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Dehydrated Frozen Vegetables DIY

I am interested in making those layered, meal in a mason jar soups to store in my pantry. I have been looking at some different recipes and the dehydrated veggies you can buy are expensive, so I decided to try making some myself.

I bought some organic frozen mixed veggies from Aldi and let them thaw out.

When I went to put them in the dehydrator, I discovered I only had one of the mesh sheets that keep tiny foods from falling through, so I was only able to do one layer at a time. I ordered more on Amazon for when I do this again. And I will. It’s so easy.

I set the dehydrator for two hours on 145. I had to start it up again because they needed more time. I just checked on them every half hour or so. It took 4-5 hours.

This is after I poured them out of the dehydrator. They looked so vibrant!

I’ve never done this before, but I have read your supposed to put them in an airtight jar and shake them once a day for seven days to make sure there’s no more moisture in them. If there is, you will need to dehydrate some more. Then you can seal them in a long term airtight jar.

I plan on layering these in some jars with other ingredients for meals and store them in my pantry.

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I Canned Chicken In My Instant Pot Max

I have canned for years, but I’ve always canned foods that you could water bath can. If it involved a pressure cooker I was not interested. I guess I’ve always felt leery of using one.

Well, I’ve been using my Instant Pot for sometime now, I’m very comfortable with it and I ended up recently purchasing an Instant Pot Max that has a canning setting and I thought, why not?

You shouldn’t pressure can in a regular instant pot you can only water bath can, you can’t watch the temperatures on a regular instant pot. You should only use the Max for pressure canning. Pressure canned foods need to maintain a certain temp for a certain time to kill spores, and you can monitor it on the Max

Here is a step by step on how I canned chicken breast:

I started with sterilizing my jars. You only have room to can four pint jars in the Max at one time.

To sterilize, I placed the jars into the instant pot on top of the metal rack. I poured water in around the jars to cover about 1/4th of the way up the jars.

I set the instant pot on canning for 10 minutes on low pressure and natural release. This sanitized the jars. Meanwhile, I simmered the lids and rings on the stove.

Once the jars were sterile, I removed them with a canning jar lifter and set them on a towel and let them cool down.

Once cooled, I packed fresh, raw chicken into the jars. I only packed chicken, no liquid, no seasoning, the meat makes its own juice as it cooks.

I wiped the tops of the jars with a clean cloth, then placed the lids and rings on. (Don’t crank down on the rings.)

Time to can. I placed the filled jars onto the rack in the instant pot max and made sure the water level was 1/4 way up the jars.

I noticed after I took this picture that my temperature setting was on Celsius. I’d set it to Fahrenheit afterwards. Press the canning setting, max pressure, no vent, natural release, and time needs to be 75 minutes or 1 hour and 15 minutes. I hit start and let it do it’s thing.

Once the Max had naturally released, We removed the hot jars and place on a towel and let cool. The lids popped as soon as we removed them.

They turned out so nice! Look at all the natural juice that each jar made. I could use this in some chicken chili or noodle soup, or even in a casserole dish.

I’ve been wanting to try this and now I’m going to try some different foods. It was very easy and rewarding.

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Instant Pot Turkey Stock from Carcass

Today I made Turkey Breast. We made the most delicious Turkey club sandwiches with it. I decided to make some stock with the carcass. I tried making it in the instant pot for the first time, it was so fast and easy and I didn’t have to babysit a simmering pot on the stove.

I just put in the carcass and added, carrots, onions, celery, crushed garlic, a bay leaf, parsley, thyme and 10 cups of water. I set the instant pot to 30 minutes and let it naturally release.

After all the steam released, I opened the lid and unplugged the pot and let the stock cool.

I poured the stock through a strainer. I decided to freeze the stock because I wasn’t planning on using it right away.

I wanted to vacuum seal it so this was my method.

I poured the stock into small containers and froze them into cubes.

Once frozen, I was able to seal them in bags. Whenever I need some broth, I’ll just thaw what I need and I have some yummy homemade broth.

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Organize A Small Deep Chest Freezer

We have a small deep chest freezer. I really wish I would have thought it through better and bought an upright…but this is what I have so I came up with a solution to see everything that’s inside. It takes a little shuffling but it works so much better then this…

Here everything is in a pile. It was so hard to see what I had at the bottom. I would dig through and not find what I was looking for and my hands would get cold and I would give up and run to the store to get it.

I picked up three of these deep baskets from Dollar Tree and went to work. I pulled everything out and found things I thought I didn’t have, who knew?

I organized different types of meat in each basket.

I stacked the baskets on top of each other

And boom…took care of my problem for $3! Now all I have to do is pull out the baskets to see what I have, use up what I have and save money.

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Freezing Buttermilk For Recipes DIY

I don’t use much buttermilk, so when I need some I have to make a trip to the store and I use it for my recipe then it usually sits in the refrigerator until it expires and has to be tossed. Well, since COVID19, I’ve been rethinking about how I do things. I’m trying really hard to not be wasteful. I’ve been getting satisfaction from using up everything that I have on hand.

I am trying not to go out unless completely necessary. Last time we went out for supplies I grabbed buttermilk. I’m making my Smokey Pinto Bean soup today with my Mom’s famous cornbread recipe. I will let you in on that recipe as soon as I make it, it’s yummy. I am freezing the buttermilk that I don’t use today for future recipes. Here’s how I’m doing it..

Supplies needed:
  • Buttermilk (well obviously)
  • Freezer Bags
  • Measuring Cup
  • Marker

I start with fresh buttermilk. I’ve read it lasts for up to three months in the freezer.

I chose a one cup measurement for each quart bag. Liquid expands when frozen so whatever container you use, leave room for expansion. I like the baggies because if you freeze them flat, you can stack them and they don’t take up much room.

Mark the bag. I put the date I freeze and the date it should be used by and the measurement and of course what’s in the bag.

I find it less messy if you roll the top of the bag down before you pour in liquid.

Carefully, try to squeeze the air up and out before sealing. Freeze lying flat. When it’s time to thaw, it that’s fast. I sit on counter or you can run the bag under cold water. Watch for my Pinto Bean Recipe coming up soon!