Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Pressure Canning: soups and green beans

I almost named this post "I GOT THE POWER". Read on and you'll see why.

I shared a few days ago that I was going to have a friend show me how to pressure can my green beans. I did and we canned 7 quarts. By the time we finished my green beans and she showed me all her canned goods in the basement, I knew I HAD to have a presure canner. It took me less than 3 minutes to convince Dave that we could no longer survive without this and alot longer to convince him that it was worth the $125 .

Well we now have a new item in our kitchen. I have canned 40 pints (I can do 20 at a time) of various delish goods that are ready to open and eat, heat if desired. I love that I can make MY favorite soups, calico beans, ready to use legumes, etc, etc for my time, the cost of the food, and less than 10 cents for a jar lid. 2 lb's of dry legumes makes 7 pint jars. This is the equivalent of 7 grocery store size canned goods, the cost of a good organic brand of beans.... I don't have to calculate to realize our family budget benefits as I am "well paid" for my time. I also really like that the canned goods are not in aluminum, which is thought to leak into foods and have ill effects.

If I would have had this baby AND prepared soups like what I have now when I had to be on campus... wow! I now have the power to make any thing I want, with MY ingredients and MY dietary preferences to have on hand and ready to eat when I want to, to save on MY budget cause I can get them at a fraction of the cost of the grocery store prices. I sound incredibly self centered here, but to allieviate my conscious I promise that if any of you become my dinner guests I will most generously share! This is why I almost named my post, "I got the power!" Shannon said a few days ago, "a whole lot of jarring going on".... yes in deedee!

I have multiple jars of calico beans, white chili, navy beans, black beans, my lentil stew, and sweet potatoes. These things cannot be canned without a pressure canner.

I also picked my first three cukes from the garden. With these I made a small jar of refrigerator bread and butter pickles, when I get more cukes I will do more and actually process them in for storage. I also get to control the sugar and salt in my canned goods, something that would not be possible with store bought goods as easily. All of my sweet pickles are made with stevia.

To end this post I will share a picture of my carob zucchini bread based on Bryanna's Tender Banana Bread. I used 1/4 C (note this change from the original post) carob powder sub for 1/4 of the whole wheat pastry flour and next time I will leave out one banana and add 1 1/2 C of shredded zucchini. I like the fact that the top of this bread cracked like one of those powered sugar coated cholate cookies I have seen. (the bread in the picture was actually a bit gooey c'ause I added a little to much zucchini, but I made 4 other variations of the bread today also, so it was not disappointing AND the "gooey" centered carob bread when chilled and sliced is like a slab of fudge and really satisfies a chocolate craving!).

This Bryanna recipe was posted on VegSource several years ago. I have made many variations of this bread since i have had it including pumkin and apple variations. We love it. I sub the sugar for 1/2 tsp stevia and it is a nice high rising bead. I have recently read that you can effectively sub zucchini 1: 1 for banana in a recipe, I didn't I added zucchini but I may try this sub next time I make it (if my plant keeps producing like it has been).

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Blend in blender:
8 oz. medium-firm regular tofu OR silken tofu
1/4 c. water (I used fat free soy milk here)
3/4 c. sugar (whichever you like)(I used turbinado here)
2 ripe bananas
2 tsp. vanilla
zest of 1 organic orange (orange part only, peel with veg. peeler)
In a bowl, mix:
2 c. whole wheat pastry flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. EACH salt and baking soda
OPT.: 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
Add 3/4 c. chopped pitted dates or other dried fruit.
Stir in the blended mixture and mix BRIEFLY just like muffins (too much stirring
will make it tough). Pour into a greased 9x5" loaf pan or 2 fruitcake loaf pans.
Bake 1 hour (or 45 minutes for small loaves). Cool a few minutes, then turn out
on racks to cool.


Veggies,Yarns & Tails said...

Wow, this loaf looks yummy...I feel like Im in the kitchen, visiting your blog...very nice.

Thanks for stopping by Veggies, I will add you to my blogroll too.

Cheers, G

Crystal & Ryan - Café Cyan said...

I have a HUGE zucchini from one of my friends and an additional one from our crop share. I like zucchini, but don't love it. I'd like to make a bread out of it - can't wait for the carob recipe.


Vivacious Vegan said...

Wow! Way to go on the pressure canner. You rock Dori!

KleoPatra said...

This post was not "selfish" in nature! We ALL should be able to eat the kind of food we want to eat, when we want to eat it, the way we want to eat it. I am so happy for you; this is obviously a great investment for you. Look what you've done already!

Mmmmmmmmm... bread and butter pickles!!!

You've got the power... and sisters are doin' it for themselves. Good for you --- and your family as well!

Now to find out what calico beans are.

tara said...

I just read your comment on my blog and had to come over here for your zucchini bread. I'll have to try that recipe, and I love all your substitutions.

My grandmother and mother were canners, mostly they did jam or jelly, though. I wish I could do that.

And I love bread and butter pickles, too.

Dori said...

