Your guide to preserving, storing and canning food

April 30, 2020 by  
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If you’ve stepped foot in a grocery store or filled an Instacart recently, you know there are a variety of items that are in low supply. In fact, butter and sweet pepper shortages appear to be a sign of these very uncertain coronavirus times. So whether you’re looking for ways to preserve what you already have in the house or are setting goals to be better about reducing food waste in the future, we’ve got some pointers regarding the proper way to save everything from milk to peaches so you can enjoy them down the road.  Freezer  Your freezer is a golden opportunity to store ripening fruit and wilting greens . If you fear your container of strawberries, mango, or pineapple is a day away from passing its prime, cut it into cubes and put it on a cookie sheet. Flash freeze the cubes and then transfer them to a freezer safe bag. Use fruit in smoothies, compote, or pies later on. Avocados can be frozen in peeled halves or mash them and store in a bag or container to use for guacamole at a later date.  Related: Use texture, height and variety to create pizzazz in your small garden this fall Some dairy products can also be stored in the freezer, although it may change the consistency a bit. Butter can go directly in, boxes or plastic and all. Milk can be repackaged or frozen whole. It will expand, but that’s what those divots on the sides of the container are for, really. Cheese also stores well, but maintains a better texture if grated first. Be sure to package tightly and remove air before freezing.  Vegetables and freezers make great partners. Some foods first need to be blanched in order to start the cooking process. This simply means steaming or boiling them for a few minutes before cooking and prepping in containers or bags for the freezer. Blanch asparagus, broccoli, leafy greens, okra, peas, summer squash, brussel sprouts, artichoke hearts, and cauliflower . Blanching times range from one to six minutes. Some sources will tell you to also blanch corn, sweet peppers, onions, and tomatoes, but it’s not really necessary. Garlic bulbs can be frozen with or without the skin. A note: the purpose of blanching is to break down the enzymes that cause decay. While unblanched frozen food is safe to eat, the consistency and/or color may suggest otherwise.  To prepare for freezing, remove the core from tomatoes, then cut and place into a freezer safe bag. Peel and cut onions before freezing. You can combine onions with a variety of colored sweet peppers for an instant fajita mixture.  Pickling Pickling is a fermentation process that has been around for generations. It’s simple to do, although some processes are fast and others require patient observation while the process takes place. Pickle red and yellow onion, cucumbers, zucchini, carrots, cauliflower, cherry tomatoes and other favorite veggies by first cleaning and cutting into slices or spears.  One technique is called quick pickling. This results in a snackable product in just a few days, but lacks the deeply pickled taste of long-fermentation. Combine equal parts vinegar (any type) and water. You can add herbs, spices, garlic, or ginger to create unique flavor profiles. For a combination of one cup water to one cup vinegar, add one tablespoon kosher salt or two teaspoons pickling sale and an optional one tablespoon of table sugar. Boil the mixture until the dry ingredients dissolve. Stuff vegetables into clean canning jars and top with the boiling liquid, filling within ½ inch of the top. Seal with a lid and refrigerate. Wait a minimum of 48 hours before opening. The longer they sit, the fuller the flavor will be.  To ferment the traditional way, use a large crock or other container that can be out of your kitchen circulation for a few weeks. There are many, many recipes for different foods and flavors but the basic process is again to prep foods by cleaning and disposing of end pieces . Slice in the shape you prefer. Then make a brine with water, acidic vinegar, and salt. Combine in the crock and let them sit a few weeks. Once fermented, pack into jars. Different foods call for different processing times, but typically range from 15-30 minutes.  Canning Canning foods is an excellent preservation technique. Many vegetables can be made in a pressure cooker or instant pot. To can green beans, for example, select fresh beans. You will need one to three pounds per quart jar. Blanch and then cut them into bite-size pieces. Pack them into hot jars, add salt, and cover with hot water. Release trapped air from the jar and leave about an inch of space at the top. Place the jars into a pressure cooker and follow directions to create the proper amount of cooking pressure based on your model. Use caution when handling hot items.  Fruits, jams and tomatoes are processed in a simple water bath and create a plethora of food options with no waste . When your tomatoes go crazy at the end of summer, you can also make a variety of sauces to get you through the winter. Try salsa, marinara sauce, ketchup, bbq sauce, tomato sauce, tomato paste, etc. All of these items are cooked in a pot and then added to hot, sterile jars. Wipe the top of the jar with a clean cloth and seal with lid and ring immediately. Then submerge into a water bath for the recommended amount of time. The process is similar for peaches, pears, jams, and applesauce, with a bit of variation in the preparation. You can even make apple pie filling and can it to reheat and serve over ice cream or add to a pie crust during the upcoming months.  Proper Storage Even if you don’t plan to process your food, you can make it last longer with proper storage. Hearty onions can be stored for ten months or more in the proper conditions. The ideal location is a cellar or shed that maintains a temperature of around 40 degrees F. Also stored in a cool, dark location, garlic will store for several months. For both foods, be sure they are properly cured (dried) before storage. Potatoes can also join the cold and dark party where they should remain fresh for at least three months.  Images via Source Name 

