Dehydrating Garlic For Garlic Powder & Its Benefits

dehydrated garlic finalOne of the most important herbs a person can use is garlic. Aside from giving our dishes a fantastic flavor, it has many health benefits as well. Garlic contains a compound called Allicin.

According to one scientific review, Garlic’s main mechanism involves a molecule called alliin. When garlic is physically disturbed through chewing, slicing, or crushing, it releases an alliin metabolite: allicin. Allicin turns into a variety of fat and water soluble sulfur-containing compounds. In fact, these compounds are so volatile, they give off hydrogen sulfide, which is part of garlic’s unmistakable smell and taste. By tapping into the hydrogen sulfide signaling system, garlic relaxes the blood vessels and provides a variety of health benefits. Garlic also uses the hydrogen sulfide signaling system to exert its anti-cancer effects.

Raw or aged garlic reliably reduces total cholesterol and Low-density Lipoprotein (LDL-C), while increasing High-density Lipoprotein (HDL-C). Garlic also provides a variety of anti-cancer properties. Eating garlic daily (10g or more) is associated with a significantly reduced risk of prostate, colon, and stomach cancer. It can also induce fat loss and adrenaline secretion, though in a minor way. Garlic appears to mildly and unreliably reduce triglyceride levels.

Some other benefits Include:

  • Combats sickness, even the common cold
  • Lowers Blood Pressure
  • Improves Cholesterol Levels
  • Contains Antioxidants that may help reduce the risk of Alzheimer and dementia
  • May help you live longer and improve your athletic performance
  • Detoxify s heavy metals in your body
  • Improves bone Health

That being said, I like to dehydrate fresh garlic and turn it into my own powder. The taste is much stronger and there is no added chemicals or salts. I will walk you threw my process below.

I prefer to use my own home grown garlic but lets face it, we do not always have that and not everyone grows their own. So for this article I am using a 3 pound bag of already peeled garlic gloves I buy at Sam’s for about $5.00.

peeled garlic final

You can chop of the ends if you want but I usually don’t unless its just an extremely large area of hardness. I put as much as comfortably fits in my Ninja blender and pulse it until it has a nice minced texture but not blended and juicy. (Note: the ninja Blender system I got was only about $70.00 Verses the extremely high version for over $200.00. I didn’t need all those extra attachments so I went simple. 🙂 )

Ninja final

Spread minced garlic out onto your Excalibur Dehydrator Tray evenly and then set to dehydrate on vegetable setting. (125° F) If you  do not have a dehydrator tray then you can set your oven to a low setting (under 200°F) and dehydrate them in the oven. You will need to check them more frequently and make sure they are not sticking or burning to your tray. I personally prefer to dehydrate with a tray so my house doesn’t get extremely hot. I also do not like to run up my electric bill using the oven for hours on end. The last time I checked it was .07¢ per hour with the dehydrator.

chopped garlic final
Allow to dehydrate for several hours checking periodically. I like to turn the trays and move the garlic around a little to check the progress. We are going for an extremely dry consistency. No moisture at all. The crunchy effect.

garlic trays final

Once you get a dry consistency you will transfer the dried garlic into a small blender/mixer to blend it into a powder form. I prefer to use the Bella Rocket Blender but the Ninja works great to. I have had it for years and it has never failed me when wanting to make powders or smoothies.

dehydrated garlic done final

garlic 14 final

Voila!! Homemade Fresh Garlic Powder!!

dehydrated garlic final

 P.S. For the very cute and functional ball lids (as seen in picture) that you can use on any wide mouth jar click below:

Canning Jalapeños

jalapenos finalThis is one of the many, many recipes I have used to preserve jalapeño’s from the garden and gotten good reviews on so I am sharing it with you.

Warning: Anytime you are cutting jalapeños or any hot pepper please wear gloves. (Especially if you wear contact lenses.)  They are .97¢ at walmart in the pharmacy section for 8 vinyl gloves. I store them IN my canner because the kids never look there. Seriously though, unless you want the fiery gates of hell to bare its wrath in your eyeballs then wear gloves.

