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Canning Foods And Preserving What You Grow
Strawberry Freezer Jam
This easy to prepare strawberry jam is oh so delicious and easy to make. It will keep a year or more in the freezer. Be sure to always label your containers and put a date on them.
1. One Quart Fresh Strawberries.
2. Four Cups Sugar measured out into a bowl.
3. One Cup Water.
4. One Box of Sure Jell.
You will need five one pint plastic containers with lids to put your jam in. Wash them and the lids inside and out with hot boiling water.
You want to wash your strawberries and take all the stems and leaves off. Then crush your strawberries well.
Measure out exactly two cups of well crushed strawberries and add it to the bowl where you have the sugar. Stir everything up together and let stand for 12 minutes.
In a saucepan mix the water and sure jell together. Bring it to a boil and cook it stirring for another full minute.
Pour the sure jell water into the strawberry and sugar mixture and stir it up well.
Now you will want to fill all your containers with the jam to with in 1/2 inch of the top of the containers. Put the lids on and put the strawberry jam filled containers in the freezer. When you want strawberry jam just take one container out of the freezer and put it in the refrigerator. This strawberry jam is delicious and so good on a hot biscuit.
Buy Yourself A Food Dehydrator
If your going to be preserving foods you really need a food dehydrator so you can dry foods like tomatoes, apples, bananas, bell peppers, beef jerky and etc. You want one of the food dehydrators that has multiple racks so it will be able to hold a lot of food to dry. Always set your food dehydrator up in a clean place in your kitchen with a table near by so you can work with the table cutting up fruits and vegetables to be placed in the food dehydrator.
When I can get a lot of bananas on sale I peel the bananas and slice them into a large bowl. I toss my bananas with a little lemon juice being sure to coat all the bananas so that my bananas don't turn dark when they are dried.
I dry the bananas and then I pack them into coffee cans that I have saved the lids for and I store them on a shelf in the pantry. They make a quick snack and are much better for you than potato chips or candy.
Dried apples are my favorite dried fruit though. You can process a bushel of apples quickly in a food dehydrator and again I store the dried apples in containers with tight fitting lid. I date all my dried fruit containers on the outside and on top so I know what's in the container and when the dried fruit was put in the container. Right now I'm eating dried apples dried two years ago and they are delicious.
Canning Foods And Preserving What You Grow
I've been watching Doomsday Preppers and I searched around and couldn't find that much information on home canning and preserving what you grow. So I thought I would do a complete Hub Page on canning and preserving what you grow. if you read this Hub Page carefully and watch the videos you should have the basic knowledge to start home canning.
Canning is preserving food by heating jars of food hot enough and long enough, and, with some types of food, under enough pressure to keep food from spoiling. Canning makes it possible to capture seasonal produce to enjoy in homemade condiments and other canned goods throughout the year.
There are two basic methods of home canning, and the type you want to can determines the method to use. The boiling water bath method is for high-acid foods such as fruits, tomatoes and pickles. You process the food in a water bath canner at 212 degrees. The pressure method is used for low-acid foods like most vegetables, meats, poultry, and seafood. It processes food in a pressure canner at 240 degrees.
Its essential that you follow the latest standard canning procedures recommended by USDA. For recipes in question check with the county Cooperative Extension System in your state for information concerning processing times, pressures to use, head space, and altitude adjustments. Or you can go to homecanning.com on the web for the latest, up to date canning recommendations.
Equipment For Canning
You need a boiling water canner. A boiling water canner has a tight fitting lid and a metal rack in it to hold the jars. If you don't have a canner, you can use any big metal stock pot or kettle that's deep enough and large enough to submerge the jars. However be sure to put a wire rack in the bottom of the pot to prevent the jars from setting directly on the bottom of the pot. Your jars have to be completely surrounded by water.
Pressure canners are more elaborate than a boiling water bath, this consists of a large pot with a locking lid and seal, a pressure lock, and a dial or weighted gauge. You will want to be sure to read the book or information that comes with your pressure canner. Its important that you understand how to operate your pressure canner.There are three great videos on home canning below so be sure to watch them.
You will need jars and lids and you only want to use standard canning jars and lids with screw on bands. Be sure that lids have sealed properly before storing canned foods. You should buy a pair of jar tongs so you can lift hot jars more easily.
