Does your food storage strategy include food you’ve canned yourself? If home canning is a stumbling block for you, you need the help you’ll get from The Prepper’s Canning Guide, by Daisy Luther.
It may seem odd to think about canning at the time this post is being published in early spring, but as you’ll hear from my DestinySurvival Radio conversation with Daisy, planning, as with any aspect of preparedness, is most certainly an important component of canning.
Daisy’s book will expand your imagination and open new possibilities for you. There’s more to canning than filling your pantry shelves with green beans or strawberry jam. Why not try entrees, soups and side dishes?
Whether you’re new to canning or you’ve been doing it for years, you’ll want to hear what Daisy shares in The Prepper’s Canning Guide and our DestinySurvival Radio conversation. I’ll give you a few highlights about both below.
Getting to Know Your Prepper Canning Guru
Daisy Luther has been my DestinySurvival Radio guest before, in the summer of 2015 when we talked about The Prepper’s Water Survival Guide. She’s well known by many in the prepper community at large, but if you’re not familiar with who she is, here’s a little background, as it appears in The Prepper’s Canning Guide.
“Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, gun-toting, homeschooling blogger. She writes about current events, preparedness, food, frugality, and the pursuit of liberty on her websites, The Organic Prepper and DaisyLuther.com. She is the cofounder of Preppers University, where she teaches intensive preparedness courses in a live online classroom setting.
“Daisy is also the author of The Pantry Primer: A Prepper’s Guide to Whole Food on a Half Price Budget, The Prepper’s Water Survival Guide: Harvest, Treat, and Store Your Most Vital Resource, and Have Yourself a Thrifty Little Christmas and a Debt-Free New Year.”
During our conversation Daisy and I stuck mainly to the subject of canning. But as you can tell from the above paragraphs, she’s well versed in a number of other areas. Her other books and web sites are well worth your time.
Looking Inside the Information Container
The Prepper’s Canning Guide is divided into three parts. The first few chapters cover canning basics, including how to can safely.
Part two covers…
- Traditional canning tips and recipes
Part three is about meals and the things that go with them, such as…
- Soups and stews
- Main dishes
- Getting creative
You’ll find helpful tables, especially in the appendices. Fore example, you’ll need to know how to accommodate for the differences in canning times when you live in higher altitudes. The index will help you find your way through the book as well.
Tasting the Prepper Canning Guidance
I confess to ignorance when it comes to canning. That’s why I’m glad we have Daisy’s book to refer to. And I’m glad to share our conversation with you.
Why this book? Daisy says it’s because preppers have a different focus than others who can things like fancy jams.
Canning your own food calls for a more engaged attitude toward food preparation and consumption than buying ready-made storage food with a longer shelf life. Your survival pantry should be diversified. But with home canning you’re sure to make conscientious decisions about what you eat and how you rotate your food supply.
Why home canning? There are a number of good reasons to can food for your survival pantry, but one good reason is so you have control over what you eat. You know what goes into what you’ve canned. You can gear your food to meet special needs, such as sensitivity to gluten, colorings and preservatives.
You also have control over how much you set aside. For example, Daisy knows how much spaghetti sauce to can for her family.
Besides, according to Daisy, having home canned food on your shelves is the closest you can get to homemade fast food.
Plus–and this should get your attention–you’ll save money.
What’s the difference in canning methods? I asked Daisy about the difference between water bath canning and pressure canning.
Water bath canning is for high acid foods, such as fruits, pickles, tomato products, jams and jellies. Pressure canning is for all those low acid foods which call for a higher temperature. Vegetables and meats must be canned using a pressure canner.
Daisy was quick to point out the difference between a pressure canner and a pressure cooker. Without going into detail, a pressure canner is suited for canning and holds more quarts. Daisy described her choice for a pressure canner.
Another reason for using a pressure canner is to prepare foods at a high enough temperature to reduce the risk of deadly botulism poisoning.
Incidentally, during our visit and in her book Daisy explains why you don’t have to be afraid of using a pressure canner. There’s no need to worry about blowing up your house.
What if you can’t grow all you need? If you’re like most of us and aren’t able to grow all of your own food, pay attention to Daisy’s tips on going to farmers markets and getting to know local growers.
Why try to buy 100 pounds of tomatoes? Daisy cans several foods using tomatoes for her family. Chances are you’ll also want more tomatoes than you might think at first when you realize how many things you eat that call for tomatoes.
What about supplies to have on hand? Of course, jars, lids and rings. You may or may not want pectin, but you’ll need sugar and canning salt. The book goes into greater detail.
What about reusable canning lids? They’ve been marketed to preppers. But Daisy isn’t a fan. She explains why in our conversation and in her book.
What do you do when there’s no electricity? Is a wood stove adequate? Daisy uses an outdoor propane burner. Trying to can with an open fire calls for a lot of fuel and may not cook evenly or long enough to do the job.
What foods should you avoid canning? Daisy and the USDA don’t recommend canning dairy products. Daisy also says not to can starchy ingredients, including rice and noodles. Add dairy or starches at serving time. There’s more in our chat and in the book.
It’s also not wise to use much seasoning or spices. Flavors become stronger with canning. You can always add more seasoning or spice, but you can’t take it out.
What about canning leftovers? Daisy talked a little about this with me, but she says you should see her book for the details.
Sampling More Tidbits
You’ll appreciate the many recipes throughout the book. If you’re like me, your mouth will be watering as you read.
For example, I like the idea of using fruit jams in yogurt, ice cream, or in muffins and cookies.
The chapter on condiments features recipes for relishes, salsas and various kinds of pickles. Ever thought of pickling carrots? How about beets?
You’ll discover more than one way to can apples, peaches, pears and other fruits. How about making your own fruit coctail?
You’ll want to pay attention to Daisy’s tips in the book on cleaning veggies and fruits you can, especially if they come from sources known for their use of pesticides.
You’ll be surprised by how many vegetables you can can. No need to limmit yourself to green beans and tomatoes.
However, if beans are among your favorite foods–or if you want to know how they can be–there’s a separate book chapter to help you get creative.
Pop the lid off the jar of goodies waiting for you by listening to my conversation with Daisy Luther on DestinySurvival Radio for March 30, 2017. (Right click to download.)
If you look through The Prepper’s Canning Guide and you’re not drooling, something’s not right. Get your own copy, and you’ll see what I mean. Click on the book’s title wherever you see it linked in this post.
If you’re new to home canning, or if you need a refresher, let Daisy’s book be your guide. She also offers online classes through Preppers University. You might also check with your local extension service to see if they offer classes on canning.
Finally, don’t be afraid to experiment. Daisy has done a lot of that over the years. That’s how she’s been able to put such a variety of recipes in her book. There are things you can can which you may not have known of or thought about.
Dare I say it? (Bad pun ahead.) The Prepper’s Canning Guide will get your creative juices flowing.
And that’s a good thing because home canning is worth it now for your family and as part of your food storage strategy for the future.