Privacy   |    Financial   |    Current Events   |    Self Defense   |    Miscellaneous   |    Letters To Editor   |    About Off The Grid News   |    Off The Grid Videos   |    Weekly Radio Show

How To Stockpile Full Meals For Emergency Situations

pressure canner

You’ve probably canned peaches or made your own freezer jam, but have you ever thought about canning actual meals? Forget commercial canned stews and soups, which are usually full of sodium, MSG and other preservatives, and can your own meals instead. I love to serve these foods for a quick lunch or weeknight meal. They’re also a useful item to have on hand when the power goes out, and by planning ahead, you can put aside a few meals when prices are at their lowest.

Helpful Hints

The first thing you need to know is that you must process any product containing a low-acid food in a pressure canner. This includes all meats and vegetables, with the exception of tomato products that have vinegar or lemon juice in the mix. If you don’t have a pressure canner, borrow one from a friend to try it out.

Keep in mind also that if you live above 1,000 feet above sea level, you need to adjust the pressure on the canner accordingly. For a weighted gauge pressure canner, increase the pressure to 15 pounds, regardless of your altitude. For dial gauges, increase the pressure one pound for each 2,000 feet you live above 2,000 feet above sea level. So, for example, if you live 6,050 feet above sea level, adjust the weight to 14 pounds pressure.

To streamline the process, start early in the morning with a clean kitchen. Get all your equipment out and ready. Break the project down into logical steps. For example, cut all the vegetables you’ll need at once. Cube the meat and refrigerate it until you’re ready to use it. I frequently just make an extra big batch of soup or stew when I’m making it for dinner and can what I don’t use.

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

Some canned vegetables do better than others. Carrots and potatoes, for example, get a bit soft so I use them sparingly and cut them into small pieces. Traditional thickening agents like flour and tapioca break down during the canning process so you may have to thicken foods when you reheat them. Store the finished jars in a dark, cool location and use them within a year.

Favorite Recipes

Firehouse Chili

Rich, spicy and satisfying, this chili is great with cornbread or grilled cheese sandwiches. Pour a cornbread batter over it and bake it for an easy tamale pie.

  • 1 pound dried pinto or kidney beans, rinsed and picked over
  • 6 pounds ground beef
  • 2 large onions, diced
  • 1 red pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 6 cups diced, canned tomatoes with juice
  • 1 6 ounce can tomato paste
  • ½ cup chili powder
  • ¼ cup chipotle chili powder
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, diced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

Place the beans in a large stockpot and cover them with water. Allow them to soak overnight. In the morning, rinse and drain the beans and add fresh water. Cover and simmer on medium low for 30 minutes. Drain.

Brown the meat with the onions, pepper and garlic until the meat is cooked through and the vegetables are tender. Add the remaining ingredients, including the cooked beans and heat through. Taste and adjust the seasonings if necessary.

Fill clean, hot pint or quart jars, leaving 1 inch headspace. Secure the lids and rings. Process in a steam-pressure canner for 75 minutes. Use 11 pounds of pressure for a weighted gauge canner and 10 pounds of pressure for a dial gauge canner, adjusting the weight for altitude. Makes 6 quarts or 12 pints.

 

Chicken Vegetable Soup

You probably make a big pot of soup when the kids are sick, but who’s going to make soup when you’re sick? Keep this on hand for those cold winter days when you need something warm and comforting. Or, take a jar to a sick friend.

  • 1 large chicken
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 ribs celery, diced
  • 4 quarts chicken broth
  • 1 cup sliced carrots
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • Organic no-salt seasoning or chicken boullion

Clean and rinse the chicken. Place it in a large stockpot and cover it with water. Add 1 teaspoon salt. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, or until the meat is cooked through. Remove the chicken and set it on a cutting board. Allow it to cool slightly. Pull the meat from the bones and cut in 1 inch pieces.

In the meantime, heat the oil in another pot. Add the onion and celery and sauté until tender. Add the remaining ingredients, including the cooked chicken, and heat through. Taste and adjust the seasonings if necessary.

Ladle the soup into pint or quart jars, leaving 1 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and secure the lids and rings. Process for 75 minutes in a steam-pressure canner at 10 pounds of pressure. Makes 12 pints or 6 quarts.

 

Sloppy Joe Mix

Simply reheat and serve on hamburger buns. So easy, your kids can heat it themselves.

  • 6 pounds ground beef
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 rib celery, diced
  • 1 red or green pepper, cored and diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 quart diced tomatoes
  •  3 11-ounce cans tomato paste
  • ¼ cup vinegar
  • ¼ cup dry mustard
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • 4 tablespoons chipotle chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

Combine the ground beef, onions, celery and garlic in a large saucepan. Simmer until the vegetables are tender and the meat is cooked through. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer for 20 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasonings if necessary. Ladle the beef mixture into hot, clean pint or quart jars, leaving 1 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and wipe the rims clean. Secure the lids and rings and process in a steam pressure canner for 75 minutes at 10 pounds pressure. Makes 9 pints or 4 quarts.

 

Meat Spaghetti Sauce

Use this for lasagna, spaghetti or casseroles. Simple and delicious!

  • 5 pounds ground beef or Italian sausage
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 4 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 4 quarts canned tomatoes with juice
  • 3 11-ounce cans tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon marjoram
  • ½ teaspoon thyme
  • ½ teaspoon ginger
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar

Brown the meat with the onion, garlic and carrots until the vegetables are tender. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer for 20 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Ladle the sauce into hot, clean pint or quart jars. Remove air bubbles and wipe the rims. Place the lids on the jars and can in a steam-pressure canner for 75 minutes at 10 pounds pressure. Makes 7 pints or 3 quarts.

© Copyright Off The Grid News
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!