How Do I Know If My Home Canned Jars Have Sealed Properly
Once jars have been processed , carefully remove them with jar tongs and place ride side up on a cloth towel or wire rack to cool for 12 - 24 hours. As the jars cool, you should hear loud pops indicating the vacuum seal has occurred. When the jars have completely cooled remove the metal bands only, and check lids for a proper seal. The center of the lid should dip downward. Press down on the center of the lid, it should not spring back when released. If it does your jars didn't seal properly and you'll have to do it over. Wipe he lids clean and put the metal bands back on.
Rescue For Lid Sealing Problems
If a lid fails to seal, the food should be repacked and reprocessed in hot jars with in 24 hours with new, properly prepared lids. Or if you don't have time to reprocess the food you can store the food in the refrigerator. But it won't keep as long in the refrigerator and most foods should be used in two weeks, three at the most.
Leather Britches Are Dried Green Beans Dried On Strings Like In The Below Photo.
How To Make Leather Britches
American Indians and settlers used this method of preserving their green beans. They would break the ends off their green beans and remove any strings. Then they would break the green beans up in small pieces and thread them onto a strong thread using a needle.
You then hang the beans up so they are not touching and let them air dry. Once they are dry you hang them up in a cool dark place and let them hang so the strings of dry green beans are not touching each other.
In case you're wondering you thread the needle just like you were going to sew with it and then string the green beans on the thread just like in the photo.
When your ready to use your dried green beans let them soak overnight in salted water and then wash them off under cold running water before you cook them by your favorite recipe for green beans. I love the way these green beans taste and I bet you will too if you give them a try. Its also a wonderful way to preserve your green beans. I like to cook my green beans in a pot just covered with water with a teaspoon of sugar and a teaspoon of ground sea salt. I peel a small onion and put it in with my green beans while they are cooking. I remove the onion and discard it before I serve the green beans. I let my green beans cook down until they are almost dry before I remove them from the burner and serve them. You can peel potatoes and dice them up and add them to the green beans when you first start them cooking.
I think the green beans cooked with the potatoes are truly some of the best green beans you will ever eat in your life. Try them cooked this way and see what you think.
String Up Your Cayenne Pepper Also
You can use a large needle threaded with strong thread and string up your Cayenne Pepper and allow it to dry also. When your ready to use it like in stews, soups, or sausage just break off what you need and allow the remainder to stay hanging up. Be sure to hang your dried Cayenne Pepper in a cool dry place.
Home Canned Food Can Be So DeliciousClick thumbnail to view full-size
Tricks, Tips And Hints For Preserving Food.
1. Save your guacamole by putting it in a container a bit larger than you need to keep it in and put a thin layer of water on top of it. The water will preserve it and it won't turn brown overnight. The thin layer of water acts as a barrier to keep the oxygen from causing the guacamole to turn brown.
2. When storing your dairy products in the refrigerator always use the top most shelf for storing your dairy products because the top shelf stays at the most constant temperature in almost every refrigerator.
3. Almost all berries will keep longer if you store them in a single layer. Berries spoil more quickly when juice from other berries drops down on the berries under them. If you have an abundance of berries like strawberries go ahead and remove the caps from them, cut them up and freeze them in zip lock freezer bags. This way you can thaw them when you want to use them.
4. Bread especially loaf bread should be stored at room temperature preferably in a bread box with a tight fitting lid. Bread stored this way will keep longer and stay fresh longer than bread stored in the refrigerator. You can freeze loaf bread if you need to.
5. Lemons will keep much longer and stay juicy longer if you will store them in a zip lock bag in the bottom part of your refrigerator. A cold lemon will always be easier to zest than a warm lemon.
6. Believe it or not but you should keep your potatoes in a potato box with an apple in the box with them to keep the potatoes from sprouting. Never store potatoes in the plastic bag they come in. You are better to pour them out of the plastic bag in a cardboard box open to the air than you are to leave them in the cardboard box.
7. You can store herbs in a bottle or jar covered with oil to preserve the herbs and flavor the oil they are stored in.
8. If you have a lot of green tomatoes in the garden and frost is coming pick the green tomatoes and wrap each tomato with newspaper. Store them in a cardboard box in a cool dark place and you can be eating tomatoes in late January. Be sure that the tomatoes are put in the cardboard box stem side down.
9. Hang your bananas up by the stem to keep them fresh longer. Wrap the stems up with plastic wrap to also keep them from ripening as quickly.
