Canning Fruit


I love autumn time. Harvest is coming, and the peaches are ripe. Pears and apples are coming soon. Grapes are turning purple, and the apricots are begging to be picked. The bounties of the garden are ours for the taking. Unfortunately, the season doesn’t last long. Winter is coming, and with it comes cold and snow. There will be no more gardening for a while, but the desire for fresh, sweet fruit doesn’t subside as the seasons change.

When preparing dinner, it is so satisfying to survey the pantry shelves and choose a jar of cherries or applesauce to serve the family. It’s like a little taste of summer when the weather is the coldest. It not only provides nutrition for the body; it also feeds the soul. The fresh, vibrant colors and sweetness of the fruit are just perfect for topping off a meal.

It is not difficult to bottle fruit. In fact, it is the easiest thing to can, and so many people start with that. It doesn’t require pressuring. Instead, fruits can generally be processed in a boiling waterbath. Any large pan with a rack in the bottom will do. It doesn’t take a lot of fancy equipment. For those just trying out the process, it’s a great way to start.

The general instructions are simple. Take a quart canning jar and put in a third cup of sugar. Add about one inch of hot water and swish around to dissolve the sugar. (This is similar to a light syrup, and maybe lighter than that, but for us, it’s just about right.) Add the fruit, then top off with enough hot water to come to the bottom of the threads. Then it is very important to take a wet rag and wipe the top edge of the jar. There is a good chance that it won’t seal if there are even small amounts of sugar or fruit there. It must be very clean. Then wet the lid, using a new lid each time, and put it on. Screw down the ring tightly with your hands.

Now it is ready to go into the waterbath. Lower the jar into the water carefully. One thing to remember is that if cold jars are put into hot water, or hot jars are put into cold water, there is a risk of breaking them. Try to put jars into water that has a temperature that is at least similar to the temperature of the water in the jar.

Cover the jars with about one inch of water above the lids. Some of it will boil away during the processing. Then bring it to a boil and keep it boiling for the recommended amount of time. This does vary according to the elevation, so those living at higher elevations will need to process their jars a little longer. To save electricity, or gas, set a lid loosely on the pan to retain heat. The water will boil sooner, and once boiling, the heat can be turned down somewhat for the rest of the time. Just remember to keep it boiling at all times.

Let’s start with peaches. Canning with the skins on is not really recommended. The easiest way to skin them is to put them in boiling water for a minute or so to cook just the outside of the fruit. Use a saucepan that will fit several if speed is essential. Come to think of it, I don’t know when speed isn’t essential at canning time! Let them cook for about a minute, then lift them out with a slotted spoon and put them right into a bowl of cold water. Wait a minute for them to cool, then pick one up. Slice all the way around it with the knife, splitting it in half. The skin will slide right off, and if they are freestone peaches, the stone is easy to pull out. The put the peaches in the jars that already have sugar and hot water, cut side down for the prettiest jars. If they are too big, or if your family prefers, they can also be quartered or sliced. When the jars are full, wipe the top, put on the lid and ring, and process.

The general rule for processing peaches in a boiling water bath is 30 minutes at a boil. However, if you live at a higher altitude, you will need to add two minutes for every thousand feet above sea level. For instance, I live at about 5000 feet elevation, so I would add 10 minutes. I then process my peaches for 40 minutes.

When the time is up, lift them carefully out of the pan with a jar lifter. They don’t cost much, but they are worth their weight in gold! Place them on a folded towel to cool. Keep them out of drafts as they cool. They should not be cooled in the pan, as it is important to cool them faster than that. When cool, use a permanent marker to mark the date on them so that they can be rotated with the rest of your food storage. One lady marks on hers while still hot with a crayon. The wax in the crayon then melts and then hardens to a permanent mark.

Peaches are wonderful to have around. We like to eat them in a bowl with our meal, but we also like to use them in crisps, pies and such. Then, even if it is a dessert, the family is still getting some fruit and grains, instead of just empty calories.

Spicy Peach Crumble

Serves 6
Meal type Dessert
Spicy Peach Crumble! You can make this with the peaches that you canned earlier or stored bought peaches.


