Monday, October 24, 2016

Oatmeal Smoothie

**The 2016 Discounted Group Food Storage Order can be found here.

This is hands down one of my favorite go to recipes for a filling breakfast, lunch or even a mid day snack.  I practically lived on this and refrigerator oatmeal when I worked early in the mornings and needed something to grab and go.  The oats keep you feeling full all morning long, and it has great texture and flavor.  
I've also loved this as a recovery drink after a particularly long or hard workout.  It works great to make ahead and have in the fridge if you are in a rush - just don't let it sit for longer than 1 day as the oats will continue to absorb the liquid.
You can play around with the flavors here.  My husband hates peanut butter, so we omit this for him.  And you can really use any fruit combination you have on hand as well, if you aren't particularly fond of strawberry banana.  This really is fool proof!

Oatmeal Smoothie

1 c. milk of choice (even chocolate... just sayin')
1/2 c. oats
1/2 c. peanut butter
1 banana
1 c. strawberries
handful ice cubes

Blend and serve.
Makes 1 serving.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Dry Chicken Noodle Soup Mix {Meal in a Jar}

Meal in Jar recipes are the perfect solution for quick dinners with zero fuss.  They also make wonderful gifts (I like to give them to new moms, perfect for when they need something healthy and fast).

You can use any brand of freeze dried or dehydrated foods here, but I've included links to the products that I personally use.  If interested, you can click here to find out more about how you can earn these products for free or half off.  OR, take advantage of our 2016 discounted group food storage order by clicking here.
You can switch up the seasonings for whatever you like to add to your chicken soup, so this is completely customizable for your tastes.

This mix makes 2 large servings.  If you have a larger family, I would recommend doubling the ingredients and leaving the noodles out of the jar.  Those can always be included in the bag along side the jar, and added at the time of cooking.
Aside from the convenience of having ready made meals like this lining your shelves, these make excellent options for camping, hunting or 72 hour kits.  These can just as easily be put into mylar bags, or if you aren't worried about shelf life, a ziplock would work just fine.
The shelf life of this soup mix is 1 year.  If you have a food saver with the ability to seal a mason jar or vacuum seal a mylar bag, you can extend the shelf life up to 15 years if kept in a cool, dry place.

Dry Chicken Noodle Soup Mix {Meal in a Jar}
Recipe modified from My Food Storage Favorites

2 Tbsp. chicken bouillon
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. sage
1/2 tsp. thyme
1/4 tsp. parsley
1/4 tsp. curry powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/3 c. freeze dried celery
1/3. c. dehydrated carrots
1/4 c. freeze dried onions
1 c. freeze dried chicken
2 c. egg noodles

In each quart mason jar, add all ingredients in the order listed.

To make the soup:
Add contents of jar to 6 cups of water in a large saucepan.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and boil, uncovered, for 15 minutes or until noodles are done.

Makes 2 large servings.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Canned Pumpkin

Pumpkin season is right around the corner, and these easily canned jars are the perfect go to for delicious breads, waffles, cookies, cakes, pies, or whatever else you love pumpkin for.

Due to their acidity levels, pumpkins (and all vegetables), require the use of a pressure canner.  The internal temperature of puree'd pumpkin is questionable for home canning safety, so please don't try that at home.  Stick with this cubed method and strain the water when ready to use, if necessary.  This same method can be used for canning any winter squash.

Canned Pumpkin
Recipe from Presto

fresh pumpkin
mason jars

Wash and remove seeds from pumpkin.
Remove peel from flesh and cut into 1" cubes.
Drop cubes into boiling water and boil for 2 minutes.
Pack hot squash cubes loosely into hot, sterilized jars, leaving 1" headspace.  Do not mash or puree cubes.
Cover with liquid that squash was boiled in, leaving 1 " headspace.
Remove air bubbles by running a plastic knife around the edges of the jar.
Wipe rim clean with a wet paper towel.
Place hot, sterilized lids on jars, and screw on bands.

Process at 11 pounds pressure, making sure to adjust for altitude (13 pounds if you live in Utah).
55 minutes for pints, or 90 minutes for quarts.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Apple Cider {Bottled}

Apple season is in full swing and thanks to wonderful farmers and a generous neighbor, I had a plethora of them last week.  I was stocked with dehydrated apples, applesauce and canned apple pie filling already, so I branched out to try something new: apple cider.  The results were fantastic.

You really can use whatever apples you have on hand; I had a mix of granny smith and red delicious; with a few fuji's and golden delicious in the mix.  The type of apples used will contribute to the sweetness factor, so you may need to adjust the honey or sugar to your liking.
If you are making a large batch you can definitely can this for future use (instructions follow), but if canning intimidates you then by all means just leave that part out.  This should store just fine in the fridge for up to 1 week.  If you are doing multiple batches, I would reuse the cinnamon/clove spice bag - you could definitely get more than one use out of it.
Also, DON'T THROW OUT THE APPLE PIECES AND PULP AT THE END!  This can be sent through a Victorio Strainer and made into delicious applesauce, which you can either eat plain or bottle (instructions here).  Or you could use it to make apple butter.  I sifted through mine for core-less pieces and pureed them in my blender to make apple cider fruit leather, so you've got a lot of options!

Apple Cider
Recipe modified from BLDG 25
25 apples of choice
water to cover apples (should be at least 4 quarts)
1 c. honey (or sweetener of choice)
10 cinnamon sticks
15 whole cloves

Chop apples into 4-6 pieces (do not skin or remove cores - just throw it all in)
Add apples to a large pot and cover with water.
Add sweetener of choice to the pot.
Take cinnamon sticks and cloves and wrap in a spice bag or cheesecloth; toss into the pot.

