Friday, December 9, 2011

Food For Thought

When we think of food storage we tend to think of the canned items that we have in our pantry or in closets, under the beds or in the garage.
What about those other items that can be stored in other places other than our pantries? I am talking about the freezer and the refrigerator.
So let's broaden our thoughts to these places and what can we put there to have for our food storage.
Below is a list I got from Food
This gives the length of time we can store items to keep them safe for us to eat. We don't want our families getting ill due to keeping things too long or not having them stored properly.

Storage Times for the Refrigerator and Freezer

These short but safe time limits for home-refrigerated foods will keep them from spoiling or becoming dangerous to eat. The guidelines for freezer storage are for quality only. Frozen foods remain safe indefinitely.

For storage times for eggs and foods made with eggs, see Egg Storage Chart.



(40 °F or below)

(0 °F or below)


Egg, chicken, ham, tuna & macaroni salads

3 to 5 days

Does not freeze well

Hot dogs

opened package

1 week

1 to 2 months

unopened package

2 weeks

1 to 2 months

Luncheon meat

opened package or deli sliced

3 to 5 days

1 to 2 months

unopened package

2 weeks

1 to 2 months

Bacon & Sausage


7 days

1 month

Sausage, raw — from chicken, turkey, pork, beef

1 to 2 days

1 to 2 months

Hamburger & Other Ground Meats

Hamburger, ground beef, turkey, veal, pork, lamb, & mixtures of them

1 to 2 days

3 to 4 months

Fresh Beef, Veal, Lamb & Pork


3 to 5 days

6 to 12 months


3 to 5 days

4 to 6 months


3 to 5 days

4 to 12 months

Fresh Poultry

Chicken or turkey, whole

1 to 2 days

1 year

Chicken or turkey, pieces

1 to 2 days

9 months

Soups & Stews

Vegetable or meat added

3 to 4 days

2 to 3 months


Cooked meat or poultry

3 to 4 days

2 to 6 months

Chicken nuggets or patties

3 to 4 days

1 to 3 months


3 to 4 days

1 to 2 months

Below is information on do's and don'ts of freezing foods

The Do's and Don'ts of Freezing Foods

One of the major forms of food preservation is freezing, and an important part of frozen food storage is the container the food is packed in.

There are several different types of packaging materials that work well in freezers. They include rigid containers, flexible bags, collapsible cover boxes and freezer wrap. These materials help prevent freezer burn and the breakdown of textures in frozen foods; they also prevent color and flavor changes.

Rigid containers can hold most foods. The containers are re-usable and are easy to stack. They are helpful for storing foods that contain liquids.

The most common and popular rigid container is one made of moisture-vapor-resistant plastic with a snap on lid. With proper care, these plastic containers can be used for years.

Wash lids in warm, never hot, water. Be careful as you remove the lid from the container because the lid may stretch and not fit securely. Then the container will not be airtight. It is best to let cold water run over the lid before removing. If the lid stretches, use freezer tape to seal it securely on the container. Use plastic wrap and aluminum foil in place of freezer tape. Stretch the wrap or foil on top of the container under the lid.

Glass jars can also be used to store frozen foods, but they should not be used to store liquids. If you use glass jars, be sure to choose the wide-mouth, dual-purpose jars that are for freezing and canning. These jars are specially made to withstand freezing and boiling temperatures.

The wide mouth of the jar allows easy removal of partially thawed foods and gives room for expansion during freezing. Leave at least 1 inch of headspace (the unfilled space above food or liquids in jars or freezer containers) for expansion. Also, new lids should be used each time and rinsed in cold tap water before applying to the mouth of the jar.

Standard canning jars with shoulders can be used for frozen food storage, but there is a danger of breakage if the jar is filled above the shoulder. Thaw food before removing from these jars. Extra care should be taken when thawing foods stored in glass.

Another popular method of storing frozen foods is using bags made of moisture-vapor-resistant polyethylene. They work well for dry food products and also can be used for liquid packs.