10. When you bring home can food items take a permanent marker and write the date you brought it home as you put the cans in the pantry. Always pull older canned goods to the front and put new canned goods behind the other canned goods. This will make sure everything stored in your pantry will stay fresh and in date.
11. Once you open baking powder or baking soda it will quickly lose its strength. After a month throw out any baking powder or baking soda that you have previously opened. You can pour baking soda and white vinegar down your drains and they will smell really well and it will also clean out the pipes.
12. keep cold cuts like ham, bologna, cheese, and etc in a plastic box in the refrigerator and they will all stay fresh much longer. You do want the plastic box to have a tight fitting lid.
How Do I Know If My Home-Canned Jars Have Sealed Properly
Once the jars have been processed, carefully remove them with tongs and place right side up on a cloth towel or wire rack to cool for 12 to 24 hours. As the jars cool, you should hear loud pops indicating the vacuum seal has occurred. When the jars are completely cooled, remove the metal bands only, and check lids for a proper seal. The center of the lid should should dip downward. If you press down on the center of the lid it should not spring back when released. Wipe the lids clean and reattach the metal bands.
Always label and date your home-canned products before storing in a cool, dry place. You should try to plan to use most home-canned goods in about a year. Always throw it out if your not sure its good. Never use any home-canned goods that have come unsealed, or have bubbles in the jar.
If lids fail to seal, the food should be repacked and reprocessed in hot jars with in 24 hours with new, properly prepared lids. Or if you don't have time to reprocess, store food in the refrigerator and use the food as soon as possible.
Preserving food by heating jars of food hot enough and long enough, and, with some types of food under pressure to keep food from spoiling. Canning makes it possible to capture seasonal produce to use and enjoy in homemade condiments and other canned goods throughout the year.
There are two basic methods of home canning, and the type of food you want to can determines the method to use. The boiling water bath method is for high-acid foods such as fruits, tomatoes, and pickles. It processes the food in a water bath canner at 212 degrees. The pressure method is used for low acid foods like most vegetables, meats, poultry, and seafood. It is processed at 240 degrees.
Its very important that you follow the latest standard canning procedures recommended by the USDA.
If your going to be doing home-canning you need to do full and complete research to make sure you know what you're doing. If you buy a hot water canner or pressure canner read the book that comes with them and then read it again. Check with your local agriculture agent for information and pamphlets they may have for you.
Boiling Water Bath Canner
A boiling water bath canner has a tight-fitting lid and a metal rack to hold the jars. If you don't have a canner, you can use any big metal stock pot or kettle that's deep enough and large enough to submerge the jars. Be sure to place a wire rack in the bottom of the pot to keep jars from setting directly on the bottom of the pot.
More elaborate than a boiling-water bath, this consists of a large kettle with a rack to hold jars, a locking lid with a seal, a pressure lock, and a dial or weighted gauge.
Jars And Lids
Use only standard canning jars and lids with screw on bands. Leftover food jars should not be used. Make sure the lids have sealed properly before storing canned foods.
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You Can Easily Grow A Herb Garden Indoors
Everyone Should Have An indoor Herb Garden Especially In The Winter Months
I grow herbs indoors in front of south facing windows especially during the winter months. You can grow a lot of wonderfully delicious herbs right there in your kitchen. Just be sure to keep your herbs well watered and be sure they are not in a area where they are going to freeze.
You can try growing various herbs but mint, chives, basil, oregano and a few others do really well grown indoors. I put a grow light over them and I almost always have all the herbs I want or need.
Hang Your Onions Up In Recycled Hose And They Will Keep Up To A Year.
A Great Way To Store Your Onions
Use old recycled hose or panty hose you have cut the legs off of to store your onions in like in the photo. If you'll store your onions like this you'll find that they will keep up to a year. Just snip off the onions as you need them and allow the other onions to remain hanging up.
Be sure to hang your onions in a cool dark place like under the stairs like in the photo. If you store your onions like this you'll find that they will keep very well with the air moving around them and you can easily use a pair of scissors to cut off the onions you need.
Be sure to store them where they will not freeze. They will spoil quickly if they thaw and freeze over and over. So be sure where you hang them up does not get below freezing.
Home Canning in a Pressure Canner: Turnips and Greens Part 1 of 2
Home Canning in a Pressure Canner: Turnips and Greens Part 2 of 2
The Art of Home Canning
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Did you learn anything new here on this Hub Page about Canning And Preserving Food?
