Why settle for preservative-packed frozen dinners, freeze-dried backpacking food and military MREs when a healthier and tastier option can easily be stored in the pantry? Meals in a Jar provides the step-by-step, detailed instructions needed to create all-natural breakfast, lunch and dinner options that you can keep on a shelf and enjoy at any time. Meals in a jar work great for picnics, too. Check out my other healthy picnic ideas and start taking your meals on the go!
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Meals in a Jar Book Review
Title: Meals in a Jar
Subtitle: Quick and Easy, Just-Add-Water, Homemade Recipes
Author: Julie Languille
Publisher: Ulysses Press (March 19, 2013)
Pages/Format: Paperback (160 pages)
From the Publisher:
Why settle for preservative-packed frozen dinners, freeze-dried backpacking food and military MREs when a healthier and tastier option can easily be stored in the pantry? Meals in a Jar provides the step-by-step, detailed instructions needed to create all-natural breakfast, lunch and dinner options that you can keep on a shelf and enjoy at any time.
Includes over 150 quick-and-easy all-in-one meals, such as:
- Creamy tomato soup
- Artisan bread
- Lemon chicken piccata
- Chocolate cake
These scrumptious recipes allow even the most inexperienced chefs to serve gourmet dishes. Not only are these meals perfect for everyday events like camping trips, after-school study sessions and rushed evenings, but they can also be life-savers in times of disasters like fires, blackouts or hurricanes. Perfect for the modern jarring and canning generation, this book proves that just because food is easy-to-store and long-lasting doesn’t mean it can’t be delicious and nutritious.
About the Author:
Julie Languille is passionate about both food and preparedness. She owns a dinner planning website with thousands of recipes compiled to make dinner planning, shopping and cooking easy for families. She teaches workshops on preparedness and long term food storage and regularly hosts food packaging parties where families gather to make pre-packaged meal kits to build their own food storage as well as bless families in need. Julie lives with her husband and family on lovely Whidbey Island, in the Puget Sound near Seattle, and when not cooking loves to read, sail and kayak in the waters near her home.
Meals in a Jar Book Review:
I will admit, when I first glanced at this Meals in a Jar cookbook, I was thinking something along the lines of making gifts for friends and family during the holidays. While this is a thorough and well written book, it isn’t quite what I had thought it was going to be. However, after reading through Meals in a Jar by Julie Languille, I am intrigued. I have been considering doing some emergency preparation and this book made for an interesting read. There is a wide assortment of recipes to try, from breakfasts, to pastas, to desserts. Most of the meals require dehydrators, vacuum sealers, and pressure canners so if you do not have those, you need to do some investing before tackling these recipes. The recipes are also very large scale, which is great if you are preparing to feed a large family during an extended period of chaos but probably not for your average family of 4 on the day or two that you lose power. They are easy enough to scale down, however, for your own personal needs.
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Meals in a Jar: The Recipes
The Meals in a Jar recipes include several ingredients that your average home owner is not going to have on hand. Dehydrated eggs, 16 cups of dried asparagus, etc. However, just a brief internet search shows me TONS of websites where you can get these supplies. If you are diving into prepping, you are going to want to invest in some pantry staples and Meals in a Jar can help you do something creative with them. If the end of the world comes, I am going to get sick of plain dried carrots awfully fast. I like the variety of recipes that the author includes and she offers a label of directions for each jar so you remember what you are supposed to do with it.
Are they really quick and easy?
I will say that I do not think the “Quick and Easy” part of the book title really fits here. There is nothing quick or easy about pressure canning or dehydrating. Now, maybe preparation of the meal is quick and easy once you have made up the jar but the actual preparation seems to be time consuming. And without the special equipment, you aren’t going to be able to make any of them. I also have hesitations when it comes to preserving meats. There are lots of people out there preserving meats perfectly safely so I am not going to say it can’t be done. I will say that the Microbiologist in me cringes at the thought. For anyone thinking of preserving ANY foods, please do lots of research on how to do it safely before getting started. There are no ‘use by’ recommendations in Meals in a Jar so make sure you know how long things are good for on the shelf and rotate your stock accordingly.
Overall, while I think that Meals in a Jar is a great resource, I do not think it is going to be great for beginners when it comes to making shelf stable meals. At least not by itself.
Diane has a Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology with a Minor in Health Management and Policy. She spent many years working in cancer research, academics, and biotechnology. Concern over the growing incidence of human disease and the birth of her children led her to begin living a more natural life. She quickly realized that the information she was learning along the way could be beneficial to many others and started blogging as a way to share this knowledge with others. While passionate about health and the environment she can’t quite give up her favorite Cheetos and Diet Coke! Learn more about her HERE.