  • 1 quart peaches (drained and sliced)
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar (packed)
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 cup flour (white or wheat)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (packed)
  • 1/4 cup quick oats
  • 2 tablespoons butter


Step 1
In a bowl mix the peaches 2 TBSP brown sugar, corn starch, cinnamon, ginger and allspice. Mix together until peaches are well coated.
Step 2
Place peach mixture in 8" round or square glass baking dish.
Step 3
Mix the rest of the ingredients together, except the butter. Cut in the butter and mix until crumbly. Sprinkle this crumb topping over the peach mixture.
Step 4
Microwave uncovered on high 10-15 minutes, turn ½ turn every 5 minutes, until peaches are hot and bubbly. Let stand uncovered 10 minutes. Serve warm with whipped cream, ice cream, or plain.


Sure Juicing is Healthy, But Why?



We all know that eating fruit and vegetables is good for us, but it is often hard to get the recommended 5 to 9 servings of fruits and vegetables each day. You may ask yourself if it would just be easier to take a vitamin supplement rather than try and get all these servings of fruits and vegetables each day. While vitamin supplements have a place in some people’s lives fruit and vegetables contain these vitamins plus many other substances that can help protect you from many different diseases.

According to the American Cancer Society, “Greater consumption of vegetables, fruits, or both together has been associated in the majority of epidemiological studies with a lower risk of lung, oral, esophageal, stomach, and colon cancer. ” Link to Quote

So how do we turn the 9 servings needed into something easy and fun to do? One word: Juicing!

Fresh fruit and vegetable Juicing provides an easy way to get those recommended servings plus many added benefits! Juicing is easy to do and easy to learn. All you need is a juicer, fruit and vegetables and you are ready to go. The hardest part, but also part of the fun, is deciding what combination of fruit and vegetables you feel like drinking at the time.

When you first start juicing it is best to stick with fruit and vegetables that you already enjoy eating. After you get used to juicing, add one new item at a time. By adding one item at a time, you can make sure that your body agrees with it and that you like the new addition. If you add too many new items at once, it is harder to figure out which one is causing the problem.

One of my favorite juices and an easy one to start out with is apple and carrot juice. The apple is a good source of Vitamins B-1,B-2, B-6, C, A; Chlorine, Phosphorus, Folic Acid, Copper, Magnesium, Pectin, Potassium, Pantothenic Acid, Manganese and Iron. The carrot is a good source of Calcium, Vitamins K,C E,B,D; Phosphorus and Potassium. Mixed together they create a very sweet, healthy, and delicious juice.

My family loves to try all kinds of combinations of fruits and vegetables to see which ones we like. On first try my daughter didn’t like the celery juice added to the apple and carrot, but after a second try she decided that once you get used to the taste and idea of drinking celery, it really is delicious. Once you and your body gets used to juicing the combinations are endless. (see recipes for some ideas to get you started.)

There are many benefits to juicing. Here is a list of the ones that are most important to me, but there are a lot of other benefits too.

  • It is easier to drink the fruit and vegetables than to eat them all whole. You can easily get the 9 servings a day.
  • By juicing you are getting live enzymes and live nutrients. When you buy juice that is packaged it has been pasteurized. This pasteurization –processing at a high heat- kills the enzymes and other live nutrients, thus making the product inferior nutritionally to juicing fresh, at home.
  • When fruits and vegetables are juiced the nutrients are easier for the body to use and absorb. Juicing removes the indigestible fiber which makes the nutrients more available for the body.
  • Juice is full of antioxidants and phytochemicals . antioxidants and phytochemicals help you combat aging, disease, cancer, depression, arthritis and many other things.
  • Having a day of drinking just fresh juice is a great way to detoxify your system and start you on the road to a new healthier you.