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Your guide to preserving, storing and canning food

This container home in Brazil helps its residents disconnect

December 24, 2019 by  
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The 2,766-square-foot Hanging House was designed by the architects of Casa Container Marília in the rural area of ??Campos Novos Paulista, Brazil. About 80 percent of the materials used in construction were recycled , including the primary maritime shipping containers that make up a majority of the structure. The home also lacks two major modern amenities — televisions and Wi-Fi — to encourage a digital detox. The Hanging House sits elevated from the ground, so the windows are level with the native trees abundant throughout the property. This also lessened the impact on the landscape. The wooden deck balconies blend in with the branches of the trees as well, making it feel much like a treehouse. It earns its name from the numerous hammocks that hang from the ground level, one of many places where the homeowners can kick back and relax. There is a modular green roof attached to the container home as well as a rainwater storage system that reduces the need for excess irrigation around the property. The interior doors on the first floor were made with reused plates of the containers. Following the completion of the project, 70 percent of the debris left over — mostly made up of wood and steel scraps — was also reused. No outside soil was brought to the site, and a minimal amount of concrete was used in the foundations to preserve and protect the soil drainage and root patterns. Related: This prefab weekend retreat made from shipping containers can be ordered online All of the walls are insulated with a thermoacoustic blanket, and the interior has a cross-ventilation system with wide openings to encourage airflow. Nestling the house under the trees also provided the building with plenty of shade. Thanks to this air exchange and thermal arrangement, the house has no need for an air conditioning system, even on the hottest days of the year. The container home has two bedrooms, two bathrooms and a beautiful kitchen that opens up to the living spaces. The interiors are dressed in timber, creating a cozy and welcoming atmosphere. In an effort to allow residents to disconnect from the outside world and better connect with the surrounding nature, there are no televisions or Wi-Fi available on the property. + Casa Container Marília Images via Casa Container Marília

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This container home in Brazil helps its residents disconnect

Repurposed shipping containers turned into solar-powered Cycle Hubs

June 4, 2019 by  
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Bustling urban areas around the world are seeing a major increase in bicyclists cruising through their streets, some of them on very expensive electric bikes. To offer extra security for these pricey rides, savvy company Cyclehoop has come up with the an innovative solar-powered bicycle storage center made out of repurposed shipping containers — Cycle Hub. A leader in the world of bicycle parking solutions and infrastructures, London-based Cyclehoop is constantly working to provide cyclists with secure storage and proper infrastructure. They work in a wide range of products, from locks and racks to solar-powered riding paths. Related: An elegant car center in Thailand is made from 8 repurposed shipping containers The company’s most recent addition is the Container Cycle Hub, a repurposed shipping container that safely stores bicycles. The cube-shaped container is small enough that it just takes up a single car parking space, but is still spacious enough to hold 24 bikes. The interior of the bike hub is installed with “gas assisted two tier racks” that pull out so that the bike can be easily wheeled into place before being elevated up to the top rack. The hub’s sliding doors open and close with a mechanical lock for easy, keyless access. The doors are made out of perforated panels and allow natural light to filter through the interior, but are opaque enough to reduce the visibility from the outside. The containers are also equipped with solar-powered motion-sensor lights for added visibility and security. + Cyclehoop Via Treehugger Images via Cyclehoop