When sealing a freezer bag, leave no air in the bag with the food. After removing all the air, twist the top of the bag to form a spiral and fold it over like a gooseneck. Wrap the gooseneck several times about a half-inch from the food with some sort of a closure material. If a covered-wire closure is used, be sure to wrap the ends so they won�t puncture the bag. The bag should be loose to allow food to expand during freezing.

Collapsible cover boxes are often used with freezer bags. They protect the bag from puncture and make it easier to stack the packages. With good care, cover boxes can be reused for several years, but it is better to use new bags each time.

A good material for wrapping meats and other large and irregularly shaped foods is freezer wrap. Common types of freezer wrap are freezer paper, freezer cellophane and freezer aluminum foil (0.0015 thickness).

If freezing paper is used, only the paper made especially for freezing should be used. Do not confuse ordinary wrapping cellophane or butcher paper with specially developed grades recommended for freezing.

Household wax paper, plastic wrap and heavy-duty aluminum foil are not recommended for wrapping foods to be frozen. Extra-heavy-duty aluminum foil can be used for freezer storage for up to eight weeks. Wrap meats from the supermarket in suitable freezing wrap before freezing because the supermarket wrap is porous and may contain small holes.

Freezer tape helps seal packages of food to be frozen and makes the packages more airtight. However, such tape must hold a tight seal at 0 F or below.

Several materials are not good for long-term storage of frozen food. Foods stored in these materials for long periods of time may develop freezer burn and absorb undesirable odors. The materials include wax paper, paper cartons, cottage cheese cartons, cardboard ice cream or milk cartons, any rigid container that may crack and any container that has a poorly fitting lid.

Good materials for freezing should be airtight when properly sealed, be moisture-vapor-resistant, be durable and able to withstand cold temperatures, easy to clean, odorless and tasteless. They should not absorb oil, grease or water. They should also be easy to handle, seal, label, stack and take as little room as possible.

Source: Evelyn Crayton, Extension Foods and Nutrition Specialist, Alabama Cooperative Extension System, (334) 844-2224

Prepared by Jana Huggins, Agricultural Journalism Intern

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Order Date Reminders

For October orders turn in by September 23Rd.

Items that can be canned for October are: Apple slices, Carrots, macaroni, milk nonfat dry, and oats, regular.
Hope you will all take this opportunity to work on your food storage. We are very blessed to have a cannery so close to us that we can use every 3rd Saturday of the month.
Be prepared with a smile, Bobbi Jo


Some people don't eat beans due to the texture of them, or the taste or even the effects of eating them. Below is a great way to get beans into your families diet and take care of the first 2 reasons. Now for the last reason there is not gentle way to get around the effects that beans can have on a person. They can cause gas! If you are cooking beans at home the way to avoid this problem is

1)How the beans are cooked:
In my humble experience beans should always be cleaned, rinsed, then soaked, whether or not they are pressure-cooked. The general principal is, long slow soaking, and long slow cooking is best for beans.
Soaking loosens the skins, and releases the gas-causing oligosaccharides and converts the complex sugars into digestible form. How long to soak depends
on the bean, but they should double in size, and be smooth. Chickpeas should be soaked
overnight, up to 24 hours. It speeds things up to start with boiling hot water, and change the
water several times.
You can also speed up soaking time by bringing the beans & water to a boil, skimming the
foam, and then taking them off the heat to carry on soaking. Do the same with a pressure
cooker, bringing the beans up to pressure, and then turning off the heat.
Add nothing but water to the beans during soaking.
When cooking, discard the soaking water, and use fresh. Your plants or garden will
appreciate the soaking water. Cover 1 –2 inches with cold fresh water, bring to a boil, skim
the foam, and boil ten minutes uncovered. Again, this loosens the skins, and releases
gaseous chemicals.
If gas continues to be a problem, even after following these directions, bringthem to a boil, draining the water, and starting
again three times.
Don't add salt or baking soda to beans when cooking, because the sodium prevents them
from softening. But you can add a few fennel or cumin seeds, a slice of ginger, a bay leaf, or
a 3” strip of dried kombu seaweed. Or add all of the above if you wish. These help to soften
the fiber, convert the sugars, and add nutrients to make beans more digestible. Cover and
simmer until very tender.
Beans should always be cooked until soft.
If you're going to cook and soak beans, it's worth making extra to freeze for future recipes.
Likewise, with most bean dishes that you make, you can freeze extra for another day. This
isn't as nutritionally optimal or as tasty as eating everything freshly made, but it's a far better
option than processed or fast food.
A note about canned beans. Always drain and rinse them before eating. These are more
likely to cause gas than those you cook yourself, because they're not cooked the same way,
and they're not fresh cooked. They’re well-preserved leftovers. However, sometimes it’s
necessary to take a social risk for the sake of convenience.

