pickled


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