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Repurposed shipping containers turned into solar-powered Cycle Hubs

Which Wine Container Is Better — Bottle or Box?

February 22, 2019 by  
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Today there are many wines that are healthy for you … The post Which Wine Container Is Better — Bottle or Box? appeared first on Earth911.com.

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Which Wine Container Is Better — Bottle or Box?

Green roofs cool co-working shipping container office in Brazil

January 3, 2017 by  
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The practice of building with shipping containers has been growing by leaps and bounds over the last few years, with today’s designs continuing to push the architectural envelope. Brazil-based Rodrigo Kirck Arquitetura used the repurposed material to create Container, a stunning co-working space cooled in part by two rooftop gardens. The structure’s monolithic warehouse-esque volume was created by stacking two overlapping containers on top of each other, at various lengths. The entrance is located under a cantilevered block, with the co-working spaces primarily located on the upper floors. This was a strategic measure to optimize the amount of natural light on the interior space, subsequently reducing the building’s reliance on artificial lighting . Related: Shipping containers are transformed into a colorful office and showroom in China The containers are topped with two large garden roofs , which were installed for their ability to reduce solar radiation and capture reusable rainwater. Additionally, the architects wanted to create a green connection of “urban gentleness” with the neighboring buildings. The design strategy not only called for using the repurposed building material as the main envelope for the building, but also to serve as a focal point on the interior. Similar projects typically tend to hide the containers’ rather cold aesthetic, but the designers instead chose to highlight the industrial aesthetic by painting the interior a soothing white. Building on the Container’s philosophy that “being is more important than having”, the space is open and uncluttered, and emits a quiet creative serenity. Focusing more on sustainability and local respect than decoration, the walls are free from art or additional clutter. The only marking is the Container logo, which pays homage to the architect’s indigenous origin and connection with his native city of Itajaí. + Rodrigo Kirck Arquitetura Via Archdaily Photographs by Alexandre Zelinski

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Green roofs cool co-working shipping container office in Brazil

Breakthrough technology turns coal plant CO2 into baking powder

January 3, 2017 by  
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When it comes to mitigating the impact of modern civilization on our planet’s environment, many scientists and engineers have been focused on ways to clean up excess carbon dioxide, which contributes to climate change. India-based company Carbon Clean Solutions is making headway in that area, with its unique method for turning CO2 into harmless baking powder . The method can be employed by coal-burning industries to reduce CO2 emissions and turn the waste into usable byproducts that do no harm. Carbon Clean is putting its methods through the wringer at a coal-fired thermal power plant at the industrial port of Tuticorin in southern India. There, CO2 is captured from the boiler and used to make soda ash (sodium carbonate) which is the very same stuff housed in any baker’s pantry. Transforming the dangerous atmosphere-heating carbon emissions into harmless baking powder is no simple (or cheap) task, but Carbon Clean is pushing forward even so, and the firm is doing it without government subsidies. Related: Researchers accidentally turn CO2 into ethanol The firm says this process can lock up 66,000 tons of CO2 each year from the Tuticorin plant, which is the equivalent of removing 12,674 cars from the road for the same time period or burning 6,751,435 gallons of gasoline. While many firms are still leaning on carbon capture and storage (CCS), which typically involves attempting to sink carbon underground – a process which is very expensive and has no opportunity for future profit. Carbon Clean’s method is the first large-scale example of carbon capture and utilization (CCU), wherein CO2 is essentially recycled into baking powder that can be sold off to help pay for the capture process. CCU is also slightly cheaper than CCS, costing around $30 per metric ton of CO2 captured, another item in the “pro” column for Carbon Clean. While these efforts won’t be enough to turn coal into a sustainable industry, Carbon Clean’s technique could help fossil fuel industries greatly reduce their carbon footprints. Likewise, CCU methods of trapping CO2 could create new avenues of economic opportunity in places like India, where coal-based industry is widespread. Via The Guardian Images via NLC Tamil Nadu Power Ltd and  Shutterstock

