4 Easy Recipes Canning Cherries

Click here to view the original post.

Enjoy 4 of my delicious recipes for canning both tart and sweet cherries

I am very blessed to be the Canbassador for Northwest Cherry Growers in Washington. For three years now I have created exciting recipes with their freshly shipped fruit.

In years past, I have created Savory Cherry Chutney and Peach Pistachio Conserve using juicy peaches and gorgeous sweet cherries.  This year, I went a bit more of a traditional route creating a pie filling and salsa.  But do know, pie fillings make excellent dessert toppings for ice cream and fill more than just pies – they make excellent filling for cupcakes, scones and crepes.  And this salsa – YUM!

This year I was sent another batch of sweet cherries from Washington!  And for you tart cherry lovers, I had 10 pounds frozen from last years harvest.  Let’s just say I had a cherry festival in my kitchen these last few days!  It was so worth it though!  Enjoy my latest 4 cherry canning creations and be sure to share with a friend.

unnamed2

Pie Filling – Dessert

Sweet Cherry Berry Pie Filling  (makes approx. 5 quarts or 10 pints)

My family found its new favorite pie filling with this gorgeous blend of blueberries and cherries.  My daughter suggested the undertones of vanilla which really brought this filling to life.  Note, the vanilla extract is optional and can also be substituted with almond extract.

Ingredients

12 cups sweet cherries, pitted and coarsely chopped or halved

12 cups frozen blueberries, thawed

4 cups juice, from fruit

1 cup Canning Gel or ClearJel

4 cups raw sugar

2 Tbsp Vanilla extract

1/4 cup lemon juice

Instructions

If using fresh cherries and berries, be sure to chop/halve the cherries and lightly mash the blueberries to break the skin to release their juices.

Place cherries and berries into a large colander atop a large bowl.  Drain juices from mixture for up to 2 hours or until you have captured 4 cups of juice. Cover mixture with dish towel while draining to keep pests away.

Measure 4 cups of juice in a large liquid measuring cup.  Add Canning Gel and whisk until dissolved.  Place into a large stock pot and whisk again.  Add sugar and vanilla extract.
Using medium high heat, whisk sugar until it dissolves, and continue to whisk mixture often as it increases in temperature.  As juice begins to bubble, add lemon juice and whisk well.  The juice will start to thicken quite quickly so continue to whisk to avoid scorching.  Once it begins to thicken, immediately add the cherry berry mixture all at once.  Turn off heat.

Use a large spoon and fold cherries and berries well so they are coated with the thickened juice.  Ladle into wide mouth jars (preferably) keeping a generous 1″ headspace.  Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace as necessary.  Wipe jar rims with a wash cloth dipped in vinegar, then add lids and rings.  Water bath both quarts and pints for 35 minutes.  Remember, you timer doesn’t start until the water has come to a full rolling boil.

 

unnamed3

Jams & Jelly

Cherry Preserves (makes approx. 4 pints or 8 half-pints)

I love fresh berries in my preserves.  Chunks of yummy goodness with every spread is a jar filled with pure deliciousness.  Enjoy this cherry-filled preserve on fresh bread, sandwiches, a cheese tray and alongside any turkey or pork dinner.

Ingredients

5 cups pitted cherries, frozen or fresh

2 cups raw sugar

3 cups juice

1/2 cup Canning Gel

1/4 cup lemon juice, if using sweet cherries

Instructions

Place cherries in a large colander atop a large bowl.  Drain juices for up to 2 hours or until you have captured 3 cups of juice. Cover mixture with dish towel while draining to keep pests away.

Measure 3 cups of juice in a large liquid measuring cup.  Add Canning Gel and whisk until dissolved.  Place into a large stock pot and whisk again.  Add sugar and whisk.

Using medium high heat, whisk sugar until it dissolves, and continue to whisk juice often as it increases in temperature.  As juice begins to bubble, add lemon juice if using sweet cherries, and whisk well.  The juice will start to thicken quite quickly so continue to whisk to avoid scorching.  Once it begins to thicken, immediately add cherries all at once.  Turn off heat.

Use a large spoon and fold cherries well so they are coated with the thickened juice.  Ladle into jars keeping a 1/2″ headspace.  Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace as necessary.  Wipe jar rims with a wash cloth dipped in vinegar, then add lids and rings.  Water bath both pints and half-pints for 25 minutes.  Remember, you timer doesn’t start until the water has come to a full rolling boil.

Tart Cherry Jelly  (makes approx. 6 half-pints)

Typically when draining cherries for the required amount of juice to make pie filling there will be upwards of 3 or 4 cups of juice left over.  Especially if your cherries were frozen then thawed.  Use this easy recipe to make jelly with remaining juice.

Ingredients

4 cups cherry juice

4 cups raw sugar

1 cup Canning Gel

Instructions

In a large stock pot, whisk juice and Canning Gel until dissolved.  Add sugar and whisk.

Using medium high heat, whisk sugar until it dissolves, and continue to whisk juice often as it increases in temperature.  The juice will start to thicken quite quickly so continue to whisk to avoid scorching.  Once it begins to thicken, remove from heat.

Ladle into jars keeping a 1/4″ headspace.  Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace as necessary.  Wipe jar rims with a wash cloth dipped in vinegar, then add lids and rings.  Water bath half-pints for 15 minutes.  Remember, you timer doesn’t start until the water has come to a full rolling boil.

unnamed4

Salsa

Tart & Tangy Cherry Salsa  (makes approx. 4 pints or 8 half-pints)

Fruity salsa is amazing!  There is something special happening on our palates when heat and sweet are combined.  Even more so, this recipe gives you a bit of tang expanding its uses and its flavors.  Enjoy on the end of a tortilla chip, stuffed inside a pork loin or create a delicious appetizer atop a brick of cream cheese.

Ingredients

8 cups tart frozen cherries, thawed

4 Tablespoons raw sugar

1 1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped

3 large garlic cloves, minced

1 large jalapeno, finely chopped (keep seeds for more heat)

1 cup cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped

1/4 cup lime juice

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Instructions

Combine all ingredients in a large stock pot and bring to a boil over medium high heat.  Once at a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring often.

Using a slotted spoon, fill each jar 3/4 full of salsa.  Ladle remaining juice over salsa keeping 1/2″ headspace.  Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace as necessary.  Wipe jar rims will a warm wash cloth dipped in vinegar and adhere lids and rings.  Hand tighten.

Water bath pints for 20 minutes and half-pints for 15 minutes.  Remember, the timer doesn’t start until water is at a full rolling boil.

 

unnamed5

 

Pitting Cherries

Be sure to head to your local cherry farm and purchase these gorgeous beauties while in season.  Do not shy away from using frozen cherries (or berries) as they were picked, prepped and frozen in the height of their flavor.  Especially if you are creating recipes where juice is a required ingredient.

Fresh cherries are perfect for any recipe!  Just be sure you properly pit them.  I used a Leifheit cherry pitter and was disappointed when almost half of the cherries still had their pits!  I had to hand cut each cherry to ensure not a single pit made it into my recipes.

The surefire way to ensure you remove each pit it to use chopsticks and physically hold each cherry in your hand to do so.  Now it all depends on the amount of time you have available so I leave it to you to decide which method is best.

unnamed6

Have fun creating one, or all, of these delicious cherry-inspired recipes!  Be sure to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram at Canning Diva for more recipes, tips and techniques.

Happy Canning!

xx,
Diane Devereaux, The Canning Diva®
www.canningdiva.com

The post 4 Easy Recipes Canning Cherries appeared first on Canning Diva | Canning Classes, Recipes and Supplies.

 

More Great Articles to Read!

The Importance of Proper Headspace When Home Canning
Three Main Elements to Safe Canning Practices
The Benefits of Pressure Canning
From prep to finish: The making of Canning Full Circle cookbook
BookCon 2017

The post 4 Easy Recipes Canning Cherries appeared first on WWW.AROUNDTHECABIN.COM.

What is Canning Salt and Can You Substitute Other Salts?

Click here to view the original post.
How to make your own canning salt is this weeks feature on Front Porch Friday | PreparednessMama

It goes by many different names, NaCl, Halite (also known as rock salt), sodium chloride, or salt. This crystalline mineral has been used for over 8,000 years in food flavorings, trade, religious rituals, and has caused wars because of its scarcity and benefits. It has been used to preserve meats primarily for many thousands of […]

The post What is Canning Salt and Can You Substitute Other Salts? appeared first on PreparednessMama.

Tomatoes: The Overlooked Survival Food

Click here to view the original post.

stock up on tomatoesOn my list of the Top 10 Foods for Stocking Up, I impulsively added tomatoes as #6.  During the past few days I’ve been keeping an eye on the foods we most often eat, and sure enough, tomatoes are a big part of our diet.  Sunday we dined on tacos and tostadas, both topped with salsa.  The next night we gorged on take-out pizza with a delicious tomato sauce flavored with red wine.  Ketchup is the life blood of my kids’ lunches, and some of my favorite soups are tomato based.  It’s no wonder that I stock up on tomatoes and tomato products.

Reasons to stock up on tomatoes

One reason I’m glad to include tomatoes as a major part of my food storage is that they contain healthy doses of Vitamins A and C and are wonderfully low in calories. Tomatoes are a natural diuretic, being 90% water themselves, and can help flush toxins out of your body.  On top of all that, they’ve been found to contain lycopene, an amazing element that combats cancer.

The peak season for growing your own tomatoes is in the glorious, hot days of summer, but they’re available at the market year round.  If you can get your hands on a large number of fresh tomatoes, here are some options for you, other than letting them rot in your vegetable drawer!

Oven Dried Tomatoes

What a delicous way to preserve your tomatoes, and this couldn’t be simpler.  Wash your tomatoes and slice them about 1/2″ thick.  Toss them with salt, pepper, and olive oil and place them on a baking rack.  Bake at a very low temperature, 225 degrees, for at least 2-3 hours.  You’ll know they’re done when they feel like soft leather and are chewy.  For long-term storage, you can seal them in either canning jars using a jar sealer attachment and a Food Saver or in Food Saver bags. Since the dried tomatoes will still have a degree of moisture, I don’t recommend storing them for much longer than 3-6 months.

Dehydrated Tomatoes

Again, wash and slice tomatoes, but this time, layer them on dehydrator trays.  If you’re new to food dehydration, read this.  Tomatoes will need a good 6-12 hours of dehydrating time, and when they’re finished, they’ll be crispy. Far more moisture is removed using this method than oven drying, so these crackly tomato slices will have a much longer shelf life. Use the canning jar/jar sealer method with a Food Saver. That is my preferred method for storing dehydrated tomato slices.

Homemade Tomato Powder

The first time I heard of tomato powder, I thought, “Huh?”  It turns out that this is a great ingredient for adding tomato flavor and nutrients to soups, chiles, stews, salad dressings, and more, and it can be quickly rehydrated as tomato sauce. Add more powder for a thicker sauce.

Stored in the fridge, tomato powder will last indefinitely.  To make your own, seed your tomato slices before dehydration or not. I leave the skins on and the seeds in. Place the slices on dehydrator trays, making sure they don’t overlap and dry until very, very crispy. This will take several hours.

Once you have crispy tomato slices, break them into small pieces and turn them into powder using your food processer or blender.  I use my Magic Bullet and get great results.

The Paranoid Dad’s Not-So-Secret Salsa Recipe

We love this fresh flavored salsa.  You can add cilantro, if you like.  I love cilantro, but Parnoid Dad says it tastes like dirt.  Go figure.

In a saucepan over low heat, combine these ingredients until thoroughly heated:

3 T. oil

3 T. vinegar

3 t. salt

3 t. sugar or preferred sweetener, to taste

3 cloves garlic, pressed

Pour warmed liquid into a bowl and add 1 large can tomatoes (chopped or pureed), 1 chopped white onion, and chopped jalapenos to taste.  I also add a handful of chopped cilantro. Add a nice big bag of tortilla chips, and dinner is served!

Make-it-Yourself Ketchup

Yes, you can make delicious, homemade ketchup, seasoned just the way you like it!  I’ve found that some store brands are too sugary, and the sugar free brand is quite pricey. This is the recipe I included in my mini-book, Switch From Store-Bought to Homemade, available as a free download!

Lisa’s Homemade Ketchup

6 oz. tomato paste

1/4 c. honey*, or to taste (I also sometimes use sweeteners when I want to cut down on carbs and calories.)

1/2 c. white vinegar

1/4 c. water

3/4 t. salt

1/4 t. onion powder

1/4 t. garlic powder

Whisk all these ingredients together in a medium size saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook for 30 minutes and allow to cool before pouring it into a container. We use squeeze bottles but you could also recycle old ketchup bottles for this use.

Home canned tomatoes

Tomatoes are one of the easiest foods to can, even for beginners. Other than learning how to make jelly and jam when I was a kid, canning tomatoes were the first food I ever officially canned. Since you use the simple water-bath method, there’s no need to calculate pressure or timing based on your elevation.

Here are simple instructions for canning your own tomatoes.

With all these options, it’s very, very easy to stock up on tomatoes in your food storage pantry. They’re versatile, delicious, and I’ll bet you and your family can’t go much longer than a week or two without eating something made from tomatoes!

stock up on tomatoes

Are you new to food storage? Check out these tutorials as well as my full-length family survival manual, Survival Mom!

For even more, here’s a page full of more links and videos!

Even more food storage resources!

This article updated on August 2, 2015.

Save

9 Tips to Avoid the Summertime Prepping Slump

Click here to view the original post.

It’s so easy for the hot, lazy days of summer to just sort of run into each other in a haze of heat and laziness. Then the day arrives when it’s time once again to get the kids ready for school, and we ask, where did the summer go?

If your prepping goals have taken a break right along with your pledge to have the kids do daily math drills and read for at least 30 minutes every day, then here are a few prepping activities and tips to avoid the summertime prepping slump.

1.  Get the kids involved in prepping activities

If they’re sitting around the house doing nothing, then they can help you prep! Children can fill canning jars, mylar bags, and buckets with dry goods and oxygen absorbers. They can help weed the garden and pick ripe fruits and vegetables. They can wash and prepare produce for canning and dehydration. Kids can go through their closets and drawers and pull out toys they no longer play with and clothing that no longer fits.

Hey, every time they say they’re bored, give them a prepping related task, like the ones on this list! They’ll have something productive to do and you’ll accomplish your prepping goals more quickly.

2.  Learn something as a family

Check out online calendars for craft stores, REI, Cabela’s, gyms, and your city’s summertime offerings. Many of these are survival and/or prepping related, such as learning how to read a compass, learning how to crochet or sew, etc. and very often these classes are free.

If these resources aren’t readily available to you, then check out a how-to book or watch some how-to YouTube videos on something your family would like to learn and do it yourselves!

TIP: Browse through my Skill of the Month page for dozens of ideas that will appeal to all members of your family!

Or, ask around and see if there is someone in your circle of friends and acquaintances who has a skill you would like to learn and is a willing teacher.

3.  Turn a family outing or vacation into survival training!

Camping, hiking, fishing — those are all survival related, fun, and everyone can be involved. Check out these articles with more information about enjoying the great outdoors, as a prepper:

7 Summer Children’s Activities for Sowing Survivalist Seeds

25 Things I Learned From Long-Term Camping

A Camping Skill Basic: Safe Fire Building

Camping is More than Just Equipment — Here is a list of skills you need to have

Make This Summer a Family Camping Summer

Survival Mom Camping-Survival Secrets

And then there’s my series on family road trips. As a veteran of some 16,000 highway miles, I consider myself to be somewhat of an expert in this area!

Eating On the Road: A Family Road Trip Survival Plan

Survive the Family Road Trip With These 13 Tips

Surviving the Family Road Trip

4.  Check into summer day camps related to prepping

Two summers ago my kids learned rifle skills in a 2-day camp at a local gun range. Lots of towns and cities start the summer with directories of these day camps.  If your kids are in a day camp or have gone away to camp, learning some sort of practical skill, then you’ll have time to either take a nap, read a relaxing book (just for fun!), or do anything else you like! Free time for mom is necessary!

5.  Amass produce in quantities and begin canning and dehydrating

Summer is prime produce time. Even if your garden was a flop or you didn’t get certain items planted, there are probably local gardeners and farmers who would love to share their bounty. Some might even be willing to trade a portion of their harvest for a portion of yours.

Bountiful Baskets is a large produce co-op that operates in many states. Do an internet search for “produce co-ops” in your area and you may end up finding a source of delicious, fresh product that you can then preserve for later.

Here are a few resources I’ve accumulated here to help you with canning different foods;

Once you have a good amount of green beans or tomatoes or whatever, make a simple plan for canning, dehydrating, and/or pickling. If your kids are whining about being bored, then you know who your helpers will be!

6.  Get away from the electronics!

Nothing zaps energy faster than sitting in front of a TV or computer screen hour after hour. Not only is time wasted but our minds and bodies become accustomed to inaction and it becomes even hard to get up and start doing something!

Allow yourself and the kids only a certain number of minutes per day in front of a screen.

7.  Take a few minutes to make lists to organize your prepping activities

A lot of time we find ourselves in a slump because we’re unfocused and are not sure what to do next. I’ve found that when I have all my scattered goals written down, it helps immensely.

Three lists that have helped me stay organized and focused on my preps are To Learn, To Do, and To Buy. From my book, Survival Mom:

List #1: To Learn
On this list you’ll keep track of skills and knowledge you realize will be important. A few examples on my own list are: Learn to tie various knots and know when to use them; work on creating recipes from my food-storage ingredients; and push my knitting skills to a higher level and knit a pair of socks.

Interestingly, many items on this list won’t cost a dime. If your budget is already strained, and buying even a few extra cans of tuna is a stretch, put more time and energy into learning skills, gaining knowledge, and seeking out other Survival Moms as resources.

List #2: To Do
Here’s another list that doesn’t have to empty out your bank account. Have you been meaning to compile all your important documents or inventory a garage filled with tools? Do you need to prepare your garden for the spring season?

There are simply dozens of things we intend to do, but they flicker in and out of our minds and are then . . . gone! As you read this book, start adding tasks to a To Do list and keep track of what you accomplish. It’s very empowering to see progress, although you will likely never have an empty To Do list!

List #3: To Buy
Although Lists 1 and 2 will keep you busy, there’s really no way around List 3. Stocking up on food, extra toiletries, good quality tools, and other supplies requires money. However, the good news is that a master To Buy list will help set priorities, keep you on budget, and even provide a shopping list when hitting the garage sale circuit.

Without a To Buy list, you may very well find yourself (a) spending money on things you later discover tucked away in a back cupboard or (b) snatching up purchases in a panic. This list helps save money as well as time.

8.  Assess whether or not the emotions that started your prepper journey have changed

If we begin a project or set a goal based mostly on emotion, when that emotion fades, and it will, very often our motivation fades as well. If you began preparing out of fear or panic, it’s likely that you’re not as motivated as you once were.

That’s all perfectly normal. However, if the logical part of your brain is convinced that prepping is important to the well-being of your family. You’ve just entered a new level of motivation based on rational conclusions. This is where lists come in handy: To Do, To Learn, To Buy. They’ll help you stay focused on what is most important regardless of the current state of your emotions.

9.  Start making plans and goals for when the kids are back in school

Summers are wonderful but let’s face it. When the kids return to school, so do routines. Having a predictable schedule once again will help you set priorities, focus on achieving small prepping goals, continue with prepping activities, and become the Super Survival Mom of your dreams!

Save

Food Storage and Freeze drying!

Click here to view the original post.

Food Storage and Freeze drying! Ray Becker “The Ray Becker Show” Audio player provided! On this show, I have a guest with me: Stephanie from Harvest Right. We are going to cover Freeze Drying food for long term storage. Along with freeze drying, I will address other methods of storing your food. Long term storage … Continue reading Food Storage and Freeze drying!

The post Food Storage and Freeze drying! appeared first on Prepper Broadcasting |Network.

Thrift Tips for Stretching a Buck in a Tough Economy

Click here to view the original post.
How to Survive a Layoff

Don’t panic. With a little “belt tightening” and a realistic plan, you will make it through this…

Being laid off, under employed or just watching your paycheck buy less and less at the store has become a reality in most homes. As businesses are downsizing, more and more work gets sent overseas and energy prices continue to sore, what can you do when you realize your income is not able to comfortably sustain your family?

Here are several practical tips…

Don’t Panic
First, in any survival situation, and trust me, being laid, under employed or broke half way through the month off can be a very real survival situation… Rule #1 is “Don’t panic.” So: step back, take a breath, sleep on it, pray and trust that you are going to make it through this.Store Up Some Food

Plan Ahead and Network
This is where having gone to the ant and observed their lifestyle comes in handy (Proverbs 30:25 & 6:6 – The Good Book).  It is a really wise rule of thumb to be prepared for what you think may never happen.

