Some tips for proper packaging:
For proper vacuum packed food storage, we recommend packing the best quality products, paying special attention to hygiene.
For products that contain liquids, we recommend allowing them to cool in the refrigerator for a few hours (or a blast chiller at a temperature below +10°C) before packaging. Important: in order to ensure perfect hygiene of food products, we recommend never using sacks. Remember to mark the packaging date and name of the product on the bag!
Thoroughly clean and separate according to length and width so that blanching time is as uniform as possible. Remove hard parts, wash, and dry. Blanch following the previous rules then cool, and dry again, keeping them from getting ruined. Now, just put them in rigid containers, vacuum pack, and freeze.
The blanching temperature for broccoli is about 3 minutes. Once blanched, they must be drained and run under very cold water for about 6 minutes. Dry gently, place in rigid containers, create the vacuum, and freeze.
Clean them, removing the spines and hard parts (just the heart can be frozen if you wish) and wash thoroughly. To keep from turning black, submerge in water made slightly acidic by adding a few drops of lemon juice or vinegar. Wash again, dry, and place in bags. Vacuum pack and freeze.
Before blanching, the florets must be divided. Then blanch in boiling water for 3 minutes and cool in cold water for 5 minutes. As with other vegetables, dry thoroughly, vacuum pack, and freeze
Make sure they are very fresh. They should be a brilliant green colour. After removing any bruised parts and divided them based on size (to make blanching uniform), wash with cold water and blanch for 5 minutes. Drain well and cool immediately, putting them in cold water for another 5 minutes. Then package as for other products.
Prepared dishes can be stored as most convenient: in bags (even on plates) or in rigid containers.
Fruits and vegetables
The vacuum packing technique lets you store an infinite amount of fruits and vegetables without the typical problems of direct freezing such as frost that alters the characteristics of the product. As mentioned previously, high quality products should be used. Blanching is extremely important in vacuum packing vegetables for freezing. It is fundamental for stopping the inevitable deterioration of the products since the boiling water and/or steam stop the action of the microorganisms responsible for deterioration. Boil at least 5 litres of water in a pan without adding salt. Arrange the vegetables in a proportion of 100 g for each litre of water in a perforated container (metal strainer, for example) submerged in the water. Set the heat to high, cover the pan and calculate the exact blanching time. In order to keep the temperature uniform, stir the vegetables every once in a while. Once blanching is complete, put the vegetables in cold water for more or less the same amount of time as the previous step. Remove any excess water and dry carefully. Now, just put them in rigid containers, vacuum pack, and freeze. Naturally, the vegetables can be stored whole or cut according to need.
To freeze them raw, just clean, wash, dry, and if desired, slice depending upon type and size. Put in glass containers to keep them from getting ruined. If you would rather cook them first, sauté with just a little oil (preferably margarine) in a large pan with a thick bottom, with the lid on and on high for 3-6 minutes. Once the mushrooms have cooled, pour them in a glass container along with the sauce, vacuum pack and freeze. If desired, the system can also be used for stewed vegetables.
For this type of storage, the best aubergines are those that are not too mature and are more solid. Clean and cut in slices or cubes. Put in a container with cold water and a few drops of lemon juice or vinegar to keep them from turning brown. Now blanch for at least 4 minutes. Run them immediately under cold water, dry, and put in containers. After vacuum packing, freeze them. Aubergines may be cooked without thawing.
Bluberries, strawberries and raspberries
These delicate fruits must be cleaned carefully but without using water. Once the stems and leaves are removed they are put in rigid containers, vacuum packed, and frozen. After 24 hours they can be moved to vacuum packing bags. Attention: before thawing, remember to cut the bag!
The freezing-vacuum packing combination is particularly indicated for this type of product. Bread and other similar products, whether simple or elaborate (such as pizzas and sandwiches), that are stored in this manner maintain all of their fragrance and freshness. We recommend not completely removing all of the air in order to keep the food from being crushed. To thaw, just put in a hot oven!
Excellent results are also obtained when vacuum packing and freezing doughs used for preparing savoury pies or desserts. Avoid adding sugar or salt so that you can choose whether you are making a savoury pie or dessert at the time of preparation. To store, divide the dough in rectangular sheets about 3 cm thick, choose the proper container, vacuum pack, and freeze.
Prepare them as if you were going to serve them. Once open, remove all of the seeds and chop according to the recipe to be prepared. For eating raw they can be vacuum packed directly and put in the freezer. If you wish to cook them first they must be blanched for about 2-3 minutes, even though the blanching time will vary depending on the size and thickness. Now you can proceed with vacuum packing and freezing.
Pears, apples, apricots and black plums
Since pieces of fruit can only be stored for a short period of time (about a month), they do not need to be blanched or washed. Just clean thoroughly, place in rigid containers, vacuum pack, and freeze.
It is well known that fish deteriorates very quickly. For this reason, vacuum packing is an excellent choice. The fish to be stored using this method must be absolutely fresh. Make sure that from the time it is caught until it is purchased, the fish is kept cold in special containers. The storage temperature varies according to the type of fish. Sea bass, carp, pike, cod, hake, sea bream, sole, and tench can be stored at -25°C. Fattier fish (such as herring, salmon, sardines, mackerel, tuna, and trout) must be stored at -30°C. Obviously crustaceans and molluscs may also be vacuum packed. Given their characteristics (antennas, claws, shells), it is best to store them in rigid containers. Before being frozen, the fish must be prepared as if it were to be cooked right then. So clean as normal (remove the scales, clean, wash with water and salt, dry, and, if desired, remove the head, tail, and fins). If the fish is large (such as tuna), it is best to divide into fillets or prepare it so that cooking is easier, especially since you can then cook it without waiting for it to thaw. The smaller the parts, the quicker it will cook. Remember that certain preparations require it to be thawed (breaded, batter-dipped, etc.). In this case, just follow the general thawing rules and the fish is ready to be cooked as if it were just caught! Tip: when putting in boiling water, leave it in the container. This will make the operation easier.
Peas can be stored raw or cooked. In the first case, just shell them and put them in bags then vacuum pack and freeze. In the second case, blanch for two minutes. Then remove the excess water and cool under running water. Now just dry well and put in rigid containers, following the usual packing procedure.
To freeze them just remove the skin (so it is best to put them in rigid containers to keep them from crushing).
Herbs in general can be stored with this technique and will seem as if they were just picked. If you wish they can be chopped or separated into bunches. Before freezing in rigid containers, clean them without using water.
The best products are those just ripe (and that have good consistency) and are medium-sized. Before putting them in vacuum bags, peel, wash, and blanch for about 3 minutes. Once cooled and dry, vacuum pack and freeze. You can prepare all of the vegetables for minestrone and pack them together.
Courgettes do not need to be blanched before freezing. Just wash, clean, and cut in 2 cm rounds. If you need just one portion and not the whole bag, remove the quantity desired and put the remainder of the bag back in the freezer. Courgettes do not need to be thawed before cooking.
Thawing can be done according to different methods depending upon need and time. You can choose to thaw the food in the pan, put it in the oven (traditional or microwave) or leave it in the bag in boiling water.