My Foray Into Food Storage

A regular gal learning about Food Storage, Home Cooking, Canning, Gardening, and more!

How Hard Can It Be To Seal Food In A Mylar Bag For Long Term Storage?

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This is my 150th post!  I hope that you’ve enjoyed my first 150 posts and that you’ll stick with me for the next 150 posts and beyond!  As a “Thank You!” to all my readers, be sure to check out my current giveaway found here.

 

It’s been a little while since I’ve posted something strictly “Food Storage” related, and I thought it was about time to return to my purpose for this blog: talking about food storage (why you need it, how much you need, and how to build it without going broke).

 

Filled 2 buckets and mylar bags with yummy food for long term storage.

Filled 2 buckets and mylar bags with yummy food for long term storage.

 

Today, I started packaging food for long term storage.  I bought several different kinds of grain (in bulk), so I can expand my repertoire, but I know I won’t use it all within the next year, so I need to repackage it for long term storage.  How does one do that at home?  I think one of the easiest ways is to use a mylar bag and an oxygen absorber.  While not every food can be stored in mylar bags long term, most grains and beans do very well.  In fact, some can have a shelf life of 30 years or more if properly packaged and stored.  I’m not planning on keeping all of this food for 30 years, but I like knowing that I have a good amount of time to use it.

 

So how did I do it?  I started with fresh, high quality ingredients: Ezekiel Mix and Popcorn.  Popcorn is pretty self-explanatory.  Most people know what that is, but many people have never heard of Ezekiel mix, which is used to make Ezekiel bread (see it here).  Ezekiel Bread is made from a mixture of grains and legumes that form a complete protein.  The recipe is from an Old Testament scripture (Ezekiel 4:9) which reads: “Take thou also unto thee wheat, and barley, and beans, and lentiles [lentils], and millet, and fitches [spelt], and put them in one vessel, and make thee bread thereof… three hundred and ninety days shalt thou eat thereof.”

 

Ezekiel Bread

Ezekiel Bread.  Photo courtesy of Amazon.com

 

I have bought Ezekiel bread before, and I like it, but it’s pretty pricy around here at $6 a loaf.  As one who can make bread (see my favorite sandwich bread recipe here), I believed I could make my own, and I’ve wanted to make my own Ezekiel bread for some time.  I was able to find most of the ingredients pretty easily, except for spelt.  So, I decided to buy a pre-mixed Ezekiel mix.  And there I was with 50 pounds of Ezekiel mix, buckets, 5-gallon mylar bags, and oxygen absorbers.  Here’s how I packaged it for long term storage.

 

I started by purchasing the grains I wanted to repackage.

I started by purchasing the grains I wanted to repackage.

 

I also purchased Food Grade Buckets and 5-gallon Mylar Bags.  I had oxygen absorbers ready to go as well.

I also purchased Food Grade Buckets and 5-gallon Mylar Bags. I had oxygen absorbers ready to go as well.

 

Before I started doing any food handling of any sort, I washed my hands well with warm, soapy water.  Then I followed up with a hand sanitizer for good measure.  Next, I set up my 5 gallon food grade bucket and my 5 gallon mylar bag.

Before I started doing any food handling of any sort, I washed my hands well with warm, soapy water. Then I followed up with a hand sanitizer for good measure. Next, I set up my 5 gallon food grade bucket and my 5 gallon mylar bag.

 

To fill the mylar bags, I simply poured the Ezekiel mix from the factory packaging into the clean, new mylar bag.

To fill the mylar bags, I simply poured the Ezekiel mix from the factory packaging into the clean, new mylar bag.

 

I topped it with my oxygen absorbers.  A 5 gallon bag needs at least 2000cc oxygen absorbers.  I opted to use 5 - 500cc oxygen absorbers which I had on hand rather than buy 2000cc ones.

I topped it with my oxygen absorbers. A 5 gallon bag needs at least 2000cc oxygen absorbers. I opted to use 5 – 500cc oxygen absorbers which I had on hand rather than buy 2000cc ones.  When handling your oxygen absorbers, keep in mind that they must be sealed in  your mylar bag as soon as possible after opening the bag containing them, otherwise, they absorb the oxygen in the air and lose their effectiveness.

 

I removed as much of the excess air  from the bag as I could, then I sealed the bag with my iron.

I removed as much of the excess air from the bag as I could, then I sealed the bag with my iron.

 

I folded the bag down into the bucket.  (I made sure to leave enough room that the lid could easily fit on the bucket with the excess mylar bag.

I folded the bag down into the bucket. (I made sure to leave enough room that the lid could easily fit on the bucket with the excess mylar bag.

 

Using a rubber mallet, I put the lid on my bucket.

Using a rubber mallet, I put the lid on my bucket.

