Meals in Jar are a great way to put aside whole meals for your food storage. Through the canning or dry vacuuming process, you can put a meal up to help create long-term food storage.
While there are all sorts of fun things you can store in a jar in the fridge or keep on a shelf for a short period of time (like salads in a jar, etc.), I’m going to concentrate mostly on those food storage meals that you can put by for long-term.
I have all these #10 Cans? Can I use them?
If you’re sitting on a ton of #10 cans full of freeze dried foods, what do you do with it? This method allows you to create meals from that food storage so that you can rotate this into your daily meals. Some of the links will be made by folks who sell certain freeze-dried food products, but you don’t have to be a part of those companies to create these meals on your own, with your own supplies or your own vendors. These are also a mix of Youtube videos and blog posts because there’s so much available everywhere!
While using your #10 cans to break up to create stored food for basic meals, you long-term shelf life will be reduced. Once out of the can, you foods last only a few years as opposed to a suggested twenty-five years. But what you’ve created are a shelf full of ready meals that are quick to put together and makes mealtime a snap on busy nights when I just don’t have time to cook a whole meal, and I’ve forgotten to pull something out of the freezer.
Give the gift of food storage to others
Think what a blessing a few of these meals would be to someone who is homebound from sickness or whether or job loss and could use a nice meal or two to help them out! You can also give these meals in a jar as wedding gifts to a newlywed couple to help them establish their food storage (think of the old-fashioned pound parties) or even to new parents to give them some quick meals for hectic nights when mom needs a break!
These gifts would be so much better used than simply a few #10 cans of ‘raw material’ (i.e. freeze-dried foods) that may not be understood nor may the recipient be knowledgeable about how to use them in their everyday life. But a jar they can pour out, add some water and a few fresh ingredients and wham! Dinner is served! That’s how Hamburger Helper became famous!
Ready to begin? Let’s get started!
Breakfast Meals in a Jar
Blueberry Scones (not shelf stable for long-term)
Cherry Chocolate Pancakes (scroll down the page)
Cranberry Almond Cereal Mix (not shelf stable for long-term)
Homemade Granola (*NST) This is good to make and to store for breakfasts and snacks, but because of the fat content in the granola, it’s not great for long-term storage.
Oatmeal (make your own flavored varieties to store)
Main Course Meals in a Jar
Double Cheeseburger Sauce Mix (scroll down the page) – like Hamburger Helper
Stroganoff Skillet (scroll down the page)
Turkey Noodle Casserole (scroll down the page)
Soup Meals in a Jar
Minestrone Soup (scroll down the page)
Taco Soup (scroll down the page)
Sides in a Jar
Refried Beans (this is basically just dehydrated refried beans, but when all you have to do is add water, it makes a quick and easy side or protein replacement!)
Desserts in a Jar
Cookies (lots of Betty Crocker-esque cookie in a pouch mixes. )
Other Treas in a Jar
Blue Cornbread with Pineapple (scroll down the page)
Assorted Mixes in a Jar
Alfredo Sauce Mix (scroll down the page)
Basic White Sauce Mix (scroll down the page)
Drinks in a Jar
Hot Cocoa Mix (you can even use dehydrated marshmallows to make it more shelf stable)
Spiced Hot Cocoa (scroll down the page)
These salads are not shelf stable, but they are a great way to prepare a week worth of meals and have them tucked away in the fridge to save you tons of time.
Salads in a Jar
Sites dedicated to Meals in Jars
Books on creating Meals in Jars
Ultimate Dehydrator Cookbook (read my review here). Not only is this a great technique book on how to dehydrate those products that can build your meals in a jar, she includes a lot of “just add water” meals, too!
How to Store Meals in a Jar
You can store them by dry, vacuum canning them in a mason jar, placing them in a jar with an oxygen absorber or by putting them in a mylar bag and sealing. (Tutorials coming soon!) While they don’t last as long as the individual freeze-dried or dehydrated commercial products that are sealed in those #10 cans, if stored properly with shelf-stable ingredients, they can last up to 5-7 years.
What’s your favorite meal in a jar recipe?
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