Ingredients and Tools Needed:

Add ingredients below to each hot sterile jar before adding peppers and brine:


  • Prepare your jars for processing by washing them in the dishwasher and leaving them on the heated dry cycle while you work. If you do not have a dishwasher then please wash them by hand and follow normal water bath procedure. Keep jars warm until its time to use them.
  • Prepare your work station and put on your gloves. Slice your freshly washed jalapeños about 1/8 of an inch and then toss the stems in the trash bowl.

jalapeno final 2

  • In a sauce pan add your vinegar, water and sugar. Heat on medium high until it just starts to boil.
  • While your brine is heating up, place your jars next to the stove and add your pickling salt, bay leaf, garlic clove, coriander, cumin and black peppercorns to each jar.
  • Pack the sliced jalapeños into the jars as tightly as you can get them without crushing them, leaving about an inch head space at the top.
  • Using your canning funnel and canning ladle, start pouring the brine slowly into each jar until there is 1/2 inch head space left.
  • Now here is the fun part. Tap your jar gently on the counter/towel until you see all the bubbles float up to the top. I use a spoon and push the peppers down gently as I do this, but it’s not necessary. For some reason air seems to hide well in-between the peppers. You can do this with a wood chop stick or skewer as well. Which ever floats your boat. 🙂
  • Once the air is removed, use a paper towel dipped in vinegar and wipe the rims clean.
  • Place lids and rings on snugly and put jars in the WBC. Process for 12 minutes AFTER the water returns to a boil. After 5 minutes remove jars and place on a towel. Allow to set undisturbed for 24 hours. You can eat them right away, but it is better to let them cure for 4-6 weeks before opening.
  • For any jars that may not seal, store in the refrigerator and eat them first. Sealed jars have a shelf life of one year.

I hope you have fun canning and if you have any comments or questions please feel free to leave them in the comment box below.

jalapeno final 3






Canning Meat Loaf Balls Safely

meatloaf-making-4-300x225Mom’s Meatloaf Ball’s

(Note: Please be sure to read my Friend Stephanie Dayle’s note posted at the bottom of the page after reading this article. It goes into detail about canning eggs and milk.)

Canning meatloaf balls can be a pleasure to add to food storage.  In the long run, it can save you money when the price of meat sky rockets and its easy to grab a jar if your hungry or want to make meatloaf balls for dinner.

There are a few different ways to make meatloaf balls out there.  The way I do it is a little different from your basic recipe, but tastes delicious.  Keep in mind, if you prefer the traditional way, then please do that way.


  • 6-7 pounds of lean hamburger (I use Angus 90/10)
  • 6 large eggs
  • 3 cups whole wheat bread crumbs (or plain)
  • 2 sweet yellow onions, diced (about 1 1/2 cups when finely diced
  • 2-3 teaspoons salt (to taste)
  • 2-3 teaspoons black pepper (to taste)
  • 3/4 cup Worcestershire Sauce (original)
  • 1 cup powdered milk, prepared
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil for sautéing onions and garlic

For the Glaze:

  • 2 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 6 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce (original)
  • 3 tablespoons distilled white vinegar


  1. Combine all the ingredients to make the glaze.  Mix well and set aside.
  2. Adjust your oven rack to lower middle position.  Preheat oven to 350° F.
  3. Heat vegetable oil in a pan on medium-high heat.  Sauté the onions and garlic until onions are caramelized and golden brown.  (about 5 minutes string occasionally.)  This will bring out the sweetness of the onion.
  4. In a small mixing bowl, combine your wet ingredients;  Eggs, milk, Worcestershire sauce, and half of the glaze you made earlier.  Use a fork to mix well.
  5. In a large mixing bowl, combine meat, bread crumbs, salt, pepper, browned onion/garlic mix, and wet ingredients.
  6. Using your hands mix ingredients quickly.  You don’t want to overwork it but you want everything distributed evenly.
  7. Form mixture into 2 inch round balls and place on 2 baking sheets.
  8. Bake at 350° for about 25 minutes or until balls are firm.

