For about a year now I’ve been converting my recipes into dehydrated ingredients so I could store them in canning jars. Last year was the first time in my life that I entered anything in Utah State Fair. I learned a lot and won 3 ribbons on my canned items. This year I decided to be brave and try some baked items in the fair. I wanted to see how 4 of my dessert in a jar recipes would compete with recipes that have fresh ingredients. I didn’t have enough self confidence to think I would ever place first, but I thought if I could just get a ribbon on anything I entered I could at least have enough bragging rights to say the jar recipes are just as good as using fresh ingredients. To much of my surprise.. I got a ribbon on everything I entered.
As I have been learning about the ingredients used in these recipes I’ve learned some important facts that I wanted to share with you.
I replaced butter in a couple of recipes and discovered it doesn’t act like oil in the recipe. You can add water to butter powder and make a spreadable butter but when you use it in a recipe it changes the way the recipe bakes. When I made chocolate chip cookies with butter powder it made the cookie puff up the way pumpkin cookies do. I also used it when baking bread sticks. I spread the hydrated butter on the dough and when I baked the bread sticks the water evaporated out of the butter powder and it left a burned powder on the bread sticks. For this reason I now leave butter out of the jar and add the butter when making the dessert.
Baking powder only has 1-2 year shelf life (the date of expiration on the container is the shelf life of baking powder and can shorten the shelf life of the recipe) Baking soda shelf life is indefinite and cream of tarter shelf life is indefinite. Here is the secret.. 2 parts cream of tarter + 1 part baking soda = baking powder. I’m thinking if the recipe calls for baking powder I can substitute the baking soda and cream of tarter in the place of baking powder and separate the two ingredients in the jar. It seems the chemical reaction of the two ingredients is what makes a shorter shelf life. When I write recipes I calculate the shelf life and if the jar will have about a 2 year shelf life because of other ingredients I use baking powder. If the recipe has a longer shelf life but the baking powder shortens the life of the Jar I use cream of tarter and baking soda instead.
Powder Egg Products
Egg products are different among the different brands. Each brand takes a different amount of water to hydrate the eggs. Each brand has a different shelf life. Each brand reacts differently after the can is opened… for example: Some brands tell you to store the eggs in the refrigerator after the can is opened and to use the product within 30 days. Other brands tell you it’s safe to keep the opened can on the shelf (unrefrigerated) for 1 year. It is VERY important to understand the powder egg product that you purchase so that you don’t get sick. In my recipes that take powdered whole egg I use Augason brand because it doesn’t have to be refrigerated after the can is open and when the egg is sealed in a Jar it has a 10 year shelf life. I am not a sales representative for any products but I put the link to the Augason website so that you can find the produces I use in my recipes. I have found Augason brand eggs at Windco, Walmart and Macey’s Grocery stores. I watch for the product to go on sale and usually buy it at Macey’s when they have case lot sales.
Some ingredients purchased at the store in a can is better to keep in food storage that way than it is to buy it in a dehydrated or freeze dried form. The Pumpkin Bread recipe is a perfect example of this. Dehydrated pumpkin powder is pretty expensive so I put this ingredient in my food storage in a 15 ounce can and then I put the other dry ingredients for the recipe in a jar. My #1 goal is make food storage as cheap as possible.
I use shortening powder in some recipes and other recipes I don’t use the powder. Usually my decision is based on the amount of space I have in the jar for the ingredients. I purchased a DVD by Wendy Dewitt about food storage and I learned you can store shortening in half pint sized jars and it will have a 10 year shelf life. It was extremely easy to do and I like having shortening in smaller quantities because I don’t use it very often and my shortening would go rancid in larger containers.
You can purchase a large can of shortening from Sam’s club or Costco.
1) Place the shortening in a pot and melt it on the stove.
2) Pour the shortening in clean half pint canning jars
3) Clean the glass rim to make sure there is no shortening on the jar
4) Place a new canning lid on the jar and screw on the metal ring
5) Set the jars aside until the shortening cools and the jar will automatically seal. You do not need to process the jar in a hot water bath cannier.
Feb 2014 I purchased a large can of Crisco at Sam’s club for $7.48. It cost $.53 per cup of shortening. (1 half pint sized jar). Butter flavor Crisco is a great item to have in food storage for cookie recipes that call for butter. Because the jar measures 1 cup I don’t even get a measuring cup out when I make the Oatmeal Raisin Cookies, I simply just take half of the shortening out of the jar for 1/2 cup.
The first place ribbon I received in the 2014 Utah State Fair was on the Oatmeal Raisin Cookies. I also won the C & H Sugar award on this recipe.. so there you have it, I have proof this recipe is an award winning recipe and can be stored on the shelf in a jar for 3 years. The cookies I entered in the fair had been stored in a jar for 1 year. The raisins weren’t as soft as when I placed them in the jar so I put the baggie of raisins in a little bit of hot water and let them soak for about 5 minutes. I then drained off the water and poured the raisins on a paper towel and blotted them dry before adding them to the cookie dough.
- In the jar:
- Put ingredients in a quart wide mouth canning jar in the order listed above. Clean the glass rim of the jar with a clean damp cloth and make sure the canning lid is also clean. To remove the oxygen from the jar either place an oxygen absorber in the top of the jar or use a Food Saver to remove the oxygen. See detailed instructions to seal the jar on this weblink http://homemakingdivas.com/mealinjar_intro/
- Print the instruction tag and attach it to the jar
Place tag on the outside of the jar with a rubber band. If the tags are laminated they can be reused
Introduction to Meals in a Jar
The class teaches how to prepare the meals for long term storage and also when its ok to use a zip lock freezer bag for 1 year storage for some recipes. The class teaches how to calculate the shelf life of the recipe. This class teaches the difference between Freeze Dried and Dehydrated Ingredients, and how to customize a recipe for dietary needs.
Oxygen Absorbers and using the Foodsaver
The class teaches how to prepare the meals for long term storage with Oxygen Absorbers and the FoodSaver
Click here for the FoodSaver webpage
Oatmeal Recipes in a Jar
The Oatmeal page teaches about the Health Benefits of Oatmeal and the 3 different kinds of oatmeal that can be used in meals in a jar recipes. The file highlights products such as powdered milk, chicken broth powder, powdered flavorings, freeze dried and dehydrated fruits that are used in the oatmeal in a jar recipes.