Making Homemade Hummus

When you make your own hummus, it just tastes better!

For starters, you need garbanzo beans. They are the base ingredient in hummus.

If you are starting with dry beans, you need to measure out 2 cups. Put them in a bowl, and make sure there is room in the bowl for them to expand. Cover them with water, and let sit for 24-48hrs. If you let them sit for 48hrs, you want to drain off the water and refill it after the first 24hrs. (If you buy canned garbanzo beans, skip this process, and just use two cans, as they are precooked)

Once they have finished the soak, drain and rinse them. Put them on to boil in a stock pot until they are soft. This usually takes about 3-3 1/2hrs.

After they are done boiling, rinse them again. If you like a more creamy textured hummus, take of the little peel around each bean. This is pretty easy, but it is tedious and does take awhile. If you don’t mind a nuttier texture, you can leave the peels on.

After you are done, put your beans in your food processor, and process them until crumbly in texture. While your processor is running, add in the water, olive oil, and tahini. (We like the tahini imported from Israel, Simple Truth Organic) Process until it has that hummus texture.

Pour your hummus into a bowl, and add in the salt, and lemon juice; stir until well mixed.

Top with paprika, and any other seasonings of your choice. You can also add more olive oil to the top if you like.

Enjoy!

Not All Things Kosher are “Kosher”

When you start eating clean, it is tempting to eat kosher and forget about eating healthy. After all, Coca-Cola, M&M’s, and other unhealthy foods have Kosher Symbols on them. So, doesn’t that make them clean and healthy to eat?

Even though we all like those things sometimes, being Kosher, still doesn’t make them healthy. Sorry.

Many Kosher foods contain High Fructose Corn Syrup, white sugar, hydrogenated oils, and other ingredients that are harmful to our bodies.

What makes them Kosher is that they do not contain the ingredients or the combinations of foods that the Rabbi’s consider not Kosher.

Yehoshua taught us that, if we love Him, we will obey what He commands. John 14:15

John tells us, He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked. 1 John 2:6

You can find Yehovah’s clean eating instructions in Leviticus Chapter 11

We choose to follow what our Messiah did and eat clean, and to stay away from foods that although they might be “Kosher”, aren’t good for our bodies. While at the same time, eating things like lasagna that have milk and meat together because although that is not “Kosher”, it is clean. Abraham, the Father of our faith, led by example and when he was visited by Yehovah, fed Him milk and meat together. If it’s good enough for the Father, it is good for us! (Genesis 18)

We want to follow Yehovah, not men’s laws.

Below you will find a list of ingredients that can be dangerous to your health, even though you may find them on a product label that is Kosher.

Sodium Nitrate/Nitrite,

Preservatives used to prevent bacterial growth and maintain the pinkish color of meats and fish. They are in cured, canned, and packaged meats. Sodium nitrite and nitrate react with amino acids to form cancer-causing chemicals called nitrosamines.

For an article and research on these harmful substances, click here: Sodium Nitrate Dangers You Can’t Afford to Ignore

Hydrogenated Oils, These are oils made by forcing hydrogen gas into vegetable fats under extremely high pressure, it creates trans fatty acids. Food processors like this fat because of its low cost and long shelf life. It is found in margarine, pastries, frozen foods, peanut butter, cakes, cookies, crackers, canned soups, fast food items, and flavored coffee creamers. These man made fats are a leading cause of clogged arteries.

BHA/BHT, Butylated hydroxytoluene and butylated hydroxyanisole are petroleum-derived antioxidants used to preserve fats and oils.

To read an article on the effect of these chemicals, click here.

Artificial Colors, (Like, Yellow #5 & #6, Blue #1 & #2) These dyes have been linked to cancer, tumors, allergies, and hyperactivity.

See study on this related to hyperactivity here.

See Study on this linked to cancer here.

Monosodium Glutamate (MSG, Accent)

This is commonly found in foods as a ‘flavor enhancer’.