While your meatballs are baking, get your pressure canner and supplies ready.  Put your extra glaze in a sauce pan and get warm, but not boiling.  You may even want to make another batch of glaze at this time.  It really depends on how much glaze you want to add to the jars.

After your meatballs are cooked:

  1. Using wide mouth quart jars, place your meatballs in the jar and fill about half way.
  2. Spoon in your glaze sauce until jar is about half full.
  3. Fill jar the rest of the way with meatballs leaving a generous 1 inch head space.
  4. You can add one or 2 more tablespoons of sauce on top of those meatballs if you want, but it isn’t necessary.
  5. Remove air by gently tapping the jar on a dish towel or using a plastic utensil to push the meatballs around.  Be careful not to smash them or cut them.
  6. Wipe your rims with a clean paper towel dipped in white vinegar.
  7. Put on lids and ringers and screw it finger tight.
  8. Place jars in your pressure canner, add water and 2 teaspoons white vinegar (to avoid rusting or mineral buildup) and vent for 10 full minutes.
  9. Bring to 11 pounds of pressure and process quart jars for 90 minutes.  (pints for 75).  If your manual suggests a different time and pounds of pressure, then follow your manual for canning ground beef.
  10. When processing is complete, let pressure drop completely.  Remove jars from your pressure canner and wipe with a hot soapy dish cloth.
  11. Label the contents and date.

Pressure Canner I use This canner is a little more expensive. The reason I bought it though is because its has metal on metal seal and never requires you to replace gaskets or seals. They last forever though.  Ive talked to women who have canners like this that were passed to them from their grandmothers, so for me the investment is worth it because I get my kids in on the action when we can around here. :)

Cheaper pressure canner

This recipe has made me a wonderful meal on many occasions, especially if I didn’t feel like cooking. ;)   I hope you enjoy it for many years to come.

Keepin It Spicy,

Jalapeño Gal

Please visit Jalapeño Gal’s survival surplus

More articles on preparedness

Stephanie’s reply when asked about canning eggs and milk. (And shes very very experienced and done tons of research!)

Canning eggs themselves is not recommended (water bathed OR pressure canned) and can be dangerous. Canning ‘things with eggs in them’ – it depends on what it is. In this case I would say its harmless as the eggs is mixed in with the meat balls and is not left in solid form. The heat from the pressure canner will have no problem penetrating the egg in this way and cooking it to the appropriate temperature. The only thing I would be cautious of would be the milk and bread crumbs – both of which are not recommended ingredients to can with. The theory behind the bread crumbs is that like rice, they expand. The theory behind the milk is that milk and butter are low acid products that “support the outgrowth of C. botulin and toxin formation in a sealed jar at room temperature. Fats in milk can protect botulism spores and toxins from heat if they are in a product during a canning process. So it’s all up to each person how much risk they want to take while preserving food.

To clarify this even further the information regarding milk – is mostly in regards to canning milk solely and using milk in condensed soup recipes. Both of which are a NO NO for canning for that reason. In my opinion using milk as a ‘binder’ like what was done in this recipe would be ok. Especially since shes cooked it in the oven first. There is always going to be some percentage of a risk when you can anything, I do not believe using milk in this manner would increase that marginal risk any more than usual. Hope I haven’t needlessly concerned anyone with my nerd-dom regurgitation of information. And I do apologize if I have. Long story short – I would can meat balls. But like JG said – not for a long period of time.

15 Bean Soup & Cornbread

15 bean soupI have used this recipe for close to 15 years now. I can not recall where I got it, but over the years we have added and taken away to make this soup delicious. As with all recipes….make it to suit your family!!

(Note: I have added links for dehydrated or freeze dried foods used on the ingredients list.  I added these links for your convenience if you prefer to prepare freeze dried meals in jars as I do.)