Here are a few tips to help your juicing experience turn out great:

  • Juice should either be drunk immediately or stored properly in an opaque airtight container. Air and light cause the juice to lose its nutritional value more quickly.
  • Fresh juice should be drunk within 24 hours to make sure you get the maximum nutritional benefits.
  • Add one new fruit or vegetable at a time to ensure that you don’t have a problem with it.
  • Start with juicing fruits and vegetables that you already love to eat.
  • Vegetable juice usually has less calories than fruit juice. If you are watching your caloric intake this is good to keep in mind.
  • Freezing fruit and then blending together with fresh juice makes a great smoothy!

With all these benefits to juicing why not start now!

Veggie Power Juice

Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Beverage, Breakfast


  • 1 tomato
  • 1 carrot (peeled)
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 1 handful cilantro
  • 1 green onion
  • 1 clove garlic (for an extra spicy drink if desired)


veggie power juice, all you veggies in one glass.


Step 1
Choose organic vegetables if possible.
Choose vegetables that are in good condition.
Wash the vegetables and peel if needed.

Step 2
Run all the veggie through a juicer, pour into a glass with ice and enjoy!

8 Steps To Becoming Self Reliant

8 Steps to Becoming Self-Reliant

8 Steps to Becoming Self-Reliant

STEP 1 Is to not just understand the need to acquire a storage program and to become SELF-RELIANT, but to become committed to doing it and set a time frame to work it.

STEP 2: Learn what it takes and what you need to become SELF-RELIANT. Learn the basic home storage, 1st Aid and family preparedness, so that you and your family can live 1 year or two with a minimum of outside dependency on others. Doing this will save money, time and effort as you set up a plan of action.

STEP 3: Put together a 72 HOUR KIT for your home, car, office and /or school. This is a kit that will provide you with food, water, light, heat and other important items that will help you and your family during and after an emergency.

STEP 4: WATER-WATER-WATER. Store 1 gallon of water a day per person for drinking. A week minimum supply is recommended. Learn to purify and filter water and use a solar still.

STEP 5: Putting your food storage together.
A) We recommend a three to six month supply of the foods you are already eating.
B) A two month supply of ready to eat foods (no water, no cook type-grab & go),
C) A one year supply of long-term storage foods – bulk grains dehydrated or freeze-dried foods.

STEP 6: Get your supply of non-food items. Remember the need to take care of cooking, heat, light, shelter, 1st Aid, tools, communication, sanitation, camping equipment, fuel, clothing, garden supplies, etc.

STEP 7: Putting together a library of helpful books is very important ranging from general repair to survival manuals, gardening. 1st Aid, food storage books, cookbooks and anything that might be helpful under any circumstance and situation you might find yourself in.

STEP 8: After you have completed the first 7 steps, you can get the extra items you have become accustomed to in life, which are not essential to survival but would be nice to have. (REMEMBER: They won’t be nice to have if you don’t have the essentials!)

Not only do you want to set about acquiring and storing these items, but set up a way to use and replenish what you have.


Your spiritual preparation might be the greatest asset you acquire!

Steam Pressure Canning

pressure canning

What do you do with all of that extra produce from your garden? Can it! This article will explain how to use a steam pressure canner and how to preserve your garden for later use!

Low-acid foods must be processed in a steam – pressure canner.

In order to destroy all bacteria, their spores and the toxins they produce, low-acid foods must be heated to a temperature of 240 ° F and held there for the time specified by the recipe.   Because the steam inside the canner is pressurized, its temperature exceeds the boiling point of water.

Steam-Pressure Canner Features

Lid – Locks or clamps securely onto the base and may be fitted with a gasket, vent pipe and safety valve.

Gauge – Dial or weighted, the gauge measures the pressurization of the canner.

Dial Gauge – must be tested for accuracy prior to each canning season. If the gauge registers high by 1 lb. or more it must be replaced. Should the gauge be inaccurate, all of the bacterial spores that emit toxins may not be destroyed during processing. Your county Cooperative Extension Service or the manufacturer of the canner will be able to tell you where to go to have your gauge tested for accuracy.

Weighted Gauge – exhausts small amounts of steam during the entire processing period. The movement of the weighted gauge during processing indicates pressure is being maintained at the selected pounds of pressure. The weighted gauge does not require testing, for accuracy.