In our home, we have a decent stock of food that we lay by for the possibility of joblessness – which we actually have lived through multiple times.

Little Blessings From Others…
One winter, at the beginning of our years of wedded bliss, before we had  chance to think through anything wise, we wound up jobless with two little ‘uns.  That winter stands out in my mind as precious because we were fed almost entirely by a friend who was a delivery person for a food supply company…

People would reject a bag of flour that had a tear in it or cans that were dented.  He had a ministry of feeding many needy people like us with surprise deliveries of this food which would otherwise have been thrown away.

So, in our need, God supplied. Over the years, we’ve done a lot of networking and bartering.  Someone else might raise what you need and perhaps you have a skill you can trade for something. Or vice-versa.  Bartering is a great American tradition and it knits people together in a way passively forking over greenbacks can not.

Seek Out Local Resources and Encouragement
We have a wonderful Mennonite community and country store near us through whom we can order bulk foods.  They never look to profit on this, only to serve and it has been such a huge blessing in being able to order large quantities of food to stretch our budget and lay things aside at the same time.  Another place we are extremely fond of is a local surplus food store.

Bulk food is still affordable when you have a good source...

Bulk food is still affordable when you have a good source…

They resell those dented cans and just-expired foods at amazing prices so that we come home with a lot of food for not much output.  I’ve been to a store like ours in another locale and it was a rip-off.  So make sure you’re actually getting a deal.

Roadside Stands Can Be a Fun Surprise

Roadside stands are a great value

Roadside stands are fun and are often a great way to stretch a buck…

Folks who run roadside stand often go to produce markets and then bring their haul to reasonably resell. Roadside stands usually offer a great value when compared to grocery stores…

But better yet, find the wholesale produce market!  But be ready to process all the food you’ll buy there!  It’s an auction-like atmosphere, a lot of fun and a way to get semi-locally grown produce in bulk quantities.  Make sure you have your stamina that day because you may have to wait until the end for what you really want to get.

So search your area for resources like these.  Ask around…people who are thrifty are everywhere, you just have to find them!

I learned about the produce market from one of these folks!

Find Encouraging People in Tough Times
Look around  for people to whom the almighty dollar is in its proper place – at the bottom of their priorities.  These are the people who will keep your spirits from plummeting during hard times because they understand what is really important (people) and will reach out to help others.  This is where churches are supposed to shine, but unfortunately, impersonal, demeaning, mismanaged government programs have  usurped this privilege… and honestly, at times the church has fallen short, some being more occupied with things like “building programs” than building people.

But there are still some great, others-minded churches out there, and some wonderful loving folks who go to them. If you need help, seek them out.

Do It Yourself – Canning, Dehydrating & Freezing
Having a garden and canning, dehydrating and freezing what you grow is also an invaluable way to stretch a food budget.  It also allows you to have things laid up for that rainy day or week or month or year.

Canning
Our traditional way of “putting up” food for the future is a laborious but rewarding venture. However, as I learn more about nutrition (other posts to come), I am realizing that canning will give me food on my shelves, but its nutritional content is minimal, having been processed with heat for long periods.

Canning is a great way to preserve food

Canning is the traditional way to preserve food… but dehydrating is easier.

Dehydrating
Dehydrated foods keep indefinitely if dried properly.  Dehydration uses a very low heat and air circulation to lock in nutrients and enable you to have what is called, “living foods” kept on your shelf.

So dehydrating is MUCH better than canning from a nutritional perspective.

Because you’re not dependent on electricity to preserve your “goodies” after they’re dehydrated, it is better than freezing.

  • Get my article on dehydrating – Coming SOON!
  • Here’s the food dehydrator that I use – Click Here

Freezing
Freezing is also a better way than canning to preserve nutrients, but with freezing, you have a dependency on electric – which can go bye-bye at any time.

Make Your Own Laundry Soap!!!
Did you know that with a few basic very inexpensive ingredients you can make your own laundry soap?  I’ve been making my own for a few years now and it works great!

The Clothing Budget – What?
Well, we’ve been married about a quarter century and we’ve never had the prescribed clothing budget that you see in all the ‘how-to-make-a-budget’ books.  In fact, we’ve never had most of their categories!

Save money on cloths - go to a thrist shop

Going to Thrift Shops can eliminate the need for a clothing budget…

I can count on one hand the times I’ve purchased new clothing (excepting underwear, of course!).

I simply cannot bring myself to drop the amount of hard-earned money called for to buy things new.  Seems like bad stewardship to me for the purpose of vanity.

So, yeah – we shop at the exclusive places like Goodwill and Salvation Army.  I actually find it fun!  You can often find something that appeals to your fancy in a way you’d never imagined and it’s like a scavenger hunt/ surprise party every time you go!

Remember: Always try things on – even at a thrift shop, why waste money on things that don’t fit right?

Sometimes I look longingly at people who have wonderful store-bought clothes in just the right style I wish I could wear, but I really do pretty good at the thrift shops.  And if you’re clever with a needle, you can jazz up a simple second-hand tee shirt quite amazingly!

“My Secret” Resource For Everything!
I cannot write an article such as this without celebrating the age-old yard sale!

My “secret” resource for almost everything…

Oh my, if you look through my house, almost everything in it has come from a yard sale or was a gift.

You simply cannot tell that we have only two pieces of store-bought furniture. I have had many compliments on our eclectic décor and we have never been without what we need- in large part, due to yard sales.

Homeschool your children?  Yard sales offered us a plethora of low cost resources and teaching aids.

We always had a craft table full of fun things to make and do – compliments of other people cleaning out their craft supplies.

I still rely on my $50 23-cubic-foot Montgomery Ward deep freeze I got years and year ago when it was already old.

Outfits can be put together for a couple dollars. And one year I got a whole new wardrobe of brand new shoes that some lady who had a shoe fetish was getting rid of!

All of my canning supplies – yard sales.  Yard tools – yard sales.

Christmas, birthday, baby and bridal shower gifts – yard sales (think ahead!). I’m pretty sure people looked forward to seeing what would be in my shower bags because I always found such unique and wonderful things!

You don’t have to be a skinflint and can, in fact, be very generous, when you learn the art of yard saling.

One Last Tip – Take 21 Days…
Every time you go to spend any amount of money, no matter how small, ask yourself: “Do I really need this?”  If it is a need, ask: “Is there any other way I can meet this need without spending money?”

Resist impulse buys - wait 21 days

Resist impulse buys – wait 21 days

If it is a large purchase – a great rule of thumb is to wait 21 days to a month.  Sit on it.  Train yourself against impulse buying this way.

At the end of the time period, you will likely have moved on and your marriage may even benefit from this frugal, selfless practice!

Okay… Just One More tip: Leverage the Internet for Bargains…

And NEVER, EVER… purchase anything on the Internet without first doing a Google search for the name of the company you are going to buy from, followed by the words, “coupon code.” You’ll be amazed at how much you can save scrounging for a few minutes trying coupon codes.

Oh, and check Amazon before you buy online. We purchase most of our non-food necessities through Amazon because we get free shipping and find that we usually save 10% or more verse other online shops or local retail stores and we save gas and time shopping. Plus our credit card info is in one place and not spread about.

The internet is loaded with resources on how to do all sorts of things like make your own electricity,  find ways to fuel your car cheaper, heat your home for less, decorate on a budget, use simple ingredients like a gourmet, etc.,etc.  (I think my husband has some links to this kind of stuff around this site, too.)  And these are just a few of a plethora of ways to stretch what you have.

Just make sure you get all your info together in hard copies because well, who knows how long the internet will last?

Until next time…

~ Carin

It’s June! Mid to Late Summer Vegetable Gardening

Click here to view the original post.

summer vegetable gardening

Even the most avid gardeners have a bad year! Any number of things can keep you out of the garden in April and May, weather problems, work commitments, family problems . . . we’ve all been there. But don’t give up on your summer vegetable garden just yet. There are still plenty of yummy veggies you can get planted now (in mid to late June) and get a nice harvest before the summer ends.

Let’s talk about what you can still get planted now and also talk about a few things that you can wait on and plant in about 5 or 6 weeks (Around August 1st for most of us).

Summer/Warm Season Veggies in Your Summer Vegetable Garden

Tomatoes

No summer garden is complete without a few tomato plants and you can still get some in. Tomatoes are an important part of a food storage pantry. Hurry on this one! Most nurseries will still have a few tomato plants hanging around but they wont last much longer. (Don’t try to plant tomatoes by seed this time of year.)

IMG_9950This late in the year you want to be thinking about smaller, quicker maturing varieties. Try some type of cherry tomato (varieties to look for include Sun Sugar, and Sweet 100). They are relatively fast growers and should still give you a good harvest in September and early October.

You can also try some of the tomatoes that produce small to medium sized fruit. Think varieties like Early Girl, possibly Celebrity, or many of the Roma tomatoes. Try to find tomatoes that grow on determinate vines (vs indeterminate) as these will spent less time growing vines and more time growing fruit.

The 6 weeks you have lost in growing time means you won’t have a huge harvest this year, but if you get them in soon you should still have plenty for fresh eating and, hopefully, canning!

Summer Squashes

Zucchini and yellow crook neck squash are actually quite fast growing. Look for varieties that have a maturity date of around 60 to 70 days and you should still have lots of time to grow more zucchini than you can eat! You could also look for a patty pan squash with a short maturity date.

Green beans

Most bush type green beans have a maturity date of around 60 to 70 days, so there is plenty of summer left for beans. In fact, I don’t make my last planting of green beans until mid July and still have a great harvest, incuding plenty to can following these easy instructions.

Melons

If you would still like to plant a melon, you have a little bit of time left, but choose the small “ice box” types as those take much less time to mature. You can also get cantaloupe planted now. Again, don’t expect a huge harvest this year, but you will still have a few melons that will be ready before the frost comes.

Potatoes

If you can find the seed still around at your local nurseries, there is time to grow a nice crop of potatoes. In fact, you could continue to plant potatoes until mid July in most areas of the country and still get a nice harvest of small roasting potatoes. This time of the year I would stay away from the big “baking” potatoes, like russets. You are running short of time to get them to maturity.

Cucumbers

Cucumbers are a good late season planter. Again, you may not get the huge yields you are used to, but by planting seeds now, you can still have a fairly respectable crop.

Onions

If you can still find a package of onion sets at your local nursery, they will do okay this time of year. You won’t get a lot of large onions but you will have plenty of smaller onions and green onions. Don’t try growing onions from seed or starts this late in the year.

Herbs

Many herbs will still do well if planted this time of year. It would be best to plant starts instead of trying to plant seeds.

Cool Weather Veggies

You can still have an awesome harvest of cool weather veggies by planning now to get them planted in late summer and early fall. Nearly anything you would normally plant in the spring time, you can also plant in the fall. A good, solid summer vegetable garden can extend into the cooler months, if you jump on it now!

Fall LettuceCole crops

These plants are broccoli, cabbage, kale, and kohlrabi. If you grow your own seedlings, mid June is a good time to start a fall crop of all these yummy cool season veggies. If you plant any of the cole crops indoors now, they will be ready for planting out in the garden in about 6 to 8 weeks.

That means you will be planting them around mid-August, and they will mature in October when the weather has cooled back to those temperatures that cole crops love so much! You may find many of these veggies are even tastier in the fall because a night or two of frost helps to sweeten the flavor. If you end up with a lot of extras, try dehydrating them for quick meals, as in these instructions for dehydrating cabbage.

Lettuce

You can start replanting lettuce about 6 to 8 weeks before your first frost (for us that’s August 1 – 15). Fall planted lettuce can last unprotected in your garden until early December, depending on where you live.

Spinach

Most people see spinach as a spring only crop, but it does very well in thCover Photoe fall! Again look at planting about 6 weeks before your first frost and you will be able to start harvesting in late October. Then cover those plants with a cold frame or hoop house and they will grow over the winter for an extra early spring crop.

Root crops

Carrots, turnips, beets and radishes all do well in the fall and you can start replanting them around 6 weeks before your last frost.

So as you can see, all is not lost for your summer garden! Get out there this weekend to put some seeds and plants in your garden so you can still have an awesome harvest this year!

Guest Post by Rick Stone of www.ourstoneyacres.com.

 

Save

Save

Home Canning Tips And Lessons Learned

Click here to view the original post.

Looking for home canning tips? I thought one of the best ways to discover some of the lessons learned would be to hear it straight from others who have some experience with home canning and their own trial-and-error discoveries. Recently someone on the blog wrote the following comment, “Literally, everything we’ve ever canned is in […]

The $100 Simple Outdoor Canning Kitchen

Click here to view the original post.
The $100 Simple Outdoor Canning Kitchen

Image source: Pinterest

Canning is a fun and rewarding summertime activity that helps preserve your garden’s bounty, saves money and increases your self-reliance.

But it also involves work at a hot stove during the hottest part of the year, when fruit and produce are at their peak. Back in the day, when cooking was done on wood cook stoves, many households had a second detached “summer kitchen,” where summer meals were prepared without adding extra heat into the house.

Outdoor summer kitchens are mostly a thing of the past, but serious home preservers and canners can set up an outdoor “canning kitchen” to make their jams, jellies and preserves.

Basic Setup

While you can use an old-fashioned wood cook stove to equip your canning kitchen, most people opt for the convenience of large portable propane burners. A simple high output propane burner (55,000 BTU or more) is available for under $40, and can connect to a standard exchangeable propane tank.  These large burners can bring a five-gallon pot of water to a rolling boil in just a few minutes, which beats waiting as much as an hour for your indoor kitchen stove to do the same job.

‘Miracle Oil Maker’ Lets You Make Fresh Nut Oils Within Minutes!

A second, small scale camp stove to cook up your preserves is a necessary expense, as a high output burner would quickly burn preserves and wreak havoc on your small saucepans. These are similarly inexpensive and sell for as little as $20.

The $100 Simple Outdoor Canning Kitchen

Image source: Pixabay.com

Assuming you already have canning jars and pots, the only other thing you’ll need is a propane tank for about $40. All total, for about $100 you have the basics of an outdoor canning kitchen that can be set up temporarily outdoors on a small table or even the ground in a pinch. With even a few batches of jam or pickles in a summer, you’ll be thankful for the investment, both for the cooler house and the reduction in humidity and mold potential, as all that water bath steam is released into your kitchen.

Canning on Wood Heat

If you’d like to further reduce your ongoing costs, or simply avoid the use of fossil fuels, it’s easy enough to can outdoors on wood heat, or with a hybrid method. For the least expensive option, try creating a small wood stove by making a U-shaped fire pit out of cinder blocks and topping it with a BBQ grate. With this setup, you’ll need to be careful not to damage your canning pot with the open flame. For a less primitive option, try a wood cook stove, which you can get, second-hand, for as little as a few hundred dollars.

If you’re truly looking for the best long-term outdoor canning kitchen solution, try a dual-fuel wood and gas stove. With a dual-fuel stove, you’ll be able to use wood as your primary heat source to bring canning water to a boil, but still use a more gentle heat from a small gas burner to gently cook down jams and jellies before they go into the water bath.

Temporary or Permanent Canning Kitchen

It’s easy enough to set up a temporary canning kitchen for the afternoon by simply hauling your propane burners out to a safe spot, but if you’re canning more frequently, it might make sense to set up a semi-permanent or permanent canning kitchen.

A semi-permanent option with a tarp or tent canopy roof means that you can leave your materials outdoors and can several times a week without exhaustive setup time. A simple sink built into a 2×4 framed countertop can be plumbed in with a garden hose. With this option, you’re still at the mercy of the weather to some degree, as tarps don’t fare particularly well in high winds and storms — and flies, honeybees or mosquitoes are sure to be a problem.

If you can afford it, the best option is a permanent screened-in outdoor structure that has a solid roof and fully screened walls to protect you from the elements and unwanted pests. Keep in mind: If you set everything up correctly, you could do just about all of your summer cooking in your outdoor canning kitchen to help keep your house cooler.

For a truly year-round option, try integrating your canning kitchen into a sugar shack. A sugar shack is already set up to vent heat and steam, and most are designed with a bit of counter space for making value-added maple products like maple cream and candy. If you’re considering building a sugar shack or summer canning kitchen, why not design them together into one structure to save both space and money?

Do you have an outdoor kitchen? Share your ideas for one in the section below:

How to Can Beef Stew

Click here to view the original post.

How to Can Beef Stew I love these canned chickens and canned beef stews. For me they close the loop on sustainability. Its one thing to be able to grow or rear it, its another to be able to process it, its another skill set entirely to be able to prepare it. Then, to be …

Continue reading »

The post How to Can Beef Stew appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

Save Money with Increased Self-Sufficiency

Click here to view the original post.

Becoming more self-sufficient can help you save money in so many different ways. Perhaps the original driving force behind becoming more self-reliant wasn’t money, but once you start developing skills and independence, it just might become a pleasant side effect.

Of course there are so many different ways to increase your self-sufficiency, and most of these aren’t going to happen overnight. But let’s take at five things that your great-grandparents probably did, and that you can do, too, in order to save money.

Grow it, keep it, use it and don't forget about the sun. Five tips for increasing self-sufficiency while saving money. Try the free solar calculator to find out what you need.

This post contains affiliate links.

Grow It Yourself

This is DIY, except with food! You can grow your own fruits, vegetables, spices, and herbs. There are a variety of different ways that you can grow your own food, including planting your own vegetable garden, growing non-hybrid vegetables and harvesting your own seeds, and using square foot gardening techniques in order to grow a lot of food in very small spaces. You don’t need a hundred acres and a team of horses to grow your family’s food.

Want to get even more self-reliant and frugal? Homemade compost and composted manure are fabulously frugal, even if you need to get them from someone else. Just be sure to source your compost and manure locally.

Potatoes and winter squash, in my experience, grow with almost no attention, and a 10 pound bag of seed potatoes can easily become a hundred pounds or more of storage potatoes in your root cellar! The frugal way is to plant the potatoes that sprout over the winter.

Did you know that you can get varieties of many fruit trees that can grow in a large planter pot? What’s more frugal and self-reliant than an apple tree? Well, an orchard, to be honest. The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago. The second best time is always ‘today’.

Frugal gardeners don’t like being bound to short growing seasons. Build a greenhouse, or pick up a kit that lets you put one together quickly.

Go Au Naturel

No, no, no – leave your clothes on. That’s not what I meant.

There are SO many ways that you can use renewable, natural resources in order to be more self-sufficient AND save a boatload of money.

Do you heat with wood? (If you can, you should.) Instead of buying split wood, buy it in chunks or even logs and split it yourself. As a comparison, we can buy 8′ lengths of hardwood logs for about $100 per cord. Split wood that is ready to age, though, is well over $300 per cord, and aged firewood – I don’t even want to ask anyone.

How about water? I realize that there are some areas where rainwater harvesting is restricted for a variety of reasons. (Just as not everyone is about to burn firewood) But if you CAN harvest your own rainwater, do it! Rainwater is great for watering your garden. That’s a common bit of advice. What you might not know, though, is that rainwater is soft water and therefore fabulous for washing your hair and for cooking dried beans! Just make sure you filter the water well if you’re using it for beans.

And then there is … the sun! It’s funny how often we ignore it because the sun is one of the best ways to increase your self-sufficiency in so many different ways. The most obvious, in my opinion, are solar panels.

I despise paying electricity bills. If you find yourself sending hundreds of dollars every month to the power company, and especially if you then deal with power outages throughout the year, you might be wondering if there’s a better way.

There is. Install solar panels and get a solar array set up for your home, and say goodbye to power bills. If it works for us, here in dark and cloudy Nova Scotia, where we average something like two hours of sunlight a day in December … it can work for you.

Try this fun, simple to use solar calculator!

The power of solar goes beyond solar electricity, though. Some people heat their homes entirely with solar heating panels, and solar water heaters do away with the cost of your electric or gas hot water tank. And don’t forget that retro-progessive, solar-power method of clothes drying – hanging them out on the line.

Grow it, keep it, use it and don't forget about the sun. Five tips for increasing self-sufficiency while saving money. Try the free solar calculator to find out what you need.

Be Like Old MacDonald

No matter where you live, you can probably figure out a way to raise some livestock. Even apartment dwellers can raise a few bunnies or rent a field and barn to raise some pigs.  Some of the most common small livestock are chicken and ducks, sheep, goats … and even bees. Chickens and ducks provide eggs, meat and manure. Goats or small cows give milk, pigs essentially turn compost into bacon, and bees make honey.

