How to preserve blackberries

I love to preserve blackberries.   It’s so easy to insure the great taste of summer in your food preps with just a small amount of work.  Rich in bioflavonoids, vitamin C and antioxidants, blackberries are nutritional power houses perfect for long term food storage pantries.   Here are my favorite ways to preserve blackberries.

There are more was to preserve blackberries than just making jam and fruit roll ups. Learn how to preserve blackberries to use in smoothies, oatmeal, muffins and more. Learn how to make seedless blackberry powder to stir into yogurt and use in baking. Preserve the fresh taste of summer all year long!

How To Freeze Blackberries

One way to preserve blackberries is to simply wash them using a 4:1 solution of water to vinegar, allowing them to air dry and then ‘flash freezing’ them.

To flash freeze,  simply lay out the now dry berries on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  Pop the tray into the freezer until the berries are frozen, then  package them in a  freezer safe container.

By ‘flash freezing’ the berries first, you’ll be able to simply pour out the amount of frozen berries you need.

simple-ways-to-preserve-blackberries

Preserve blackberries without the seeds.

I prefer my blackberries in a seedless form, especially in smoothies, or my son’s blenderized diet.  First,  rinse the blackberries with the 4:1  water to vinegar solution and puree them in a blender.   With the back of a spoon, push the blackberry puree through a sieve into a clean container. Easy!

how to deseed blackberries

Fill ice cube trays  or the trays used to freeze baby food with the blackberry puree, and freeze. Frozen blackberry ice cubes are a fun way to preserve blackberries.    The result is a whole bunch of frozen blackberry puree ice cubes that  can be added to smoothies,  thawed to flavor yogurt,  or as  base for popsicles and more!

How to use blackberry 'ice cubes'.

How To Dehydrate Blackberries

Dehydrated blackberries last for years when stored properly.  Rinse berries in a 4:1 solution of vinegar water  and  allow to air dry in a dehydrator set to Cool.  Dehydrating wet blackberries makes them flatten out.

Once the blackberries are dry,  set the temperature of the dehydrator to 125F and allow them to dehydrate for 18-20 hours.  Blackberries are done when you can easily crush a berry into powder with just your  fingers.

How to dehydrate blackberries

Make Blackberry Powder

Fill a sieve with dehydrated blackberries and crush them with the back of a spoon, catching the powder in a bowl.  You’ll be left with just dehydrated blackberry seeds in the sieve which you can throw in your compost pile.

Sprinkle blackberry powder in  teas and juices, or  into  your daily water intake.  Spoon blackberry powder over your morning oatmeal or yogurt and into your smoothie for a ‘grit-less’ drink.

Rehydrate your blackberry powder and use it in your favorite blackberry jam recipe.  Bonus!  No seeds!

Use dehydrated blackberries in place of fresh blackberries to make a blackberry flavored simple syrup to use to flavor cocktails and sodas.

Too busy to preserve blackberries yourself?

I  store cans of freeze dried blackberries in my long term food storage.   A quick trip to  Thrive Life  and you could do the same!

Need more information on how to dehydrate foods?  I recommend Dehydrate2Store.

What foods are you preserving this harvest season?

Renegade Survivalists

It seems as though one’s dedication to prepping is directly proportional to how far out in the boonies one is willing to hide themselves away.  You can’t reach the gold star level of prepping until you’ve removed yourself from a city setting and relocated to an area that is a few warm bodies short of being a  ghost town.  With a medically fragile son, our family will never be able to pack up our wagons and head into the final frontiers of Idaho, Wyoming, or Montana.   We’re adapting in place.  Suburban homesteaders that, if necessary, could put our son in his adaptive wheelchair and transport him on foot to the nearest medical center.  We’re renegade survivalists.

Where I live there a belief in a  ‘Call Out.’  A large group of people  believe that one morning there will be a knock at their door telling them to load up their go bags, foam clothing, white tents, cook stoves, water storage, medic bags, and  years of vittles, into  their trailers and follow the buses up the mountains where they will be hidden from the armies invading from the East and West.

