This week I have been meal prepping for the year. Now that may sound like an overwhelming thing to do but it is actually quite simple. All it requires is a sharp knife, sterile jars and copious amounts of meat and fresh vegetables. I started with a 25# box of ground beef, 30# of stew meat, 3 large roasts, peck each of onions, tomatoes, green beans, peppers, potatoes, onions and fresh herbs from the garden. Out of these ingredients I canned (with the help of sweet Meghan) 14 jars of stew beef, 18 jars of Taco soup, 13 jars of Cheeseburger Soup, and 16 jars of Mississippi Pot Roast!
This whole process took a total of 6 hours, two women (one to bounce the baby while we took turns slicing) and it created over 60 shelf stable meals! We packed and pressure canned each jar with nutrient dense, farm fresh food for 60-90 minutes and now they can be stored in our cupboard for years to come with no electricity required.
Food preservation might seem like something that just farmers partake in but I truly believe everyone should be doing their part. The more seasonal and local food that we preserve the less trips to the grocery store we have to make through the winter. As we notice environmental changes at rapid rates we should all be doing small things to make an impact at reducing carbon.
Looking for a new recipe to try out? Check out this week’s Sunny Cove Farm Youtube video on pressure canning Beef Stew!
Canned Meals are already made and ready to go so I am less tempted to order out pizza or something not as nutritious for my growing family. The flavor preserved in these jars is incredible! Every time I open up a meal in a jar it brings me back to those summer days and the smells coming from the kitchen. Nutritionally its been proven that pressure canning actually preserves a lot of the vitamins and minerals in food that are otherwise lost (up to 40%) when roasting, steaming or boiling fresh.
Want to get started but have questions? I am an open book, ask away! I wrote last week about my journey to finding food preservation. I hope you were encouraged in how simple it truly is when you get down to the basics.