It goes farther, though. Goats and sheep (provided you have the right breeds) can provide you with materials for spinning, knitting and crochet. If you learn to spin wool into yarn, you can make some of your own blankets and clothing. Snuggle under a warm wool blanket on a cold winter’s night and you might think that you’ve discovered how to spin straw into gold!

Store It

There’s no sense going to the work of growing all of that food unless you know how to store it. If it’s possible, consider building a root cellar. Learning to can foods means that you can preserve a lot of what you grow or cook and enjoy it all year.

Use and Reuse

You’ve probably heard that slogan from World War II – Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without. When you use and reuse whatever you can as much as possible, you reduce waste and find new and creative ways to do things. Not only does this increase your self-sufficiency, but it will save you a lot of money.

There are many ways that you can become more self-sufficient. Be conscious of alternative techniques to improve your health and well being, your impact on the environment, and your wallet, and you may find other ways to increase your self-reliance as well.

Pressure Canning Asparagus at Home

Click here to view the original post.

Pressure Canning Asparagus at Home Asparagus is one of the those amazing gifts of spring. I put it on par with the English pea and arugula as those first blessings from the garden. If asparagus is cooked too long it can become terrible. In fact, for many years I thought asparagus was what came out …

Continue reading »

The post Pressure Canning Asparagus at Home appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

Dancing Goat Farm – Labor for Lessons

Click here to view the original post.

Dancing Goat Farm Labor for Lessons

Rockingham County, NC. Looking for people who live close to me who would like to learn about sustainable living, organic gardening, building a cob oven and rocket stove, canning, making cheese, goats, chickens, ducks and how to transform a 1/2 acre into a permaculture paradise, while they are waiting to make their move off grid. There is a learning curve to all of these skills. It’s always better to have some of them before you make your jump.

 

I’m not fully off grid yet. I heat with wood and the new 30′ x 32′ greenhouse will be heated with a rocket stove come winter. I’m still lusting after my solar set up. Reclaiming the old farmhouse well is still a work in progress at Dancing Goat Farm. One of the former owners thought filling it in with dirt and booze bottles was a good idea.

 

Oak pallets are much heavier at 62 than they were at 55. Some things I can’t pick up by myself like the chicken house. (It’s tipping over because the bunnies thought underneath it was a good place to dig tunnels.) I need help! If you want to learn, get your hands dirty, plant a row of your own vegetables this year give me a shout. I planted 8 fruit trees this month. 4 more are on their way. The concord grapes are in but not the white and champagne. The avocados, pomegranates, figs and olive trees have to be planted in the greenhouse. In May the lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit, coffee, cinnamon and banana trees have to be moved to the greenhouse. The two clawfoot tubs have to be moved to the greenhouse because after a long day on the farm nothing is sweeter than enjoying a glass of wine while soaking under the stars.

 

 

 

The post Dancing Goat Farm – Labor for Lessons appeared first on Living Off the Grid: Free Yourself.

Announcement: The Prepper’s Canning Guide Is Now Available

Click here to view the original post.

I’m excited to announce that my new book is out. The Prepper’s Canning Guide: Affordably Stockpile a Lifesaving Supply of Nutritious, Delicious, Shelf-Stable Foods is now available on Amazon.

Here’s

Read the rest

The post Announcement: The Prepper’s Canning Guide Is Now Available appeared first on The Organic Prepper.

4 Key Tips To Create A Garden For Canning And Preserving – Grow Your Food This Year!

Click here to view the original post.

More and more people are planting backyard gardens every year for canning and preserving! Beyond the simple joy of getting to play in the dirt and experience the great outdoors – gardening has become more popular than ever as people

The post 4 Key Tips To Create A Garden For Canning And Preserving – Grow Your Food This Year! appeared first on Old World Garden Farms.

Home Canning – Pressure Canning Method

Click here to view the original post.

Home Canning – Pressure Canning Method

This articles first appeared on toriavey.com

According to a document supplied by the USDA to the National Center for Home Food Preservation, “Empty jars used for vegetables, meats, and fruits to be processed in a pressure canner need not be presterilized.” This means that while your jars should be clean, you can skip sterilizing them in boiling water before you fill them with your product. However, if you’re feeling super thorough and want to do the pre-sterilization, I’ve provided a link to my Boiling Water Method, which will walk you through the process step-by-step. Always use new canning lids, which should only be used one time.

Before you start, you will need to purchase or borrow a pressure canning pot. Do not use a regular pressure cooker; pressure canners are built larger with special inserts for canning. I have to admit, I was a little nervous about trying out a pressure canner for the first time. It’s intimidating and can be very dangerous if not done correctly. Putting this tutorial together was somewhat tricky due to differences between pressure canner models and brands. I wanted to guide you clearly through the steps, but it’s difficult because each pressure canner is uniquely constructed. I decided the best way to illustrate the process was to use my own Presto 16 quart Aluminum Pressure Canner and Cooker. Your model may vary in terms of process. While I have tried to keep the instructions general and somewhat broad, it is very important that you refer to your pressure canner’s specific instruction manual due to differences between brands and models. Pressure canning can be dangerous if you don’t follow your manufacturer’s instructions carefully; pressure cookers and canners can explode if not used properly. Please use caution and proceed at your own risk. Even if you’re using the Presto Canner that I use, please read the instruction manual in addition to using my tutorial here. Always better to be safe than sorry.

Okay, enough caution statements. I don’t mean to scare you off of pressure canning; I just want to make it clear that it needs to be done carefully. Once you understand the process, pressure canning isn’t all that different from regular canning. It’s actually a terrific skill to have, particularly when your garden is overflowing and you want to save your veggies for the coming year. I’ve worked hard to put together a comprehensive tutorial here. I hope you find it useful!

Recommended Products:

Pressure Canner

Canning Jars – Quart, Pint

Ball Canning Lids – Regular and Wide Mouth

Canning Books

You will need

  • Pressure canner
  • 3-piece canning jars
  • Wide mouth funnel
  • Jar lifter
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar (optional, recommended)

 

  • Before you start, you will need to purchase or borrow a pressure canning pot. I do not recommend using a regular pressure cooker; pressure canners are built larger with special inserts for canning. Note that this tutorial was written and photographed using a Presto 16 quart Aluminum Pressure Canner and Cooker. While I have tried to keep the instructions somewhat general and broad to suit a variety of canners, it is very important that you refer to your pressure canner’s specific instruction manual due to differences between brands and models. Pressure canning can be dangerous if you don’t follow your manufacturer’s instructions carefully; pressure cookers and canners can explode if not used properly. Electric pressure canning pots will have a different process than the one that appears here. Please use extreme caution.
  • Before you start, make sure your hands and all of the tools you’ll be using are very clean. According to FDA guidelines, while the jars should be clean before starting, they do not need to be boiled to sterilize before pressure canning due to the high temperature levels in the pressure canner. If you would prefer to boil and sterilize the jars prior to pressure canning, please refer to my previous post: Home Canning – Boiling Water Method.
  • Remove the lids and rings from your canning jars. If you are re-using jars, be sure that you aren’t using any with cracks or chips. Keep in mind that canning lids can only be used once, so don’t reuse old ones– buy fresh lids before you begin.
  • Place the canning lids and rings into a small saucepan. Cover with water and bring to a low simmer for a few minutes. This will soften the sealing strips around the edges of the lids.
  • Meanwhile, using a wide mouth funnel, carefully fill the jars with your product. Depending on what you will be canning, you will need to leave 1/2 – 1/4 inch of space at the top of the jar. Most recipes will specify what is necessary, but as a general guideline, most jams or jellies will need 1/4 inch, while pickles and thicker products will need 1/2 inch.

With tongs or a magnetic lid lifter, remove the lids from the simmering water and place on a clean towel.

Place the lids with warm seals directly onto the jars and seal with the circular bands using just your fingertips so that they are secure, but not too tight. Wipe any spills or excess product from the lid and sides of your jars using a damp cloth.

 

  • Before you start canning, be sure your pressure canner has been thoroughly cleaned. Also check that the sealing ring, the black overpressure plug on the cover and the white compression gasket are not cracked or deformed.
  • Prepare your pressure canner pot lid based on your manufacturer’s instructions. Ours has a rubber sealing ring that fits into the edge of the pressure canner lid. This rubber seal usually comes pre-lubricated, but if it feels a bit dry you can apply a light coating of cooking oil around the ring (I usually do this step just to be safe).

Fit the lubricated rubber sealing ring into the edge of the lid.

Check the vent pipe for any food or debris that may be clogging the opening. If something is blocking the opening you can clear the vent pipe with a toothpick or a pipe cleaner.

Attach the dial gauge to the canner based on your manufacturer’s instructions. On our model, we first place the white compression gasket onto the end of the dial gauge.

Then we insert the dial gauge and the compression gasket into the hole at the center of the cover. The compression gasket should sit within the cover hole.

Turn the cover upside down and place the metal washer onto the dial gauge.

Place the nut onto the end of the dial gage and tighten very tightly with your fingers. You can use a wrench if necessary.

Place the canning rack into the bottom of your pressure canner along with 3 quarts of hot water (the amount of water may vary based on the size of your canner– refer to manufacturers instructions for your specific amount). To prevent water stains on your jars, you can add 2 tbsp of white vinegar to the water.

Place your filled jars with secured lids on top of the canning rack. You must always use a canning rack to keep the jars away from the direct heat of the burner, which can lead to breaking or cracking.

 

  • Place the lid on the pressure canner and secure the lid tightly based on your manufacturer’s instructions. On our model, we apply pressure to the handles to compress the sealing ring and turn clockwise until the lid handles are directly above the pot handles. Your model may have a different method for securing the lid.
  • Heat the pressure canner over medium high until a steady flow of steam can be seen or heard coming from the vent pipe. Allow the steam to flow from the vent pipe for 10 minutes. If necessary, reduce the heat to maintain a steady, moderate flow of steam with minimal sputtering. It’s kind of difficult to capture that flow of steam on camera, but it’s there– trust me.

Once the 10 minutes have passed, place the pressure regulator (a cap-like piece) on top of the vent pipe. Adjust stove heat to a relatively high setting to heat the water within.

On our canner, as the heat rises and pressure develops inside, the air vent/cover lock (a small metal knob) will lift and lock the cover on the canner. Your model may have a different “signal” to let you know there is pressure in the canner. Once that cover is locked, DO NOT open the canner until the vent/cover lock lowers again, or until your canner signals that there is no longer any pressure inside the canner (more details below). Likewise, do not remove the pressure regulator cap from the top of the vent pipe.

As the heat rises inside and pressure builds, the pointer of the gauge will move up. Your goal is to build to the amount of pressure specified in your canning recipe (each recipe is different, so refer to your specific canning recipe for the correct poundage). Continue heating until the pressure on the dial gauge reads the desired poundage. You may want to reduce the heat a bit when you are 1-2 pounds away from the desired pressure weight, so that the heat does not rise too high too quickly and surpass the desired poundage by a large amount.

 

  • When the pressure gauge reads the desired poundage, start your timer. Adjust heat to maintain correct pressure on the dial gauge. Going slightly above the recommended poundage is ok, though you should try to keep it as close to level as possible. If at any time the pressure drops below the desired poundage, you must return pressure to the correct setting and start the timer over. The cans need to cook at the recommended poundage for the full recommended time period as stated in your pressure canning recipe, or you risk spoilage.
  • When the timer goes off, turn off the heat and leave the canner to cool. DO NOT open the canner.
  • Allow the pressure to drop on its own; this will take some time. On our model, we know that the pressure has reduced once the air vent/cover lock has dropped. Your model may have a different “signal.” Do not use the dial gauge as an indicator that the pressure has reduced, since the gauge can read zero while there is still an amount of pressure in the pot.

When pressure has completely reduced and the air vent/cover lock has dropped, remove the pressure regulator from the vent pipe and allow the canner to cool for another 10 minutes before attempting to open.

 

  • Remove the cover of your pressure canner. On our model, we turn the lid counter-clockwise until it cannot go any farther and lift towards us so that the steam is released in the opposite direction. If for some reason the cover sticks, do not force it open. Allow the canner to cool for 10 minutes more and try again. Repeat as necessary.
  • With a jar lifter, remove the jars from the canner.

Allow your jars to cool for 24 hours. Remove the round outer bands from your lids and test your seals by lifting the jar by the flat lid a few inches from the counter top. The jar should lift without any separation. Jars with good seals can be kept in a cool dark place for up to a year.

A broken seal doesn’t mean that your product has gone bad, it just has a shorter shelf life. Those jars should be placed directly into the refrigerator and used within two weeks or until the product has spoilage, whichever occurs first.

Saving our forefathers ways starts with people like you and me actually relearning these skills and putting them to use to live better lives through good times and bad. Our answers on these lost skills comes straight from the source, from old forgotten classic books written by past generations, and from first hand witness accounts from the past few hundred years. Aside from a precious few who have gone out of their way to learn basic survival skills, most of us today would be utterly hopeless if we were plopped in the middle of a forest or jungle and suddenly forced to fend for ourselves using only the resources around us. To our ancient ancestors, we’d appear as helpless as babies. In short, our forefathers lived more simply than most people today are willing to live and that is why they survived with no grocery store, no cheap oil, no cars, no electricity, and no running water. Just like our forefathers used to do, The Lost Ways Book teaches you how you can survive in the worst-case scenario with the minimum resources available. It comes as a step-by-step guide accompanied by pictures and teaches you how to use basic ingredients to make super-food for your loved ones. Watch the video below:

 

Source : toriavey.com

 

 

                           RELATED ARTICLES : 

 

 

The post Home Canning – Pressure Canning Method appeared first on .

A True Homesteader!

Click here to view the original post.

A True Homesteader! Host: Bobby “MHP Gardner There is a lot of interest in being self-sufficient these days. People are looking for information on how to grow and store their own food, provide their own meats, go off-grid with solar setups… get out of the system so to speak. We see a lot of these … Continue reading A True Homesteader!

The post A True Homesteader! appeared first on Prepper Broadcasting |Network.

Food Storage: Oven Canning

Click here to view the original post.

You will never find this Oven Canning technique in a USDA or National Center for Home Preservation website; there are just too many variables to say that the process works 100% every time with every food type. However, if you reread the section on food safety and see that for botulism to grow it needs […]

The post Food Storage: Oven Canning appeared first on Dave’s Homestead.

Be Our Guest: Food Preservation Part I

Click here to view the original post.

 

Canning, off-grid, cooking, food preservation, water bath, pressure canner

With the “know-how,” food preservation isn’t so daunting

Charcutier Sean Cannon is opening his first restaurant, Nape, in London this month. Born and bred in Norfolk, Sean told the Guardian how growing up in a self-sustaining community influenced his cooking. His best kept secret – preserving.

“Whether it’s killing an animal and having lots of fresh meat, or early summer and everything is ripe, knowing what to do with a glut is key.” Cannon said.

If you live off-grid you’ll know that preserving food for future use is essential. Not only does it provide food security, but also allows you to taste sweet summer berries in the winter. By doing this age old tradition, it also stops more modern thoughts and concerns of “what is actually in my food?” If you do the preparing and the preservation, you know exactly what has gone into the food you will be eating.

There are many ways to preserve food including canning, freezing, dehydrating and smoking.

Canning is a valuable and low-tech way to preserve food. There are two main methods for this, either water bath canning or pressure canning. It is worth noting that water bath canning should only be done for acidic fruits, such as berries and apples. If canning other produce such as meats and vegetables, pressure canning should be used; otherwise there is a high risk of food poisoning.

The basic process is to heat water in your canner (or large pan if water bath canning). This should not be filled to the top; 3-5 inches should be left for your jars of food. Jars should have lids secured and be placed carefully into the canner, being careful not to knock other jars, as they could crack or break under the high temperatures. The jars should be immersed in the canner with the water just covering the lids. The canner lid should be locked in place if pressure canning and the jars left for as long as needed according to the recipe. After the required time, the canner should be allowed to depressurise if using a pressure canner, before the jars are removed. Heat protection and necessary precautions should be taken to ensure you do not burn yourself. The jars should then be left to cool and seal for a minimum of 12 but ideally 24 hours. The sound of popping and pinging will mark your canning success!

Canning is so popular because of the wide variety of foods that can be preserved this way and the length of time they will remain edible for. Plus there’s no worry of keeping food frozen or cool!

Canning does however come with an initial start-up cost. If you’re only looking to preserve fruits and jams, then water bath canning in a large pan is of course an economical way to go. However, if you’re looking to preserve a wider variety of foods which includes meat and vegetables, then it would be wise to invest in a pressure canner.

The Presto 23 Quart Pressure Canner and Cooker comes in at a reasonable $86.44 on Amazon. This can double as a water bath canner and a pressure cooker. Made out of aluminium, the canner allows for fast and even heating and with a liquid capacity of just under 22 litres, seven quart jars fit comfortably inside. The lid has a strong lock and an over-pressure plug can relieve any build-up of steam. With a 12 year warranty and excellent reviews, this canner will certainly suit the needs of most canners.

Canning, food preservation, jars, canning, water canning, pressure canning, off-grid, storage

Good jars & lids are a must – there’s nothing like hearing the “pop” of sealing success!

The Presto’s rival is the All American Canner. This is a pricier option at $225.37 on Amazon and has many similar features, being made of aluminium and also holding 7 quart (or 19 pint) jars. This is a heavier unit though, coming in at 20lbs to the Presto’s 12lbs. A reviewer having access to both canner makes did however point out another comparison between the two. She noted that the All American Canner has a weighted gauge which needs less “babysitting” than the Presto with its dial gauge, which required her to keep adjusting the heat of her stove. However, she pointed out that when compared side by side, both the Presto and All American took the same amount of time to get to pressure, to can the produce and to bring back down ready to remove the jars.

Once the initial canner investment is made, there are a couple of other bits and pieces which you will need. Jars are a must and are reusable. However, if using second hand jars to try and save on cost, it is important not to have any that are cracked or damaged in any way – this could lead to some nasty accidents later on!

In terms of lids, these can either be replaced for around $3 per pack or you could spend a little extra and invest in some reusable Tattler lids. These are marketed at $8.88 on Amazon for a pack of 12 and are “indefinitely reusable”.

Other kit you might want to buy (and are recommended to prevent nasty burns) are a jar lifter and canning funnel. These can be bought separately or in a set with other equipment such as kitchen tongs, a jar wrench and magnetic lid lifter advertised on Amazon at $8.79.

For more detailed information on canning basics for beginners, check out Starry Hilder’s video on YouTube!

Another popular preservation method, especially for meat and fish is smoking.
Smokin' Hot! Only if you want to eat your meat straight away. If you want to preserve your meat, cold smoking is the way to go!

Smokin’ Hot! But only if you want to eat your meat straight away. If you want to preserve your meat, cold smoking is the way to go!

This involves long exposure to wood smoke at low temperatures, which is different to grilling over an open fire. Smoking preserves meat and fish by drying the produce and the smoke creates an acidic coating on the meat surface, preventing bacterial growth. The addition of a rich mouth-watering smoky flavour only adds to the appeal of this preservation method.

 

There are two types of smoking method. The first is called hot smoking and cooks the meat so it can be eaten straight away. This involves getting the temperature above 150 degrees Fahrenheit. The meat will still need to be cooked over a long time, leaving it very tender.

The second is cold smoking which doesn’t cook the meat for consumption straight away. Instead temperatures between 75 and 100 degree Fahrenheit are used to seal the meat and flavour it. The time meat or fish is left to smoke depends on the cuts and type of produce. Adding salt to the meat can help to speed up the process as it is a natural preservative. After drying the meat should be placed in an air tight container and stored at a cool temperature until consumed.

There is a wide range of smokers from electric or gas to charcoal and wood. This propane smoker from Amazon comes with a built in temperature gauge and retails at $211.40. Alternatively, instead of trying to find a smoker that suits your needs, why not build your own? That’s what this family has done!

 

Part II of “Be Our Guest – Food Preservation” will cover refrigeration and dehydrating.

The post Be Our Guest: Food Preservation Part I appeared first on Living Off the Grid: Free Yourself.

Top 10 Food Storage Myths

Click here to view the original post.

food storage myths

The internet is full of websites that give information on survival topics, including food storage. There are dozens and dozens of books that will teach you “the right way” to store food and YouTube videos galore. Most contain valid, trustworthy information, but mixed in with that are a number of food storage myths that many people accept without question.

Here are 10 that I take issue with, and I explain why.

By the way, following Myth #10 are 2 short videos that review these myths.

Myth #1:  You should stock up on lots of wheat.