Did You Find Useful Information Here
I hope you found information here that you can use when your canning or preserving food. I keep adding new things here as I find them and will continue to do so. I hope you find helpful information here on how to keep and preserve your food. You need to know everything possible about how to preserve your food especially if your growing a garden. I hope you found the information here helpful.
Make Your Own Delicious Dried Tomatoes
I grow a lot of heirloom tomatoes and they have some wonderful flavors and unusual colors. I like to grow the little yellow cherry tomatoes and what I do with them is first spray my food dehydrators racks with vegetable cooking spray and then I cut the little yellow cherry tomatoes up into a large bowl and to that large bowl of cut in half cherry tomatoes I put half of a cup of dried and crumbled purple basil and one fourth cup of olive oil and I stir everything carefully to coat the tomatoes well.
I then fill the racks of the food dehydrator full of the little tomatoes and I let them dry. When they are dry you end up with a product you'll never find in a grocery store. And oh man the flavor of these little dried tomatoes will make you think they were dried in the sun. I love to use them in salads, focosia bread, stews, and I also eat them as a snack. They are so delicious.
How To Can Tomatoes At Home
First of all you don't want to use any overripe tomatoes and you need to buy a large bottle of lemon juice. You need to prepare your lids and jars by washing them in hot soapy water or you can run the jars and lids through your dishwasher. When your jars are ready place them in a large pot of hot water with a metal rack in the bottom of the pot so the jars are not setting on the bottom of the pot. You want this water to be hot but not boiling.Your jar lids and rings also go in this hot water bath.
Get your canning pot ready with the rack in the bottom of it. Fill halfway with water and bring it to a simmer. The two pots you have on so far should be on low enough so they don't boil and they should be on the back two burners.
Now on the front burners you need two smaller pots with water in them and you bring the water in these pots to a boil.
Wash and remove the stems from your tomatoes. Cut the top part of the tomato stem was off just by cutting off the very top of the tomato. Cut a X into the bottom of each tomato.
Drop a few tomatoes at a time into one of the pots where you have the water boiling. Leave them in about three minutes and then careful take the tomatoes out and set them on a towel to drain. Be careful because these tomatoes will be hot. Slip the skins off and squeeze each tomato into a large bowl.
Remove one jar at a time from their hot bath with jar tongs and set it on a towel beside the bowl of tomatoes that you have removed the skins from and squeezed into the bowl. Put two tablespoons of lemon juice in each jar and then fill the jar with the processed tomatoes and juice. leave about a half inch of space at the top of each jar. Screw a lid and ring on each jar you have filled with tomatoes and the lemon juice.
When you have enough jars filled to fill your canner fill it up with the jars and then fill with water to be sure the tomatoes are at least two inches under water. Put the lid on and bring the canner pot to a boil and boil the canned tomatoes for a full 45 minutes. Add water as needed to make sure your tomatoes stay under water. After 45 minutes turn the canner off and allow it to cool to room temperature.
Use care and take the tomato filled jars out of the canner and set them somewhere to cool for 24 hours before you move the jars to your pantry or other storage area. Your tomatoes can be used for up to a year or longer. Repeat the process as you do all the tomatoes you want to.
Remember Don't Let Your Home Canned Foods Freeze
You have to store your home canned food where it will not freeze. If they freeze they can come unsealed and ruin. You can see what is in a glass jar but you need to date the jars on top of the lid so you can keep up with what should be used first. Newly canned foods go to the back of the shelf's and older canned foods get pulled forward.
You can label your jars of home canned goods with a black marker and then you can easily wash it off before you wash the jar and use it again. Paper labels can come off but when you write it on the glass it will be there until you wash it off.
If Your Ever In Doubt Don't Use It
Its rare but home canned can goods can spoil. If you see a lid pushing up open it and discard but never eat the contents. Be sure to wash that jar very well and throw the lid away. If something looks wrong don't eat it. If you ever have questions I can help you with ask them below.
But if you see bubbles forming in home canned goods or you push down on the lid of a home canned jar lid and it pops back up don't use it. If you find a jar that is no longer properly sealed don't use it. Pour it out and wash and sanitize the jar before you use it again. If there is a chip of glass gone around the top of a jar don't use it. Discard it. Never try to reuse jar lids or rings. Always buy new jar lids and rings. If you try to reuse jar lids or jar rings your asking for trouble.
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© 2012 Thomas Byers