Studies have shown that MSG increases the likelihood of weight gain, high blood pressure, asthma attacks, metabolic syndrome. Symptoms of sensitivity include; headache, flushing, tingling, weakness, and stomach ache.

MSG is the ingredient found in the ‘spice’ Accent. It’s commonly found in potato chips, fast food, ice tea mixes, packaged seasonings, sports drinks, canned soups and broth, bouillon cubes, and salad dressings.

It is best to avoid processed packaged foods and eat a whole foods diet instead. This alone will help you avoid many of these dangerous food additives.

High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS), is derived from corn starch. Starch itself is a chain of glucose (a simple sugar) molecules joined together. When corn starch is broken down into individual glucose molecules, the end product is corn syrup, which is essentially 100% glucose.To make HFCS, enzymes are added to corn syrup in order to convert some of the glucose to another simple sugar called fructose.

This food additive is very dangerous and is a leading cause of Fatty Liver Disease and Obesity. Heptobiliary Surgery and Nutrition has a study on the NCIB website titled ” Carbohydrate intake and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease: fructose as a weapon of mass destruction” explaining the dangers of HFCS.

Aspartame

Aspartame is an artificial sweetener, also referred to as Acesulfame potassium (K), AminoSweet®, Neotame®, Equal®, NutraSweet®, Blue Zero Calorie Sweetener Packets™, Advantame®, NutraSweet New Pink, Canderel®, Pal Sweet Diet® and AminoSweet®.

It’s used in a variety of food and wellness products like diet soda, gum, ice cream, jello, packaged yogurt, candy and vitamins. Anythings that says “Sugar Free”, “Zero Sugar”, “Light/Lite” or “Diet” usually contains Aspartame or another artificial sweetener.

Note in the picture above the aspartame in the ingredient list with an asterisk talking about this frozen yogurt containing phenylalanine. According to Mayo Clinic this can cause intellectual disabilities, brain damage, seizures and other problems.

Aspartame’s other potential dangers include cancer, induced or worsened diabetes, increased heart disease risk, nervous system and brain disorders and much more.

Here is a link to an in depth article on Aspartame, complete with numerous studies and information.

Genetically Modified Foods (GMO’s)

According to the Non-GMO Project “Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are living organisms whose genetic material has been artificially manipulated in a laboratory through genetic engineering. This creates combinations of plant, animal, bacteria, and virus genes that do not occur in nature or through traditional crossbreeding methods.

Most GMOs have been engineered to withstand the direct application of herbicide and/or to produce an insecticide. However, new technologies are now being used to artificially develop other traits in plants, such as a resistance to browning in apples, and to create new organisms using synthetic biology. Despite biotech industry promises, there is no evidence that any of the GMOs currently on the market offer increased yield, drought tolerance, enhanced nutrition, or any other consumer benefit.

More than 80% of all genetically modified crops grown worldwide have been engineered for herbicide tolerance.7 As a result, the use of toxic herbicides, such as Roundup®, has increased fifteenfold since GMOs were first introduced.8 In March 2015, the World Health Organization determined that the herbicide glyphosate (the key ingredient in Roundup®) is “probably carcinogenic to humans.”

Genetically modified crops also are responsible for the emergence of “superweeds” and “superbugs,” which can only be killed with ever more toxic poisons such as 2,4-D (a major ingredient in Agent Orange).9,10

Most GMOs are a direct extension of chemical agriculture and are developed and sold by the world’s largest chemical companies. The longterm impacts of these GMOs are unknown. Once released into the environment, these novel organisms cannot be recalled.”

Potassium Bromate, is used mainly is dough processing in breads and other processed foods like crackers, egg rolls, pizza crusts, and cookies.

In 1999 the International Agency for Research on Cancer determined that potassium bromate is a possible human carcinogen.

You can learn more on the EWG’s website. They have information about toxic chemicals in our food, as well as in farming, personal care products, and household products like laundry soap. They offer a grading system, and make the Clean 15/Dirty Dozen Shopper’s Guide that helps you know what has the least and most pesticides residue on fruits and veggies.

As always, we encourage you to do your own research.