Kleo: Calico beans are a variation of baked beans but I used a combination of large limas, adzuki beans, and chickpeas in an oniony and sweet tomatoey type sauce. I threw in a litle celery to, for nutrition.

Shananigans said...

I’m so jealous of your amazing canning abilities! When I have a garden a pressure canner will definitely be a priority. Thanks for the banana bread recipe, looks really healthy and yummy!

Urban Vegan said...

I so admire your self-sufficiency. I secretly want to become a country vegan isntead of an urban vegan.

That B-bread looks D-lish.

Melody said...

I'm so glad you got your pressure canner... It is NOT selfish at all to want to preserve healthy, organic foods for yourself and your family at a fraction of the cost!

Catherine said...

canning mania! I've always wanted to learn how to can things, but since I don't have a garden yet, that skill can wait, right? :)

Midwest Vegan said...

I'm personally scared of any of the pressure-type cookers (bad childhood memories of exploding food!), but your jars look amazing.

Canning is a lost art that you are bringing back to those of us that read your blog. Good work!

Luna said...

my mom used to do that "canning thing"...she used onions and zucchini, but she cooked (read:boiled) them with vinegar before, so that you couldn't really breath for days!:-S now she stopped and recycled herself into a jam-maker :-)
thank you for your explaination about the "coldair", now it makes sense.
when i was a child my parents used to send me to a summer camp where we used to sleep in ...tri-level beds!that was so fun ;-)
have a sweet day dori

Tanya Kristine said...

dori? you're amazing. you're creative, smart and a good cook to boot. everyone who gets to hang out with should thank their lucky stars...

funwithyourfood said...

I am impressed with your abilities to persuade your husband. You need to teach me haha


Megan the Vegan said...

Your blog always makes me dream of the das when I will move away from the City and turn my huge yard into a food producing garden machine! Someday...far far away, but some day. I love to read about all your garden and canning experiences. Thanks for keeping me inspired.

Anonymous said...

I want a pressure canner! Any advice on good brands, where to get them, what to look for? I am so impressed by the range of things that you've canned, and inspired!


Dori said...

Hi Bazu, I purchased a Presto 23 quart Pressure Canner. I bought this one because this is the one my friend purchased and I believe it is the largest model available. Even though I have been using my own recipes I use the Ball "Blue Book" low acid section to determine the times that my soups need to process, for example if legumes are an ingredient and I have a pint jar it will take 1 hour and 15 minutes (the longest time), even if I also have tomatoes or green beans (which take the shortest processing time). I absolutely love this. Although I could cook up one heck of alot of somethimg in a fairly short period of time, I will proabaly only use it for canning.

I have heard ladies at church talk about OLD, OLD pressure canners that they have had handed down to them and they still use them. I have read that if you DO get an old one you need to get it checked out at the county extension office (no charge) to make sure it works because if it doesn't then you could potatially be food poisoned. I have also heard you may not get replacement parts on old canners if needed. I decided a used one was not the way I wanted to go.

Presto has a website that can be checked out. I haven't looed at it yet because I have spent all my time since I have had it making good foods.

If you'd like to talk more about canning or if you get one, I'd love for you to e-mail me (check my profile) and tell me what you have done with it. This item is new to me, so I am still in the learning stage and could easily be inspired and offer creative ideas as well.

Candi said...

This canner/pressure cooker fascinates me! Lol! I LOVE the look of your kitchen with all your own canned foods ready to be stored!

I am not familiar with any pressure cookers at all, or canners, so I have to email you about this! I don't have my own gardern, but we have many farmer's markets out here. This could be a fun new toy! :P

Anonymous said...

Nesco has several options. I'm thinking of getting this 10qt baby for $69.99.


Jar Capacity for Canning:
7*-1/2 Pint
6-1/2 Pint Wide Mouth
5 Pint
4 Pint Wide Mouth
3 Quart, or 3 Quart Wide Mouth Jars.

It's kind of weird how excited I am about this... Must be satisfying some primitive urge to feed myself or something.

Jeri said...

I have been using my mom's pressure canner for years! My dear mother-in-law still insists on using her water bath and rolls her eyes at my "new fangled contraption". I just smile and can 3x faster than she does.

Nothing like a pressure canner. First, the time is much shorter..but a big positive for me is it heats the kitchen for much MUCH less time.

Pressure Canner said...

Pressure Canner is a great way to lower your food bill and feed your family, because of that pressure canner is use in the home were extensively. Pressure canner is needed if you want to can low-acid foods such as red meats, sea food, poultry, milk, and all fresh vegetables with the exception of most tomatoes and you definitely need a pressure canner for anything containing any meat. Home canning of meats is even recommended, even with a pressure canner. So, i have some info and products about pressure canner, pressure canning, pressure canner cooker and more that i could be able to share with you if you have it :D

Pressure Canner

cer25 said...

I just got my first pressure canner! I have been water-bathing for about 20 years, but for some reason this year I became totaly obsessed! I have heard and read though that pressure canning milk based soups and sauces doesn't work out though because the milk separates. So I am interested to see your results.