Category Archives: Stockpiling/Prepping

Canning Granny

I have been checking out canning blogs since I am looking to build my stockpile. I have come across a very good blog that is worth recommending. She does not follow a low carb diet but she explains very well how to can different items and why certain techniques should be used instead of others. Check her out.

Canning Granny

Canning Dried Beans

Despite dried beans being  a bit high in carbs I do use them sparingly in different recipes. They add protein and we all need protein. I like to can them in pint jars and use them in recipes.  As you all know Mike loves his pinto and mixed beans. I usually make a large slow cooker of these for him each week and he enjoys them each evening with his dinner. He eats them the way the rest of us do a vegetable.

Canning dried beans is very easy.  You will need a pressure canner again for this. I add bacon or ham to each jar for extra flavor. You will need 10 pint size jars (or 7  quart jars).  Wash them and inspect rims for cracks or chips.

The night before put 2 quarts of dried beans into a large pot and cover with water. The water will need to be several inches over the top of the beans.  Allow to sit overnight. The next morning you will heat and simmer for 30 minutes. I put bacon in the bottom of the jars and put the partially cooked beans into each jar. I put the beans in the jars without the liquid and save the broth to add after I am sure that I get all of the beans into the jars.

Next I like to add a small amount of dried onion to the top of each jar. Then add 1/2 teaspoon canning salt per pint jar (1 teaspoon per quart jar) and add liquid to half an inch from top of jar. Place lid and band on jar and place in canner. Add water to half an inch from top of canner. Place lid on pressure canner per manufacturer instructions and add 10 pound pressure on canner. Then place over high heat on stove top.

Once the 10 pound weight begins to jiggle process 75 minutes for pints (90 minutes for quarts).  Remove from heat and allow pressure canner to naturally cool and release pressure. Do NOT attempt to assist with the canner releasing its pressure. You may become seriously burned.

Once the pressure is released from the canner you can use a jar lifter and remove jars from canner. Place on a towel to cool. You will hear a popping noise when jars begin to seal. This is normal and the result that you want.  Allow them to cool and then remove bands and store in a cool dark place.

If any of the jars do not seal you can either repeat the process above or store in the refrigerator and consume within a few days. I only had one jar not seal this time. I am sure Mike will have no problem using these. 🙂

See how pretty they look in my pantry next to my low carb beef stew?

I have been slowly adding to my pantry. This is how it looks now. I hope to have it where I want it to be within the next month. Then I will begin working on my health and hygiene pantry. 🙂

Canned Low Carb Beef Stew

I made the low carb version of the beef stew last weekend and it was very good. I plan to can more of it this weekend and will make a few changes to it.  I didn’t pack the cabbage into the jars tightly enough and it ended up being more liquid than I wanted it to be. I will also add more onion, carrots and green beans.

I have really missed having beef stew but couldn’t quite find the correct mix to keep the texture of the original beef stew recipe. The cabbage is very close. If you like turnips you could certainly use them too.  However, I do not like turnips so that won’t work for me. These are the jars prior to canning. As you can see it needs more vegetables in the jars. They are still very pretty though.

Here is the recipe that I used.

First you will need to wash and clean 7 quart canning jars (or 10 pint jars). Be sure that the top rim of the jars are not chipped or your jar will not seal. Canning jars will last many years of reuse if properly cared for.

I cut the meat into bite size portions.

Place a few pieces of meat in the bottom of each jar. Next layer the following items.

  • cabbage, chopped
  • onion, chopped
  • carrots, chopped
  • green beans

Next add 1/4 teaspoon each of following spices

  • basil
  • oregano
  • black pepper

Now add 1 teaspoon canning salt to each jar. Then fill each jar with tomato juice to half an inch from top of jar.

Add lid and band to jars and place in pressure canner.  Fill canner with water to about an inch from top of canner. Place lid on canner according to directions and add 10 pound pressure to the canner. Once the canner starts to jiggle the pressure weight you start timing the cooking process.  You will cook for 90 minutes for quarts and 75 minutes for pints.

Since you are cooking meat in this recipe you must use a pressure canner and not a water bath canner.

Once you have processed the jars for 90 minutes remove canner from heat and allow the canner to naturally cool and release pressure. Do not attempt to release the pressure yourself. Once the canner no longer has pressure on it remove lid and using jar lifter remove from canner and place jars on a towel to cool. You will hear them making a popping noise when the jars are sealing.

If you have jars that do not seal you can repeat the canning process above or put in refrigerator and eat within a few days.  All of mine sealed this time. Yay!!