How to Make Your Own Sauerkraut at Home

Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.

1 Cor. 10:31

When you make your own sauerkraut at home, it contains many more health promoting benefits. You don’t want to pasteurize it and kill all the good bacteria in it.

8 reasons to eat more sauerkraut: (1)

1. Enhanced nutrient availability 

2. Reduced gas production 

3. Increase in acetylcholine 

4. Increase in lactic acid 

5. Spike in vitamin C

6. Spike in vitamin K2

7. Immune support 

8. Spike vitamin U

What you’ll need:

3 heads of cabbage

5 TBSP salt

Water

Crock

Cut your cabbage in half, then quarter. Take out the core with your knife.

Slice your cabbage VERY thin. (Think about the thinness of sauerkraut.)

There are a few different ways to slice/shred it.

  1. Take a big knife, and shred/slice very thin.
  2. Shred the cabbage with a cheese grater
  3. Put your shredding blade on your food processor and run it through.

After you have your cabbage shredded thin, put it in your crock. Add salt.

Now, punch down your cabbage with your fists, (you can also use a tool made for this, or a thick wooden spoon) until it becomes softer and you get the juices to come out.

The juice should end up covering the cabbage. But, if for some reason, your cabbage is soft and just not juicy enough to have juice covering itself; add water to finish covering it. You want there to be an inch or so of water/juice over the top of the shredded cabbage.

Take a plate that will fit inside of your crock and place it upside-down inside of your crock. Put a jar full of water (with a lid, of course) over the top. You want this to wait down and put pressure on the plate. Cover entire crock with a towel, and let sit in a cool dark place for 4-7 days. Some crocks come with lids, these will work just as well. You will be able to tell when it is ready when it smells/tastes like Sauerkraut!

Put your sauerkraut in glass jars, and store in the fridge. It will keep in the fridge for 4-6 months.

Making & Processing Pear Sauce and Pear Butter

Fall is busy! It is when we wrap up harvesting for the year. It is a time to be thankful for what we have been blessed with in the past year, and preserving some of it for the winter.

Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Master Yehoshua Messiah.

Eph. 5:20

You start by washing your pears.

Cut them into quarters, and put into a large stockpot; continue until your out of pears, or your stockpot is full. (The same process as you would with applesauce.)

Put your pot on the stove with 1-2 qts. of water in it. Pears are usually a lot juicier than apples, so you don’t have to put near as much water as you do when processing apples.

While the pears are cooking down, fill your canner half full with water and get it on a burner on your stove. Turn on low heat. Also, go ahead and get your jars warming in your oven on ‘warm’ or the lowest setting it will go to.

After the pears are cooked down, while it is still hot, run all your hot, mushy pears through your food mill. The result will be pear sauce!

Pear Butter (skip this part if you just want to can your sauce)

To fill one canner with quart jars:

28 cups pear sauce (or 7 quart jars)

4 cups sugar

2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground cloves

Put into oven or roaster pan, and cook at 350F and cook it down for 9-12 hours. You want it to be thick so that when you stir it with a spoon, it has the consistency of jelly. You will have to watch your particular batch to see how long that takes.

Canning Preparation:

When everything is hot/warm, you are ready for the next step.

Fill your hot jars with the hot pear sauce, leaving an inch of head space in the top of your jar. Put a butter knife down the insides of your jar (between the glass and the sauce) to let out any air bubbles in the jar/sauce. Wipe your rims clean with a rag or paper towel to remove any sauce. If you don’t do this, it can prevent your lids from sealing tightly to your jar.

Put on your pre-warmed lids and screw on your rings tightly. Put your jars into your warm water in your canner, with a jar lifter, pictured below.

Water Bathing

After all the jars are in the canner, you want your water to be one inch above the jars for water bathing. Turn on high. When the water starts to boil, set your timer for 20 minutes for quart jars or 15 minutes for pint jars. Turn stove to medium heat. When timer goes off, turn heat off, and let canner sit for 5 minutes. Then, carefully take out your jars with a jar lifter and set them on a towel on your countertop to cool. If your bands are loose, do not tighten them.

