Vacuum Sealing Bread for n00bs!

Well, to be fair, I am.

I celebrated a birthday recently, and one of my gifts to myself was a vacuum sealer. It was something we had talked about for a while as an interesting item to have but never really jumped into. Birthdays are good times for those things, right? After a little bit of research, I decided on the NutriChef PKVS18BK. It wasn’t too expensive and got fairly decent reviews considering the price point and features. It comes with a few bags, a small roll of make-your-own-size bags, and a canister attachment for vacuum sealing their reusable containers. The bags they sell are BPA-free, which seems to be uncommon in the market. Or maybe it’s just not advertised the way NutriChef makes a point to advertise theirs. It’s not a bad price for a starter vacuum sealer if you’re not sure you’ll actually use one. My best friend swears by hers (she has the more popular Food Saver) and uses it all the time, though, and we’ve been talking about expanding our mid/long term food storage options, so we wanted to look into it.

When it came in, I had a lot of fun making some ready-to-go soup mixes for those nights I just don’t feel like putting a lot of effort into dinner. It was a lot of fun. I still have some more mixes I want to make, but I have a good start! The great thing about making your own mixes is you get to control what goes in them. And by vacuum sealing them, you don’t have to mess with preservatives. They’ll last quite a while. Plus, sealed like this, they’re super easy to take camping, which we enjoy doing. Toss a few in a bag, and we’re ready to go!

Vacuum sealed bean soup and curried lentils.
Vacuum sealed bean soup and curried lentils

Today, though, was hilarious! Mom and I went to Walmart to pick up the standard french toast starter kit before the polar vortex comes in. (Actually the power went out earlier this week, and we realized we were a lot shorter on flashlights around the house than we thought we were. They must all be in storage. That’s fixed now. We just happened to think of picking up milk and eggs while we were there.) Since it’s going to be quite cold for several days, we were talking about our meal plans so we don’t have to go back out again. At some point, one of us suggested lasagna. “But we don’t have garlic bread,” I said. Mom suggested picking up some of the fresh loaves by the register, and since they were 2 for $2, we did. “I can run them through my vacuum sealer!” I said with delight. Ha!

So that turned out well.

Vacuum-sealed vs just-sealed bread.
Do not vacuum seal the bread.

So, the vacuum sealer has a “vacuum seal” function (and two modes: normal and gentle) and a “seal” function. I thought I would try the gentle vacuum seal function first. Just so you know, it still crushes the bread. We had good laughs. I opened the bag up to see if the air would breathe back into the bread. It doesn’t really. Mom suggested we turn it into croutons. But we don’t need croutons right now, so I vacuum-sealed it back up again (gently). The next one I just sealed. I can still put it in the freezer; it will just have a little air around it. But it will be sealed tighter than the zip lock bag I usually freeze my bread in.

So now you know: don’t vacuum seal your bread, unless you want to make croutons. And yes, you can laugh. We did.

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