Most people think that once the holidays arrive, they can put all of their canning equipment away for the season. I beg to differ!! Winter preserving is something I do every year!
Canning during the colder months allows me to focus on different kinds of food. Since the garden has largely been put to bed for the winter, I can turn to canning prepared foods, meats, jams with frozen fruit and even soups!
Canning Meat in the Winter
It doesn’t take long to fill up our three full-sized freezers, as we raise our own meat.
Sometime in the fall, our meat birds are processed and go to the freezer.
Then, in January, our beef cow goes to the processor.
By then, the freezers are packed full.
The prospect of the power going out is always a concern of mine, even though we have a generator.
Given that risk, I like to pull a good amount of meat from the freezer and can it up!
You can pressure-can just about any kind of meat: Beef, pork, venison, chicken, turkey and even fish.
The holidays can be a great time to pick up “loss leaders” at the grocery store. For example, around Thanksgiving when whole turkey is at it’s most rock bottom price, it’s a great time to pick up a bird or two to can later.
Canning meat is fairly simple and straightforward. If you have a pressure-canner, you can process meat. Being that meat is a low-acid food, it’s imperative that you can in a pressure-canner.
I really enjoy canning ground beef!
Having jars of pre-cooked ground beef makes meal prep so fast and easy!
Whether you find meat on sale or buy in bulk from a local farmer, I highly encourage you to can some meat this winter!
Canning Meals for Easy Winter Meals
Maybe you weren’t aware, but you can preserve your own “fast foods” to make dinner time incredibly easy!
Imagine having beautiful jars of chicken pot pie filling, chili or beef stew, right on your pantry shelf, ready to be eaten. It’s the ultimate in fast food!
Check out the 53+ Canning Meals in Jars Recipes for some great ideas, and don’t be afraid to can some of your own recipes!
Jams to Make with Frozen Fruit
I make a lot of jam in the summer, as the best fruits of the season are coming in like crazy!
When I see pineapple on sale after the first of the year, I buy a bunch to make jam with!
However, I must admit that one of my very favorite jams to make is Christmas Jam! The trick, however, is that you need strawberries and cranberries, which come in to season at very different times.
So, I freeze enough strawberries to pull out of the freezer, once I see that cranberries are in the store!
This recipe is the bomb, let me tell you! The combination of cranberry, strawberries and cinnamon is absolutely amazing!
I like to give it as Christmas gifts!
Making Use of the Carcass for Broth
Since you’re going to have more time to spend with your canner in the winter, don’t neglect to make deeply nutritious broth!
Homemade broth is full of amino acids, good for digestion, brings joint and immune support and can even help you sleep!
I love being able to start recipes with my own homemade broth! Broth is also perfect for when someone is ill and having trouble holding down food.
One of the smartest things I started doing in my food preservation repertoire was canning dried beans.
Pressure canning dry beans is so simple and it will save you soooo much money!
Check out my step-by-step tutorial here!
Soups to Can in the Winter
Canning soup is one of my favorite things to can!
It’s just the most wonderful feeling to create my own healthy, “fast food” to make easy meals with, after a long day.
Further, I like to stretch meals by adding a grain or pasta to my soups. It makes for a heartier meal that sticks to your ribs.
When canning your own soup recipes, remember that you need to pressure-can for the ingredient that takes the longest.
Do YOU have a favorite soup recipe to share? Do you can that recipe?