You will be glad you have this made ahead when the zombies attack and you don’t have time to cook. hahahahaha 🙂

Canning Pumpkin

I canned pumpkin last year and made so much that I still have plenty. I used this website to know how to can the pumpkin. I canned 10 pumpkins so I tried various ways of cooking the pumpkin and baking or boiling was my favorite. Microwaving didn’t work at all for me.  Sections of the peel were still very hard.

I use the pumpkin to make several different recipes and I have no complaints at all with the outcome.

Pumpkin Praline Parfait

Pumpkin Pudding

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Pumpkin Pie

Do these recipes give you ideas on ways to use pumpkin?

Restocking the Pantry

I haven’t been very good at keeping my pantry stocked and I am going to dedicate the next few weeks to correcting that problem. On Sunday I spent some time reorganizing it and this is how it looks right now. I didn’t photograph the several feet of empty shelving that I have. I will be filling those areas with jars of items that I will be canning.

My pantry is made in a bedroom closet that Caleb is currently using. He knows not to get into the pantry and it has never been a problem. Mike built shelves into it for me. We have large folding double doors across the front of it. It measures 6 feet wide and over 11 feet high.

On the top shelf I have light weight items such as Mike’s boxes of instant mashed potatoes. I need to get more of these for him. My goal is to have enough food in my pantry to maintain us for a year if necessary. I urge most people to have enough in their pantry to sustain them for at least 3 months if a natural disaster occurs. I keep watching the news and see how people in New York and New Jersey are struggling from the storm last month. It will be impossible for the government to help quickly if there is mass destruction such as they are experiencing.

The next shelf down holds my baking items. I love these large lock and lock canisters. They are so convenient for baking.

Next I have my bottled items. I need to stock up on mayonnaise and ketchup. I had not realized I had none at this point. I will need more salsa to get through the next year. I like the salsa that I can get at Dollar Tree.

I am slowly stockpiling Mike’s pinto beans. The problem with stockpiling beans is that you have to have them in something where no oxygen can get to them or they have a relatively short shelf life of just a few months. As they get older they dry out to the point that they will not absorb the water and swell to cook. I will need to invest in some type of a container that will remove the oxygen. I also plan to can some as well.

I love pumpkin. Did you all already know that? bwahaha

I need to get more canned salmon, tuna and crab.

Next comes all of my canned items of tomato paste, tomato sauce, tomatoes, green beans, corn, mixed vegetables, mushrooms, pork n beans, refried beans and several kinds of soup.

When I talk about stockpiling food and filling my pantry many people don’t understand why I do this. I do this for several reasons. I have had periods of my life where money has been very tight and I had no money for groceries. Right now I am in a place where I don’t have to worry about that but I feel that I should be prepared for if things change and I am suddenly unemployed or experience a loss causes financial hardship for us. There have been times that having a well stocked pantry has come in handy.

I also believe that the Bible commands us to prepare and fill our coffers. Whenever I mention my faith or God on the blog I have many people unsubscribe. That is your choice but I hope that you stick around. My faith is part of who I am and why I do the things that I do.

While doing my research on this subject I found this wonderful blog where they share Christian beliefs and homesteading. She explains things much more eloquently than I could ever dream of doing. Check her out.

Like  A Bubbling Brook- Is Stockpiling Scriptural?

Canning- Beef Stew

I wanted to make a low carb canned beef stew but for several reasons I couldn’t come up with that yet. I tried to think of things that would be low carb and good in it but let me break it down for you. Instead of potatoes I considered cauliflower but everything that I read showed that it comes out mushy when canned.

I considered cabbage but it isn’t recommended for canning either. That leaves us with green beans, onions, green peppers and carrots. I still feel that it needs a filler such as potatoes do for the beef stew. I am still thinking on it but I am showing you what I did for my husband on Sunday.

I took a large roast. Any cut should do because it will become very tender through the pressure canning process. Cut the meat into bite size pieces.

I placed the meat in the bottom of the jar and topped with chopped potatoes. Then since this is fall and I don’t have fresh vegetables I bought cans of mixed vegetables at the store. I used 4 cans to add to this. I drained all of the liquid from the cans first. Next I added green beans. You can use fresh or canned if fresh are not available. It doesn’t take many. If you are using cans I would say perhaps 2-3. Next top with tomato juice.  When I do this in the summer I use fresh tomatoes but since I don’t have them available at this time of the year I bought 2 large cans of tomato juice and used that instead.