2) The more you eat beans your body will adjust and you won't have the gas problems.

This recipe is from is borrowed with permission from Crystals web site Every Day... Food Storage
This recipe is not only low-fat, tasty and easy but you get a chance to use your food storage. Rotation is very important to keep your food storage fresh.

Low-Fat Ultimate Death by Chocolate Cookie

Recipe type: Desserts
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 10 mins
Total time: 20 mins
Serves: 9
This recipe is awesome, easy, looks gourmet and NO ONE will guess you used beans instead of butter in it! If you love it, make sure you check out my NEWEveryday Beans e-Cookbook with over 90 recipes that will incorporate beans into your breakfasts, sides & salads, dinners and DESSERTS!
  • 1 Devils Food Chocolate Cake mix (must be Devil’s food)
  • 1/2 C. bean puree (you can use either black or white beans)
  • 2 eggs (2 T. dry powdered eggs + 1/4 water)
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 1 tub Fat-Free Cool Whip
  • 1/2 pkg. dark chocolate chocolate chips, melted
  • chocolate covered strawberries, optional
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine half of the Devils Food Cake Mix with the bean puree, eggs and vanilla in electric mixer for 2 minutes or until thoroughly combined. Add in second half of cake mix and mix until combined. Drop rounded balls of cookie dough on GREASED cookie sheet. Cook 10-12 minutes or until done. Take out of oven and with a glass with a flat bottom, flatten cookies and allow to cool.
  2. Mix together Cool Whip and melted chocolate to form mousse. Place mousse in between two cookies. Place a little mousse on top of cookie sandwich and place chocolate covered strawberry on top.

Make bean puree by dumping a can of beans in your blender and blending until it is the consistency of a thick smoothie.

An article I found helpful and interesting is posted below.

The Benefits Of Beans: 9 Reasons Why YOU Should Eat Beans

The benefits of beans are so numerous that we can't say enough in praise of a beans diet. Healthy beans are so outstanding that only green vegetables come close as a valuable food source. Beans are so loaded with nutrition and taste that we've listed nine reasons below to devour huge quanitities of beans – beginning today.

Beans & Protein

Thanks to a relentless campaign from food industries, we have a highly exaggerated idea of the amount of protein that is needed by our bodies. In fact, we only need a small percentage of the amount we usually get. If you staunchly refuse to believe this statement, consider mother's milk, which contains only 1.6 grams of protein per 1/2 cup, less than one half the protein of cow's milk. The greatest growth time of our lives is when we are babies, so if we needed huge amounts of protein wouldn't mother's milk, the "perfect food", provide it?

In fact, there are serious dangers to high protein diets. Two examples are: osteoporosis and kidney disease. The bone thinning disease of osteoporosis is an epidemic in the United States and high amount of protein have unquestionably played a huge part in this explosion. High protein diets cause calcium to be lost in the urine. This calcium does not come from the meat – it comes from our bones. Animal products create uric acid which makes our blood acidic. Calcium is the mineral that is most needed by the body to fight acidity – and in its valiant attempt to protect itself, the body pulls this needed calcium from the bones, the most abundant source we have.

Further, if we eat more protein than the human body can use, it is broken down and excreted which overworks the kidneys by increasing the amount and flow of urine. The "nephrons", which are the kidneys filter units, gradually die off in the process.