When I was researching foods typically eaten during the Great Depression, I noticed that many of them included sandwiches of every variety. So it makes sense to stock up on wheat, which, when ground, becomes flour, the main ingredient to every bread recipe.

There are a couple of problems with the focus on wheat in virtually all food storage plans, however. First, since the time of the Great Depression millions of people now have various health issues when they consume wheat. From causing gluten intolerance to celiac disease our hybridized wheat is a whole ‘nother animal that our great-grandparents never consumed.

The second issue is that wheat isn’t the simplest food to prepare, unless you simply cook the wheat berries in water and eat them as a hot cereal or add them to other dishes. In order to make a loaf of bread, you have to grind the wheat, which requires the purchase of at least one grain mill. Electric mills are much easier to use and, within just seconds, you have freshly ground flour. However, you’ll probably want to add a hand-crank mill to have on hand for power outages. All together, 2 mills will end up costing a pretty penny, depending on the brands you purchase.

Then there’s the process of making the bread itself, which is time consuming.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t store wheat, and, in fact, I have several hundred pounds of it myself. The emphasis on wheat as a major component in food storage is what I have a problem with. In retrospect, I wish I had purchased far more rice and less wheat. Rice is incredibly simple to prepare and is very versatile. It, too, has a very long shelf life.

Myth #2: Beans last forever.

While it’s true that beans have a long shelf life, they have been known to become virtually inedible over time. Old-timers have reported using every cooking method imaginable in order to soften the beans. A pressure cooker is one option but, again, some have told me that doesn’t even work!

Another option is to grind the beans and add the powdered beans to various recipes. They will still contain some nutrients and fiber.

Over the years, I’ve stocked up on cans of beans — beans of all kinds. They retain their nutrients in the canning process and are already cooked, so there’s no need to soak, boil, pressure cook, etc. You can always home can dried beans, and if you have beans that have been around for more than 10 years or so, canning them is a super simple process and insures they won’t become inedible.

Myth #3: If they’re hungry enough, they’ll eat it!

Have you ever fallen in love with a recipe that was easy to make, inexpensive, and your family loved it? You probably thought you’d finally found The Dream Recipe. And then you made it a second time, then a third, then a fourth. About the 8th or 9th time, however, you may have discovered that you had developed a mild form of food fatigue. Suddenly, it didn’t taste all that great and your family wasn’t giving it rave reviews anymore.

When it comes to food storage, don’t assume that someone will eat a certain item they currently hate, just because they’re hungry. If you stock up on dozens of #10 cans of Turkey Tetrazzini, sooner or later the family will revolt, no matter how hungry they are.

Myth #4. All I need is lots and lots of canned food.

There’s nothing wrong with canned food. In fact, that’s how I got started with food storage. However, canned food has its limitations. A can of ravioli is a can of ravioli. You can’t exactly transform it into a completely different dish. As well, canned food may have additives that you don’t care to eat and, in the case of my own kids, tastes change over time. I had to eventually give away the last few cans of ravioli and Spaghetti-O’s because my kids suddenly didn’t like them anymore.

Be sure to rotate whatever canned food you have, since age takes a toll on all foods, but, as I’ve discovered, on certain canned items in particular. My experience with old canned tuna hasn’t been all that positive, and certain high-acid foods, such as canned tomato products, are known to have issues with can corrosion. Double check the seams of canned food and look for any sign of bulging, leaks, or rust.

Lightly rusted cans, meaning you can rub the rust off with a cloth or your fingertip, are safe to continue storing. However, when a can is badly rusted, there’s a very good chance that the rust has corroded the can, allowing bacteria to enter. Those cans should be thrown away.

Worried about the “expiration” date on canned food? Well, those dates are set by the food production company and don’t have any bearing on how the food will taste, its nutrients, or safety after that date. If the food was canned correctly and you’ve been storing it in a dry and cool location, theoretically, the food will be safe to consume for years after that stamped date.

Myth #5: I can store my food anywhere that I have extra space.

Yikes! Not if you want to extend its shelf life beyond just a few months! Know the enemies of food storage and do your best to store food in the best conditions possible.

TIP: Learn more about the enemies of food storage: heat, humidity, light, oxygen, pests, and time.

I emphasize home organization and decluttering on this blog, mainly because it frees up space that is currently occupied by things you don’t need or use. Start decluttering and then storing your food in places that are cool, dark, and dry.

Myth #6: My food will last X-number of years because that’s what the food storage company said.

I have purchased a lot of food from very reputable companies over the years: Augason Farms, Thrive Life, Honeyville, and Emergency Essentials. They all do a great job of processing food for storage and then packaging it in containers that will help prolong its shelf life.

However, once the food gets to your house, only you are in control of how that food is stored. Yes, under proper conditions, food can easily have a shelf life of 20 years or more, but when it’s stored in heat, fluctuating temperatures, and isn’t protected from light, oxygen, and pests, and never rotated, it will deteriorate quickly.

NOTE: When food is old, it doesn’t become poisonous or evaporate in its container. Rather, it loses nutrients, flavor, texture, and color. In a word, it becomes unappetizing.

Myth #7: Just-add-hot-water meals are all I need.

There are many companies who make and sell only add-hot-water meals. In general, I’m not a big fan of these. They contain numerous additives that I don’t care for, in some cases the flavors and textures and truly awful, but the main reason why I don’t personally store a lot of these meals is because they get boring.

Try eating pre-made chicken teriyaki every day for 2 weeks, and you’ll see what I mean. Some people don’t require a lot of variety in their food, but most of us tire quickly when we eat the same things over and over.

These meals have a couple of advantages, though. They are lightweight and come in handy during evacuation time and power outages. If you can boil a couple of cups of water over a rocket stove, propane grill, or some other cooking device, then you’ll have a meal in a few minutes.

TIP: Store a few days worth of just-add-water meals with your emergency kits and be ready to grab them for a quick emergency evacuation. Be sure to also pack a spoon or fork for each person and a metal pot for meals that require cooking over a heat source.

However, for a well-balanced food storage pantry, stock up on individual ingredients and fewer just-add-hot-water meals.

Myth #8: I can stock up on a year’s worth and won’t need to worry about food anymore.

That is probably the fantasy of many a prepper. Buy the food, stash it away, and don’t give it a thought until the S hits the fan. There’s a big problem with that plan, however. When everything does hit the fan and it’s just you and all that food:

  • Will you know how to prepare it?
  • Will you have the proper supplies and tools to prepare the food?
  • Did you store enough extra water to rehydrate all those cans of freeze-dried and dehydrated foods?
  • Do you have recipes you’re familiar with, that your family enjoys, and that use whatever you’ve purchased?
  • What if there’s an ingredient a family member is allergic to?
  • Does everyone even like what you’ve purchased?
  • Have any of the containers been damaged? How do you know if you haven’t inspected them and checked them occasionally for bulges and/or pest damage?

If you’ve purchased a pre-packaged food storage supply, the contents of that package were determined by just a small handful of people who do not know your family, your health issues, or other pertinent details. These packages aren’t a bad thing to have on hand. Just don’t be lulled into a false sense of security.

Myth #9: Freeze dried foods are too expensive.

Yes, there is a bit of sticker shock initially when you begin to shop online at sites like Thrive Life, Augason Farms, and Emergency Essentials. If you’ve been used to paying a few dollars for a block of cheddar cheese and then see a price of $35 for a can of freeze-dried cheddar, it can be alarming.

However, take a look at how many servings are in each container and consider how much it would cost to either grow or purchase that same food item and preserve it in one way or another, on your own.

The 3 companies I mentioned all have monthly specials on their food and other survival supplies — that’s how I ended up with 2 cases of granola from Emergency Essentials!

Myth #10: This expert’s food storage plan will fit my family.

The very best food storage plan is the one that you have customized yourself. By all means, use advice given by a number of experts. Take a look at online food calculators, but when it’s time to make purchases, buy what suits your family best. What one person thinks is ideal for food storage may leave your kids retching.

Lots of resources to help you with your food storage pantry

Want this info on video? Here you go!

Food Storage Myths, Part 1: Myths 1-5

Food Storage Myths, Part 2: Myths 6-10

Never miss another Survival Mom article or video!

 food storage myths

From a Complete Newbie to a Confident Canner

Click here to view the original post.

From a Complete Newbie to a Confident Canner Canning or ‘jarring’ your own food is a skill that is making a huge comeback. People are learning how to make jams and jellies and pressure canning their harvests. In doing so, they are creating shelf-stable foods that require no refrigeration and will last years if properly …

Continue reading »

The post From a Complete Newbie to a Confident Canner appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

Principles of Home Canning

Click here to view the original post.

Principles of Home Canning Food preservation and storage is pretty high on the list of priorities for anyone who is prepping or homesteading. We can always buy preserved food for SHTF situations or the winter months, but what happens when that supply runs out? We need to be able to get our own food supply …

Continue reading »

The post Principles of Home Canning appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

Meat Potting: An Almost Forgotten Skill Worth Rediscovering

Click here to view the original post.

Meat Potting: An Almost Forgotten Skill Worth Rediscovering When I sat down to write this, I remembered my grandmother. She potted meat like this in 10 gallon crocks. The cooler you could keep the crock, the longer the meat will last. (Basement, cellar, etc), but don’t let it hard freeze or the crock will crack. …

Continue reading »

The post Meat Potting: An Almost Forgotten Skill Worth Rediscovering appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

10 Canning Tips for the Newbie Canner

Click here to view the original post.

10 Canning Tips for the Newbie Canner My wife and I can all the time and love it. It gets us together as a family unit and after a good batch of canning you can sit back and look at them and say, “well dear, that’s us good for a week or so if SHTF” …

Continue reading »

The post 10 Canning Tips for the Newbie Canner appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

Our 2017 Garden Plan – Growing Incredible Flavor In The Garden

Click here to view the original post.

It’s time for our 2017 garden plan! To an avid gardener, creating a garden plan is like trying to paint a masterpiece. Or perhaps, attempting to write a prize-winning novel. For us, it has always been a great way to look

The post Our 2017 Garden Plan – Growing Incredible Flavor In The Garden appeared first on Old World Garden Farms.

How To Can Water for Emergencies

Click here to view the original post.

How To Can Water for Emergencies Stocking an emergency water supply is something everyone should do-regardless of their situation. Natural disasters can disrupt water supply, contamination can occur with chemical or biological hazard leaks, and cold weather can cause pipes to freeze and burst. Bottled water is definitely easy to come by when conditions are …

Continue reading »

The post How To Can Water for Emergencies appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

Beans: The Super Food that Keeps You Full

Click here to view the original post.

Beans: The Super Food that Keeps You Full Stocking up your food supply is one of the main aspects of prepping and something that a homesteader always keeps in mind.  There are plenty of options for storage foods, like canned food, pouched food, dried foods or fresh produce in root cellars.  A problem a lot …

Continue reading »

The post Beans: The Super Food that Keeps You Full appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

16 Facts You Should Know Before Dehydrating Food

Click here to view the original post.

600x400-header-facts-about-dehydrating

16 Facts You Should Know Before Dehydrating Food

Dehydrating food is one of my favorite ways of preserving; I love it so much I’m teaching a class on dehydrating foods! So if you’ve got a dehydrator in the closet that you bought for just making jerky–get it out! Because let me tell you, it can do so much more than make jerky! There are 25 lessons in the dehydrating eCourse and only one of them is about making jerky. Yes, you read that correctly–25 classes, and I keep trying to make them short and sweet but they all at least 20 minutes long, most are a little more. Not to worry, they are not too long, most are under 30 minutes. I only mention this because there is so much more to dehydrating than jerky.

Maybe you don’t even have a dehydrator yet and are wondering if dehydrating is for you. I hope I can convince you to give it a try because it’s fun, easy and so versatile. You can build a complete food storage easily, quickly and safely.

Dehydrating is a very old method of food preservation. If you remove 90 to 95% of the water content from food then bacteria that aids in the decomposition process can’t survive. Your food is preserved in a sort of suspended state waiting for you to add the water back in order to nourish your body. Here are some important facts you should know about this great food preserving method.

Facts About Dehydrating Food

Easy To Do
Dehydrating is fun and easy. Most foods can be dehydrated and there aren’t a ton of rules you have to remember like other food preservation methods. There are techniques that help your food be at its best through the dehydrating process but it’s really hard to “mess up” when dehydrating.

Risk Factor Is Low
There is a risk factor with all preserved foods. After all, they are not fresh, so something had to make them safe to eat at a later time. The risk of your food not being safe to eat after you have preserved it is very low with dehydrating. There is also a low risk of your food not tasting good after you’ve dehydrated it, provided you’ve used the correct pre-treatment.

Nutrition
Dehydrating preserves more of a food’s natural enzymes than other forms of food preservation. Dehydrated food can be as nutritious as fresh food provided the food is dehydrated at low temperatures. This is especially handy for preserving herbs for natural remedies, since all of the herb’s healing properties can be preserved.

Light and Portable
Dehydrated food is light and portable. All the heavy water content has been removed so the food is super light. This makes stuffing it in a backpack, a bug out bag or a 72 hour kit a great choice. You can carry considerably more dehydrated food than fresh or other food preserved by a different method.

Easily Add Food To Your Food Storage
Since dehydrating is such an easy process you can quickly build up a food storage for whatever emergency might come along, or just for a rainy day.

Takes Up A Smaller Amount Of Space
Since dehydrated food is missing the water content, not only is it light and portable, but its size is greatly reduced. So your food storage takes up less space. This is great for people who don’t have a lot of storage space. Also, it can be stacked, unlike home-canned food.

Preserve Your Organic Garden
You worked hard on that organic garden. Dehydrating is a great way to preserve your harvest. You can simply put things in your dehydrator as they become ripe. You can dehydrate in large or small batches.

Unique Recipes
You can create some great-tasting recipes even if you’re not trying to build a food storage. Have you ever had homemade crunchy spiced corn or kale chips? They make great healthy snacks.

Less Running To the Grocery Store
This one is kind of a no-brainer if you have a food storage. But the thing is that sometimes you’d rather run to the store before opening a case, jar or can of something in your food storage. But when you dehydrate you can open almost any container, take a little out, and seal it back up with little or no trouble.

Uses A Minimum Amount Of Energy
Other forms of food preservation use a lot of energy either for the process itself (C

) or to maintain the environment (freezing). Dehydrating takes very little energy to process food and none to store it.

Dehydrated Food Is Easy To Cook With
Dehydrated foods are really easy to cook with. Most of the time you can throw them into soups or stews without even reconstituted them. Even if you need to rehydrate them for a recipe it usually only takes a quick soak in a bit of water.

Save A Ton Of Money Making Powders
Not only can you save a ton of money by preserving things from your garden but you can save a ton of money by not having to buy so many items from the spice isle. You can make your own garlic and onion powder. Dry your own basil and rosemary. You can even make some of your own spice powders like ginger and turmeric powder.

Equipment Is A Good Investment
A good dehydrator is not super cheap but it’s probably not the most expensive thing in your kitchen either. The thing is if you buy a good dehydrator (I recommend an Excalibur) then you’re likely to have it for years. They are excellent dehydrators and mine has paid for itself many times over.

Can Be Done In Any Location
You can dehydrate most any place on earth. All you need is either a bit of electricity or the sun. Sun Oven makes a dehydrating kit for their solar oven, and you always have the option of making your own solar dehydrator. So dehydrating is a great off-grid food preserving option.

Children Love It
Kids love bite-sized snacks, and dehydrating different foods can give them a variety of healthy snacks. They are no longer limited to just raisins. You can dehydrate most any food and kids love the sweet (most fruit is sweeter once it’s dehydrated) chewy bites.

Dehydrated Foods Can Be Stored At Room Temperature
Although any food will last longer the cooler, darker and dryer it stays, dehydrated food will last a good long while at room temperature as long as it stays dry. So that means you can store it in a closet or bedroom.

Did I leave any dehydrating facts out? What’s your favorite reason for dehydrating food?

below-are-a-few-favorite-tips-picked-up-from-the-lost-ways

Source : selfreliantschool.com

The post 16 Facts You Should Know Before Dehydrating Food appeared first on .

Basic Survival Skills for Living a Good Life

Click here to view the original post.

Basic Survival Skills for Living a Good Life It may seem like survival skills should come along with common sense, but with modern conveniences, it’s easy to get someone else to do most things for you.  Food preparation, laundry services, and vehicle maintenance can be easily outsourced these, days but what do we do in …

Continue reading »

The post Basic Survival Skills for Living a Good Life appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

Are You Only a Prepper If You Call Yourself One? Preparedness as a Way of Life

Click here to view the original post.

Are You Only a Prepper If You Call Yourself One? Preparedness as a Way of Life Do you know many other preppers in person? Are there people in your life that don’t call themselves preppers but pretty much do the basics of what any prepper would want to do – keep their house well stocked …

Continue reading »

The post Are You Only a Prepper If You Call Yourself One? Preparedness as a Way of Life appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

Vegetable Storage in a Root Cellar

Click here to view the original post.

Vegetable Storage in a Root Cellar As the growing season draws to a close and the winter months approach, it’s time to think about storing food for the winter.  Freezing and canning are a great option and can definitely extend the shelf life of your harvest.  Nothing beats fresh vegetables in the winter months, though. …

Continue reading »

The post Vegetable Storage in a Root Cellar appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

How to Can Your Leftover Turkey

Click here to view the original post.

Every Thanksgiving that we’re cooking our own meal, I get the biggest turkey I can find because we love the leftovers.  Some years, there’s so much left on the turkey that we won’t be able to eat it all before it goes bad in the fridge, so we can it to use it later.  Canned […]

18 Low-Cost Ways to Start Prepping

Click here to view the original post.

18 Low-Cost Ways to Start Prepping Prepping can be expensive and yes you can spend a lot of money on a few preps BUT I found 18 low cost ways to start your prepping journey. When the need to prepare for an uncertain future becomes a pressing reality for the new prepper, it’s easy to get …

Continue reading »

The post 18 Low-Cost Ways to Start Prepping appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

Harvest Time the right time to Preserve!

Click here to view the original post.

Harvest Time the right time to Preserve! Bob Hawkins “The APN Report” Listen in player below! Now that we’ve reached the Fall season, we’ve reached the time to harvest & preserve foods for the coming winter… or at least that’s what people have done from the dawn of time. Today, normal folk now count on … Continue reading Harvest Time the right time to Preserve!

The post Harvest Time the right time to Preserve! appeared first on Prepper Broadcasting |Network.

11 Ways Anyone Can Be Self-Sufficient

Click here to view the original post.

11 Ways Anyone Can Be Self-Sufficient Self-sufficiency is an attainable goal, and there are some easy steps you can take to get there. Growing your own herbs is one example – not only do they make runs to the store for that one missing ingredient unnecessary, but they just taste better. From there, you can …

Continue reading »

The post 11 Ways Anyone Can Be Self-Sufficient appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

Here’s Why Your Canned Jars Aren’t Sealing

Click here to view the original post.
Here’s Why Your Canned Jars Aren’t Sealing

Image source: Pixabay.com

Speaking from experience, there is nothing more frustrating than finishing a batch of canned goods only to find that some, or even all, of your jars didn’t seal.

While there are a variety of reasons your jars might not be sealing, I’m going to focus on issues with the main components: the jars, the lids and the rings.

The Jars

While this might seem rather obvious, you don’t want to use jars that aren’t made for canning, as they are more likely not to seal. Even though it is cheaper to reuse glass jars from the grocery store, it is ultimately not worth it if you end up with a whole batch of unsealed jars. Canning jars are made to fit the lids, seals and rings just right, so it is better to spend the extra money to make sure your jars seal.

Food Storage Secrets: Discover How To Make Your Food Last Forever!

You also want to make sure that your canning jars are not defective in any way. Specifically, you want to make sure that your jar rims are free of cracks, chips and debris, as that will prevent the lids from sealing properly. Running your finger along the rim of each jar is an easy step to take to ensure that your jar rims are in the best condition to seal. You also should take caution when filling your jars, so that you don’t end up with any food on the rim. If you do, quickly, but thoroughly, wipe away any residue before putting the lid on the jar.

The Lids

Here’s Why Your Canned Jars Aren’t SealingNow that you know how to get the jars ready for sealing, the next component you need to look over is the lid. The lids are especially important in the sealing process, because they have the rubber seal that will make or break your canning process. While canning jars and rings can be used multiple times if they are still in good shape, canning lids and the rubber seal compound were designed to be used only once. Therefore, if a lid looks like it has been used before, it is best to just put it aside for some other use. When in doubt, it is always better to buy new lids, but even those need to be checked for any defective spots that could prevent the rubber seal from doing its job.