Renegade Survivalists

Nope.  Our family of Renegade Survivalists are working on creating a bug in plan.   We’ll continue to pay off our debt while working to prepare for a variety of emergencies.  But we won’t do it alone.  We’ll do it within a community of like minded neighbors will also be bugging in.  Neighbors that will watch each others backs.  Friends that believe in prepping for a few extra that might not have had the opportunities to prep for themselves.  I’m fortunate to live in a community that has been taught the importance of being ready for the unexpected.

Each Wednesday I meet with a neighbor and  sweet friend,  to work together to build our food storage and other items of self reliance.   We’ve calendared out our year month by month by topic starting with our greatest needs.  We work independently during the week, then meet again to compare progress, go on purchasing trips, and encourage each other to keep going.  We help each other prepare bulk purchases for long term storage.  We run through possible scenarios and bounce ideas off of each other.

My married kids, and parents all live close.  We have our plans in place for what to do if the SHTF at a time that everyone is at work.  My parents have everything at their home that Parker would need during a long emergency.  They are also Renegade Survivalists.

When I read about WWII what stands out to me is that there wasn’t just one way families survived.  There were many individuals through their own ingenuity made survived the war.   Making use of what they had available and relying, if needed, on trusted family and friends, they were able to hold on and find themselves still alive when the war ended.

Interestingly, as I’ve read stories of survival within concentration camps during World War II, the survivors talk about the importance of community in keeping them alive.  Others that had their backs.  Networking.  Sharing.  Yup, even within the hell that was Auschwitz, Bergen-Belsen, Dachau, Buchenwald, community often meant the difference between life and death.

Not everyone will be able to bug out. Not everyone can simply put together an off grid utopia where no other man dare venture.  In the boonies, with no other support systems, means that you must be able to do it all by yourself.    This is why being prepared to hunker down in a home is not only an important, but viable option as well.

What are your plans for a SHTF situation?

How to tell if your baking powder is still fresh.

You are right in the middle of creating a culinary master piece.  Your mouth is watering as you reach for the last ingredient your recipe requires.  In your hand is a container of baking powder, recovered from way in the back of your cupboard.

You find yourself  wondering when you used this stuff last.  Heck, you wonder when you bought it.  How long does baking powder last, anyway?  All you need is to put dead baking powder in what you are making and have the entire thing flop.   You sniff it.  But what is baking powder supposed to smell like, anyway?   You taste a bit.  That’s didn’t help, either.

Test to see if your baking powder is still fresh. If not, use this recipe to whip up a new batch!

How do you know if your baking powder is still good?

 

To find out if your baking powder is still good, simply drop a teaspoon of the stuff into a cup of hot water.  If it bubbles heavily, you are good to go!  If not, it’s time to get a new can of this wonderous stuff that make your baked goods rise.

But, you’re in your favorite holey jammie pants and that messy bun of yours is hiding more than just a bad hair day?

We’ve got ya covered.  Here’s a simple replacement recipe.

How To Make Your Own Baking Powder

baking-powder-recipe

Grab your favorite measuring spoons.  These are mine.  Are they not adorable?  Don’t tell anyone, but my Mom and all of my married girls are getting these for Christmas.

Next, get out these common baking ingredients found in most any pantry, especially ones created with prepping in mind.    One is a leavener, the other is an acid that will activate the baking soda to get your baked goods to rise.

Mix 1 teaspoon baking soda with 2 teaspoons cream of tarter.  Ta-da!  Problem solved!

Want to make a big batch and store it?  Just stick to the ratio of 1 part baking soda to 2 parts cream of tarter.

But now you’ll want to add one part corn starch or arrow root powder too.  This addition to your  recipe  will absorb any moisture and keep your newly created baking powder from clumping.

Plus, there will be NO aluminum to worry about!

How to tell if your baking powder is still fresh, AND a recipe to make your own!

 

 

  When was the last time you checked to see if baking powder was still good?