Cool for 12 hours. Check seals and store.

The reason you want to check the seals is to make sure they are all secure before you store them.

You check the seals by tapping the jar lids with one finger. As you tap them, listen for a jar that sounds different than the rest of them. It will usually make a hollow sound.

If you find a jar that hasn’t sealed, put it in the fridge and use it soon. If you are planning more canning, you can try to can it again. Make sure there are no nicks in the top of jar and a good lid on it.

In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Messiah Yehoshua concerning you.

1 Thes. 5:18

Planting, Growing, & Preserving Your Own Garlic

When you plant garlic, you plant the garlic cloves.

You want to start by breaking your cloves apart from each other. Do not pull the ‘paper’ off of your cloves. Make sure to pick your biggest and best looking cloves, not the inside ones that are small and clumped together. Otherwise, you won’t have big bulbs when you harvest them midsummer.

He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.

2 Cor. 9:6

Planting

Garlic grows best when planted in the mid fall. First, work up your soil where you want to plant it well, and mix in plenty of compost.

In a straight line, you start planting by taking the garlic cloves, with the stem pointing up in the air and roots pointing downward, and push it into the soil. Leave only the stem sticking up above the soil.

Keep repeating this process, making sure to plant the cloves 4 inches or so apart from each other.

When you have finished planting them, you will want to cover them with straw or old hay (and keep your chickens out of the beds!) Wet down the straw or old hay so that it doesn’t just blow away.

Growing

In the Spring, they will start to grow some tops. They will continually get taller, making bigger and bigger bulbs throughout the spring and early summer.

Garlic does not need as much water as other plants. If you water 2x per week, they will do well (remember to minus the rain you receive).

Harvesting

Note: Before you harvest, it is easier to pull them up if you wet your soil a day prior to harvesting. If you don’t want to do that, you can always use a shovel; but remember to dig them carefully!

When the tops of the garlic are laid over and dry, it is ready to be harvested.

This should be mid to late summer.

Preservation/Curing

After you have pulled/dug your garlic, lay them to dry on a table outside in the shade. Keep them there (unless it rains; then move them into a barn, garage, etc) until the stems are dry and brittle.

How do you know when the stems are dry? When you can break them easily, and they feel brittle like straw or old hay.

Why do they have to be dry?

You want them to be dry, so that when you braid your stems together, they do not mold, wasting your time and harvest.

Storing/ Hanging

We like to store our garlic by braiding the stems together and hanging them in the coolest, driest place possible.

To begin braiding, take 3 garlic (we leave our stems long and intact) and begin braiding them like you would someones hair, adding more as you go, like in a french style braid.

Take some sort of twine, yarn, or whatever will do the job and tie the end of your braid. Knot, and make a loop to hang it from. Hang your loop on a nail or something in a cool dry place. If some of your bulbs break off, it’s alright. You can store them in an onion bag or just use them first.

Don’t forget to save some back to replant in the fall!

May Yehovah bless you as you grow some of your own garlic for the first time!

Processing Pear Slices

Harvest is a joyful season. God says it is good for us to enjoy the fruit of our labor.

Behold that which I have seen: it is good and comely for one to eat and to drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labour that he taketh under the sun all the days of his life, which God giveth him: for it is his portion.

Ecc. 5:18

Makes 7 quarts, or 14 pints

You want to start by washing your pears, getting off any dirt that can put bacteria into your jar and keep it from sealing.

After you pears are washed, peel them. Cut into halves or quarters to remove the core. Then cut into your desired slice width, like you would apples.

Take a stock pot, and put it on the stove with 2 gallons of water and 2 cups of sugar. Then fill the rest of your stock pot with the sliced pears. Let cook on medium heat for 2 minutes, you don’t want them to turn into mush!

Canning Preparation:

Fill your canner half way with water, and turn on. Put your empty jars in your oven on ‘warm’. If your oven doesn’t have a ‘warm’ setting, just put it on the lowest setting it has.