 

Then I labeled the bucket with the contents and date.

Then I labeled the bucket with the contents and date.

 

I repeated the process with my popcorn, and I had two buckets done within 10 minutes.  It was quite fast and easy.

I repeated the process with my popcorn, and I had two buckets done within 10 minutes. It was quite fast and easy.

 

Of course, I wanted to keep some Ezekiel mix out for me to play with, so I poured some into my 1 gallon and 1/2 gallon mason jars.

Of course, I wanted to keep some Ezekiel mix out for me to play with, so I poured some into my 1 gallon and 1/2 gallon mason jars.  The rest of the Ezekiel mix was ground into flour (which I’ll show you tomorrow).

 

Repackaging food is not for everyone.  I don’t do it for everything I buy.  In fact, I often buy them already packaged in buckets with mylar bags.  (Emergency Essentials, my giveaway sponsor, has a HUGE selection of food packaged for long term storage.)  But this time I wanted to try some of the new grains I purchased (kamut, amaranth, spelt, and more), so I opted to buy the grains in short-term packaging knowing I would put most of it in mylar bags and buckets for long term storage.

 

Have you ever used mylar bags and oxygen absorbers to repackage your food? 

If so, do you have any tips for me or my readers?

If not, do you think you will try it now that you’ve seen me do it?

 

 

 

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Author: Laurie Nguyen

I am a happily married, stay at home mom with four sons, ages 24, 22, 18, and 14. I'm not a professional blogger, and I'm certainly not a foodie or a chef. But I like food, so I think I'm qualified to write about my own life experience with food. Want to be a little more prepared for the unexpected? Check out my Food Storage Blog, http://forayintofoodstorage.com. Have a question about Food Storage? Email me: forayintofoodstorage@gmail.com.

15 thoughts on “How Hard Can It Be To Seal Food In A Mylar Bag For Long Term Storage?

  1. Congratulations on 150 posts! That is a great achievement indeed 🙂

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  2. You are an amazing person and make this so “effortless!” Congrats on 150 and I DO look forward to at least 150 more! I didn’t realize stuff like this was so attainable!
    Forgive me if you’ve mentioned this already but what do you do with all your stored food? Does anything lose nutritional value or “freshness” taste, etc? This is all new, exciting and fascinating to me!

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    • Thank you for your kind words. 🙂

      When food is properly stored, it retains much of it’s nutritional value and tastes fresh and good for much longer than foods stored in traditional packaging from the grocery store. For example, dried beans come in a plastic bag which keeps the beans fresh for about a year. When stored in a mylar bag with an oxygen absorber (or in a #10 can), they are good for 20 years or more if stored at the appropriate temperature.

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  3. Depending on what you are saving I prefer to also package smaller amounts in Mylar bags so that when I need more I don’t have to feel the need to use so much, which also helps rotate stash better. For instance you can divide the mix in half or thirds then store. Hope this makes sense.

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    • Thanks for the reminder. I probably should have mentioned that in my post. While this was my first time repackaging food into large mylar bags in buckets, I’ve used 1 gallon bags for things I use less frequently and won’t go through it fast enough for larger quantities stored in 5 gallon bags.

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  4. I have never seen Ezekiel mix, where did you get it?

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  5. Exactly what is “Ezekiel mix”? I think I missed something in your article about what it is. Could you also say how to fix it?

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    • Ezekiel mix is a blend of grains and beans which are used to make bread. One of the key benefits to Ezekiel bread (and mix) is that the grains and beans together form a complete protein. I am going to write a post very soon on how to make Ezekiel bread (most likely tomorrow).

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  6. Great post Laurie:) I agree with packaging in smaller quantities . That’s on a personal note (found it the hard way lol) Mylar bags are great for storage, especially when you’re making up mixes of various foods. I’m up in the Sacramento area, so we are weary of earth quakes too. I love making the meals and some I put in Mylar Bags and some in glass jars. ( a trick with the glass jars is put a sock around it then put them back in the original box). With the Mylar you don’t have to worry about that. HUGZ:)

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  7. I learned something new today! The only context I knew for Mylar was helium balloons. I sheepishly have to admit, I envisioned you cutting open Mylar balloons and filling with popcorn rather than helium, lol.

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    • I love it! That is a funny picture. Thanks for sharing it with me. 🙂

      The mylar bags for food storage are a bit thicker than balloons, but maybe I could blow them up if I’m ever in an emergency situation and use them to entertain the little ones like people use latex gloves…

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  8. Pingback: Well, I Made It – Ezekiel Bread – And Even Michael Liked It! | My Foray Into Food Storage

  9. Pingback: Well, Isn’t This Fine And Dandy? I Filled My Buckets, But I Need More! | My Foray Into Food Storage

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