Can-A-Palooza
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Hardly feels like fall in Texas, but I am gearing up for winter the old-fashioned way.  I teamed up with my friends Liza & Rhonda for a day of canning.   We worked together to stock our pantries making big batches of family staples:  Chicken Noodle Soup, Refried Black Beans, and Applesauce.   The twist:  All of our recipes are flavored and boosted with Essential Oils.  

We wanted to make clean, healthy, family friendly recipes that would be easy heat and serve go-tos for the kids.   All the kids love chicken noodle and we all cringe at the sodium level and unhealthy additives that are in the options we've been serving from the grocery store.   Applesauce is an easy one...and tis the season to grab a bushel of apples and make a big batch!   Black beans are full of protein and always handy for a quick side or for easy tacos.

Can-a-palooza Eve:

 

Sterilize all of our jars and lids in the dishwasher.

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Skin chickens and boil bones for broth.

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What made our day so productive and fun was that we had 5 big pots on the stove top at all times.   We had 2 water baths going at once for processing and had soup and apples simmering between steps.   All of the black beans were cooked in crock pots.  The whole operation was stove top & counter top.  So easy.

 

Thieves Applesauce - yields 24 jars

 

apples

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 bushel of Fuji apples
  • 1 bag lemonschopped apples
  • Cinnamon (to taste)
  • 20 drops Thieves YLEO
  • 6 cups water

cooked apples

Core & chop apples.

Steam apples, water, lemon & cinnamon in lidded pot until fork tender.
Use immersion blender to smooth.
Stir in Thieves YLEO.
 
Thieves YLEO is a blend of essential oils (clove, rosemary, lemon, cinnamon, and eucalyptus) that supports a healthy immune system.   When canning for cold and flu season, we wanted to add Thieves oil not only for its cinnamony, clovesy aroma, but also for it's immunity boosting power.  
 
When my family popped open the first jar my son exclaimed: "It smells like Christmas".   A crowdpleaser!  Yay!   My Thieves Applesauce won't last in the pantry.  Time to plan my next batch - maybe next time I will try a different apple.  
 
What is your favorite apple for sauce?

Black Refried Beans - yields 24 jars

 

Ingredients: 

 

  • 12 cups dried black beans
  • 18 cups waterbean ingredients
  • 3 jalapeños
  • 6 onions
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • cumin
  • chili powder
  • cayenne
  • oregano YLEO
  • salt
  • pepper 

As I mentioned above, on Can-a-palooza Eve we set 3 crockpots to low with black beans, water, onion, garlic & jalapeño.  On canning day we simply pureed with an immersion blender, then added Oregano YLEO and spices to taste.  Beans were warm and an easy consistency to can.   Black BeansWe funneled beans right into jars once blended.   These were the first & easiest to start canning.   Each canning bath holds eight quart jars, we ran three baths for ten minutes each then set on the counter to cool and set for 24 hours before we labeled and divided them.  Little did we know we'd be in for a big suprise!

 

 

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Although this recipe was DELICIOUS, we learned the hard way that canning black beans is like preparing land mines for your pantry.   Precisely 36 hours after canning, all of the unconsumed bean jars exploded like Jiffy Pop!!!  In the middle of the night I heard a blast and clattering and found my pantry all a mess with bean goo.  Gross!   Total disaster.  We researched our mistake and found a funny post called BEANTASTROPHE.  Great Recipe - but hard to can.   Rhonda has been freezing them flat in ziplock for years....   Don't Can your Beans.

 

Chicken Noodle Soup - yields 24 jars

chicken soup

Ingredients:

  • 3 rotisserie chickens (Costco)
  • 2 lb bag of organic  frozen peas, carrots, beans & corn (Costco)
  • 2 celery bunches
  • 6 onions
  • parsely
  • noodles
  • thyme YLEO
  • salt
  • pepper
  • turmeric

As Mentioned above, on Canning Eve we made the broth.  I deboned 3 rotisserie chickens and refrigerated the meat, adding the bones to a large stock pot with organic broth to boil then simmer all night.   In the morning when cooled, we used cheesecloth to strain out bones for our soup base.  In a separate pot we sautéed onions, celery, garlic and parsley.  Once sweated we added these to our broth.  Once at a boil we added our frozen mixed veggies.   Once at a boil again we added chopped spaghetti noodles.  Once at a boil again, we added chopped chicken, Thyme YLEO, salt, pepper, turmeric.   The rest of the tinkering was just adding herbs to taste.

Our soup is exquisite.  One of my finer culinary achievements - this organic, homemade healthy, hearty soup is worth every minute it takes to prepare it.  When working on our cans we were able to reflect on how quickly our society has shifted.  We no longer hunt and gather, we are so detached from our food which has always been and should be the most important piece of health and wholeness.  Second to actually farming our chickens and growing all of our own fruits and veggies, we were able to add our own essence to every recipe.  I really love canning.  This was my fourth session and I plan to continue to tinker.   I have such a sense of gratitude for generations before us, and I see such value in pouring my energy into canning.

Bad Part:   When the kitchen is finally clean, jars are rinsed and labeled and on the shelf, it starts to be consumed so rapidly!!!!   I love that my family loves our food, but when they hoover it, I realize it's time to plan another can-a-palooza.

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