When everything is hot/warm, you are ready for the next step.

Fill your hot jars with the hot slices, leaving an inch of head space in the top of your jar. Pack pear slices tightly into jar. Put a butter knife down the insides of your jar (between the glass and the pears) to let out any air bubbles in the jar. Wipe your rims clean with a rag or paper towel to remove any food fragments. If you don’t do this, it can prevent your lids from sealing tightly to your jar.

Put on your pre-warmed lids and screw on your rings tightly. Put your jars into your warm water in your canner, with a jar lifter, pictured below.

Canning/Water Bathing

After all the jars are in the canner, you want your water to be one inch above the jars for water bathing. Turn on high. When the water starts to boil, set your timer for 25 minutes for quart jars or 20 minutes for pint jars. Turn stove to medium heat. When timer goes off, turn heat off, and let canner sit for 5 minutes. Then, carefully take out your jars with a jar lifter and set them on a towel on your countertop to cool. If your bands are loose, do not tighten them..

Let cool for 12 hours. Check seals and store.

The reason you want to check the seals is to make sure they are all secure before you store them.

You check the seals by tapping the jar lids with one finger. As you tap them, listen for a jar that sounds different than the rest of them. It will usually make a hollow sound.

If you find a jar that hasn’t sealed, put it in the fridge and use it soon. If you are planning more canning, you can try to can it again. Make sure there are no nicks in the top of jar and a good lid on it.

Blessed is every one that feareth Yehovah; that walketh in his ways. For thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands: happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee.

Ps. 128:1-2

How to Make Homemade Yogurt

For this recipe, we are making a gallon of yogurt. If you want more or less, you can adjust it by doubling, halving the recipe, etc.

You can use cow or goat milk for this recipe. If you use goats milk, it will not be as thick, and will be more of a drinkable type of yogurt, like the consistency of kefir.

You start by taking your milk out of the fridge, and letting it sit on the counter until it reaches room temperature. If it is just a little bit cooler than that, it is fine. Or, if your milk is just fresh, you do not have to let it sit because it will already be the right temperature.

Put your gallon jar of milk into a double boiler, or pour it into a stainless steel pot. Put it on your burner and turn it on. Take the lid off your glass gallon jar, and put a thermometer in with the milk. This way you can keep an eye on it as the temperature rises. DO NOT LEAVE IT…..the temperature rises quickly!

Once it reaches 180℉, take your glass gallon jar out of the pot or double boiler. Place it on the counter, leaving in the thermometer, and keeping an eye on it until it drops back down to 110℉.

When the temperature arrives at 110℉, it is time to add in your yogurt starter. If you already have some yogurt on hand, (store-bought is okay) add in a cup and a half of that. Otherwise, you can buy yogurt starter packets, either at your local health food store, or online. We like the ones from New England Cheese Company. Add one packet per gallon. Stir well, whichever method you use.

After you have added your starter, put the lid back on your jar. Place your jar, wrapped in a towel, in a cooler, and latch the lid. Leave overnight, or for 8-12 hours.

Take out, and refrigerate….then enjoy! It will keep for about 5-7 days. After that, is usually gets a little sour.

Make sure you save some of your yogurt, so you can use your own starter, next time!

Processing Applesauce & Apple Butter

Start by washing your apples. Once that is done, cut into quarters; skins, seeds and all.

Put these quarters into a large stockpot. If your apples are really dry, you need to add about a gallon of water to a very large stockpot full. If your apples are very juicy, you need little to no water. You will have to gauge it by the juiciness of your apples, so that they do not burn.

Put your stockpot on the stove, start, and stir often; about every few minutes.

After the apples are cooked down, while it is still hot, run all your hot, mushy apples through your food mill. The result will be applesauce!

Two Types of Food mills (we prefer the one pictured on the right)

Apple Butter (skip this part if you just want to can your sauce)

To fill one canner with quart jars:

28 cups applesauce (or 7 quart jars)

4 cups sugar

2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground cloves

Put into oven or roaster pan, and cook at 350F and cook it down for 5-9 hours. You want it to be thick so that when you stir it with a spoon, it has the consistency of jelly. You will have to watch your particular batch to see how long that takes.