The Rings

If you have good jars and lids, the last thing you want is to spoil all of your hard work because of bad rings. While they might not seem as important as the jar or the lid, ill-fitting or rusty lids can prevent your jars from sealing just as quickly as a chipped rim. If the rings are bent, they will not apply equal pressure around the lid. This will prevent the seal from bonding properly because it won’t be able to get a good grip on the rim. Before you use any rings, you can test them by screwing them on the jar before it’s filled and by running your fingers around it to feel for bumps or rust. Another good test is to set it on a flat surface to see if the ring wobbles or if it lies flat.

You also should make sure that the rings are tightly screwed onto your jar, so the lid sits with even pressure on the rim. However, you don’t want them to be too tight or else the air will not be able to escape to create the necessary vacuum that develops as the jars cool.

Before you go through the process of making a delicious jam or other canned good, you want to make sure that you have all of the proper components in good condition. It does not take much to ruin an entire batch if you make just one mistake. Checking the jars for any damage or debris, using new lids, and using proper-fitting rings are very simple steps to take to make sure your lids seal properly so that you can enjoy the spoils of your hard work.

What canning advice would you add? Share it in the section below:

Discover The Secret To Saving Thousands At The Grocery Store. Read More Here.

The Beginner’s Guide To Emergency Food Storage

Click here to view the original post.

Having a large food stockpile is one of the main goals of every prepper. Unfortunately, many newbies think that all they have to do is run to the store and fill a cart with canned foods. This is a costly mistake. You need to take some time to figure out what foods to store and […]

The post The Beginner’s Guide To Emergency Food Storage appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

7 Dangerous Canning Mistakes That Even Smart People Make

Click here to view the original post.

How To Build An Off-Grid Home Without ANY Construction Skills

Autumn is filled with tons of chores for homesteaders: raking leaves, preparing the livestock for winter, and, of course, canning.

Canning is the time-tested method used by our great-grandparents and grandparents to extend the shelf life of food, and – if done properly – can form the core of an emergency stockpile. But if the right steps aren’t followed, the results can be disastrous … even deadly.

On this week’s edition of Off The Grid Radio we examine seven common canning mistakes that nearly everyone makes. Our guest is Kendra Lynne, a homesteader and canning expert whose DVD, “At Home Canning For Beginners and Beyond,” is one of the more popular tutorials for beginning canners.

Kendra, who also leads classes on canning, tells us:

  • Which mistake is the most common – and also perhaps the most dangerous.
  • Which types of foods should never, ever be canned.
  • Which vegetables should be used with a water bath canner, and which ones with a pressure canner.
  • Which mistakes can be easily corrected without buying any new equipment.

Finally, Kendra answers a much-debated question: How long will canned food really last? She also shares her best tips for storing canned foods.

If you’re a homesteader or just someone who enjoys canning, then this is one show you need to hear!

5 Reasons to Learn Food Preservation

Click here to view the original post.

5 Reasons to Learn Food Preservation Do you know how to preserve food, other than using the freezer? Even then, do you know ways to make your food last longer without any freezer burn? What if there’s no power? You need to learn food preservation that goes beyond the freezer! To understand food preservation, you …

Continue reading »

The post 5 Reasons to Learn Food Preservation appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

Crunchy Dill Pickle Recipe

Click here to view the original post.

Crunchy Dill Pickle Recipe There is nothing like nibbling on a crunchy, fresh crisp dill pickle. I am sure we have bought them from the supermarket and noticed that they are way overpriced. The ones from the store also have added ingredients like GMO’s and carcinogens. carcinogens can cause cancer. Well, do not worry. You can now …

Continue reading »

The post Crunchy Dill Pickle Recipe appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

How To Can Rabbit, Chicken & Small Game

Click here to view the original post.

How To Can Rabbit, Chicken & Small Game Modest food independence and sensible food storage are goals that many families strive to achieve. Raising a part of your own food is not complicated and a good amount of food can be produced yourself whether you live on a small town lot or in the suburbs. …

Continue reading »

The post How To Can Rabbit, Chicken & Small Game appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

How To Buy Meat Only Twice a Year

Click here to view the original post.

How To Buy Meat Only Twice a Year No matter what part of the country you live in, food prices are going up. Even on items where the price hasn’t gone up much, the size of the packages has gotten smaller and that means you have to buy more. Across the whole store, all departments, …

Continue reading »

The post How To Buy Meat Only Twice a Year appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

How To Cook Using Food Storage Ingredients

Click here to view the original post.

How To Cook Using Food Storage Ingredients Cooking with just the foods in your food storage (whether that is emergency storage or just your pantry) can be challenging, especially when the more ‘easy to use’ items start to run out. Imagine being in week 3 and all you have in your storage are just the …

Continue reading »

The post How To Cook Using Food Storage Ingredients appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

11 Secrets To Properly Freezing Produce

Click here to view the original post.

11 Secrets To Properly Freezing Produce Are you sick of freezer burned food? Check out these amazing 11 secrets to properly freezing produce and have fantastic frozen food. Never throw away another frozen item again! How many times have you gone to the freezer and discovered that your food was freezer burned? I know I …

Continue reading »

The post 11 Secrets To Properly Freezing Produce appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

Pressure Canning for Preppers

Click here to view the original post.

Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Editor’s Note: This post is another entry in the Prepper Writing Contest from Cannin’ Nancy. If you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly win a $300 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter today.


Pressure canning is, by its nature, done by those who wish to preserve an overabundance of fresh food for consumption at a later date, and as such is an activity routinely engaged in by many preppers. Of course, there are many other reasons people do their own pressure canning: environmental (only a thin metal lid to dispose of as the jar is reusable); nutritional (you know what’s in that jar); financial (saving energy by cooking several meals at once and by having convenience foods on hand).

However, most people preparing for the dark days ahead don’t use their pressure canning to its fullest potential. Often people just don’t realize how important it is going to be to have variety in the diet, especially in a world where fresh and frozen foods will be lacking. Having a wide variety of pressure canned foods, many of which really aren’t available commercially, will be a welcome addition to our diets.

Most people look at pressure canning as a means of preserving garden produce and maybe some meat or a few stews here and there. And for those reasons alone a pressure canner is a worthwhile investment. But there is so much more that can be done. So let’s take it to the next level. The Ball Blue Book of Canning (hereafter the “BBB”) should be found in every prepper’s library and will provide all the guidelines for canning the basics. It should be consulted for all matters related to food preparation and processing times. This article is focused more on preserving some of the foods you really want to have on hand, those that will make meals a little more delicious and boost morale in difficult times.

Vegetables

Most of what is in the BBB regarding vegetables is pretty straightforward and beyond jazzing them up with spices or peppers, there isn’t a whole lot to discuss, with two exceptions. The first is canning shredded zucchini. Most people prefer to simply freeze their shredded zucchini to use later in zucchini breads and cupcakes (a favorite around here) and soups. But we’re preparing for when we won’t have freezers. So every year we can a few jars of shredded zucchini so that we can make our treats. The zucchini simply gets shredded in the food processor, packed in jars, and processed per the BBB.

Ball Blue Book Guide To Preserving

Ball Blue Book Guide To Preserving should be found in every prepper’s library

The other exception is potatoes. Yes, potatoes are routinely canned so as to be able to make soups and mashed potatoes long after the fresh potatoes in the root cellar have run out. But in this case we’re talking about that other main food group in the American diet: the French fry. Even if the pressure canner was not used for anything else, it would be worthwhile (in this family, at least) to acquire one just to be able to have French fries when the grid goes down. These fries are so incredibly divine. Unfortunately, I can’t give you a taste. You’ll just have to trust me.

You’ll want a French fry cutter to make preparation a whole lot faster. Amazon sells them for about $15. (Use the larger blade—1/2”. The smaller blade is just too fine and the fries will kind of disintegrate. ) Buy a bag of large potatoes—not the super huge ones. The potatoes need to be scrubbed well, but as long as they are being used for fries, they don’t need to be peeled (soil can harbor the botulism spores, but deep-frying will kill the botulism, so no need to worry about peeling). Cut the potatoes into fries and follow instructions in the BBB, except instead of boiling potatoes for 10 minutes, only boil for three. Place the fries in wide mouth canning jars. Continue canning per instructions from your BBB.

When you wish to eat some fries (which will be often!), open the jar and put the fries into a strainer. Thoroughly rinse and drain to remove excess starch. Deep fry in peanut oil until they reach a golden brown.

Dry Beans

Dry beans aren’t a particularly exciting item to can, unless you get excited about saving money, time, and energy. Dry beans normally take hours to prepare for each meal. By utilizing a pressure canner, you prepare beans for several meals at once, saving money now and time down the road. So how is it done?

By utilizing a pressure canner, you prepare beans for several meals at once

Soak beans for several hours or overnight. Rinse and drain beans several times, then fill jars about halfway. This is the part that is a little tricky, and I can’t be more precise than “about halfway.” You see, the exact amount to put in the jar will vary due to several factors—the type of bean, for example black beans usually expand more than pinto beans; the age of the bean; and how dry the bean is.
After filling jars about halfway with beans, add salt (1/2 teaspoon per pint, 1 teaspoon per quart) and boiling water. Process per instructions in your BBB.

Meats

For those who haven’t ever ventured into the world of canning meats, but do have experience with canning fruits and vegetables, don’t be scared. Yes, you need to follow directions and be careful, just like for produce, but canning meats is so much faster and easier! All meats are canned exactly as outlined in the BBB; what I present here, however, are some ideas for preparing and packaging meats for other uses generally not discussed elsewhere. Having a variety of dishes in our menus will be critical to good morale in the coming crisis.

Beef

I can a good quantity of stew meat to be used as is in stews, but also to be shredded for use as taco filling, French dips, etc. Ground beef also gets browned and canned so that I can make soups and casseroles very quickly. Most people who are preppers and canners are already familiar with this. However, I know it will be very nice in the future to also be able to have a hamburger now and then. Obviously stew meat won’t work for this purpose, and neither will ground beef that hasn’t had a little extra preparation.

12048982_10204651345191613_699895185_n

So this is what I do to have some hamburger patties. Form about one pound of ground beef into a log and roll it up in parchment paper that has been cut so that it is about an inch wider than the wide mouth jar being used for canning. Fold the parchment paper over the ends to help hold the hamburger log together. Put the hamburger log into the jar, making sure that you have one inch of head space. Process as per ground beef instructions in your BBB.

When you’re ready for some slider-sized burgers, run the jar under hot water for a minute or so to loosen the hamburger from the sides of the jar. Carefully slide the hamburger log out and remove the parchment paper. Slice the patties about ½” thick and fry them in a little butter or bacon grease for extra flavor. Serve with buns and all your favorite condiments.

Pork

Some pork is canned in chunks for later use in chili or to be shredded for taquito filling or super quick pulled pork sandwiches. Leftover ham from Christmas and Easter (we always get a large one for just this purpose) gets canned for adding to soups or fried rice.
I think bacon will be one of the most important morale boosters in the food department, so I can quite a bit. To can bacon strips, cut a piece of parchment paper about two inches longer than the height of a wide mouth pint jar. Lay the bacon strips (which you have cut into halves or thirds) side by side down the middle of the parchment, fold the parchment over the bacon ends, and tightly roll the bacon up as you go. You’ll need a few pieces of parchment, and you’ll want to overlap each additional parchment strip with the previous one to hold everything in place. Stop when the roll is large enough to fill the jar and place the roll in the jar. Process per BBB instructions for canning pork. When you wish to cook your bacon, you’ll need to run the jar under hot water to soften the fat and be able to remove the roll from the jar. Lightly brown the bacon and enjoy.

Can there be such a thing as too much BBQ after the grid goes down?

I also can bacon ends and pieces. These are typically sold in three-pound packages. There is usually quite a bit of fat, but there is also quite a lot of solid meat, and there are some pieces that look more like regular bacon. They all get canned separately. I use the bacon fat in some of my cooking, and the meat will become bacon bits for salads and baked potatoes. Some will say that in a TEOTWAWKI situation, bacon bits will be a bit of a ridiculous luxury. And I might have agreed a few years back, but for this one experience. A few years back we had a phenomenal crop of potatoes, and as such baked potatoes were a frequent dinner in our home. The kids were getting a little tired of them, so I decided to fry up a can of bacon bits to add to the spuds that night. I could not believe what a difference it made in the kids. They were so excited! Another lesson learned in avoiding flavor fatigue.

Chicken

This is probably what we can the most of in the meat department, mostly because I have one son who cannot have beef or pork. Home-canned chicken is perfect for making quick casseroles or adding to a summer salad for a main dish meal. And with a can of chicken on hand, it takes no time to get homemade chicken noodle soup ready when someone comes down with a cold.

Chicken bones. No, this isn’t being recommended as food for people, but chicken bones can be pressure canned (using directions for canning chicken meat) for feeding cats. Because the bones are hollow, after being pressure canned they can be easily mashed with a fork and fed to cats. Unfortunately, the chicken bones are too high in protein to be fed to dogs. (Too much protein can cause kidney damage in dogs.)

Convenience foods

Pressure canning is mostly about preserving the harvest, but it’s also just as much about making life easier. It’s what people have been doing for decades when purchasing processed foods at the grocery store. However, as more of us realize what kind of garbage is being added to commercially produced convenience foods, we’re opting to do more of our own. While we all enjoy freshly prepared meals, sometimes that just isn’t an option—the chief cook is sick, there’s been an emergency, or labors that day were needed elsewhere.

Keeping a ready supply of stew, chili, soup, and spaghetti sauce on hand for just such situations is a great way to reduce stress and be prepared at the same time.

Having some home canned convenience foods can really save the day. Keeping a ready supply of stew, chili, soup, and spaghetti sauce on hand for just such situations is a great way to reduce stress and be prepared at the same time. Because every family will have their own favorite recipes, I’m not providing any here. Most any recipe can be adapted for canning; one just needs to always remember to process for the time stated for the ingredient that needs the most time and highest pressure.

Traditional favorites for convenience foods to can at home are stews, soups and chili. Bear in mind, however, that some items just don’t do as well in a pressure canner at home. I’m not sure what the difference is between commercial canning and home canning, but unlike their commercially canned counterparts, noodles and rice just seem to go to mush when canned at home. So in this house we always add those ingredients just before mealtime.

With dark days ahead, and days that could quite conceivably turn into years, why not invest in a pressure canner and start preserving your own (at significantly greater savings over purchasing commercial products)? With more and more food being sourced from who knows where and with increasing reports of unsavory individuals employed at food processing plants, why not take control for more of our own food needs? A pressure canner is going to cost $100-$300. But the peace of mind that comes from preparing your own food? Priceless.

If you liked this article, please rate it.

The post Pressure Canning for Preppers appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

PANTRY: Long Term Food Storage

Click here to view the original post.

PANTRY: Long Term Food Storage Bobby Akart “Prepping For Tomorrow” Audio in player below! On this week’s episode of the Prepping for Tomorrow program, Author Bobby Akart continues his discussion about stocking your Prepper Pantry. Last week, the program focused on growing your own food and heirloom seeds.  This week, we’ll focus on food storage … Continue reading PANTRY: Long Term Food Storage

The post PANTRY: Long Term Food Storage appeared first on Prepper Broadcasting |Network.

How to Can, Freeze, Dry and Preserve Any Fruit or Vegetable at Home

Click here to view the original post.

How to Can, Freeze, Dry and Preserve Any Fruit or Vegetable at Home Knowing How to Can, Freeze, Dry and Preserve Any Fruit or Vegetable at Home is a not only for homesteaders, survivalist and people on a budget should be doing this too. I have been canning for years, I love doing it. It’s never …

Continue reading »

The post How to Can, Freeze, Dry and Preserve Any Fruit or Vegetable at Home appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

1000+ FREE Canning Recipes

Click here to view the original post.

1000+ FREE Canning Recipes Are you just starting to can? Are you a seasoned canner? We all could do with more canning recipes, the site I came across has over 1000 recipes for you to browse and download for free. There are recipes for sauces, jellies, healthy food and even puddings. Canning food is not …

Continue reading »

The post 1000+ FREE Canning Recipes appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

Food Preservation – Preserving Your Harvest     

Click here to view the original post.

It’s that time of year in Vermont… apple season.  We live near several family owned orchards that have a plethora of apple options – pre-picked, pick your own, utility apples, fresh pressed cider, and mouth-watering apple cider donuts.  It’s also the season for some wonderful wild mushrooms such as Black Trumpets – a relative of chanterelles.  Of course, it’s time for my herb garden to end the season – if I actually plant an herb garden.  Obviously I can’t keep all of this bounty in its current form for the winter, so now I’m in the process of preserving what I’ve grown, gathered, picked, and purchased.  Here’s an overview of my favorite food preservation options:

Food Preservation – Canning

seal-test
I love canning; but I truly believe it’s the messiest food preservation option out there.  It also requires the most specialized equipment.  You’ll need a pressure canner or water bath canner and jars and lids.  Canning also requires the most preparation; but this includes preparing jams, jellies, applesauce, fruit butters, tomatoes, etc.

There are two types of canning – water bath and pressure canning.  High acidity foods like fruits and tomatoes can be canned using the water bath method.  The Ball Kerr website has a great step-by-step guide to water bath canning.  Water bath canning can be done using a special water bath canner, a pressure canner or a large stockpot with a lid.

Pressure canning is necessary for low acid foods to ensure there won’t be spoilage.  Pressure canners are not cheap and I recommend that you buy the best one you can afford.  Remember, a pressure canner can become a bomb if used improperly.  Don’t let this scare you; using a pressure canner correctly can store your entire harvest.  Again, the Ball Kerr website has a wonderful step-by-step guide to pressure canning.

Be sure that the jars seal.  You can hear them seal when they pop as they cool and the lids will be slightly concaved.  Never eat any foods from a jar with an unsealed lid or a broken seal.  Never reuse a lid; they are made for single use only.  Jars and rings can be reused again and again.

Canned foods take up more storage space than dehydrated and frozen foods.

Food Preservation – Dehydrating

diy dehydrator
Dehydrating is probably the easiest food preservation method with the least amount of preparation and special equipment.   Dehydrating is simply removing the majority of the moisture from the food.

Before you actually start the process you need to prepare the items.  Most often you need only to cut or slice the produce; think commercial apple chips or sun-dried tomatoes.  There is no hard, fast rule for this.  Simply reduce the size of the item and expose the “wetter” interior of the item.  Smaller, thinner pieces are going to dehydrate faster, but may not be what you want your final product to be.  Most fruits benefit from a short soak in water with a bit of lemon juice.  This keeps the fruits from browning.  Note – this doesn’t change the fruits, but keeps them from browning too much.

Fruit leathers and jerky take more preparation.  Fruits must be pureed for fruit leathers and spread thinly on a baking sheet or fruit leather tray for your dehydrator.  For jerky, the meat must be sliced thinly with the grain then marinated.  There are lots of recipes, suggestions and even premade marinades available.  Select very lean meat, as the fat increases the possibility of spoilage.

The actual dehydrating can be done in your oven, in a counter top – or larger – dehydrator or out in the sun.  A dehydrater can be counter top or larger.  There are so many options than run from <$50 to several hundred.  I have this Nesco model and love it.  What I like about my dehydrator is that it doesn’t tie up my oven and my baking sheets.  To use your oven, simply spread your prepared produce in a single layer on a baking sheet and put into your oven heated to 150F-200F.

If you want to dehydrate in the sun, all you actually need is something on which to spread your prepared produce.  Of course, this leaves it exposed not only to the sun, but also to the wildlife.  A quick, inexpensive trip to the hardware store or a browse about the garage, and you can make a dehydrating frame.  Make a square frame with wood- 2x4s work well because they allow some space for the items.  Tack wire hardware cloth or small gauge chicken wire to one side.  You can spread you prepared items on a flat surface and cover with the screen or you can make two screens and stack them.  Use clamps or something heavy to weigh down and make it harder for furry thieves.  Using the sun will take longer than using a dehydrator or your oven, but it adds a little something extra that’s difficult to define.

Be sure to remove as much of the moisture as possible before storage.  Once your items are dehydrated, they need to be stored in a sealed container – a vacuum sealer is great for this.

Food Preservation – Freezing

foodsaver gamesaver
Freezing produce retains more of the items “integrity” than other options.  Freezing requires very little preparation of the items, usually just washing then cutting or chopping the item.  The only equipment you need is a freezer (duh) and freezer-safe containers.  Reusable containers are great, but require more space in your freezer and initial investment.  Zipper bags are also good options.  The biggest issue with these options is freezer burn, be careful that you remove as much air as possible from your containers.  This is where a vacuum sealer is worth the investment.  Seriously, why spend the effort of growing, harvesting and gathering or spending the money on produce if it’s going to be ruined with freezer burn?