So, yes, we need protein – but not a huge amount of it and the best advice is to stick to plants. A variety of plant foods provides all the protein we need and, contrary to a popular myth, we don't need to 'combine' those proteins in any special way to get all eight amino acids that the body doesn't produce. That notion began with an influential book, Diet For A Small Planet. The author, Frances Moore Lappe, later recanted, admitting she was in error. If only all errors were so readily admitted!

Fiber And Beans:

There are two kinds of fiber. The first is "insoluble" fiber, alias 'roughage', which can't be used by the human body. Instead it moves on through, carrying out waste products and toxins. The more insoluble fiber we have, the less likely we are to retain foods inside our bodies which keeps them from putrefying. Yes, that's a gross thought but that doesn't make it any less true.

"Soluble" fiber becomes gooey and helps to process fats, lowers cholesterol and slows the release of carbohydrates into the bloodstream. Many have reported a lower cholesterol score just from consuming more fiber.

Quite simply, fiber is what makes you feel full! Obviously, if we feel full we will eat less and be more satisfied, our appetite will be more easily controlled and we will either lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.

Fiber, Beans And Weight Loss

The most popular theory of dieting and weight loss for decades has revolved around calories. Experts have loudly proclaimed that there is an immutable formula for calories in, calories out but, in fact, all calories are not the same because some calories require much more digestion than others. The harder your body has to work to digest those calories, the less of them will be absorbed. The difference between a spoonful of sugar and a spoonful of beans is startling. In fact, if you'd like to reduce your calorie "price" by 10%, add an extra 14 grams of fiber. This means that if you eat 2,000 calories per day, and add 28 grams of fiber to your meals, those calories will only "count" as 1600. Cool!

It's easy to get 30, 40, 50 or more grams of fiber a day. There are four foods that supply lots of healthy fiber …

* Beans
* Vegetables
* Fruits
* Whole grains

… and in that order, with beans being the best source of fiber. Set a target of at least 40 grams per day. Beans have approximately 15 grams of fiber per cup.

Fiber, Beans & Blood Sugar

Scientists rate how quickly foods release their natural sugars into the bloodstream using a number called the glycemic index or GI. Foods on the low end of the glycemic scale release their natural sugars slowly over a period of time. Probably most resident in the western world have experienced the famous 'sugar high' and researchers are positive that sugar – literally – acts like a drug on the human system. In fact, some scientists have compared sugar to heroin!

Low glycemic foods, on the other hand, release their sugars more slowly and steadily, acting a constant source of energy. These foods don't send your blood sugar skyrocketing only to crash soon after, causing your appetite to return and often making snacks irresistible.

And, if you're overweight, your body tissues are most likely more sensitive to insulin, the hormone that controls your blood sugar.

What makes a food low or high on the glycemic scale? It's about the carbohydrate molecules of the substance. With low-GI food, the molecules are stacked and dense and have been compared to a stack of logs waiting to be burned in the winter fireplace. When the agents of digestion in your body – your enzymes – go to work on these logs, it takes a long time to burn them and that's why your blood sugar isn't much affected.

High GI carbs are more like branches or twigs, with their molecules spread apart and surrounded by space. Your enzymes quickly break them apart, releasing all their sugar into the blood at more or less the same time.

Guess who's the undisputed champion of the low GI food groups? That's right: legumes – beans, peas, lentils – with green veggies being a close second, calorie for calorie.

A Beans Diet And Leptin

A few years ago, it was discovered that a hormone named "leptin" [its name comes from the Greek word 'leptos' which means 'thin'] controlled the human appetite. There was an incredible excitement over this discovery and the dieting world hailed The Answer for all overweight folks. Unfortunately, leptin from outside sources has thus far been a huge flop.

