How to Pressure Can Root Vegetables

pressure can root vegetablesWhen you want to pressure can root vegetables for your food storage, it may seem like a big task. Pressure canning isn’t any harder than hot water bath canning and has many benefits. Only high acid fruits and pickles should be canned in a hot water bath canner. The low acid root vegetable require the pressure canner preservation method for safe long term storage of food. Always use a pressure canning when canning recipes for complete meals, if any of the ingredients are low acid or meat or poultry. Hot water bath canning will seal just about any meal or food. The pressure canner reaches a high enough temperature to kill the bacteria that could be present in low acid foods. 

Potatoes, carrots and beets may store longer in cool storage areas. They can still take a turn for the worse before the winter months are over. When you employ both methods of a food storage, a root cellar and some pressure canned food in jars, you extend the life of the root vegetables. Perhaps use the foods in the root cellar first and then filling in with the canned potatoes, carrots or beets. This allows you to eat from your own pantry throughout the winter. I don’t have a root cellar. We have tried creating some sort of make shift root cellar using straw, newspaper and an enclosed container. Some of the foods lasted a little longer than they would normally, but most of the food spoiled before we could eat them.

pressure can root vegetables

Prepare the Vegetables for the Canning Jars 

Carrots, beets and potatoes can all be pressure canned in pints or quarts. Start by washing and removing the skin on the beets and potatoes. 

Beets

Beets peel very easily if they have been oven roasted for an hour. Cut the greens off leaving about an inch of stem and a small length of root. Place the washed raw beets on a foil lined cookie sheet. Drizzle with olive oil. Cover with foil, crimp edges to seal, and put into the oven. Roast beets at 400 degrees F., for about 45 minutes to an hour. Test the beets at 30 minutes to see how done they are. You will want the beets to be firm yet tender. When they are cooked, remove from the oven, and set on the counter to cool down. 

While still warm, but not hot, use your hands to slip the beet skin off the beets. Slice the beets or place small beets whole into canning jars.

Carrots

 For carrots, you can just scrub the vegetable but you may want or need to peel the outer layer using a vegetable peeler. Slice, dice or chop the carrots into bite size pieces or larger. Place the carrots into the canning jars.

Potatoes

Peel the potatoes. For cold pack canning, you do not need to cook the potatoes first. Slice the potatoes or cut into chunks. Place into the canning jars.

Important!

Do not mash your root vegetables! When you pressure can root vegetables at home the canner used in home canning does not reach a high enough temperature to safely can mashed potatoes, carrots, beets, pumpkins or sweet potatoes. Can only slices or chunks of these vegetables instead.

pressure can root vegetables

Cold Pack Method to Pressure Can Root Vegetables

Use for carrots, 

Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer. 

Pack the vegetables into the quart or pint glass canning jars. 

Add the hot water to the jars using a ladle and a canning funnel. 

Wipe the rims of the jars with a clean cloth or paper towel

Place the flat canning lid on the jars and tighten band rings finger tip tight 

Hot Pack Method to Pressure Can Root Vegetables

1. Peel potatoes, wash, cut into quarters, boil 10 minutes in a saucepan covered with water.

Parsnips.rutabagas, and turnips, wash and cut to desired size. Cover with water and boil three minutes.

Beets, wash and roast or boil until the skins will fall off. Cut into desired size or slices. 

Sweet potatoes, wash, dry, then boil or steam until the skin peels off easily. Cut into quarters. 

2. Pack the hot vegetables into pint or quart canning jars.

3. Pour or ladle boiling water into the jars. Cover vegetables leaving a one inch head space. 

4. Remove air bubbles

5. Cap using two piece lids 

pressure can root vegetables

Prepare to Pressure Can Root Vegetables

One thing I really want to pass on to you. Pressure canning root vegetables takes longer than hot water bath canning. This is just the way it is. I have a stove that takes forever to heat up the pressure canner. I do not start this when I have limited amount of time and need to be somewhere else. Using an outdoor gas burner that is deemed safe for pressure canning is another option that would work better for me. I am looking for one of these to add to my canning supplies. 

Each pressure canner will have it’s own basic set of instructions which you should consult before beginning. The top, gaskets, washers and nuts, and all parts should be inspected prior to use. The pressure gauge is attached to the lid with a washer and nut that can come loose. Pressure will escape through here if you don’t tighten it before beginning. I learned this the hard way!

Place the jars into the canner setting them on the rack that is included. Leave space between each jar. Begin to heat the water. Put the lid on the canner and seal it tight as the instructions describe for your canner.