Vacuum sealers are available at most big box home stores and department stores as well as my favorite vendor, Amazon.  I have a FoodSaver GameSaver model.  This gives me the option of using the film as well as special reusable containers.  I’ve learned that wider, flatter bags store better and defrost faster.  Unless your seal breaks or the film is punctured, you won’t lose any food to freezer burn.

Before you prepare stacks and stacks of containers for your freezer, be sure you have the freezer space.  Refrigerator freezers have extremely limited space and should really only be used for short term storage since the door is opened so often giving fluctuations in the temperature.  Chest or stand freezers are available everywhere – Lowes, Home Depot, Amazon, Walmart, Craigslist, etc.  Get one that works with your space and lifestyle.  Remember, bigger is not always better, especially with a chest style.  Things tend to get lost at the bottom and you may find something you put in there 10 years ago.  It’s good to keep an inventory of your frozen foods to keep things from getting “lost”.

Food Preservation – Root Cellar

root cellar
When I was growing up, I was a little afraid of my grandparents’ root cellar.  It was built into the side of a hill and had a damp, mustiness about it that was in comforting in a way.  I wish I had one just like it. Traditionally, root cellars were below ground but that really isn’t necessary.  Root cellars are basically below-ground rooms to store food with a consistent temperature around 35F-40F with high humidity of 90%-95%.  Ventilation is also very important; good circulation inhibits mold growth.  Potatoes, carrots, beets, turnips, rutabagas and even apples can be stored for the winter in a root cellar.  I found this great article to help you set up your root cellar.  My husband and I keep trying to figure out where we can put one.

Don’t let all of the effort and expense you spent over the summer go to waste. Start small and within your budget, space and resources.  Enjoying these foods throughout the year is why we do this, right?

If you found this article helpful/interesting, please Share it by clicking on the social media links. Thank you for helping us grow!

Save

Save

Save

The post Food Preservation – Preserving Your Harvest      appeared first on Surviving Prepper.

6 Popular Fruits & Vegetables You Didn’t Know Could Be Preserved

Click here to view the original post.
6 Popular Fruits & Vegetables You Didn’t Know Could Be Preserved

Image source: Pixabay.com

When most people think of putting up food for winter, there are a few vegetables and fruits that immediately come to mind.

But a look through any good quality food preservation book—such as the ones published by Ball, the National Center for Home Food Preservation, or the USDA—can reveal some interesting options.

When I find myself with an overabundance of something from my garden and do not want to see it wasted at the end of the season, I am often inspired to search for creative ideas to preserve my harvest in new ways. Over the years, I have dug up a few possibilities that can surprise even some experienced home food preservationists.

Here are a few fruits and vegetables you may not have realized you can preserve:

1. Eggplant. Although there is no recommended method for canning eggplant and it is listed in the “poor to fair” category for dehydrating success, you can still enjoy your eggplant harvest all year long by freezing it. The trick is to use lemon juice in the blanch water. Add a half cup per gallon of water, process in small batches, and prepare only enough fruit for one batch at a time.

For eggplant that I plan to use for frying, I slice it one-third of an inch thick. If it is fresh from the garden and not at all overripe, I leave the skins on. Otherwise, I peel it. After blanching for 4 minutes and cooling the slices in an ice bath, I pat dry on towels and freeze in zip-top bags with wax paper between the layers.

For other uses—ratatouille, stews and casseroles—I peel the eggplant, cut it into chunks, blanch and cool in lemon water the same as with slices, spin dry in a salad spinner, and freeze in batches the right size for one recipe.

It has occurred to me that it would work well to bread it and fry it before freezing, but my garden harvest keeps me too busy for that. If you have time to do so before freezing and save yourself the trouble later, I encourage you to try it.

2. Onions and peppers. The happy surprise here is not that you can preserve them, but the fact that it is so ridiculously easy. To freeze onions, shallots and peppers of all kinds, just cut them to the size and shape in which you are most likely to use them—sliced, chopped or in wedges—put them in bags or containers, and toss them into the freezer. No blanching, no fuss. Just clean, peel, cut up and freeze. They will not be suitable for raw eating when they come out, but will be excellent for just about everything else, from casseroles to omelets to soups to stir-fries.

Looking For Non-GMO Seeds? Get Them From A Company You Can Trust!

They can be preserved in other ways, also. Sweet peppers can be canned plain, pickled or in a variety of relishes. Hot peppers can be pickled, made into jam, or added to hot sauce. Onions, too, can be canned in vinegar, added to relishes and chutneys, and even made into marmalade!

Onions and peppers also dry very well, resulting in excellent culinary options for those off grid or with minimal freezer space.

6 Popular Fruits & Vegetables You Didn’t Know Could Be Preserved

Image source: Pixabay.com

3. Zucchini and summer squash. The truth is, you will never be able to achieve an exact duplicate of yummy fresh-out-of-the-garden squash. But if you cannot bear the thought of going without squash on pizzas and in frittatas and sautéed in olive oil for the winter months, try freezing some slices. Slice, blanch 3 minutes, cool in ice water, pat dry on towels, and pack in bags or containers with wax paper between the layers.

As with eggplant, you may do well to fry it first if you have the time.

You can also grate it and freeze it that way, for use in winter breads, cakes and cookies. I measure out what I need for my favorite recipes and freeze it in those quantities. It does not need to be blanched if it will be used in baked goods, where the texture of the end product does not matter, but be aware that it will become watery when thawed.

Do not can summer squash. Its texture does not allow for it to be safely canned by itself. There is an approved recipe for canning zucchini in pineapple and sugar, but the end result may not taste much like the vegetable you are trying to preserve.

4. Watermelon. Wait, what?! The books say you can freeze it, in seedless cubes or balls, either plain or packed into a container of heavy syrup. I admit I have never done this, and the reason is simple. I live far enough north that raising melons is iffy. When I do manage to raise a few successfully, I indulge in them right then and there.

The one method I have tried is watermelon rind preserves. It is a delicious way to use a part of the melon I would have thrown away anyway, and makes a nice winter treat.

Melons can be dried, but is not recommended. I know people who have done it, but because melons are almost all water, the result may not be satisfactory.

5. Greens. Canning greens is hard work, but the results taste great. If you have a pressure canner and are up for the task, canned greens are an excellent choice.

You also can blanch and freeze them, but you end up with a product that does not look anything like store-bought.

Another option for greens is to simply freeze as-is. If your intention is to use them in a way in which the texture is irrelevant, such as in a smoothie, and you will use them up within a few months, this is the way to go. Pack enough for a single usage into a zip-top bag, flatten to remove as much air as possible, and freeze.

6 Popular Fruits & Vegetables You Didn’t Know Could Be Preserved

Image source: Pixabay.com

6. Fruits and berries without sugar. Many people think it is necessary to make a sugar syrup for canning fruits and berries, but water or fruit juice can be used in most cases. I found a recipe for canning blueberries in water this year—I should note that I use canning recipes only from sources I know to be safe and reliable, and this one is from the National Center for Home Food Preservation—and was happy to can my home-grown blueberries using this healthy and hassle-free method.

It is wise to do some searching and read the side notes in order to find low-sugar and no-sugar options for canning fruit. Sometimes they can be found in the “special diet” section.

A word about experimentation—before you try it, ask yourself if the worst thing that can happen is about quality or safety. If it is about quality, and if you can afford the potential loss of losing the product, go ahead and try. But if it is about safety, do not risk it. What you stand to gain is not worth the possible cost.

Use this list for starters, use trusted resources, and have fun. You just never know what you might end up enjoying from your garden on a snowy January day.

What would you add to this list? Share your preserving tips in the section below:

Bust Inflation With A Low-Cost, High-Production Garden. Read More Here.

200+ Canning and Preserving Recipes

Click here to view the original post.

200+ Canning and Preserving Recipes These 200+ Canning and Preserving Recipes will rock your socks off and will keep you busy for a long time. If you are anything like my wife, you will be constantly looking for new canning recipes, she loves to can, if she could can my socks I think she would. Canning is …

Continue reading »

The post 200+ Canning and Preserving Recipes appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

Which Preservation Method Is Best For Which Foods? (Here’s How To Know)

Click here to view the original post.
Which Preservation Method Is Best For What Foods? (Here's How To Know)

Image source: Flickr

 

I am frequently asked what is the best preservation method for various foods, and the answer is almost always the same: It depends.

The best bet is to be ready and able to do a combination of canning, freezing, dehydrating and root cellaring in order to maximize your efficiency and to end up with the best possible end result for the least effort and cost.

There are pros and cons to each type of food preservation, and which one you choose depends upon the food you are preserving, your own particular needs, your facilities and equipment, and the time you are willing and able to put into it.

The general rule of thumb in food preservation is to shoot for the shortest distance between two points. That is to say, choose the easiest and cheapest way to get the job done in a satisfactory manner. However, there are often additional factors which must be considered.

Let us first look at a few basic facts about each preservation method.

Canning

What Is The Best Food Preservation Method? (Here's How To Know)

Image source: Pixabay.com

The upside of canned food is that it can be stored without the use of electricity, making it versatile for off-grid situations and worry-free for possible power outages. In addition, jars of food can be stored just about anywhere, making storage space less of an issue than with other options. The contents of canned foods are ready immediately without waiting for thawing or rehydrating. Also, many people prefer the taste and texture of canned foods, especially that of meats.

Just 30 Grams Of This Survival Superfood Provides More Nutrition Than An Entire Meal!

On the other hand, canning is generally the most labor-intensive method of food preservation. It also presents a certain level of risk that is less prevalent with other methods—although the likelihood of botulism in properly canned foods is miniscule. Many canned vegetables have a less desirable texture than their frozen counterparts, and some are even said to contain less nutrients when canned.

Freezing

The best part about freezing foods is minimal preparation. Another great plus is the increased flavor, texture and color of many foods.

The downside of freezing is that it costs more. Purchasing a freezer is a big investment, and running it continuously year-round adds up. Using a freezer to preserve food is a real challenge without a steady reliable source of electricity. Freezer space can be a problem, too. It takes up floor space in your home, and when it’s full, it’s full. Unlike other methods, the space is finite—16 cubic feet of food is not going to fit into 15 cubic feet of freezer.

Dehydrating

Not all foods can be dried safely and effectively, but those that can are able to be stored easily, using minimal space and no power, for a long period of time. Taste and texture can be an issue with dried foods, which somewhat restricts their usage. The cost of dehydrating equipment covers a wide range, from a simple homemade screen which is adequate in some climates to high-end electric models that do offer a certain appeal. There is a learning curve to dehydrating, as well, with it being arguably the most subjective of methods—unlike canning instructions that give specific processing times and freezing directions with blanch times. Dehydrating the same food can range from four to 12 hours.

Root cellaring

Root cellaring is easy and no-fuss. One of the older preservation methods, it involves at its most rudimentary level simply finding a cool place to store a vegetable and placing it there. But like most skills, it requires a little judgement and experience to know what goes where, how long it can be expected to last, and what not to pair with it. It can be as inexpensive and no-frills as a shelf alongside the cellar stairs or under the guest room bed, or as elaborate as an intentional structure out of stone and mortar.

This Cool-To-The-Touch Lantern Provides 100,000 Hours Of Emergency Backup Lighting

A word about smoking: Although recognized as an excellent option for food preservation, it probably involves more skills and equipment than everyday gardeners may have access to in their backyards and kitchens and pantries. For that reason, I have chosen to omit it from this discussion. But if it is your preservation method of choice, thumbs up to you!

What Is The Best Food Preservation Method? (Here's How To Know)

Image source: preppers101blog

My personal food preservation plan looks something like this: I reserve freezer space for foods which do not generally can well—if at all—such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, eggplant, green peppers, pureed squash and most berries. If there is space beyond that, I add in foods which I prefer frozen, such as green beans.

If I have an abundance of beans—which I almost always do—I will can some. I like to can a few batches of blueberries to eat with yogurt, in addition to many pounds I freeze for use in baking. I always can my jams and pickles because I prefer the texture and cannot afford the freezer space.

I dry some fruits and like to make fruit leather. I also dehydrate vegetables when they are so abundant that I still have some left over after other methods, for use in soups and casseroles.

My root cellaring depends upon the weather. If it gets cold early in fall without too much of an Indian summer, so that the temperature in my house cellar drops and stays down, it is a prime opportunity for storing a bounty of food. I set apples in screened crates on the stone steps of my exterior bulkhead, where it gets very cold and stays damp, and keeps my apples separate from other foods. I place carrots and rutabagas and leeks in bins of sand in the main part of the cellar, and stash winter squashes in the closet in my utility room.

Make ‘Off-The-Grid’ Super Foods Just Like Grandma Made!

If I have time, I prepare some convenience foods—those which I am glad to reach for when I need something instant, such as canned potatoes, canned stew and canned pork-and-beans.

Your personal preservation plan might look different than mine. To sort it out, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Do I realistically have time to can it?
  2. Can I afford the purchase price for a freezer, do I have room to store it, and do I have an adequate source of reliable electricity?
  3. Will I be satisfied with the end product of dehydrating foods?
  4. Do I have, or can I create, a place to store root crops as-is or in sand?
  5. Do I enjoy the taste and texture of my chosen method?

Certain foods ought not be canned, due to either quality or safety reasons. Brassicas, eggplants, summer squash, pureed vegetables and untested recipes are among these.

Other foods are able to be canned but often yield a disappointing result. Strawberries lose flavor and texture. Greens such as spinach and Swiss chard are a lot of work.

Conversely, tomatoes are generally better canned than frozen, but cherry types can be popped whole into freezer bags for use in soups and casseroles, and leftover batches that did not seal in the canner freeze fine, too.

Some foods have many options. Potatoes are great root cellared, canned, frozen or dehydrated. Most cuts of beef are, too, as well as many other meats and vegetables.

Sometimes, you can even use more than one method on the same food. For example, I hang my onions from cellar rafters, inside the legs of pantyhose with knots tied between them to keep them from touching, and they store well that way for months. But when they start to get soft—or when it gets cold enough for me to fire up my cellar stove—I peel them and freeze them in bags of slices or chunks. This two-phase method minimizes my processing efforts to only that which is absolutely necessary and still allows me to use onions at my convenience throughout the year.

There are many factors to consider when preserving food. Cost, space, effort and end result are all important considerations to be balanced. As long as you follow safety guidelines, there are plenty of options that can be tailored to a food preservation plan that works just right for you.

What advice would you add? Share it in the section below:

Discover The Secret To Saving Thousands At The Grocery Store. Read More Here.

Be a Food Preservation Planner

Click here to view the original post.
Do you know what will heppen with every piece of produce from your harvest?You need a food preservation planner | PreparednessMama

Next year have a plan for every piece of produce. Do you plan what you are going to do with your garden produce ahead of time? Well, eat it of course, but what else? Sometimes I find myself with a box of peaches that I couldn’t pass up from the grocery store and think ” […]

The post Be a Food Preservation Planner appeared first on PreparednessMama.

DIY Canning Jar Vacuum Sealer

Click here to view the original post.

DIY Canning Jar Vacuum Sealer This is a great project to do one night. Don’t spend a lot of money on a canning jar vacuum sealer when you can make one yourself for half the cost, maybe free if you already have the parts. I found this video on YouTube that shows you how to make …

Continue reading »

The post DIY Canning Jar Vacuum Sealer appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

Lots of Apples? Here’s What to Do

Click here to view the original post.

Lots of Apples? Here’s What to Do Apple harvests are pouring in and sales at the store are all over the place. It’s apple time and canners are firing up all over the country. Eventually though, you get to the point where you just don’t want to make any more applesauce! You realize that you …

Continue reading »

The post Lots of Apples? Here’s What to Do appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

3 Things Your Grandmother Got Wrong About Canning

Click here to view the original post.
Here’s What Your Grandmother Got Wrong About Canning

Image source: Pinterest

 

There are a lot of misconceptions out there about canning safety. As is true with many topics, information found on the Internet supports a wide variety of truths and opinions, and it can be hard to differentiate between them.

Canning safety is a big deal. Doing it right is what comes between eating home-preserved food with confidence and risking upset stomachs, spoiled and wasted food, serious illness, or in very rare cases even death.

Before I explain which techniques are considered safe according to modern-day science and which are not, let me address the inevitable questions.  I hear them at every workshop I conduct and see it in every comment thread on forum discussions and social media.

“My grandmother used wax on her jams and all us kids grew up eating them.”

“The ladies at church just flip the hot chow-chow jars upside down and call it good.”

“My mother never owned a pressure canner and we all ate her canned beans and beef just fine.”

“We eat canned cake at camp every summer… and nobody ever died.”

New ‘Miracle Oil Maker’ Lets You Make Fresh Nut Oils Within Minutes!

And my answer is always the same. Sure. Each one of us knew of someone consuming food canned by what is considered today to be unsafe practices, and many of us did it ourselves. And we did indeed all live to tell the tale.

But why take the risk? People survived automobile travel before seat belts came along, but most of us wear them nowadays. Communities have thrived for centuries without modern-day sanitation and plumbing, but most of us today consider running water and flush toilets to be good things. Mammograms, steel-toed work boots, prenatal ultrasounds, child safety locks—all things people lived without, until the advantages of using them became clear.

You can take the chance of doing it the old-fashioned way if you want to, but know that it is a risk. No home-canning method is guaranteed 100 percent bulletproof, but using techniques tested and approved by science and research are the best ways to minimize potential problems.

There are three main points I would like to highlight – three things our grandmothers often didn’t do when canning. First, processing in a canner is necessary for every canned product. No shortcuts, no alternatives. And second, using a pressure canner is essential for all low-acid foods. Third, all recipes are not created equal. Read on for details.

1. Processing is crucial.

Old-fashioned methods and trendy hacks are not good choices. Topping preserves with hot wax allows potential harmful bacteria and molds to seep in. Even after mold is scraped off the top—like our grandmothers used to do when we were not looking—it has been determined by recent science that there could well be lingering pathogens below the visible mold. The safe bet is to just pop them into the hot water bath canner for a short process time instead.

So-called “oven canning” and “open-kettle canning,” along with creative ways to can foods in the dishwasher and microwave, have not been tested to be safe and are not recommended. Food processed in this way does not always kill potential contaminants which may spoil food and make you sick.

Neither is it safe to simply invert the jars when hot and allow the product to seal itself—it might appear to seal nicely at the time, but is apt to unseal and reseal itself as the storage temperature fluctuates between now and the time you eat it.

Process, process, process—in a canner. There is no shortcut that is worth the risk.

2. Process all low-acid foods using a pressure canner.

Here is why:

3 Things Your Grandmother Got Wrong About Canning

Image source: Pixabay.com

Hot water bath canners heat water to 212 degrees Fahrenheit. That is as hot as they can get. Pressure canners, by design, heat water to 240 degrees. The reason heat is an issue is because of rare but naturally occurring spores of the microorganism C. botulinum. When given exactly the right conditions—low acid and anaerobic—they can develop into botulism, which can be deadly. When canning low-acid foods, care must be taken to kill the spores before the product goes into the anaerobic jars, and 212 degrees is not sufficient to do so. It is imperative to use the higher-heat pressure canner to destroy any possible C. botulinum spores present.

Some folks insist that by canning them longer, all foods can be safely canned using a hot water bath canner. This is not true. Boiling water will never reach the temperature needed to kill possible dangerous spores. And besides, who wants to eat green beans that have been boiled for an hour and a half?

High-acid foods—most fruits and tomatoes—do not provide conditions for botulism to develop, and so hot water bath canners are sufficient. Vegetables, meats and other low-acid products need to be pressure-canned. The exception to this rule is when the vegetable is “acidified.” When sufficient amounts of acid, usually vinegar or lemon juice, are added, the end result is a food with enough acid content to safely can in a hot water bath canner.

3. Always use an approved recipe.

In addition to giving you the exact amounts of every ingredient and explaining exactly how to cut, chop, combine and cook them, a good recipe will tell you which canner to use, what size jars are best, and how long to process the products.

I know, I know. Great Aunt Hilda’s relish recipe was the best! And that wonderful easy salsa recipe on Facebook—yum! But has it been tested? Is the ratio of high-acid and low-acid foods adequate for the method and time given for canning? Is it worth the risk?

Another way people get into trouble is by starting off with a safe recipe and making their own modifications. Tomatoes are generally high acid, but peppers and onions are not. Adding low-acid foods can alter the acidification of a recipe enough to change the safety factor.

The perfect way to have your cake and eat it, too, is this: If you absolutely must use that online salsa recipe with questionable ingredients, go right ahead. Just freeze it. Botulism will not develop in the freezer, and your salsa will be good to go.