Prepping for canning

Fill your canner half way with water, and turn on. Put your empty jars in your oven on ‘warm’. If your oven doesn’t have a ‘warm’ setting, just put it on the lowest setting it has.

When everything is hot/warm, you are ready for the next step.

Fill your hot jars with the hot applesauce, leaving an inch of head space in the top of your jar. Put a butter knife down the insides of your jar (between the glass and the sauce) to let out any air bubbles in the jar/sauce. Wipe your rims clean with a rag or paper towel to remove any sauce. If you don’t do this, it can prevent your lids from sealing tightly to your jar.

Put on your pre-warmed lids and screw on your rings tightly. Put your jars into your warm water in your canner, with a jar lifter, pictured below.

Water Bathing

After all the jars are in the canner, you want your water to be one inch above the jars for water bathing. Turn on high. When the water starts to boil, set your timer for 20 minutes for quart jars or 15 minutes for pint jars. Turn stove to medium heat. When timer goes off, turn heat off, and let canner sit for 5 minutes. Then, carefully take out your jars with a jar lifter and set them on a towel on your countertop to cool. If your bands are loose, do not tighten them.

Cool for 12 hours. Check seals and store.

The reason you want to check the seals is to make sure they are all secure before you store them.

You check the seals by tapping the jar lids with one finger. As you tap them, listen for a jar that sounds different than the rest of them. It will usually make a hollow sound.

If you find a jar that hasn’t sealed, put it in the fridge and use it soon. If you are planning more canning, you can try to can it again. Make sure there are no nicks in the top of jar and a good lid on it.

How to Start, Grow, Harvest and Preserve Your Own Sweet Potatoes

Starting Your Slips

In mid-winter take your best sweet potato and put it in a quart canning jar filled with water. (DO NOT CUT YOUR POTATO!)

Don’t have a sweet potato you grew? That’s okay, just get a couple from the store.

Set your canning jar in the window sill. Change the water every few days, or when the water begins to stink.

After about 3 weeks, your sweet potato will start to sprout. Once your sprouts/slips are 3”-4” tall and leafed out, snip off the slips and put them in a pint jar of water.

Once they are in the jar of water, they will start growing their own roots.

If the slip or root growing process seems to be taking awhile, adding some compost to the water helps to speed up the growth.

Once your slips have grown roots that are 2-4”, they are ready to transplant.

We have found that it works best to plant them in a pot of dirt that is VERY wet.

This prevents them from going into shock, by just going straight from the jar of water, into the garden.

You want to keep them in your pot of wet dirt for at least 5-7 days, longer is okay.

If it is still cold outside, keep this pot indoors in a window sill as well.

Planting Sweet Potatoes Outside

You want to plant your slips outside after your last frost date. With your hoe, make small hills about 1′ around and 1′ high.

With your hoe handle, make a 4” deep hole in the center of your hill. Take your slips (we like to do 3-4 per hill), spread out the roots and cover with dirt. Then top your hill with compost.

Watering

Water WELL everyday until plants are established. This is VERY IMPORTANT!

Once established water a couple times a week (unless it rains, of course).

Pests

There are many garden pests who will attack your potato vines. These include sweet potato weevils, sweet potato beetles, wireworms, flea beetles, and blister beetles.

If any pests attack your sweet potato plant, spray Neem oil (organic spray) 1-2x per week, or more depending on how bad the bugs are and how much damage they are causing.

If it is blister beetles that are eating your sweet potato plants, remove them WITH GLOVES (THEY DO GIVE BLISTERS) into soapy water. You will have to be on top of it checking daily, or several times daily, until they are gone. Otherwise they WILL destroy your plants.

Feeding the Plant

If your sweet potato leaves are looking a little yellow, or just not growing well, you need to feed the plant. You need to add compost around the hill and plant. It is also a good idea to put hay or mulch around the hills in the dry season, to keep the moisture in.