Can You Put Potatoes, Carrots and Beets into the Canner at the Same Time?

The short answer is no. Each vegetable has a recommended time that it should be maintained at 11 pounds of pressure. (psi)  If you put the beets in with the potatoes there is no way to remove them during the process. Potatoes require a longer cooking time. The beets may become over cooked and mushy in texture. It is better to pressure can root vegetables that require the same amount of cooking time together. 

The Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving lists these suggested pressure canning times for various root vegetables

Carrots –  pints 25 minutes quarts 30 minutes @ 10 pounds pressure

Beets – pints 30 minutes  quarts 35 minutes @10 pounds pressure

Potatoes(white) – pints 35 minutes  quarts 40 minutes @ 10 pounds pressure

Sweet potatoes – pints 1 hour and 5 minutes  quarts 1 hour 30 minutes @ 10 pounds pressure

Parsnips, rutabagas and turnips – pints 30 minutes  quarts 35 minutes @ 10 pounds pressure

Source – Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving 

 

pressure can root vegetables




Freezing Eggs

freezing eggsRecently a question was asked concerning freezing eggs after they are hard cooked eggs. I did not know the answer so I did what every other red blooded human being does now, googled it. I was led to the site of the American Egg Board. They have a whole site dedicated to….. EGGS! How to cook, store, freeze, dry, and other ways to use the incredible, edible egg. Yes, they are the ones who coined the phrase over thirty years ago. Wow, I remember that so I must be getting old!

Eggs are plentiful from the layer hens in Spring through early Summer. You may have more eggs than your family needs so freezing eggs would be a great way to preserve the fresh eggs for winter, when egg laying might taper off.

Ok but back to the question at hand. This question was posed after I shared an article written by my friend Lesa from Better Hens and Gardens. Easy Peel Hardboiled Fresh Eggs. Check it out. IF you aren’t using the steaming method described by Lesa, you are probably fighting to get the shells off the hard cooked eggs.

freezing eggs

 

Baking Eggs for Hard Boiled Eggs

Another way I have tried cooking eggs is to bake them in the shell. You place the eggs into a muffin tin and bake at 350 degrees for half an hour. It definitely works and is very simple to do. However, some drying can occur and I did not find it completely easy to peel the egg shells off. It was a little easier than when I boiled the eggs but still, not as easy as steaming. freezing eggs

Freezing hard cooked eggs is possible with some modifications.

The Egg Board recommends separating the yolks from the whites after the egg is hard boiled, steamed or baked. The whites may become watery and tough when frozen.

I am not sure why you would need to do this step recommended by the Egg Board, but I will quote it here for you.

“You can freeze hard-boiled egg yolks to use later for toppings or garnishes. Carefully place the yolks in a single layer in a saucepan and add enough water to come at least 1 inch above the yolks. Cover and quickly bring just to boiling. Remove the pan from the heat and let the yolks stand, covered, in the hot water about 12 minutes. Remove the yolks with a slotted spoon, drain them well and package them for freezing.”

I don’t know why you need to re-cook the yolks before freezing them but hey, I am just passing on the info.

freezing eggs

Freezing Eggs Before Cooking

Can you freeze fresh eggs also? Yes and many people use this method to store eggs from the hens’ high production times. Our egg production is highest in Spring and early Summer. As we approach fall and the fall molting period, eggs can become scarce. Freezing eggs during the Spring ensures we will have eggs available for fall baking.

 

Simply break the eggs into a bowl and whisk gently. Adding a quarter teaspoon of salt per cup of whisked eggs, will help keep them from being grainy after freezing eggs. Using a tablespoon to measure, scoop out three tablespoons of the whisked eggs. This is the approximate measurement of one whole egg. I like to use large ice cube trays but you can also put small custard cups on a cookie sheet and put the egg into those.

Pop the eggs into the freezer. When frozen completely, remove from the ice tray or custard cup and store in a freezer container or zip lock freezer bag. When you need eggs for a recipe, thaw and use as normal.

There you have it folks! For more information from the American Egg Board, you can visit their website. It has lots of information and activities including a fun little egg knowledge quiz.

Enjoy!

For information on why fresh eggs from the coop sometimes look strange, and if they are safe to eat, take a look at this post with a print out ready chart.