  • 1- Package 15 Bean Soup (Ham, Cajun or plain is fine)
  • 1 lb. ham steak (diced into 1/2″ squares), ham hocks, or smoked sausage (You can store canned ham or beef stew meat in your food storage to add the meaty flavor and calories as well.)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 15 oz. can diced or stewed tomatoes (dehydrated tomatoes)
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • Juice from 1 lemon.  This is a very important step, it really brings out all the flavors. (Crystallized Lemon for food storage)
  • 1-2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup beef bouillon
  • 2- Jalapeño’s, seeded and diced (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar, (Tip: This is not for flavor. Adding a cap or two of white vinegar locks in all the different colors in soups, stews or what ever your cooking.)


  1. The night before:  Place beans in a large pot, cover with 2 quarts of water. Allow beans to soak overnight, or at least 8 hours.
  2. After soaking, drain excess water, and add 2 quarts of fresh water and meat. (Sometimes I forget this step and then have to go strain it and add fresh water, but only if its when I just start cooking it.)
  3. Bring to a rolling boil, reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 2.5 hours.
  4. After simmering, add onion, tomatoes, chili powder, lemon and garlic. Simmer for an additional 30 minutes.
  5. Add contents of ham packet, (optional) 1 to 2 minutes before cooking is completed. Salt and pepper to taste.

Corn Bread:

  • One box of Jiffy cornbread.
  • Add about 1/4 cup of sugar and cook as directed. (optional)
  • Serve with honey.

Game Day Slow Cooker BBQ Meatballs

meatballsI enjoy cooking for my family and friends, especially on game day. One of the guys favorites in our house is BBQ meatballs. (Also great for church pot luck dinners.) There is the easy way, using pre-packaged frozen meatballs, or making your own. Either way works. In this article I am going to show you how to make and freeze your own meatballs so you can make a batch, freeze them and use them for other things as well.

(Note: Prepare the actual meatball the day before and freeze.)


  • 3 pounds ground beef, preferably 90/10 but 80/20 works fine to
  • 5 oz can of evaporated milk
  • 1 cup dry oatmeal (rolled or instant)
  • 1 cup cracker crumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoon of butter, to saute onions and garlic
  • 1/2 chopped onion, diced fine
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder


  • 2 cups of ketchup
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoon of liquid smoke
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup chopped onions.
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce


  1. Saute’ the onions and minced garlic until onions are clear in color.
  2. Combine all meatball ingredients using your hands.
  3. Shape meat into walnut size balls. I like to use a heaping scoop with melon baller so they come out being about the same size. With anything you cook you always want to try to make sure that meat and vegetables are around the same size so they cook at the same rate.
  4. After shaping the meatballs, place them on a waxed- lined cookie sheet and freeze them. When fully frozen, place the meatballs in a Zip-lock Freezer bag and keep stored int he freezer until needed.
  5. When you are ready to use them, put the frozen meatballs in your slow cooker. Cover and cook on high while mixing up the sauce.
  6. Pour the sauce over the meatballs and continue to cook on high for 1 hour.
  7. Remove the lid, gently stir and turn slow cooker down to low.
  8. Cook for 4-8 hours.
  9. You can serve the meatballs directly out of the slow cooker (so they stay warm) or transfer them to a nice dish for serving.

Makes around 20-25 appetizer servings

Tips: You can use the meatball recipe for multiple recipes. Instead of using BBQ sauce you can add a jar of spaghetti sauce to the slow cooker or cream of mushroom soup and serve them with noodles or rice.

Fettuccine Alfredo – Meal In A Jar

IMG_20130824_101817Fettuccine Alfredo is a classic Italian dish made up of Parmesan cheese, butter and fettuccine noodles. Although Alfredo is widely known in Italy, the term Fettuccine is not, it is simply known as pasta with butter and cheese.  In the US people often add things such as broccoli, parsley, garlic, cream, shrimp or chicken.

This dish is a favorite of many, many people, including our family. So when thinking of meals I wanted for food storage this came to mind. I realize there are other meal in jar recipes for this dish, however, I am bringing my own to the table on this one. As with any other meal you create, you can add or remove any items you like to meet your families likes and dislike.