Leptin is made by our body's fat cells. When the cells realize there is enough nourishment available, [meaning you're not starving yourself by dieting!] they release leptin into the bloodstream which has two important effects:

* Your appetite declines …
* Your metabolism is boosted and thus calories are consumed more quickly …

Plant based, low-fat foods help to keep leptin levels high – while fatty foods, like animal products, suppress your leptin supply. And guess what? Beans are only 2-3% fat which means they raise your leptin levels and reduce appetite, while causing your metabolism to work harder and faster.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = =

Amount: 4 ounces
Calories: 306
Fat grams: 20
Protein grams: 23
Fiber in grams: 0

Amount: 8 ounces [twice as much as the beef above]
Calories: 227 [discount by 10% due to high fiber content]
Fat grams: .09
Protein grams: 17.9
Fiber in grams: 15

Nutrients & Beans

Beans are loaded with nutrients that our bodies crave:

B Vitamins: are necessary for healthy brain and nerve cells, for normal functioning of the skin, nerves and digestive system.

Calcium: for strong bones and teeth and to help keep the body more alkaline, rather than acidic.

Potassium: helps reduce the risk of high blood pressure and stroke.

Folate: a B vitamin that our bodies don't produce yet dry beans are our single best source of this important vitamin which helps protect against heart disease and cancer.

These Healthy Beans Are Inexpensive

Beans are cheap! In fact, there is nothing, absolutely nothing, in the grocery store that is a bigger bargain than beans, peas and lentils. Yesterday I bought an entire pound of black eyed peas for $1.29. Granted, I normally pay more than that because I almost always buy organic beans. But even those babies are only about double the price of the ones grown with chemicals. Considering their nutritional punch, there simply is nothing in the store that is a better buy than beans. Check out the dried beans and lentils in your store and see for yourself. And if you can buy them in bulk, the way I do, they're even cheaper.

A Huge Variety Of Beans

There are all kinds of beans available for most any palate … unless you're one of those unfortunates that really detest beans. Sorry about that.

For instance, my least favorite bean is the kidney bean. I don't dislike it, I just prefer other kinds and fortunately there are a myriad of choices. These are just a few that are quite popular in the US:

* kidney beans
* soy beans
* garbanzo beans
* adzuki beans
* lima beans
* red lentils
* green lentils
* brown lentils
* black beans
* black eyed peas
* broad beans
* red beans
* butter beans
* fava beans
* great northern beans
* haricot beans
* mung beans
* navy beans
* pinto beans
* yellow split peas
* green split peas
* white beans

Versatile, Healthy Nutrition

It's impossible to even guess how many bean recipes exist on this planet. One thing is for sure – the number is in the hundreds of thousands and most likely the millions.

So after reading all of this great information and the yummy recipe what is your excuse for not eating beans?

Be prepared with a smile, Bobbi Jo

Monday, August 15, 2011

Dinner For 3 Month Supply

I wanted to start showing recipes to get us all started on getting together our food supply. I am not a huge fan of boxed dinner I want to know what goes into my food. Now with that being said I have not done any canning of fresh veggies in a couple of years so I am using canned food (from the store) for the recipes till I get the chance to have the garden producing enough for this use and canning.

The recipe I am using is from a wonderful book called "Dinner Is In The Jar Quick and Easy Dinner Mixes in Mason Jars or Mylar Bags" by Kathy Clark.
Now I love the look of a mason jar full of yummy things in my cupboard over a box with a bunch of additives in it.
This recipe is for White Chicken Enchiladas
These are the ingredients
Garlic powder, salt, pepper, flour, dried minced onions, sour cream powder, bouillon cube

Cooked chicken ( mine in cans), olive oil, diced green chilies, diced tomatoes and shredded cheese
In the jar:
3 c. flour
1 tsp. salt (mix with flour before putting in jar)
In a Baggie in the Jar:
1/4 c. + 2 T. flour
1/4 c. sour cream powder
1 T. 1 t. dried minced onions (cannery)
1 t. garlic powder
1/4 t. pepper
1 + chicken bouillon
Add in oxygen absorber ( cannery item)

Add: 1 pint cooked chicken (I have 2 can that equal more than a pint)
1/3 c. olive oil
4 oz. can of diced green chilies
1 can diced tomatoes
Shredded cheese (not pictured here)

This is the meal together. Not included in picture is the olive oil, water & cheese.
First, remove oxygen absorber.
Making Tortillas: Mix flour mixture with olive oil and 1 cup of water. Let dough rest a few minutes. Divide it into 8 balls. Lightly flour working surface & rolling pin. Roll out each ball to about an 8 inch circle. Place on hot griddle, cook and turn over to other side.