 

Pin this info for later!

freezing eggs

 




Most Amazing Carrot Cake

A Recipe for Comfort Food and Old Fashioned Goodness in Carrot Cake 

carrot cakeWhat happens when you take fresh carrots, homemade applesauce, and the ingredients most often associated with cake, and mix them together? After baking, you have the moist, rich, delicious dessert we call Carrot Cake. This recipe is an old fashioned cake recipe, using lots of fresh ingredients. There is no skimping on goodness with this carrot cake! Don’t be alarmed at the amount of goodness! After all, it’s dessert with lots of veggies and fruit tucked inside.

My recommendation for putting this cake together is to gather up all the ingredients on your counter and measure out the amounts. Since there are a lot of items to include, this system will help you avoid leaving out any of the goodness.

I am not a fan of raisins or nuts in baked goods, so in my cake they are left out. The nuts and raisins are optional though, so I encourage you to use your own creativity on that topic.

Old Fashioned Carrot Cake 

Gather the ingredients

3 cups of flour

2.5 cups sugar

4 medium sized carrots shredded to make to 2 cups of shredded carrot

1 Tablespoon baking soda

1 Tablespoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon salt

4 large eggs

1.5 cups cooking oil

1 cup of unsweetened applesauce

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

(8 oz walnuts or 4 oz raisins and 4 oz walnuts) optional

confectioners sugar for glaze

 

In a small bowl, beat the eggs slightly, add the oil and vanilla extract.

In large bowl or in mixer bowl combine flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients.

Stir in the shredded carrots, applesauce and any other ingredients desired.

 

Grease and flour a 10 inch bundt pan. (you can use this recipe for two layer cake pans too. There may be enough batter left over to make a couple of muffins!)  

Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit

Bake the Carrot Cake for an hour and twenty minutes. (80 minutes) or until a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean.

Cool the cake for ten minutes in the pan. Invert the pan onto a cooling rack and cool completely.

When ready to glaze and serve, transfer to a serving plate. Mix the confectioner sugar with about 5 tablespoons of water and mix completely . Drizzle the glaze over the cake.

Alternative serving idea

Cream cheese frosting or butter cream frosting

 

carrot cake

Looking for more rich decadent dessert recipes? I love this one from Joybilee Farm  Meyer Lemon Bundt Cake

 

 

 

 

 

 




Georgia Peach Cobbler

Peach Cobbler Recipe that Will Make You Drool!

peach cobblerGeorgia Peaches are inspiring anywhere but being in Georgia and getting to enjoy them locally is truly a treat. Peach cobbler, peach preserves and peach pie come to mind. Of course I over bought  and the peaches were getting a little soft. Time to bake a dessert. I scoured websites looking for a recipe that had ingredients that I had available. In the end, I  adapted this recipe from a few that looked good. We enjoyed it and I hope you will too. One step in this recipe is different than in other recipes. Baking the peaches for 10 minutes before adding the topping allows the peaches to cook long enough and not end up with over done topping. At least I think that is what is intended. Enjoy! I am sure your family and guests will be begging for more peach cobbler!

peach cobbler

Georgia Peach Cobbler
Serves 6
A delicious combination of sweet, ripe peaches, topped with a crunchy, brown sugar topping
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
1 hr
For the peaches
  1. 10 - 14 peaches, peeled, pit removed and sliced
  2. 2 teaspoons citric acid or 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  3. 1/4 cup white sugar (generously full)
  4. 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  5. 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  6. 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
For the cake topping
  1. 1 and 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  2. 1/4 cup white sugar (generously full)
  3. 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  4. 1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  5. 3/4 teaspoons salt
  6. 1/2 cup chilled butter cut into small pieces
  7. 1/4 cup boiling water
For the topping
  1. 1/4 cup sugar
  2. 1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  3. 1/8 teaspoons nutmeg (optional)
Preheat oven to 425 F.
  1. Using a large bowl mix the peach slices and the citric acid together.
  2. Add the sugars, cinnamon, and flour.
  3. Stir to evenly coat the peaches.
  4. Pour the peaches into greased 2 quart baking dish or 7 x 9 baking pan.
Bake for 10 minutes
For the cake topping
  1. combine flour, both sugars and baking powder and salt
  2. mix in the butter with a pastry blender or two forks.
  3. continue to mix until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  4. add the boiling water and mix until just combined
  5. Remove the peaches from the oven and drop the cake topping in spoonfuls all over the top of the peaches.
  6. Sprinkle the cinnamon, sugar and nutmeg mixture over the whole dish
Bake until topping is golden brown about 30 minutes
  1. cool 10 minutes in pan
  2. serve warm
Adapted from Various Recipes from Allrecipes.com
Adapted from Various Recipes from Allrecipes.com
Timber Creek Farm https://timbercreekfarmer.com/
 

Note – I wrote this a couple years back while on an extended stay in Georgia. I made it quite a few times. Recently I pulled some peaches from the freezer to make this again. A taste of summer while the temperatures are frigid! If you also saved peaches from last summer, now is a good time to bake a delicious peach cobbler.

