Water bath canning
High acid foods can be safely canned by using the easy boiling water bath method of canning. This is a basic way to preserve food at the temperature of boiling water, 212 degrees, using inexpensive equipment. Tomatoes and most fruits are high acid foods. You only need a large pot that is big enough to cover the canning jars with water. If you can boil water you can do this super easy process. If you live in a big farm house or a tiny efficiency apartment you have the ability to preserve fresh food for later use. My guess is that most homes in the US have at least one or two store purchased items that could have been easily preserved at home. Items such as pickles, olives, banana pepper rings, applesauce, canned cherries, grape jelly, apple butter, spaghetti sauce, taco sauce, pizza sauce, the list is almost endless! I have included full instructions and easy canning recipes inside my basic guide to self-reliance.
Some vegetables are low acid foods and need special care when they are canned. The most common kinds are corn, potatoes, soups, stews, meats and many more. A pressure canner needs to be purchased before you can corn, beans or any other vegetable that have a low acid count. I always recommend that a family that is new to preserving food starts with a water bath canner and works up to pressure canning.
I have included complete directions and easy to follow canning recipes inside my basic guide to self-reliance
Most herbs and some vegetable and fruit can be dehydrated. Popular thought is that you need to buy a special piece of equipment in order properly dry food. You do not need any special equipment. Sunshine or your oven will work just fine. Apple and banana chips are always a welcome treat. Check out your spice rack and you will see the more expensive spices are dried. You can forget all about buying bread crumbs from the store. Do you eat bread? How often does the butt end of your bread go into the landfill? Set your bread on the counter in a open container until it is completely hard and dry. Put the hardened piece of bread back inside the empty bread bag and crumble in up in the bag. Pour the plain bread crumbs into a sealed container and label. I add Italian seasoning to my crumbs for extra flavor.
Homemade Granola Recipe:
3 1/2 cups rolled oats
2 tbsp chopped nuts(i use peanuts because they are cheap)
1/2 cup of honey
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon
optional- 1 1/3 cups dried fruit
Combine honey,oil,vanilla,cinnamon,salt and mix well. Pour mixture over oats and nuts and mix well. Spread evenly on a sprayed cookie sheet and bake for 30-35 minutes on 350. You may need to stir after about 15 minutes, cool and keep in a sealed container for up to 2 weeks.
This is great mixed with Yogurt and fresh fruit or homemade jam!
Many fruits and vegetables can be frozen very easily; basic blanching and preserving techniques can keep your harvest longer. Did you know that glass canning or mason jars are made for freezing as well as canning? How about freezing chicken broth, beef stew, fresh juices and so many more! I went to my freezer while writing this and I included two freezer zip lock bags that I had frozen this season. The red bag is 2 quarts of freshly picked strawberries that I froze so I can make my fresh strawberry jam in the winter when the kitchen is not so hot. The second bag is filled with sliced apples that are coated in apple pie filling. When I am ready to make a pie all I need is the crust and empty the bag into the pie crust and bake! Both of these bags save our family both time and money.