There are four things that are not safe to can at home. Period. Lately, I have been concerned with articles on Facebook or blogs with posts stating you can preserve certain foods at home that I knew were not safe to can. Then I started getting emails and Facebook PM’s asking me if this post or that post was accurate. In my gut, I knew some of the foods weren’t safe to can. So I went to the experts to confirm my thoughts. I am not a newbie to canning. I have been safely canning my foods per Utah State Extension service guidelines for over 50 years. I also have my Master Preserver Canning Certificate via the USU through the USDA training courses. This is an updated article whereas I added milk to my list. I am seeing a lot of people canning milk and cream. These are unsafe to can at home because of the fat in them.

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Today I’m going to tell you how I started a whole food plant-based diet. I have struggled with my weight for the last 20 years. I have tried every diet known to man. Years ago, I was a manager of a bank, then a private banker for two bank branches, and then I started my own mortgage company. I rarely had time to eat healthy meals. I was grabbing fast food from one place for lunch and then standing in line for take-out for dinner. The pressure of my jobs forced me to eat at my desk in between clients. I did this routine for over 20 years. My doctor told me to quit my job or my arthritis would literally cripple me. I’m a type A person and nothing stops me. The pounds come on slowly and they are even harder to take off. I have high cholesterol. I had been told I was a walking heart attack at the peak of my career. I take the highest statin dose available for heart patients. I am not proud of this fact, by any means.

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Here is my list of 11 things every pantry needs to cook from scratch. If you start with this list, the sky is the limit to help us make just about every baked item we would like to bake. Now we can add more foods to our pantry to make even more meals. But today I am going to just talk about what you can make anytime with these baking items below. Yep, you can do it! You do not even need an electric mixer. If you have a large bowl that would really help, depending on what you decide to make.

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I’ve been wanting to talk about how to cook dried beans four different ways for some time now. There is something awesome about a pot of beans simmering on the stove. You can flavor so many kinds of beans with different seasonings, and the magic of several new meals begin. I grew up eating beans and made pinto beans into mashed beans to fill burritos to freeze in bulk with my daughters. I must admit right here that ONCE I missed a chunk of dirt, it must have been very small but big enough that it took one of my daughters years before she would eat refried beans again. Yep, she bit into a burrito with a chunk of dirt. I know we need to open the bag and spread the beans out and check for rocks, debris and small chunks of dirt. Dang, I missed a chunk! Anyway, just giving you the heads-up to look through the bags of beans you decide to soak or not soak before cooking them. Today, when I made these beans I found a 1/4 inch rock, this is why I use a mesh strainer to inspect my beans before I soak or cook them.

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Can you use some instructions on how to use an Instant Pot? I have you covered today with pictures because I’m a visual person. If I can SEE it, I can do it. I have used a Fagor electric pressure for a few years, maybe five years. I took several pressure cooker classes from Chef Brad and he recommended a Fagor and that’s what the store was selling where I taught some classes. My friend, Tiffany suggested I try an Instant Pot.  She has been using her’s a lot and loves it! She and I did a joint Instant Pot giveaway right before Christmas. It was an extremely popular giveaway. The woman who won so excited when she received the email that she had won the Instant Pot because she had heard so many people rave about it.
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I’ve been getting a lot of emails asking about how to use quick and easy pressure cookers. I hope my pressure cooker pictures help you today. I’m a visual person, so pictures help me grasp things a little easier. I have canned green beans, tomatoes, salsa, spaghetti sauce, etc. in a Pressure Canner. Today I want to give you instructions on how to use an everyday cooking Pressure Cooker. We have all heard the horror stories that our grandma, aunt, mom, cousin or someone else we know had an explosion, with food everywhere in the kitchen using a pressure cooker. Okay, here’s the deal, pressure cookers need not be feared. Of course, we need to be cautious and make sure we secure the lid with a good gasket. I wouldn’t leave it and go run errands, but it is quite simple and safe to use if you follow directions. Here’s a friendly reminder from a reader below, Debbie: They are NOT for canning.

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