Use a recipe source approved by your cooperative extension. These include publications by Ball, USDA, and the University of Georgia’s National Center for Home Food Preservation. Ball canning books are inexpensive and can be found in most supermarkets and department stores. The National Center for Home Food Preservation’s excellent publication, “So Easy to Preserve,” sells for a little more money, but all of its recipes are available online for free at http://nchfp.uga.edu/

In addition to these three must-dos, remember to keep everything painstakingly clean. Pots and utensils, jars, lids, canning equipment, kitchen linens and hands all need to be carefully washed and rinsed before you begin any canning project.

Stay safe, play it smart, follow the guidelines, and you and your family will enjoy the fruits of your labors for seasons to come.

Do you agree? What canning advice would you add? Share it in the section below:

Tired Of Losing Freedoms — And Looking For Another Country? Read More Here.

6 Secrets of Hot Water Bath Canning You May Not Know

Click here to view the original post.

6 Secrets of Hot Water Bath Canning You May Not Know Hot water bath canning is one of the most used canning methods used today. Get 6 secrets of this old school hobby and improve your method and food stockpile. Knowing how to can food is just a homesteaders daily life, this article I found …

Continue reading »

The post 6 Secrets of Hot Water Bath Canning You May Not Know appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

Vintage Canning Techniques Your Ancestors Used (But Are They Safe?)

Click here to view the original post.

Vintage Canning Techniques Your Ancestors Used (But Are They Safe?)

Canning food in the modern world is easy. We have well-made jars, proven methods developed over a century and a half of trial and error, and the ability to consistently put up safe, nourishing and delicious food.

Even a century ago, canning was a well-established science, regardless of if you used Mason jars with zinc lids and rubber lids, or jars with glass lids and wire bails that locked down tight over a rubber ring. The end result was the same, even if the methods were quaint and old-fashioned today. But prior to our WWII-era metal bands and disposable lids, and prior to the old Lightning jars with wire bails or their competitors, and prior to the earliest Mason jars, there were other methods, and that’s what we are looking at today.

In 1858, John Landis Mason patented the basic screwtop canning jar. It used a zinc lid and a rubber band to provide an airtight seal, and with only minor modifications this method would remain unchanged until WWII. Mason revolutionized home canning with his simple invention, as it brought the reliability of consistently made canning jars, lids and rings into the public sphere for the first time. Prior to that, our ancestors had all manner of ways to put food up in glass and crockery jars.

Make ‘Off-The-Grid’ Super Foods Just Like Grandma Made!

In 1810, Nicolas Appert, a French inventor, worked out the idea of hermetically sealing food in jars after cooking it. His methods involved placing food in jars, corking it, sealing the cork with wax, wrapping the jar in cloth and then boiling it. While science tells us now that the boiling of the jar essentially pasteurized it, Appert was unaware of the scientific reasons that ensured his method worked, only that it in fact worked.  He was the first to put up food in glass jars, and he thought it was the exclusion of air that preserved the food (he was half right; the other half was in the boiling).

But prior to his efforts, people were still storing food in jars and crocks. The most common methods involved cooking food with a high sugar content or pickling them. In either case, the final product was placed in glass or crockery jars, and sealed in some form or another with glass, crockery, wooden or metal lids, wax, cloth or paper. Here we see the origins of canned food, but grossly lacking in the kind of processing that allows for safe, long-term storage. Such foods relied on their ingredients, being closed off from the air and stored in a cool dark place, and some of them are considered unsafe today.

Vintage Canning Techniques Your Ancestors Used (But Are They Safe?)The mid- to late-19th century was a boomtime for canning jars and canning technology. Before the Mason jar, we would see “wax sealers,” which used a glass lid and ring of hot wax to provide an airtight seal. This technology is echoed by modern homesteaders who may still use wax to seal jars of jams and jellies. It should be cautioned that wax-sealing of any sort, with or without a lid, was not always successful when it was in vogue, and should not be practiced now; it’s impossible to tell if you’ve gotten a good seal, and it’s easy to break the seal. I remember eating jams put up in wax-sealed jars by my grandmother, but I’d be hard-pressed to do it today.

The World’s Healthiest Survival Food — And It Stores For YEARS and YEARS!

Another common sort of jar was the “Lighting” or wire bail jar. Countless variations on this theme exist, ranging from the common sort we may know today to complex systems involving levers or even thumbscrews. All work on the same idea, though, of securely latching a glass lid over a rubber ring that has been sealed through boiling.

The harsh reality is until the 19th century, canning really didn’t exist, and food storage in jars, bottles and crocks was as much hit and miss, as accepting the fact you were stuck with heavily brined or sugared food. Modern concepts of sanitation did not exist, and stored foods were at a greater risk of loss through spoilage.

The current Mason jar, with its on-time use metal lid and reusable metal rings, represents the ultimate in home glass jar canning, and should be embraced with great vigor, due to the low cost, ease of use and proven sanitary track record. If you have older shoulder-seal jars like the old blue Ball jars, or wire bail seal jars, those are best left for decoration or dry storage, and given a gentle and loving retirement.

If you are looking to understand and practice home canning as done by our ancestors, then applying modern sanitary methods and storage, combined with well-made modern storage containers can be rewarding, but outside of an emergency, such methods should really only be practiced for entertainment. An exception could be argued in favor of certain pickling techniques, but those exceed the scope of this article.

Hundreds of companies made thousands of variations of canning jars through WWII, and many still survive today. They are a fascinating glimpse into a time in our nation’s history when self-reliance and sufficiency was an important part of many American’s lifestyles, and the ability to “put up” food for the winter could mean the difference between life and death.

Harness The Power Of Nature’s Most Remarkable Healer: Vinegar

How To Make Homemade Jam Without Adding Pectin

Click here to view the original post.

How To Make Homemade Jam Without Adding Pectin Nothing says “summer preserving” more than homemade jam, but if you’re using store-bought pectin, you may be adding ingredients that you’d rather leave out. Nearly all of the boxed and liquid pectins that you can buy at the store contain genetically modified ingredients, something many people are …

Continue reading »

The post How To Make Homemade Jam Without Adding Pectin appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

Hundreds of Free Canning and Preserving Recipes in One Place

Click here to view the original post.

I’m not much of a cook. In fact, I almost always eat plain food–sandwiches, grilled chicken, steamed vegetables, etc. If I ever do follow a recipe, it’s a recipe for survival food or preservation, and never for anything really fancy. So naturally, I don’t visit recipe sites like AllRecipes.com very often. But recently a friend […]

The post Hundreds of Free Canning and Preserving Recipes in One Place appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

6 Ways to Store Food Long Term

Click here to view the original post.

When preparing food for long-term storage, consider how much is required, how long it needs to last, its nutritional value, and the resources available for preparation. Depending on your goals, there is a long-term food storage method for you.

Freezing

  • Depending on the emergency, freezing may be an acceptable option. Storage times vary depending on the type of item and its packaging, but meats can last up to two years when frozen properly. Blanch fruits and vegetables to halt quality-compromising enzymatic processes before freezing them. Most of the nutritional content remains stable when frozen items are stored in air-tight packaging.

 

Dehydrating

  • Dehydrated items maintain much of their nutritional content. Herbs, which are both beneficial to health and flavorful, are good candidates for dehydration. Fruits and vegetables also store well when dried. Blanch vegetables and fruits first to extend their shelf life. You can use a dehydrator or your oven on low heat to dehydrate items.
  • The key with dehydration is to ensure that all of the moisture has been removed. Food fresh off the dehydrator may still feel soft or moist. Follow instructions for each food, and take a sample off the dehydrator to cool for a minute or two in order to test its dryness. Dehydrated items should be stored in cool, dry, dark places. Use glass jars and vacuum-sealed pouches to extend the life of dehydrated foods.

 

Curing

  • The curing process harnesses the power of salt to eliminate moisture and prevent the growth of bacteria. Curing can be time intensive at the outset, but it will enable you to preserve flavorful meat for extended periods of time.
    • Dry curing involves coating a cut of meat in salt and other herbs and letting it set for an extended period. Smoking is another method of curing which adds flavor to meats. Brining is a wet curing method in which meat is soaked in a salt-rich solution. Research instructions for dry curing, brining, and smoking before using any of these methods. If cured incorrectly, items can harbor botulism, which can lead to food-borne illness.

Canning

      • Canning is a time-tested method for preserving fruits and vegetables. The acidity of the food will help you determine how to process it. Most jams and tomato-based products are safe to prepare through boiling. Low-acid vegetables and meats necessitate the use of a pressure canner. It is wise to look for updated canning recipes to ensure that new food safety measures are included in the instructions. Once food is canned, check to make sure that the jars are sealed. Store canned items in a dark, cool, and dry environment. With regard to shelf life, items with a high acidity can last one to one and a half years. Foods with a low acidity can last up to five years.

 

Fermenting

      • Fermented foods have been making a comeback in recent years. Their popularity is likely due to the health benefits associated with consuming them. Items like kimchi, sauerkraut, kefir, and pickles are rich in pro-biotics. During a disaster, the benefits that fermented items have on the immune system make them must-haves.
      • The fermentation process involves many considerations. Fermenting can extend the life of your foods for months or years. While the items may be safe to consume after extended periods, their health benefits may decrease as they age. Using a fermentation pot is the most common way to get results.

Vacuum Sealing

      • Vacuum sealing may be performed on nearly any food. It is important to remember that vacuum sealing is most often used as an adjunct to other preservation methods. For example, you may vacuum seal meat, but you will still have to keep it in the refrigerator or freezer in order for it to be safe. Jerkies and dried fruits and vegetables may also be vacuum sealed to increase their shelf lives.
      • Vacuum sealing can be accomplished with equipment such as the Food Saver, but Mylar bags may also be used without a special machine. If you are not using a machine to suck the air out of the packaging, oxygen absorbing pouches can be used to achieve the same effect. This method is great for processing bulk grains. Vacuum sealed bags can be placed in five-gallon plastic buckets to make them easy to store and protect them from pests.

 

There are so many options for long term food storage. A conscientious prepper will take advantage of multiple food preservation methods in order to reap the benefits of each type. With proper research about storage environments, recipes, and food safety guidelines, it is possible to maintain a safe, balanced, and flavorful food supply – even during a disaster.

The post 6 Ways to Store Food Long Term appeared first on American Preppers Network.

How To Can BUTTER For Food Storage

Click here to view the original post.

How To Can BUTTER For Food Storage I have been reading a lot of canning articles and looking at a lot of canning websites as I want to start canning my vegetables I am growing this year. I never knew you could can butter. I know there are foods you shouldn’t can and I honestly …

Continue reading »

The post How To Can BUTTER For Food Storage appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

Use Dry Pack Canning Methods to Preserve Food

Click here to view the original post.
5 Ways to store food using dry pack canning techniques | PreparednessMama

5 Ways to Store Food Long-Term Dry Pack Canning is the process used to  store foods that have less than 10% moisture and are low in oil content. When properly done, these items will last a long time, maybe even 30 years under certain conditions. We’ve talked in the past about the reasons to have extra […]

The post Use Dry Pack Canning Methods to Preserve Food appeared first on PreparednessMama.

Raspberry Jam made with Clear Jel….

Click here to view the original post.
#amatterofprep
Yes, it is glorious Raspberry season again.  I look forward to fresh Raspberries to eat in salads, alone, and certainly in Jam!  Don’t you just love fresh Raspberries?

Making Raspberry Jam with Clear Jel:

I have many folks visit my blog to learn more about using Clear Jel.  I wrote a post about making many different Jams using Clear Jel a few years ago.  Even now, this post gets a great deal of attention this time of year.  I have used it to make Salsa as well.    Additionally, I have used it in canning Pie Fillings  because unlike cornstarch, it does not separate and break down the gel portion of the pie filling.
Well, Rooster Senior likes Raspberry jam a whole lot. So, I got busy and made some Raspberry Jam:
#amatterofprep

The recipe calls for crushed berries. I use my potato masher/ricer.

#amatterofprep

Instead of using the standard Pectin products that require copious amounts of sugar, you will use less sugar when you use a recipe that requires Clear Jel.  The secret to success is to mix your Clear Jel to the dry ingredients first.

#amatterofprep

Although the recipe that will appear at the bottom of this post does not call for Koolaid (per the author), please consider adding a packet to each batch.  It really enhances the flavor.
#amatterofprep

Mix the dry ingredients to the heated berry mixture slowly.  Bring to a boil.

#amatterofprep
Ladle your mixture into clean/sterilized jars.  There is some discussion about whether jars need to be sterilized.  I choose to error on the side of caution. Process per the directions in a Hot Water Bath. 

Would you like the Recipe?

Berry Jam4 cups crushed berries or juiced
1/4 cup lemon juice
7 tablespoons Clear Jel®
Sugar to taste (approximately 1 1/2 cup)
Add lemon juice to berries. Combine Clear Jel® with 1/4 cup of the sugar. Add to berries. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Add rest of sugar. Boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Pour into jars, leaving 1/4” headspace. Process 10 minutes in boiling water bath or freeze.

(Don’t forget to add the Koolaid, it is really delicious!)

Take Home Points:

  • Clear Jel is shelf stable and according to my research lasts indefinitely.  Compare that with traditional products that are used to make jam. 
  • Jam recipes calling for Clear Jel often use nearly half of the sugar that traditional jam recipes call for.  
  • When added to dry ingredients, it mixes well and give the jam a wonderful consistency.
  • This is a simple recipe that does not take a lot of time.  
  • Rooster Senior has already polished off one jar. Rooster Junior took a jar, and I have 2 to the neighbors already.  The magic or jam brings smiles to all those who receive it!

Where do you purchase Clear Jel?

If you use a Search Engine like Google/Chrome to find Clear Jel, be sure to click on the “Shopping” option at the top of the page. You should see many options to purchase this product.  I have purchased mine locally from a little shop in South Salt Lake that declines to get a website.  Alas I would give you a link but there is none.

Try it!


How Many Canning Jars Do You Need?

Click here to view the original post.

Written by R. Ann Parris on The Prepper Journal.

When we work our way toward a goal of self-sufficiency, a lot of times producing and preserving food comes up. There are lots of methods, and there are thankfully things like dry meats, grains and legumes, and fruits and veggies that can go straight into cellars and other cold storage. However, for most of us, […]

The post How Many Canning Jars Do You Need? appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Canning Tomatoes: Here’s What Grandma May Not Have Told You

Click here to view the original post.
Canning Tomatoes: Here’s What Grandma May Not Have Told You

Image source: Flickr

It is never more gratifying to be a gardener than when luscious ripe tomatoes are rolling off the plants and into our kitchens. For most of us, though, there are often far more tomatoes than we can eat at the time. After slicing, sautéing, roasting, making salads and salsa, adding to pizza and ratatouille and grilled burgers, and filling the freezer with sauce, there is only option left.

It is time to can tomatoes. People have been canning tomatoes for long enough that everyone and their great-grandmother—and I do mean that literally—has strong opinions on how it should be done. Some folks use strictly paste tomatoes, meaning only those varieties developed specifically for use in homemade sauces. Others use any varieties of tomatoes at all, from commercial or traditional to heirloom, in all shapes and sizes.

There is no single correct answer when it comes to the best tomato varieties for canning. The primary difference is that paste types usually have less water content and therefore require less reduction for sauces and ketchup. Taste, texture and personal preference are factors that matter.

The thing about canning tomatoes is that there are a lot of choices, not the least of which is whether to use a pressure canner or a boiling water bath canner. And the right answer to this question is that both methods are correct.

The Quickest And Easiest Way To Store A Month’s Worth Of Emergency Food!

This is unusual. For almost every other food, there is only one right choice. All vegetable, meats and seafood products need to be pressure-canned for safety. And while fruits can be processed using a pressure canner, it would diminish the quality of the product.

Canning Tomatoes: Here’s What Grandma May Not Have Told You

Image source: Pixabay.com

So why can tomatoes go either way? To explain, let me first talk about acid. The value of various foods are either very acidic—which registers very low numbers on the pH scale—or very neutral and registering very high pH numbers.

Almost all fruits range from 3.0 to 4.0 and are considered to be high acid. Vegetables range from 4.8 to 7.0 and are considered to be low acid.

And then there are tomatoes. The average tomato sits at 4.6, right on the cusp of high acid versus low acid. In this sentence, “average” is the key word. If the average is at 4.6, that means there are some varieties that are a tad more acidic, and a few—particularly some of the heirloom types—that are a little less acidic.

Therefore, the safety rule with tomatoes is to acidify them. By adding a little acidic content to every jar of canned tomatoes, we can be absolutely sure that they are adequately acid. Just a tablespoon of lemon juice or ¼ teaspoon of citric acid per pint of tomatoes does the trick. It is super easy, inexpensive and does not affect the taste of the finished product.

It may sound as if it is alright to skip the acidification step—adding the lemon juice or citric acid—if you are pressure canning, but that is not the case. Acid needs to be added with both processes, and here is why: The directions and processing times for both canning methods have been tested using acidified tomatoes. If you do not use added acid, the processing times given may not be adequate.

The major difference in canning tomatoes using the boiling water bath method versus pressure canning is processing time.

For example, tomatoes packed in water take 40-50 minutes (depending upon the size of the jars) in a boiling water bath canner and only 10 minutes in a pressure canner. Tomatoes with no added liquid take a whopping 85 minutes in a boiling water bath canner and 25 minutes in a pressure canner. With crushed tomatoes, there is a huge time difference as well—35 to 45 minutes versus 15 minutes.

However, there is more than just processing time to consider. Using a pressure canner involves 10 minutes of venting, several minutes to build pressure, and more time to depressurize after processing. When you add it up, the actual time differences are less dramatic.

So why use a pressure canner for tomatoes? Many people say it is about the quality of the finished food. Pressure canned tomatoes often have brighter colors and flavors, retaining more of that tart zing that only a fresh backyard tomato can pack.

Prepare now for surging food costs and empty grocery store shelves…

Either way, there are some basics to go by. Following is a synopsis, although complete step-by-step directions can be found either in Ball’s Blue Book Guide to Preserving, which can be purchased for under $10 at most stores, or accessed free online at the National Center for Home Food Preservation.

Canning Tomatoes: Here’s What Grandma May Not Have Told You

Image source: Flickr

Prepare your supplies. Wash and rinse jars and lids, and keep warm. Assemble equipment:  canner, jar lifter, funnel and headspace tool.

  1. Peel tomatoes by dipping in scalding water until skin loosens, plunge in ice water to make them cool enough to handle, and pull skins off. Trim ends. Cut or crush as needed for recipe.
  2. Prepare your canner and heat the water to simmering.
  3. Add lemon juice or citric acid to each jar.
  4. Pack tomatoes according to recipe: crushed, whole or halved packed in water or tomato juice, or whole or halved with no liquid added. Add salt if desired.
  5. Remove air bubbles, wipe rims, and adjust lids to finger tight.
  6. Process in either boiling water bath canner or pressure canner, following times and procedures for the one you are using.

Processing times cannot safely be mixed and matched. It will not work to use pressure canning times in a boiling water bath canner, or to go with times given for whole tomatoes with added liquid for crushed tomatoes. If using the boiling water bath method for whole tomatoes, follow that recipe to the letter.

I have canned many tomatoes and have used very nearly all of the permutations—with liquid and without, whole and crushed, boiling water bath or pressure canner processed. I admit that I do not have a single go-to way of doing it. An hour and 25 minutes is a long process time, but once it’s boiling, I can set it and forget it. Pressure-canned tomatoes do seem a little tastier, but it is more of a multi-step process than a boiling water bath. Crushed tomatoes are easier to pack into jars, but require more prep work and yield a product that I tend to use less in recipes. Most years, I do a variety.

Even though it seems a little more complicated at the outset, tomatoes are the perfect food for canning and are just right for those who prefer a wide variety of methods. And as long as you use an approved recipe, there is no wrong way to can garden-fresh tomatoes.

What canning advice would you add? Share your tips and secrets in the section below:

Discover The Secret To Saving Thousands At The Grocery Store. Read More Here.

A Guide to Making and Canning Homemade Spaghetti Sauce Like an Italian Grandma

Click here to view the original post.

 

Do you have tomatoes running out your ears?  Get more. Once you taste genuine homemade spaghetti sauce you will definitely want enough that you never have to resort to … Read the rest

The post A Guide to Making and Canning Homemade Spaghetti Sauce Like an Italian Grandma appeared first on The Organic Prepper.

How to Make and Can Apricot Nectar

Click here to view the original post.