When to Harvest

Harvesting is an exciting time, and a time to be thankful to God for what He has blessed us with. Ecc. 3:13 says, “Every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God.”

Before your first frost date (it is alright if the plants get frosted on, just make sure they don’t get frosted on repeatedly.)

Take a potato fork and dig up the hills, being careful not to dig the fork into the potatoes themselves.

Carefully brush off any dirt with a soft bristled brush, making sure you do not remove or scratch the skins.

Storing

Store them in a cool, dark place to let them cure for about two weeks. You can begin using them after this time; but they longer they cure, the sweeter they will be!

Preserving

If your sweet potatoes are not keeping well, for whatever reason, you will need to can them.

Prov. 12:27 says, “the substance of a diligent man is precious.” We don’t want what is ‘precious’ to us to go to waste!

Canning

You begin this process by washing the potatoes well. Cut them into bigger chunks, (you can peel now, or after the boil) put them into water and bring to a boil. Let them boil for about 10 minutes, then remove from heat. Do not strain the water out of the potatoes; you are going to use it in a moment.

Take the potatoes out of the water with a slotted spoon. If you did not peel them beforehand, you can slip them off now. Fill the jars with the peeled potato chunks.

Ladle the water you boiled them in over the potato chunks, leaving 1” head space between the water and lid. Put your lids and rings on the jars tightly.

Place your jars in the canner with hot water, and slide the lid into ‘lock’ position. Once steam starts to come out of the vent pipe, set your timer for 10 minutes.

When your timer goes off, and your ten minutes in up, put the weight on, and let the pressure build up to 10psi.

If you used pint jars, keep at 10psi for an hour and 5 minutes.

If you used quart jars, keep at 10psi for an hour and a half.

When the time is up, let cool as the pressure comes out. When all the pressure is out (your psi is back to zero) Remove your jars from the canner. DO NOT re-tighten bands if they came loose.

Allow to continue cooling for about 12 hours or so.

Check your seals (use any if they didn’t seal, soon) and store.

DON’T FORGET! Save some of your potatoes to start your slips in mid winter! Then you’ll never have to buy slips from a greenhouse again! 🙂

What to do with Canned Sweet Potatoes?

You can heat them up straight from the jar, mash, and put cinnamon and butter on them, or you can add them to soup.

Have you ever had Sweet Potato Pie? If you like Pumpkin Pie, Sweet Potato Pie is just as good. Some in our family would say EVEN BETTER!

Here is our family’s favorite recipe:

Beets

Planting, Harvesting, Canning, and Saving Seeds

Planting Beets in Trays

First you will need to have your planting tray ready. Pour your soil on your tray. Push soil into the cells of your tray. Sprinkle with water. When you are finished, put 4 to 5 beet seeds in each cell. Put your soil on top. Make sure your soil is not too deep, or your seedlings will not come up. Water again, and water your seeds each day. They should sprout up in about 7 to 14 days after planting.

The reason why we plant them like this is because it saves on space and it allows the root to get bigger and they grow better together.

Note: If the seedlings get long and spindly, just replant them deeper.

In 2 to 3 weeks you should be able to plant them outside. Make sure it is after the first frost, so that they do not get killed by frost. When you plant them outside, give them space to get big, about 6-8 inches apart. Keep watered, in the dry season.

Harvesting your Beets

Honor Yehovah with thy substance, with the first fruits of all thine increase. Proverbs 3:9

We seek to obey the Father and give our first fruits away in order to obey His word. We have seen His faithfulness in abundantly blessing, our harvest, since obeying the Scriptures, just like in all areas of life where we seek to obey.

When your beets look like the picture below, pull them up, taking the biggest out so that the smaller ones can continue to grow. Cut off the tops/greens of your beets. You can saute the greens, see recipe here, or compost them.

A word of caution: If you are prone to kidney stones be aware that many stones are formed from an anti-nutritent called oxalate. Spinach contains the highest amount of oxalate, however beets contain some as well. To help bind the oxalate, you can eat something with calcium, beet and cottage cheese is good!