Recipe Yields 4 meals that will feed a family of four adults. One thing I love about making these meals is that often times I will already have most of the ingredients on hand from other meals I have created. Leaving me to purchase whatever I am missing, usually the meat.

alfredo 4Tools needed:

Ingredients: (per jar)

alfredo 2Directions:

  1. In your quart size jar, add about half the bag of noodles and shake down so they are packed as well as you can.
  2. In a baggy, add 1 cup of Alfredo mix and 1/2 cup powdered milk. Seal with as little air as possible. Place baggy on top of noodles and seal jar. If you do not want chicken or any other ingredients in your pasta then you are done. 🙂 However, if you do want to add chicken, onions, mushrooms or any other ingredients then you will need your pint size jars as well.

In a pint size jar layer FD food as followed:

  1. 1 cup of FD Chicken
  2. 1/4 cup FD onions
  3. 1-2 tablespoons garlic and herb mix
  4. Shake down mix to pack tight.
  5. Add 1/2 cup FD mushrooms to finish filling jar, shake down
  6. Add lids and seal with Vacuum sealer or add Oxygen absorber and screw on lids.
alfredo 3Cooking directions for label:
  1. Boil 2 cups of water, remove from heat and add contents of pint jar. Stir Once. Let sit for 15 minutes to rehydrate. Drain off excess water after food is re-hydrated.
  2. Mix Alfredo/milk mix with 4 cups of hot water, whisk well, set aside.
  3. Bring 8-10 cups of water to a rolling boil in large pot and cook noodles AL Dente, drain. (Almost done, but still firm.)
  4. Pour Alfredo/ Milk mixture into large pot and turn on medium high heat, whisking periodically as it heats.
  5. Once mix starts to boil slowly, add pasta and meat into pot, bring to a full rolling boil. (It will seem watery at first, it will thicken as it cooks.)
  6. Boil for approx 5 min stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer until sauce is of desired consistency.
  7. Remove from heat and serve with garlic bread and/or salad.

Buffalo Spice Mix


  • 1 and 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin

Note: The ingredient list above is for one serving. Not for a complete Quart Jar

Basic Homemade Taco Seasoning (mild)


  • 1/2 cup chili powder
  • 1/2 cup ground cumin
  • 1/2 cup garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup onion powder
  • 1/4 cup crushed red peppers (more if you want a spice taco seasoning)
  • 1- pint mason jar


Mix all ingredients in jar, seal and shake well to mix. Use according to taste with ground beef, ground turkey or chicken.

This recipe will give you approx a pint jar full and we use around a quarter cup of the mix per 1 pound of hamburger. You could use a quart size jar and mix up a large batch for your food storage or personal use.


Easy Teriyaki Chicken & Broccoli

Photo: Eat at Home Cooks

Photo: Eat at Home Cooks

I have been making this Crock-pot recipe for years. I did not come up with it, but I couldn’t resist sharing it with you. It takes about 10 minutes to prepare and 4-6 hours to cook in your favorite crock-pot.


  • 2-3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, sliced into strips or into small chunks
  • 20- oz can of pineapple chunks
  • 1 cup teriyaki sauce
  • A few dashes of ground ginger
  • Fresh or frozen broccoli, amount is up to you


  • Slice or cube chicken and place in slow cooker
  • Pour remaining ingredients over chicken
  • Cover and cook on low 6-8 hours or high 4-6 hours

Serve over rice and enjoy!!


Magnificent Meatloaf

meatloaf-making-4-300x225Growing up, I never really cared for meatloaf. The only kind I ever loved was my grandmothers and it was because she did not just slather ketchup on top. She made her own sauce to put in it.


• 2 lb ground beef, as lean as possible
• 1 cup whole bread crumbs, I use the Italian bread crumbs because it is what I usually have on hand
• 1/2 large yellow onion, diced
• 1 TBSP minced garlic
• 2 large eggs, beaten
• 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce, original
• 1 tsp salt
• 1 tsp black pepper
• 1/3 cup milk, whole
• 1 TBSP vegetable oil (for sauteing)

• 3/4 cup ketchup
• 1/2 cup brown sugar
• 2 TBSP Worcestershire sauce, original
• 1 TBSP distilled white vinegar