 

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Sourdough Bread Baking from a Beginner

Learning to make Sourdough Bread was easier than I thought 

sourdough breadSourdough bread has always been my favorite bread. I don’t even remember when I discovered that I love the sour flavor, soft middle and crunchy crust. The truth of the matter is, though, I never made it myself. Yes, it was a well covered truth that I spent lots of money at fancy grocery stores buying “real” sourdough bread. The loaves they sell at a lot of food stores doesn’t even taste like sourdough bread. Maybe it is but it is lacking the real flavor and crunchy crust. During the recent snow event we had in the area, I decided to get my sourdough bread starter going and then actually bake loaves of sourdough bread at home! I am so glad I had the extra time to see this though. I overcame my worry that it wouldn’t work and that I would be wasting all that good flour. It worked and it is delicious. Now, every day, I am activating a small batch of the starter and letting it become bubbly. Later that day or early the next, I will mix up the dough. Patience seems to be the biggest hurdle. You won’t have sourdough bread a few hours after you start the recipe. But if you can summon up the patience to cater to the dough for a few minutes a couple times a day, you can have fresh sourdough bread everyday.

Getting Started with Sourdough Bread

To begin, I searched my pinterest board on Bread Recipes for some guidance and recipes. I had pinned this post from Montana Homesteader with a collection of over 70 sourdough recipes. I read through a few but this one from Common Sense Homesteading was the closest to how I had begun my starter. I used starter grains from Cultures for Health, as she did. This seemed like the perfect set of directions for me to follow. I wish Cultures from Health had included a few recipes with the grains but apparently they have them on their website.

sourdough bread

I followed the instructions from Common Sense Home, at least the first time. I have been experimenting with different variations after getting the first two delicious loaves of bread. I am still a beginner but I branched out to make a french style baggette and both dinner rolls and sandwich style rolls.

sourdough bread

Starter – Follow the instructions on the package if using starter grains   I waited 6 days while feeding and stirring the starter as the directions explained

When making my first batch of bread this is what I did.

  • The night before I scooped out 1/2 cup of starter into a medium sized glass bowl  
  • Add 1 cup of all purpose flour and 1/2 cup of water. Mix briskly. Cover with a tea towel and sit it out on the counter over night.
  • The next morning, take all the activated starter from the bowl and place it into the kitchen aid mixer bowl. (of course you can use whatever mixer you have, or even mix by hand) 
  • One cup at a time, add up to three and a half more cups of flour (at this point I used bread flour) 1 cup of room temperature water and a scant Tablespoon of  salt.
  • Mix until the dough ball forms. Add small amounts of additional flour if needed to get to a smooth elastic dough.
  • Place the dough on a cutting board
  • Cut the dough into two parts  
  • Shape each half into the loaf you desire. Round loaves can be shaped or placed in a round Pyrex bowl for baking. Bread pans are used if you want a traditional rectangular loaf. When making rolls, divide half the dough into equal small pieces and place on a lightly greased cookie sheet. (I use coconut oil)   Now comes the patience test.
  • Cover the dough shapes and walk away.

I know it’s hard

After four hours you can punch down the dough and reshape for a second rise or just leave the dough alone for at least 8 hours. 12 hours is better and if you can stand it, wait a little longer. Yikes! I know it is hard.

sourdough bread

If your kitchen is too cool to get a good rise in the dough, try this. Preheat your oven to 300 degrees F for less than a minute. Shut the oven off. Open the door and let it cool slightly. Then place the dough in the oven to rise. Make sure you turned the oven to off!

Finally! Time to Bake the Bread

Preheat oven 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Bake loaves for 30 minutes. Baguettes from the quarter of the dough bake about 20 to 25 minutes and rolls bake 15 to 20 minutes. The internal temperature of the bread should be 200 degrees when fully baked.

When the bread is done baking, remove from the pans onto a wire rack for cooling and to prevent sogginess.

Now reward yourself with a great big slab of bread smothered in real butter. You deserve it. That took incredible patience.

 

The bread basket in the feature photo is available from 1840 Farm

Common Sense Homesteading  Easy Sourdough Bread

Montana Homesteader  70+ Sourdough Recipes

Sourdough Bread