Making and canning your own homemade delicious apricot nectar is so easy! Step by step directions here!It’s apricot season! If you have access to an apricot tree, you know they can produce plenty of the sweet tart little guys. Where we live, apricots are a luxury, only producing on years where there is a mild enough spring not to freeze all the blossoms. And this year is one of those! I’ll be posting a few different ways to preserve them over the next couple of days so you can get some variety in how you preserve your apricot harvest this year. One of the easiest and tastiest ways to can a lot of apricots is to make apricot nectar. It’s so pretty, and tastes fantastic!

Here’s what you’ll need:

Step 1: Pick and wash your apricots.

We only hire the best 5 year old help around here.

Making and canning your own homemade delicious apricot nectar is so easy! Step by step directions here!

And I set up the washing/halving station outside to save some mess in my house, so we’re washing in a big mixing bowl like this one.

Making and canning your own homemade delicious apricot nectar is so easy! Step by step directions here!

Step 2: Halve the apricots, discarding the pits and trimming off any damaged parts.

Hire the kids for this part!

Making and canning your own homemade delicious apricot nectar is so easy! Step by step directions here!

I put the cut apricots directly into a mixture of 2 quarts water and 2 TB Fruit Fresh to keep them from browning while we cut the rest.  This is entirely optional, but does help preserve the color.

Making and canning your own homemade delicious apricot nectar is so easy! Step by step directions here!

Step 3: Cook the apricots.

Put the apricot halves in a pot, adding enough water so they don’t stick to the pan, and boil them until soft.  Apricots that are more ripe will soften faster.

Making and canning your own homemade delicious apricot nectar is so easy! Step by step directions here!

Before

Making and canning your own homemade delicious apricot nectar is so easy! Step by step directions here!

After

Step 4: Run the softened apricot mixture through your food sieve.

I use my Kitchen-aid with the strainer attachment to make this super easy!

Making and canning your own homemade delicious apricot nectar is so easy! Step by step directions here!

Step 5: Pour strained apricot nectar into a pot and keep it hot while you’re preparing to can it.

At this point I also put the canning lids I’ll be using into a small pot of water and heat them so they’ll be ready to put on the jars and get the canner filled with hot water as well.

Step 6: Fill jars.

Measure 1/2 cup sugar and 1 TB lemon juice into each clean quart jar.  A canning funnel makes this step lots less messy!  Add apricot nectar to slightly more full than the 1″ headspace you want to end with, and stir it up with a wooden spoon or long handle of any kitchen tool.  Air is released from the sugar pile as you stir which will lower the level of liquid in the jar slightly.  Don’t stir with metal as it could damage your jars.

Making and canning your own homemade delicious apricot nectar is so easy! Step by step directions here!

Left to right: sugar and lemon juice in jar, nectar added, and all mixed up!

Step 7: Put lids on jars.

Wipe the jar rims clean of any residue, apply the hot lids, and screw them on finger tight.

Step 8: Process jars in a water bath canner. 

Process 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude.  I processed mine 20 minutes because we’re at about 5,800 ft.  I also set up my canning station outside using a Camp Chef Explorer stove which saves a ton of mess and heat in the house!  One of my canners is this larger style that will process 9 quarts at a time instead of the standard 7.  Remove from canner and let cool.

Making and canning your own homemade delicious apricot nectar is so easy! Step by step directions here!

Making and canning your own homemade delicious apricot nectar is so easy! Step by step directions here!

Step 9: Enjoy!

If the apricot nectar is too thick for your liking or you just want to mix it up a bit, you can add water, or it is fabulous mixed with apple or pineapple juice.  Yum!

Keep preparing!
Angela

***************************************************************

Subscribe to my email newsletter for updates and special deals.

Please be sure to follow Food Storage and Survival on Facebook which is updated every time there is a new article. You can also find me on Pinterest, and purchase my book, Food Storage for Self Sufficiency and Survival on Amazon.

***************************************************************

Shop the Thrive Monthly Specials or my favorites, the freeze dried vegetables and yogurt bites!

***************************************************************

Canning Water In Case Of Emergencies

Click here to view the original post.

Canning Water In Case Of Emergencies In all my years as a prepper I have not come across this. I feel really silly looking at this because I am saying to myself “why didn’t I do this sooner”. Water is the most important thing to have in an emergency so wouldn’t it make sense to …

Continue reading »

The post Canning Water In Case Of Emergencies appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

Everything You Need to Know About Canning Jars (And More!)

Click here to view the original post.

Everything You Need to Know About Canning Jars (And More!) Canning and the canning jars we know and use today have a rich and long history behind them. Knowing the history of not only the jars we use, but also how it was first discovered to be a viable method of food preservation is surprising. …

Continue reading »

The post Everything You Need to Know About Canning Jars (And More!) appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

Complete List of Home Canning Recipes

Click here to view the original post.

Complete List of Home Canning Recipes These canning recipes will not only keep you busy any time of the year but they will keep your grocery bills low too. Canning any time of the year is just wonderful. If you have an abundance of crops, fruits and veggies to eat or get rid of, canning …

Continue reading »

The post Complete List of Home Canning Recipes appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

9 Foods You Definitely Didn’t Know Could Be Canned

Click here to view the original post.
9 Foods You Definitely Didn't Know Could Be Canned

Image source: Pixabay.com

 

People have been canning at home for years … decades actually. With all of this experience, you would think we all would know what can be canned in pressure cookers. We don’t.

In fact, many people are under the very wrong assumption that fruits, vegetables and things like jam and soup are the only things they can home can.

The reality is that you can home can just about anything you serve your family today. You aren’t limited to eating mushy veggies and fruits if you are relying on your food storage.

You are in for a real treat when you see the following list of foods that can be canned and stored for years. Check out nine things you can preserve in your pressure canner so your family will be eating like kings for years down the road.

1. Hamburger patties. Imagine being able to have a juicy burger, perfectly seasoned, after a blackout. The next time ground beef goes on sale or you get a great deal on a side of beef, you don’t have to put it all in the freezer. It isn’t just patties you can preserve. Ground beef, in general, can be stored for years on your pantry shelf – as can meatballs.

The Quickest And Easiest Way To Store A Month’s Worth Of Emergency Food!

2. Chicken legs and thighs. Eating your favorite cut of chicken cooked the way you like is a pretty common comfort food. You can bake it, fry it or put it on the barbecue with your favorite sauce. Your family will love the idea of their favorite meal, just like they used to eat, when things were normal. You can buy packs of chicken legs and thighs for just a few dollars. This is an excellent, inexpensive way to stock your food storage shelves. Chicken breasts are also an option.

3. Fish. Going fishing is a fun activity and instead of wrapping up your catch and popping it in the freezer, can it instead! Salmon, steelhead, halibut and trout are all excellent tasting after the canning process. You can fillet the fish or dice it up. You don’t need to add any salt or preservatives to the water in the jar. Let the fish do the flavoring. Add a little vegetable oil if you like.

4. Pot roast. It often goes on sale and the next time it does, buy a bunch and home can it. Cutting the roast into small chunks, adding a little salt and then processing it in the pressure cooker is all you need to do to add some nice red meat to your food storage.

9 Foods You Definitely Didn't Know Could Be Canned

Bacon can be canned? Yep. Image source: Pixabay.com

5. Bacon. This is something few people want to live without. Canning it and adding it to your food storage means that, during a blackout or crisis, you will be able to make Sunday breakfast like you used to, bacon included.

6. Hot dogs. OK, it may not be the healthiest food, but imagine being able to grill up some hot dogs or whip up a batch of corn dogs for your little ones, even if the food in the freezer is spoiled. Hot dogs are cheap and often go on sale during the summer months, which is a perfect time to load up.

The World’s Healthiest Survival Food — And It Stores For YEARS and YEARS!

7. Butter. This is another staple you won’t want to live without. Load up on butter when it goes on sale and melt it down to put into your canning jars. It is important to note that the USDA does not have any approved methods for canning dairy products, and actually discourages it. However, any seasoned homesteader or canner will probably tell you many stories about eating canned butter without getting sick. Ghee, which is basically canned butter — regularly used in foreign countries.

8. Cheese. Cheese, glorious cheese in all styles like mozzarella, cheddar and even cream cheese. Again, this is another one of those items that people have been home canning for decades, but there is no official approved method. There is always some concern about bacteria growth, but if you go through the canning process the right way and store the jars in cool areas, you reduce the risk of bacteria growing and making anybody ill.

9. Cake. This is something nobody wants to live without, but baking a cake during a blackout or emergency could be difficult. Having jars filled with your favorite flavor of cake ready to eat when you get that craving will be an appreciated luxury. Cake mixes are easy to make or buy in bulk and you can fill your shelves with lots of cooked cakes to make any occasion a little more special.

What foods would you add to our list? Share your tips in the section below: 

Discover The Secret To Saving Thousands At The Grocery Store. Read More Here.

Storing Dairy Without a Fridge

Click here to view the original post.

What about the milk and eggs? If you have a food stockpile, then at some point you probably asked yourself this question. Most people purchase milk and eggs every week, and the only place you can keep them is in the refrigerator. So how are you supposed to stock up on these things when they […]

The post Storing Dairy Without a Fridge appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

24 Food Storage Tips From 100 Years Ago

Click here to view the original post.

24 Food Storage Tips From 100 Years Ago I have always struggled with my food. When I first started prepping I would just buy extra food and then forget about it. Then years later I would go to it and it had expired, I know you can still eat it but with the meat I …

Continue reading »

The post 24 Food Storage Tips From 100 Years Ago appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

Pressure Canning Pinto Beans

Click here to view the original post.

How to Pressure Can Pinto Beans for Long Term Food Storage

Clean and rinse beans to make sure there aren’t any rocks etc.
I then soaked 3/4 of a cup of beans in each jar full of water overnight.
Next morning drain water and refill with fresh water

These need to go for 70 minutes at 10 pounds.
SUPER easy. For me, even better than Mylar bags for long term storage.

One pint of home canned is about 2 store bought cans. Those beans are packed in there where a store bought has more water.

Rough break down of cost

Canning jars: $7.50 per doz (.62 per jar)
Beans roughly .25 per jar full.
So around .87 a pint
Not including electricity for the stove
And more bang for your bean in terms of servings.

**********************************************************
Thank you for using affiliate links and such.
It doesn’t cost you extra to use them, so thank you.
Sometimes I get free stuff to review.
I promise you I will always be honest with my opinion
of any product regardless of if I were paid in addition
to receiving the free product. You can trust me.
**********************************************************
Do you need Essential Oils of your own?
You can send me an e-mail and I will personally assist
you in choosing the best oils to fit your needs.
**********************************************************
Please use discretion if using oils.
I am not a doctor and can not diagnose or treat what ails ya.
I can just give my advice. Essential Oils have yet to be
approved by the FDA.
**********************************************************
Occasional Newsletter

The post Pressure Canning Pinto Beans appeared first on Mama Kautz.

How To Can Food Without Electricity

Click here to view the original post.

How To Can Food Without Electricity Canning is a safe sure way of having food after any disaster. Canning is fun and a great family night spent preparing. I call canning my insurance for the future, Now, if SHTF how can you carry on canning? There is no electricity or gas? Growing a garden, hunting …

Continue reading »

The post How To Can Food Without Electricity appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

Planning To Can and Freeze – Stocking Our Pantry From The Garden

Click here to view the original post.

Garden season is starting to heat up, and that means it won’t be long until the produce starts to roll in! As much as we love creating meals from all of the fresh berries, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers and more during growing season –

The post Planning To Can and Freeze – Stocking Our Pantry From The Garden appeared first on Old World Garden Farms.

5 Deadly Canning Mistakes Even Smart People Make (No. 1 Is Where Most Goes Wrong)

Click here to view the original post.
5 Deadly Canning Mistakes That Even Smart People Make (No. 1 Is Where Most People Goes Wrong)

Image source: Flickr

Canning is an annual task for all homesteaders, ensuring a long-lasting stockpile of meals to eat.

And while most people may think of staples such as relish, pickles, tomatoes and olives, canning actually can include foods such as meatloaf, ground beef and chicken.

But if canning is not done properly, the food can quickly go bad, leading to illness or even death due to Botulism.

Stay safe this year when canning by avoiding these five mistakes:

1. Not property sterilizing

Cleaning the jars, bands and lids is essential to ensuring that no bacteria can grow. The method to follow when sterilizing the jars is to first wash them in the sink with hot soapy water. Then put them in hot, boiling water for 10 minutes. For the bands and lids, it is appropriate to just wash them in hot soapy water.

Prepare now for surging food costs and empty grocery store shelves…

Ball actually discourages the boiling of lids, due to the fact that it could damage the rubber gasket. Ball’s recommendation is to simmer (180 degrees Fahrenheit) and not boil (212) the lids.

2. Not following the recipe

Everything that is stated in a recipe is there for a reason. From preparing the food to how much headspace is needed – it is all required. Most importantly, make sure to pay attention to the various times in the recipe. Additionally, choose a recipe from a credited source. You may be placing these jars in storage for months or even years, and it’s no time to cut corners.

3. Not property sealing

5 Deadly Canning Mistakes That Even Smart People Make (No. 1 Is Where Most People Goes Wrong)

Image source: Wikimedia

This is the whole magic behind canning. To hear that “pop” is music to a homesteader’s ears. When putting the food into the jar, it is a great idea to use a funnel. This will help ensure that any food chunks do not get on the rim of the jar. Then, have a warm and clean towel ready to wipe off the tops. Next, when placing the band and lid on, hold the lid with one finger while twisting the band on. This should allow for proper sealing.

4. Now allowing the pressure canner to cool down by itself

After letting the pressure out of the canner, as directed by a recipe, you can simply leave it alone. Speeding up the process by putting the canner under cool water can lead to problems, such as the cracking of jars or the food being under-processed. These extra few minutes actually are critical to the canning process.

5. Not using the correct method of canning (hot water bath or pressure)

The rule of thumb is to put non-acid foods such as peas or chicken into a pressure canner and acidic foods such a pickles or jam into a hot water bath. The reason is simple: The potentially deadly Clostridium botulinum spores don’t grow in acidic foods.

What would you add to this list? Share your canning tips in the section below:

If You Like All-Natural Home Remedies, You Need To Read Everything That Hydrogen Peroxide Can Do. Find Out More Here.

Care and Maintenance of Pressure Canners

Click here to view the original post.

Care and Maintenance of Pressure Canners As preppers, it can be a challenge to think of all the little details. Rotating everything into your normal food stock as it nears expiration is, in itself, a chore! It can be very easy to overlook the maintenance of pressure canners. If you are like the millions of …

Continue reading »

The post Care and Maintenance of Pressure Canners appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

How to Preserve Meat: 5 Easy Ways

Click here to view the original post.

How to Preserve Meat: 5 Easy Ways Let’s face it: meat doesn’t have a very long lifespan. If left out in the open, it will deteriorate in quality very quickly, essentially becoming useless. But if you know the different techniques for preserving meat, then you can make it last much longer without going bad. One …

Continue reading »

The post How to Preserve Meat: 5 Easy Ways appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

Strawberry Chipotle BBQ Sauce

Click here to view the original post.

bbq sauceSweet. Smoky. Spicy. Is there anything better than these flavor combinations? This recipe happened purely by chance when I accidently let a pot of strawberry preserves go too long on the stove. I’m not about to let a pot of preserves go to waste, so I decided to make a barbecue sauce out of it. My mistake ended up being one of the best recipes I have ever come up with!

The chipotles will balance out the sweetness of the strawberries and really give some oomph to this sauce and is amazing on all meat types. My family loved it on ribs, chicken and pork tenderloin.

Now that barbecue season is quickly approaching, I thought I’d share this new take on the traditional bbq sauce and kick things up a notch. Happy grilling!

Strawberry Chipotle BBQ Sauce

  • 4 cups strawberries, hulled (if they are large cut them in half)
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 chipotle chili in adobo, chopped
  • 2 tablespoon garlic, grated
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon mustard
  1. In a large pot, sterilize pint size canning jars, lids and rims.
  2. In a large sauce pan, add strawberries, lemon and sugar and cook over medium heat until they start to caramelize, about 15-20 minutes. Skim off any foam that may develop from the cooking process.
  3. Add remaining ingredients to blender and blend until pureed. Add ingredients to strawberries and simmer for 2o minutes.
  4. Ladle bbq sauce into canning jars, remove air bubbles and wipe rims before sealing.
  5. Process in hot water bath for 20 minutes.

The Prepper's Blueprint

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

9 Things To Know Before You Start Canning Food

Click here to view the original post.

To most people, canning appears to be the scariest and most complicated food preservation method. It requires specialized equipment, recipes, knowledge, and can even be dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing. But before you panic and abandon the idea of canning altogether, keep reading. The basics of canning and how to do it […]

The post 9 Things To Know Before You Start Canning Food appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

The Right Way To Safely Can Non-Acidic Foods (And Avoid Deadly Botulism)

Click here to view the original post.
The Right Way To Safely Can Non-Acidic Foods (And Avoid Deadly Botulism)

Image source: Pixabay.com

Knowledge on canning non-acidic foods is invaluable to the modern homesteader. Knowing that these canned items will rest safely on the shelves of your storage room or pantry – and be edible when you need them – can give you peace of mind.

What Is Non-Acidic Food?

Non-acid foods do not contain acids like tomatoes do, and they are not canned with vinegar. As stated by the Ball website, non-acidic foods need to process at a temperature of 240 degrees Fahrenheit. This ensures that no fungus grows within the jars.

Make ‘Off-The-Grid’ Super Foods Just Like Grandma Made!

Non-acidic foods also need to be pressure canned. Unlike non-acidic foods, acidic foods only need to be put into boiling water for a set amount of time. Examples of non-acidic foods include meats, soups and vegetables such as carrots, peas or asparagus.

Materials Needed to Can Non-Acidic Foods

Pressure canning non-acidic foods requires you to have a few items:

  • Pressure canner.
  • (Make sure there aren’t any indents, scratches, rust, etc., on the bands.)
  • (Make sure that there aren’t any scratches or tears on the seals.)
  • Clean glass jars.
  • Ladle.
  • Funnel.
  • Jar lifter (optional).
  • Head space measurer (optional).
  • Long thin spoon.
  • Recipe from a safe canning book such as a Ball book.

How to Pressure Can Non-Acidic Foods

1. The first step to pressure canning is ensuring that the glass jars, bands and lids are cleaned with hot soapy water. Also, make sure that they don’t have any nicks or cracks.

2. Put the jars in hot water until needed. This ensures that when you put the food into the jars and put the jars into the water, they don’t crack.

The Right Way To Safely Can Non-Acidic Foods (And Avoid Deadly Botulism)

Image source: Pixabay.com

3. Get the pressure canner and add two to three inches of water into it. Bring and keep the water at a simmer until the cans are ready to be put in.

4. Prep the food that you are putting into the jars. This depends on what your recipe says.

5. Remove the jars from the hot water, and add the food. Make sure the correct headspace is achieved as in the recipe you are using. Take out air bubbles with the spoon or headspace tool.

Just 30 Grams Of This Survival Superfood Provides More Nutrition Than An Entire Meal!

6. Clean the rims of the jars with a clean moist rag to wipe off all of the junk that could prevent a proper seal.

7. Add the seals and then the bands. Tighten until fingertip tight.

8. Put jars in the pressure canner.

9. Lock the pressure canner and open the vent pipe. Leave the heat on medium to high heat and let it blow steam for 10 minutes to ensure that there isn’t any air in the pressure canner.

10. Close the vent pipe by whatever means is appropriate for your own canner. Allow the pressure to build up to where you need it and then keep it at whatever your recipe calls for by adjusting the heat.

11. When it has finished after the amount of time needed for your recipe, take the jars out of the canner using the jar lifter, if you have one.

12. Put them on a towel or on the stove.

13. Leave them alone for a day to ensure proper sealing.

14. Lastly, check the seals to ensure that they have been properly sealed. You should be able to press on the top and it should not move up and down. Also, try to pry off the seal, gently. If you cannot pull it off and it does not move up or down, then you have a perfect seal. If there is a jar that did not seal, then put it in your fridge and eat it soon. As for the sealed jars, put them in a cool and dark place, label them, and leave them there for as long as they stay good (check the jars every year to ensure they are still sealed and suitable for consumption).

Why You Need to Be Careful

It is critical to ensure that the cans of food are properly pressure canned during the processing. Without proper sealing, mold can grow in it, and one could be Clostridium botulinum. This is a very dangerous mold that can paralyze and kill you. Following these directions will ensure that you have a safe and fruitful canning experience each time!

What advice would you add? Share your thoughts in the section below:

Harness The Power Of Nature’s Most Remarkable Healer: Vinegar