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Breakthrough technology turns coal plant CO2 into baking powder

Sustainer aims to reduce waste with a reusable food container and reminder-based mobile app

January 19, 2016 by  
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Nowadays, many people bring their own canvas bags to the grocery store, but few take that same low-waste concept to dining out. In a bid to help make people change to less wasteful habits, product designer Andreas Eiken developed Sustainer , a concept that takes “the waste out of the to-go meal equation.” Created in collaboration with Kieran Wallace as part of Eiken’s fourth year thesis project at Emily Carr University, the Sustainer pairs a reminder-based mobile app with a reusable food container made from food-grade silicon. The app and container are designed together as a cohesive system that addresses the main barriers to people bringing a reusable container with them when getting food to go, including forgetting the container, leakage, and carrying space. + Andreas Eiken The article above was submitted to us by an Inhabitat reader. Want to see your story on Inhabitat ? Send us a tip by following this link . Remember to follow our instructions carefully to boost your chances of being chosen for publishing!

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Sustainer aims to reduce waste with a reusable food container and reminder-based mobile app

Debate Over Expanded Polystyrene Recycling Gets Weighty

January 5, 2016 by  
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It was an offer New York couldn’t refuse. That’s what Dart Container Corp. (Mason, Mich.) thought when it said it would cover the setup costs for adding expanded polystyrene to the city’s curbside recycling program. Indianapolis-based Plastic…

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Debate Over Expanded Polystyrene Recycling Gets Weighty

HOW TO: Grow your own mushrooms from recycled cardboard and coffee grounds

November 3, 2015 by  
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Book lovers and coffee drinkers no doubt have an excess of cardboard and coffee grounds on their hands. But before you chuck them in the recycling bin, why not consider reusing those materials to grow mushrooms? It may sound strange at first, but nutrient-rich coffee grounds and corrugated cardboard are a match made in mushroom heaven. All you’ll need is a plastic container cleaned with rubbing alcohol and perforated with four to six quarter-inch holes; corrugated cardboard that’s been soaked in water for at least one to two days; quality mushroom spawn that can be found online; and spent coffee grounds, ideally from the day-of. Starting with the cardboard, layer the materials in the container like you would lasagna and cover each sprinkle of spawn with coffee grounds. Then, watch the magic happen! + A Piece of Rainbow The article above was submitted to us by an Inhabitat reader. Want to see your story on Inhabitat ? Send us a tip by following this link . Remember to follow our instructions carefully to boost your chances of being chosen for publishing!

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HOW TO: Grow your own mushrooms from recycled cardboard and coffee grounds

HOW TO: Whip up tasty and healthy jar-noodles in less than 10 minutes

June 21, 2015 by  
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If you enjoy grab-and-go foods like mason jar parfaits or salad in a jar , you’ll love this recipe that packs a ready-to-eat noodle meal into a portable container. Like a healthier and fresher version of instant ramen, these jar-noodles are a snap to make, and are assembled and cooked inside the container. This no-fuss jar recipe only takes 10 minutes or less to whip up and can be easily customized to your preferences. READ MORE> Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: easy meals , healthy instant noodles , healthy jar noodles , jar noodles , noodles and vegetables in a jar , noodles in a jar

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