A three-piece weighted gauge and some styles of a one-piece weighted gauge have adjustments for 5, 10, and 15 pounds pressure. A one-piece weighted gauge that does not adjust for different pressure levels is designed to process only at 15 pounds pressure. When using a one-piece weighted gauge that processes only at 15 pounds pressure, follow manufacturer’s instructions.

Steam –pressure processing is essential for canning meats, poultry, sea foods, vegetables, and low-acid combination recipes. Please follow these steps when processing food in the steam-pressure canner.

Steam-Pressure Processing

  1. Put canner rack inside canner base. Add 2 to 3 inches of water. Heat water to a simmer (180° F).
  2. Prepare recipe using a tested recipe.
  3. Fill jars with food and liquid if called for
  4. Eliminate air bubbles
  5. Wipe rim of jar to remove any particles of food
  6. Place simmered lid and ring on jar and tighten.
  7. Place jars on canner rack immediately after each jar is filled. Lock canner lid securely in place. Leave vent pipe or petcock open.. Adjust heat to medium-high setting until steam flows evenly from the vent pipe or petcock. Exhaust steam from the canner for 10 minutes.
  8. Place weight on vent pipe or close petcock. The canner should pressurize in about 5 minutes. After the gauge indicates recommended pounds of pressure have been reached, adjust the heat to maintain pressure for the entire processing period. Set timer according the recipe processing time.
  9. After the processing period is complete, turn off heat. Allow the canner to cool naturally. Don not remove the weighted gauged or open the petcock until the canner has depressurized and returned to zero pressure.
  10. Remove gauge or open petcock. Unlock lid and lift it off the canner base being careful that steam escapes away from you. Let canner cool 10 minutes before removing jars.
  11. Remove jars from canner. Place jars on a towel and let rest for 12 to 24 hours before testing to see if they are sealed.
  12. Label and store in a cool dry place. If the food did not seal, place in the refrigerator and use within 2 to 3 days.

If you live above sea level you must adjust the amount of pressure according to your altitude.

Steam-Pressure Canner Altitude Adjustment Chart

Altitude of Feet Weighted Gauge Dial Gauge
0 to 1,000 10 11
1,00 to 2,000 15 11
2,001to 4,000 15 12
4,001 to 6,000 15 13
6,001 to 8,000 15 14
8,001 to 10,000 15 15


Drying Food


Dried foods take considerably less storage space than canned fruits and vegetables. And, dried foods can add variety to the diet.

Drying may be done in the oven, sunshine, homemade or commercial dryer. Good quality dried fruits and vegetables depend on the use of ripe, firm, good quality, fresh produce. Bruised, wilted or inferior material will not make a satisfactory product. Sort and clean foods before drying; one poor fruit or vegetable may give off-flavors to all others. Under-ripe fruits and vegetables will be weak in color and flavor. Over-ripe produce will be tough and woody, or may spoil before drying process is complete. Remember, fruits and vegetables that are inferior before drying will be inferior after drying.

Keep knives and cutting surfaces clean. Quick handling and drying are desirable.

Some foods change color and flavor during the drying process. To decrease this, fruits may be dipped in a salt-water solution of 4 to 6 tablespoons salt to 1 gallon water for about 10 minutes to prevent discoloration and lock in the vitamins.

Vegetables should be steamed or plunged into boiling water for about 5 minutes. They should be well-drained, dried with a towel and spread out to dry.

When using home built or commercial dryer (made with heating element and fan in bottom, and vented), fruit can be dried without any pretreatment, if desired. Most vegetables take 4 to 12 hours to dry; fruits, 6 hours or longer. If pieces dry around edges of trays first, take them out. Fruits and vegetables shrink proportionately during the drying process.

Dried foods should be stored in a dark, dry, cool place in tin cans with tight lids, glass jars, heavy plastic bags that seal or other moisture/vapor proof packaging.

To cook dried fruits, soak in hot water until tender. For dried vegetables, soak 20 minutes in 6 to 8 times as much water as dried material. Both fruits and vegetables should be simmered in the water used for soaking; do not boil. If sugar is used, add it at the end of cooking process.