The Ultimate Guide to Food Preservation

Check out this guide to food preservation to learn all about canning, freezing, food dehydration and more.

| August 2012

  • Peas-In-A-Pot
    Before freezing vegetables, you must blanch them. There are two ways to do this: boiling and steaming. Pictured is the steaming method.
    Courtesy Skyhorse Publishing
  • Ultimate-Guide-to-Homestead
    Whether you are simply interested in learning how to compost or are striving to live completely off the grid, “The Ultimate Guide to Homesteading” offers something for anyone looking to increase their quality of life and decrease their carbon footprint.
    Courtesy Skyhorse Publishing
  • Pressure-Cooker-Closeup
    A pressure canner has a dial-type temperature gauge, pressure regulator, and lock down clamps. It is not recommended to can without an accurate pressure regulator.
    Courtesy Skyhorse Publishing
  • Cans-In-Storage
    Government authorities say that canned food lasts 1 year, and that's when you should throw it out. However, most home canners use their food far after that time period without problems.
    Courtesy Skyhorse Publishing
  • Pouring-Jam-Into-Jars
    Don't use jars larger than a quart because they can't be heated enough.
    Courtesy Skyhorse Publishing
  • Hanging-Lavender
    Bunch the plants and tie them up with a string. Then hang them upside down from the ceiling.
    Courtesy Skyhorse Publishing
  • Apples-Drying-In-Dehydrator
    A food dehydrator can dry food of any kind (including chips, jerky, and fruit leather). It can make stale chips and crackers taste better, de-crystalize honey, dry bread sticks, pasta, flowers, dyed wool, start seedlings, grow sprouts and make yogurt.
    Courtesy Skyhorse Publishing
  • Hanging-Onions
    Onions, like herbs, can be hung to dry.
    Courtesy Skyhorse Publishing
  • Sun-Drying-Tomatoes
    When drying food in the sun, use ripe fruits and vegetables. Wash them thoroughly, peel, and slice very thin unless you are doing peas or corn.
    Courtesy Skyhorse Publishing
  • Pressure-Canning-Altitude-Adjustments
    To use: find out your altitude, and for every thousand feet, use the appropriate pounds. The poundage raises the temperature (which takes longer the higher you are).
    Courtesy Skyhorse Publishing
  • Water-Bath-Canning-Altitude-Adjustments
    At higher altitudes, water-bath canning processing time is longer.
    Courtesy Skyhorse Publishing

  • Peas-In-A-Pot
  • Ultimate-Guide-to-Homestead
  • Pressure-Cooker-Closeup
  • Cans-In-Storage
  • Pouring-Jam-Into-Jars
  • Hanging-Lavender
  • Apples-Drying-In-Dehydrator
  • Hanging-Onions
  • Sun-Drying-Tomatoes
  • Pressure-Canning-Altitude-Adjustments
  • Water-Bath-Canning-Altitude-Adjustments

From building a yurt and raising animals to food preservation and herbal remedies, The Ultimate Guide to Homesteading (Skyhorse Publishing, 2011) by Nicole Faires is all you need to live off the land. With diagrams, charts, photographs, original illustrations and comprehensive, detailed instructions that anyone can follow with relatively few supplies, this massive full-color book answers all of your self-sufficiency questions. Learn everything you need to know about food preservation in this excerpt from Chapter 7, “Food, Field, and Garden.” 

The Ultimate Guide to Freezing Food

What is blanching? 

Before freezing vegetables, you must blanch them. There are two ways to do this: boiling and steaming. Blanching slows or stops the enzymes that make vegetables lose their flavor and color. If you blanch too much then they will lose nutritional value, but blanching too little will speed up the enzymes.

How to blanch using the boiling method: 



1. Wash, drain, sort, trim, cut vegetables.

2. Put one gallon of water per pound of prepared vegetables, or two gallons per pound of leafy greens, into a pot and bring to a boil.






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