March 24, 2017

The Prepper's Canning Guide

I have a new favorite canning book! Ball Blue Book and Putting Food By have been my go-tos for years, but if I could only choose one, I think it would be Daisy Luther's The Prepper's Canning Guide: Affordably Stockpile a Livesaving Supply of Nutritious, Delicious, Shelf-Stable FoodsSeriously, it covers everything from beginner basics to advanced designer canning recipes, and all with a preparedness mindset.

Part 1: Canning Basics for the Prepper includes an introduction and covers canning how-to basics. One thing the author points out, is that many of the foods we commonly store as part of our preparedness plan take a long time to cook - grains and legumes for example. This can mean cutting into precious water and fuel stores just to prepare a meal. By including a variety of canned items in one's food storage, we can have quicker meals incorporating a larger variety of foods prepared the way we're accustomed to. Meat is another example. If the grid goes down and one doesn't have electricity, then the freezer is no longer a storage option. If you like to eat meat, consider learning to can it.

Part 1 also covers canning safety, tips for thrifty canning, off-grid canning, equipment, plus gives you step-by-step instructions for both water bath and pressure canning.

Part 2: Preserving the Basics covers just that, the basics: tomatoes, jams, pickles, condiments, fruits, vegetables, meat, and beans (as in dried beans). Some of the recipes on my "must try" list include Ginger Peach Jam, Spiced Fig Merlot Jam, Real Tomato Ketchup, Pleasantly Pickled Red Onions, Cranberry Apple Slices, Sweet and Sour Coleslaw, and Sloppy Joe Filling,  I've already tried the Basic Pork and Beans. 😀

Homegrown, home-canned black turtle beans.
I've been wanting to learn how to do this. Easy!

BBQ Beans are next on my to-try list.

Part 3: Dinner Is in the Jar. Now that's what I'm talkin' about - real convenience food. Preparedness aside, I have to admit that after a long day of working outdoors, nothing is nicer than a quick healthy home-cooked meal in a jar. Nothing to defrost, just heat and serve. First on my list to try are the Cajun Jambalaya and Apple-Spiced Pork Chops.

Also covered in part three are how to use leftovers for canning and a chapter on creative canning. This one gives you guidelines for canning your own recipes safely.

There are a number of really helpful charts throughout the book, but I very much like that these are also found in the appendix. That means I don't have to do a lot of page flipping to find what I'm looking for.

What more can I say except "Highly recommended."

23 comments:

  1. Sounds a great book. I love the idea of a meal in a jar, like you said sometimes you want homemade convenience food!

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    1. I know people make great frozen meals too, but sometimes I don't want to wait to defrost anything. A meal in a jar is great!

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  2. Sounds good. Like the idea of the water being included in the prep as water can be scarce in hard times and foodstuff such as dried beans/lentils take quite a bit of water and cooking fuel. Funny isn't it, been a prepper for yeras and haven't really thought that one through before.

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    1. I know, that had never occurred to me either. I've canned lots of broths to have available for cooking, but having the meals ready to go makes more sense, doesn't it?

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  3. I'll have to add this one to my library! Thank you so much. I've only canned green beans and tomatoes, and made relish, pickles, and salsa and canned them. I've been too nervous to try meat, but this book may be just what I need to give it a try!

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    1. I love having canned meat on my shelves. Makes it so easy to get a meal going. It just takes a longer processing time than most other foods.

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  4. This book sounds wonderful! I am still scared to can with a pressure cooker though. It's not even the pressure cooker 'blowing up' stories as they are safer than they used to be but more the food safety issue. I canned once with a pressure cooker and was so concerned I would feed the dog some the day before to see if it was safe for my family (the low acid foods). I would love to make canned meat as I have (more than once) lost my entire freezer's worth of food because of power outages. Plus, freezer burn always seems to be an issue. I love my dogs too but I had little ones and was so afraid I would poison them and botulism kills, I think.....it's not just getting sick. I could be wrong but this book might help me get over my fear of canning things other than tomatoes and jams! LOL!

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    1. Anything new is a big step! I do have quite a bit of our meat in the freezer since it's quicker to wrap it and toss it in, but I have to remember to defrost it! I agree freezer burn is an issue too. I have figured that if the freezer ever went out I'd have to have a can-a-thon to save it all. If proper safety precautions are followed, all should be safe.

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  5. great timing! I need to find this book. :D

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  6. This author should thank you, Leigh. I think you're doing a good job of selling this book. I'm going to get it, too, on your recommendation. I do love my freezer(s) but having meats (and beans, peas, and legumes) ready-to-eat on the pantry shelf is a big plus in many cases. Thanks for the review.

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    1. Aw shucks, Mama Pea. It is a good book, though, with good information. I think it's a good addition for any kitchen library.

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  7. I'm going to get this book to add to my collection. As others have said, pressure canning makes me nervous but hey, we have to learn eventually right? I think that might be what I ask for for Christmas. :-). In the meantime, I'll get more adept and regular canning this year with the garden.

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    1. I think most of us are a little nervous about pressure canning when we first start. But my grandmother used her pressure cooker all the time, especially for meat and she made the tenderest roasts that way. Since she wasn't afraid of it I figured it must be okay. And it is. :)

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  8. But why can black beans? They're the easiest thing on the farm to preserve, without having to fool with canning. I'm sure I'm missing something so pardon the stupid questions. :)

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    1. The most immediate answer is because that's what I had available! The other reasons were convenience (i.e. not having to wait on a long soak and cook time), plus I agreed with her prepper reasons for canning beans - saving on possibly scarce fuel and water resources in a hard times situation. The convenience part, though, is the most appealing, since I like to work outside and tend to be rather last minute about meals. :)

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  9. Oh Leigh, we're outdoor cousins from different countries. I swear I think about dinner, like 2 minutes before the sun goes down, and I've just come inside from gardening.

    Canning does sound like a good way to put up the excess, and this book seems to go to the extra trouble, of making it seem more accessible. Have you tried canning corned beef? Does the book have any like recipes?

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    1. LOL, Chris, it's true, you and I seem to think so much alike. I have to say that canned corned beef sounds wonderful! There isn't a recipe specifically for that in the book, but one chapter talks about canning leftover roast, ham, and poultry. The last chapter gives guidelines for canning anything you'd like, so canned corned beef is certainly doable.

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  10. I was curious if it covers steam canning? I have been using that for years with certain foods, since I have a glass topped range. Once the range dies I'm going to gas or electric so I can pressure can.

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    1. She doesn't mention steam canning, I'm guessing because the USDA and National Center for Home Food Preservation don't recommend it.

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