Making Enchilada Sauce: Mox seasoning packet well with 1 cup cold water in pot, using a whisk. Add another 2 cups water & green chilies. Cook until bubbly & thickened.

Assembly: Mix chicken with drained tomatoes in a bowl. Mix about 1/2 c. enchilada sauce with chicken. Put about a 1/2 c. of enchilada sauce in bottom of 9 X 13 casserole dish. Dip each tortilla in the enchilada sauce. Fill with chicken mixture and cheese. Roll and place seam side down on casserole dish. Top with any remaining sauce, chicken & cheese. Bake 350 for 30 min.

Side tip: I am adding a can of cream of chicken soup to mine on the shelf I know this is very yummy in the white chicken enchiladas.

This book is great due to the recipes 30 of them with labels that you can print and attach to the jar. Awesome!

In an emergency situation you would need to have another way of cooking this such as a solar oven, a grill would work with adjusting the time and the pan you would use.
Very flexible and good recipe. How easy is this to put together. I hope you will give it a try and let me know how you like it.
I did not figure out the cost of this meal but I will try to do so in the future.
Be prepared with a smile, Bobbi Jo

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Order Due Dates

Cannery orders are due to me by the following dates:

For September orders turn in by August 26th

For October orders turn in by September 23rd

For November orders turn in by October 21st

For December orders turn in by November 18th

Order Forms For Cannery

To get everyone familiar with the process I thought I would share information about the order form and ordering instructions.

This is what the cannery order form looks like

This is the upper left hand side of the form where you would put your information in.

The form looks a little confusing at first glance. You go down below your information and there is a section where it has the months you will notice they are divided into 4 months each such as January, April, July and October. The next column shows a list of items next to those months. These items are the ones that are the products that we will be canning and can be purchased for those months.
Below this is the Pre-Packaged & Bulk Products, Bulk Packaging Material (lids, oxygen absorber, and such) On the right side column is Bulk Product ordering. These are items you buy in bulk take home and use or do the canning at home or a later date.

When we order we are ordering for the upcoming month. Such as orders are given to me not later than August 26TH for our canning day in September.
Again these are the dates orders are due to me.

Cannery orders are due to me by the following dates:

For September orders turn in by August 26th

For October orders turn in by September 23rd

For November orders turn in by October 21st

For December orders turn in by November 18th

Any questions or comments are welcomed. Remember to be prepared with a smile, Bobbi Jo

Cannery Dates For 2011

Canning dates for 2011

January 15th July 16th

February 19th August 20th

March 19th September 17th

April 16th October 15th

May14th November 12th

June 18th December 10th

Monday, August 8, 2011

What This Blog Is About

First off I am not a professional food storage expert. I have been called as the Cannery Specialist. A calling I love and have enjoyed in a few other wards. My name is Bobbi Jo Nichols. I am a mother of 5 who has used food storage basic items since I got married 24 years ago but, just recently realized what a benefit it is to use this food storage on a daily basis. It is not only cheaper to use the food storage but it is better for our bodies and saves us from running to the store. If you are prepared you will have what you need to cook a meal. Of course you need to start with the basics and work your way up from there. I hope to help you with this.
I thought a great way to start off blogging on this blog is to tell you what this blog is going to be about. This blog will contain information about the Mesa LDS Cannnery, Cannery order forms, rules for cannery usage, food storage, how to use your food storage, recipes, and tips on food storage. Along with many other things that could come up with comments left by you the reader with questions that we may be able to help you with.
Be prepared with a smile, Bobbi Jo