I added about 1/2 teaspoon dried onion to mine but fresh will work as well. For spices I added 1/2 teaspoon each of oregano, basil and black pepper. You must use canning salt and not regular table salt. For each quart you will add 1 teaspoon canning salt, for pints 1/2 teaspoon. All of your ingredients should come to within 1/2 inch of top of jar.

Place lids and bands on jars.

Place jars in pressure canner and fill to within 1/2 inch of canner with water. Place lid on pressure canner according to the instruction of your canner.  I added the pressure gauge that is 10 pounds of pressure and placed on stove top. Once the gauge began to jiggle I allowed the canner to process quarts for 90 minutes and pints for 75 minutes.

Remove canner from heat and allow canner to naturally cool and release the pressure. Do  NOT attempt at quick releasing the pressure on your canner. You stand a very good chance of getting burned that way. Once there is no longer pressure on the canner remove the lid and using your jar lifter remove the jars and place on a towel on your counter.

While the jars naturally cool you will hear them seal (popping noise). This shows that the jar has sealed. Allow jars to remain on the counter for at least 24 hours before moving them to the pantry.

At this point you can remove the bands and wash and reuse the bands.

If you have any jars that did not seal you can either process again using the same method above or you can put in the refrigerator and eat within a few days. Mike prefers eating them within a few days. 🙂

Save those bones to make your own beef broth. I will be doing that as soon as I get enough bones together. For now this one is going back into the freezer. 🙂

I have found several meat recipes that I will be canning over the next couple of weeks. I will also find a way to make canned stew meat where I can add a few items shortly before eating to make our low carb version.

Canning and Stockpiling Low Carb

I was very surprised how many people commented here and by email stating that they wanted to can or stockpile for low carb. I started searching online for more information and there aren’t many suggestions regarding low carbing and for preparing to survive if a disaster occurred for Diabetics. I was able to learn quite a bit and will be sharing that over the next few weeks.

First lets discuss items that you will need in order to can.

Most people start canning by canning tomatoes, green beans or making jelly. Since I am starting in the colder weather I am going to show you how to can meats and legumes first. For this you will need a pressure canner. I highly suggest this one.  This one is safe even for glass top stoves.  Not all are.  I have placed it in my webstore. You can get to it by clicking here.

There is a kit that includes a canning funnel, jar lifter and several other items that are necessary in canning. It will prevent you from getting burned while removing the jars from the canner.  You can get to it by clicking here. 

Of course you can’t can things without jars. Years ago we were able to save our mayonnaise jars and use those for canning. Our mayonnaise are now all in plastic  jars so we have to purchase our jars.  Luckily the jars can be used over and over and will last you many years. Many of my jars my mother gave to me from where she used to can. I have jars stuck in many places throughout my home. My attic has several large boxes of jars as well. There are times that all of my jars are full. Sadly that is not the case at this time as I didn’t can tomatoes or green beans this summer. The local farmer that I get my produce from had problems with deer this year so I wasn’t able to get my usual supply.

You can choose from wide mouth or regular mouth jars. It is a personal choice as to which you want to use. I prefer to use the regular mouth jars but since I NEVER turn down an offer for jars when offered I use them both. If you ask around you will be able to find people who no longer can and want to donate or sell their jars very cheaply. You can easily find them at yard sales for about $2 a dozen. Keep your eyes open. If you need to purchase them you can get them here. 

You can reuse the bands and jars but you will need to use a fresh new lid each time you can. The bands will rust easily so be sure to dry them immediately when washing them. You can easily get an entire season of canning out of your bands.  To get the lids click here.

Now even though it will be a bit before I share recipes for a hot water bath canner I will provide that information here as well. First of all ask around and see if you know if your Mother or Grandmother have a water-bath canner that they no longer want. Canning was becoming a dying art but with all of the natural disasters and economy struggles people are canning again. You might be able to find one cheaply through a friend or relative.  If you aren’t that lucky you can find one by clicking here. 

You will need canning salt to preserve the food. This is not expensive and will last a very long time. You can buy this in any grocery store and to be honest I did not find a reasonable price for it on Amazon so I am not adding a link to it. This is the picture though. One box should last you  through a year of canning.

I have more canning items in my Webstore to the side. Look under the Odds and Ends category.

This should be enough to get us started.  I would love to actually know that you are actually interested in this and participating. Please share some of the places that you have gotten some of your jars from. I had one woman tell me that she didn’t want to can anymore and offered me several boxes of empty jars in exchange for 2 jars of peaches that I had already canned. Score!!!