Preparing your beets for canning

Put a pot of water on to boil. Keep the the long tap root on the beet for now. Wash your beets in the sink, and when your water comes to a boil, put your beets in the boiling water for 10 to 20 minutes, or until the beets skins’ are coming off and you can stick your knife in the beet and it is soft.

When your beets are ready to cut, carefully take the beets out of the pot of boiling water and put them on a cookie sheet. Let cool. When cooled, cut off the tap root, take the skins off, and slice your beets into whatever size you want.

Canning your Beets

Some folks like pickled beets. Here is a link to our Pickled Beets Post.

The instructions below are for canning beets, without pickling.

Get your presser canner and put it on the stove. Fill with water 1/4 to 1/2 full, and turn canner on low. You are going to need to turn your oven on warm, or the lowest setting it will go to heat your jars. The reason you need to have your jars hot, is so that when you put your hot beets and boiling water in, your jar won’t break.

When your jars and canners’ water are hot, and beets are sliced, ladle your beets and hot boiling water into the jar, leaving 1 inch head space at the top.

Remove air bubbles by sliding a knife down the sides of the jar. Wipe jar rim and put lid and ring on tight.

Turn your burner on high. DO NOT USE A FLAT TOP ELECTRIC RANGE IT WILL CRACK THE TOP.

DO NOT LEAVE YOUR CANNER!

Once steam starts coming out of your canner’s vent pipe, set the timer for 10 minutes.

When the timer goes off, place your weight on your vent pipe. The pressure will start building. When pressure reaches 10psi turn your canner on low to keep it there. Set the timer for 35 minutes for quarts, and 30 minutes for pints.

MAKE SURE TO KEEP YOUR CANNER AT 10psi. You may have to shut off your burner and turn it back on.

When the timer goes off, turn off your burner and let your canner cool.

CAUTION! DO NOT REMOVE YOUR CANNER LID OR WEIGHT UNTIL YOUR CANNER HAS COOLED AND RELEASED THE PRESSURE. YOUR REGULATOR WILL BE AT 0, WHERE IT STARTED.

Once the pressure has released from your canner remove the weight from the lid. Make sure you put it somewhere you won’t lose it. Open the lid turning it away from you, so you don’t get steam burnt.

Place a towel on the counter, and carefully lift your jars out of the canner with a jar lifter, and place them on the towel. Some of your jars will seal after you remove them from the canner.

CAUTION! DO NOT PUT ANYTHING ON TOP OF YOUR JARS. It will cause them to unseal.

At this point, we used to cover our jars with a towel. However, we’ve since learned that you want the jars to come out of the canner and be exposed to the quick temperature change in order to seal.

Once your jars are cooled, check to make sure they all sealed (gently tap the lid and listen to the sound, if one sounds hollow and clicks when tapped it’s not sealed) if they are sealed, remove the rings and store the jars.

Saving Beet Seeds

If you want to save your seeds make sure you are buying a heirloom variety. You can’t save the seeds from a hybrid and it come back the same thing. The package will usually say if they are heirloom. Some examples of heirloom beets are Detroit Dark Red, Sangria, Sweetheart, Ruby Queen, to name a few.

A hybrid is a way the government has used to get people to rely on them for their seeds. Now many people are on food stamps. They have gotten to where they don’t grow their own food, and don’t know how to. We hope reading this post will encourage and teach you how to.

Step one, do not harvest some of the beets that you planted. Keep them in the ground over the winter. They should start greening up on the spring. As they grow, they will start getting flowers on them, like the picture below.

Beet “spikes”

By late summer/ early fall you should see the flowers die, and the seeds appear. You’ll recognize them by the seed you planted in the ground. The seed will dry out on the plant turn brown/tan, and you can then harvest the seeds. Cut the “spikes” and put them in a brown paper bag to finish drying for a couple weeks.

Store your seeds in a cool dry place for the winter.

Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? Isaiah 55:2