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Freeze Dried Meals in a Jar: Sausage Potato Soup

Freeze Dried Meals in a Jar provide nutrition, convenience, and long term storage ability to your food storage plan.   Boil a pot of water, dump in the ingredients, and viola!, dinner is served in record time.  Even if that dinner is made for a year later!

How to make Freeze Dried Meals in a Jar

What makes Freeze Dried Meals in a Jar so fantastic?  Imagine coming home too tired to cook, and the family wanting to eat…..NOW.  You boil water.  Dump in the contents of the jar.  Stir.  Viola.  It’s dinner baby.  It’s way healthier than fast food, AND at about $10.00 a jar for a family of 4, CHEAPER too.

You are learning to use your food storage, saving money, creating shelf stable, long lasting meals for your storage, and making your life easier.   We aim to please, here at Simply Preparing.

Freeze Dried Meals in a Jar Recipe using Thrive Life Foods

Sausage Potato Soup


Thrive Freeze Dried Ingredients:

1 C. Freeze Dried Sausage
1 C. Dehydrated Potato Chunks
1/3 C. Freeze Dried Sweet Corn
1/4 C. Freeze Dried Onions
1/3 C. Dehydrated Carrot Dices
1/3 C. Freeze Dried Peas
6 TBSP Chicken Bullion

Ready to try Thrive? I would love it if you bought using my link so I can grow my food storage as well.

Buy Thrive Freeze Dried Foods

Ingredients Needed From Your Pantry

1 TBSP Parsley
1 TBSP Garlic Powder
1/4 tsp. Salt
1/8 tsp Pepper
4 TBLS Butter

Bring three quarts of water to a boil.  Add in the freeze dried ingredients along with the garlic powder, parsley, salt and pepper.  While these ingredients simmer, make your thickening sauce.

 

How To Make A Thickening Sauce (Roux)

(Important Note:  The ingredients for the thickening sauce/roux will NOT be part of what you actually put into your jars.  These are items you’ll need to have on hand in your fridge/pantry to complete this meal.)

1/4 Cup flour

1 C reconstituted Powdered Milk

2TSPB Butter

 

Melt butter in a small pan over a low temperature.  Whisk 1/4  C. flour and allow to cook for a minute, whisking constantly.   Pour in 1 C. (reconstituted) Powdered Milk.  Stir until thick and bubbly.

Add a bit of your soup liquid to your thickening sauce to thin it out some.  Then add everything back into your soup and stir.  Allow to simmer for a few minutes before serving with a garnish of  Freeze Dried Parmesan Cheese.

When putting together the ingredients for your Freeze Dried Meals in a Jar, you also need to add an oxygen absorber to each jar or vacuum seal each jar.  Personally, I do both.  This will give you at least a year’s storage for this recipe.

Why You Should Have Freeze Dried Meals In A Jar In Your Food Storage Stash

Beans and rice might keep a body and soul together, but they are not going to be able to do much when food fatigue sets in.  Food fatigue is the idea that food is food and when you have nothing else you will eat it, whether you like it or not.

While this may be true to some extent, it is important to stock a variety of foods, as well as some meals that are tried and true family favorites.  That’s where Freeze Dried Meals in a jar come into play.   Having to eat beans every day for a month straight might just be what brings you down not only physically, but psychologically as well.

DIY Freeze Dried MREs for But Out Bags

Shelf stable meals such as Freeze Dried Meals in a jar offer variety and simplicity.  You can add fruits and veggies to your family’s diet even during an emergency.  You can even skip the jar and packaged these meals in mylar bags with an oxygen pack to store in your bug out bags.  Think homemade MREs.

How to cook your DIY Freeze Dried MREs

Freeze Dried Meals in a Jar can also easily be cooked over simple bug out stoves using items found in typical 72 hour kits.  Just make sure you’ve got your water stored too!

How are you preparing to feed your family in case of emergency?   Do you have Freeze Dried Meals in a Jar in your preps?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Original Recipe by Amber Spackman   Modifications by me.
**Photo Credit:  Ladyheart

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