Bring to a boil, and boil uncovered on high for 1 hour.
Turn the heat to low, and simmer for 2-4 hours longer.
Once cooking is over, remove cheesecloth or spice bag.
Use a potato masher to mash the apples into a pulp (as much as possible).

Using a fine mesh strainer, remove as much of the pulp as possible.
Pour the remaining cider and pulp through a mesh strainer to catch all of the big pieces (you can also pour it into a large cheesecloth bag and squeee out all of the liquid).
Season to taste, and adjust sweetener if needed.

Makes 4 quarts.

If canning: put strained cider into a large pot and bring to a gentle simmer.
Pour hot cider into hot, sterilized jars.
Wipe rims clean, and top with a hot, sterilized lid.
Screw band on as tightly as possible.
Let stand on a towel or hot pad until you hear the "pop", and the cider has cooled completely.
Store in a cool, dark place.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Zucchini Casserole

As the weather cools, casserole season is quickly approaching again.  This is the perfect way to continue to use up the wonderful zucchini from the garden before it's gone for the winter.

Zucchini Casserole
Recipe from Six Sister's Stuff

6 oz. package boxed Stove Top stuffing mix
1/2 c. melted butter
4 c. zucchini, diced
2 c. cooked chicken, cubed
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 c. sour cream

In a large bowl, combine the stuffing mix and melted butter.
Set aside 1/2 c. of the stuffing mixture for the topping.
To the large bowl, add the zucchini, chicken soup, onion and sour cream, stirring to combine.
Pour mixture into a greased 9x13" baking dish and spread out evenly.
Top with remaining 1/2 c. stuffing mixture.
Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes, or until golden brown.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Dry Vegetable Cheese Chowder Mix {Meal in a Jar}

One of my all time favorite soups is now available as a shelf stable dry mix.  Aside from the convenience of having these lining your pantry shelves for a quick and delicious dinner any time, recipes like these also make for the perfect gift.  Not to mention the convenience factor for camping / backpacking / hunting / 72 hour kit food options.  No refrigeration, light weight, nutritious and great tasting.  Just switch out the glass jar for a ziplock bag if you plan to hit the hills.
To make this even more backpacker friendly, you can buy resealable mylar bags, add the jar contents along with boiling water to the bag, seal it up, and let it cook on its own.  This takes about twice as long as boiling on the stovetop, but it is another option.

Shelf life on these jars are 1 year.  If you have a food saver with the ability to seal a mason jar lid on dry goods, it will last much longer (upwards of 15 years if kept in a cool, dry place).

You can use any brand of freeze dried or dehydrated food here, but I've included links to the products that I use personally.  Click here to find out more about how you can earn these products for free or half off.

Dry Vegetable Cheese Chowder Mix
Menu Managed Original

1/4 c. mashed potato flakes
1/3 c. cheese blend powder
1/4 c. powdered milk
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. chicken bouillon
1/2 c. dehydrated potato chunks
1/2 c. dehydrated carrot dices
1/2. c. freeze dried onions
3/4 c. freeze dried broccoli
3/4 c. freeze dried cauliflower
3/4 c. freeze dried celery

Add all contents to a wide mouth quart jar, in the order listed above.  You will have to push down on the celery to get it all to fit.

To make the soup:
Add 7 cups of water to a pot and turn heat to high.
Dump contents of jar into water and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and simmer for 30 minutes, until potatoes are fully cooked, stirring occasionally.
Soup will thicken up quiet a bit near the end of cooking time, so don't worry if it looks too thin.
Add up to 1 more cup of water if soup seems too thick for your liking.
Season to taste with additional salt and pepper, if desired.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Pineapple Zucchini

As weird as this name may sound, this is no joke!  Cubed and skinned zucchini is soaked in pineapple juice, absorbing all of the flavor to make perfectly pineapple look and taste alikes.  I opted for tidbits, since that is what we use most, but you can also grate or shred your zucchini if you are going for more of a crushed pineapple texture.  This is an excellent recipe for those big or over ripe zucchini from the garden.

Now, as far as taste is concerned, these really do taste just like pineapple.  You will notice the difference in the way they look, and the texture, but I have had success in several dishes using these in replace of the real thing; fruit salads, jello's, etc.  If you want to see a picture of them on an actual dish, check out this Hawaiian Haystacks photo/recipe.

A second note on terms of canning.  Most vegetables need to be canned in a pressure canner (as opposed to a water bath) because of their non or low-acidity levels.  Soaking the zucchini in pineapple and lemon juice, as well as the sugar, makes these suitable for water bath canning.  However, it is recommended that you do not process in jars larger than pints (no quarts).

Pineapple Zucchini

16 c. zucchini, cubed in the size you want, or shredded
46 oz. canned unsweetened pineapple juice
1 1/2 c. bottled lemon juice
3 c. sugar

Prepare your zucchini by first cutting it in half lengthwise and removing all of the seeds.  
Use a knife or a vegetable peeler to remove all of the skin.
You should be left with just the "meaty" portion of the zucchini.
Chop zucchini into chunks or tidbits, or grate if you want crushed pineapple.

In a large pot, combine pineapple juice, lemon juice and sugar.  
Stir to dissolve sugar and then add the zucchini.
Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

Fill hot, sterilized pint or half-pint size jars, leaving 1/2" headspace.
Remove air bubbles, wipe rims and place sterilized lids on each jar.
Secure with a band and fingertip tighten.

Process in a water bath canner for 15 minutes, being sure to adjust for altitude (25 minutes Utah time).
Makes 8-10 pints.