  1. Mix all the ingredients for your glaze and set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 325° F. Adjust oven rack to lower middle position.
  3. Brown the onion & garlic before mixing them into the loaf mix. Sauté them using 1 TBSP oil in a pan on medium high heat, stirring occasionally until onion is caramelized and golden brown.
  4. In a small mixing bowl, combine: Eggs, milk and Worcestershire sauce AND add 1/2 cup of the pre-mixed glaze. Use a fork to mix.
  5. In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients: Ground beef, bread crumbs, salt, black pepper, browned onion-garlic mix, and wet ingredients. Using your hands, mix quickly. Don’t over-mix the ingredients or your Loaf will become compacted.
  6. Loosely form the mixture into a loaf-like shape and lightly press into a large 9×5 loaf pan. Press loaf into the corners and make a flat surface. Spread the remaining glaze evenly on top of meatloaf. (At times I will use the throw away mini loaf pans instead of one big pan. The kids love having their own personal meatloaf and it is great to send to work with the hubby the next day for his lunch.)
  7. Bake at 325° F for 1 hour.
  8. When done, remove meatloaf from oven and gently tip pan at a slight angle to pour off excess oil floating along the edges of the pan.

This meatloaf is magnificent!! You will never use ketchup again for your meatloaf. 🙂 Serve with a twice baked potato and some grilled or steamed vegetables for a fantastic dinner.

Grilled Vegetables

906336_4008710275383_1297910779_oThere is nothing tastier, in my opinion then perfectly grilled vegetables! Even the kids can’t resist these beautifully colored and tasteful veggie’s! Yes they are that good.


  • 2-3 zuchinni
  • 2-3 yellow squash
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • medium, whole, portabella mushrooms, washed (Optional)
  • red, yellow, and orange Baby Bell Peppers
  • Asparagus tops
  • Newman’s Olive Oil and Vinegar Dressing or Newmans Italian Dressing
  • McCormick’s Garlic and Herb seasoning
  • Pinch of fresh herbs such as thyme or oregano
  • 2 freezer size Ziploc bags


Preparing the vegetables:

Wash all vegetables.

Cut off the ends of the zucchini and squash, then cut in half lengthwise and cut them into slices about 1-2 inched thick. It is important to cut them as close to the same size as possible so they cook evenly.

Peel onion, cut off the ends, cut in half.  Then lay the flat side down, cut into four sections and then cut each section in half again. This should give you pieces of onion that are close to the same size.

Cut green bell pepper in half, cut out seeds and stems and cut into pieces the same size as your onion and zucchini.

Put the vegetables in 1-2 freezer Ziploc bags or a container with a tight fitting lid. We always have to much to fit into one bag. Pour in enough dressing to coat all the vegetables. Usually about half a jar of dressing.

Add dried herbs, garlic and herb seasoning and marinate 4-6 hours or overnight.

With the Baby Bell Peppers you can be the judge of how many you use. Cut off the ends, de-seed if there are any. Then cut in half lengthwise and cut equal size pieces. I usually use 4-5 of each color because my husband really likes sweet bell peppers. Plus it adds awesome color to the mix. 😉

As with the Baby Bells, it is up to you how many mushrooms you want to add to the mix. I usually add them whole or cut them in half if they are extremely large.

If you want to add a little heat to the vegetables cut up a jalapeno and add it to the mix!!

Cut off the tops of the asparagus and add to y our mix. The amount is up to you. We will usually add about a cup and then cook the rest in a little butter in the oven for 15 minutes at 300F.

Grilling Your Mix:

Preheat your grill and your grill pan/basket to a medium-high heat. Place a colander in the sink and pour the vegetables in it to allow excess dressing to drain off. This is super important to avoid flare ups on the grill from the oil.

When grill and pan are hot, add the vegetables to the pan making sure to spread them out evenly. Close the grill lid and let them cook. Stir them about every 5-10 minutes to get that grill affect on all the vegetables. Cook about 20-25 minutes or until the vegetables are still slightly crisp and starting to grill on the edges.

Serve hot with salt and pepper on the side.

Keeping it Spicy,

Jalapeño Gal