Wow. It's been a while, hasn't it? I do apologizing for being gone so long. I haven't "ghosted" you, I've just been praying and trying to find the direction that God wants me to take as Christian Prepper Gal. And quite honestly? I'm still not 100 percent sure where that is. But, I do feel a release to just start. In the same way that when I first began this blog site when He told me to "blog it and they will come". So, I'm just going to follow His lead, take a leap of faith, and start blogging again.
I've been pretty out of focus with the blog site and being Christian Prepper Gal since the onset of the 2020 Coronavirus Pandemic began. That brought about a whole new type of preppers and I wasn't sure how to relate to them. People whose eyes had been opened by the empty grocery shelves and the out of stock items online. People who were in a frenzy and wondering how they were going to survive. People who were hoarding and going crazy with it. I could not relate to them. I wanted to yell at them that they were doing it all wrong! It was like everyone became a prepper overnight. I know they didn't, but sometimes it just seemed that way. The social media groups were bombarded with prepper newbies who seemed to "know it all". I felt like there was no need for me and my experience and wisdom. So, I kind of just shut down for a while. Well, I didn't "kind of", that's exactly what I did. I honestly felt that maybe it was time for Christian Prepper Gal to retire.
So, I put everything on hold and started praying and seeking what God wanted me to do. I had already started to feel that there were so many more qualified and trained preppers out there that I felt a bit intimidated by it all. And then, bring all those new preppers from the pandemic who acted like they instantly knew everything about prepping into the equation and I kind of felt defeated; and like there was no need for Christian Prepper Gal. My own weak flesh, I know. Then, at some point, God reminded me of how my blog and my mission is a bit different than the other prepper blog sites. I started out as introducing people to prepping and what it was about. Then, I moved on to a little bit of teaching about prepping. And then, leaning more towards encouraging preppers. At least that was what I was trying to do. Although, I never truly felt adequate to teach about prepping as I was pretty much just sharing what I was learning along the way.
One thing I did find that I loved was sharing the emergency food/MRE/meals in a bag recipes that I was developing for my own family. And that's when I decided to start a YouTube channel. Oh, how I love sharing my recipes and hopefully helping to make prepping a little easier and more affordable for some. But, when the pandemic hit, the freeze dried meats that I used for my recipes were no longer available. For quite a while. Then, when they did become available again, they were too expensive for my budget. So, I wasn't able to make videos during that time because I did not have the products to use for the recipes. I did have a chance to come up with a lot of recipe ideas during that time though 😊. The prices of said freeze dried food products are finally holding steady at an almost affordable cost, so I hope to be making some more videos soon. No promises on when though, as I'm following the leading of The Holy Spirit on that.
Then, finally! Today as I was putting my cooked garden fresh green beans into the dehydrator to dehydrate for our long term food storage, I felt the need to share what I was doing! And, all of a sudden it came to me in a flash. A vision of where Christian Prepper Gal was to go from here. Not the whole picture, but the beginning of getting back on track. Right now as I am writing this I am so excited to be writing again that I had a chill and tears welling up in my eyes. I've so missed you all!
I want to get you all caught up on what's been going on. We tripled our garden size this year from last year. Crops have been doing well. The green beans started producing just recently and this past week we've had a bumper crop of them! So, as I said earlier, today I am dehydrating some for our long term food storage and to use in our meals in a bag. Dehydrated garden fresh green beans are so much better than dehydrated store bought green beans! Oh, the flavor! Yuuummmyyy!! Anyway, we do have a pressure canner, but I prefer dehydrated green beans so much better. To me, canned green beans seem to get water logged. When I re-hydrate dehydrated green beans, they taste just like they did fresh. I'm not saying canning is wrong or that I don't support canning green beans. Not at all. I'm just saying that my preference for storing green beans long term is dehydrating them. Plus, the added bonus is that I can use them in our meals in a bag! So, it's a win-win for us.
Dehydrating Garden Fresh Green Beans
Just a note: you will want to use the freshest green beans you can, not ones that are old or have sat on the bush/vine for too long.
So, this is how I dehydrate my garden fresh green beans. First, after harvesting them, I rinse them and then soak them for 20 minutes in a bowl with water and a little vinegar. The vinegar in the water will bring any creepy crawlies to the top of the bowl. When the 20 minutes are up, I remove any creepy crawlies that are floating on top of the water, then rinse and drain the green beans. I actually use my salad spinner after draining the beans to remove excess water from them, making them easier to work with.
Once the green beans are washed and drained, I then proceed to removing the ends and snapping the beans into thirds (or halves, depending on the size). Then, when the beans have all been snapped, I cook them up. I use my Instant Pot to cook the green beans because I can put them in there with 2 cups water and cook them on Pressure Cook, high, for 5 minutes. Then, just do a quick release and they are ready to drain and put on your dehydrator trays. You can also cook the green beans in a saucepan on your stovetop. You will need to cover the beans with water and bring them to a boil. Then, reduce the heat and simmer the green beans for about an hour. Check the beans by poking them with a fork and if they are tender, then they are done and ready to drain and place on your dehydrator trays. Of course, whichever method of cooking you choose, please let the beans cool down and drain well in the strainer before putting them on your dehydrator trays. NOTE: I do not add anything to the green beans when cooking, other than water. Adding additional ingredients, depending on what they are, can affect the shelf life of the green beans.
Now that the beans are cooked, drained, and cooled down, you can put them on your dehydrator trays. I try not to crowd my beans because the more crowded they are, the longer they will take to dehydrate. Set the temperature on your dehydrator to around 125 degrees Fahrenheit (or 57 degrees Celsius).
It can take anywhere between 6-9 hours, or more, to dehydrate your garden fresh green beans. It depends on many factors: the dehydrator you are using; the size of the beans; how crowded the beans are on the trays; and the humidity where you live, to name a few. I just check mine every couple of hours. Once they have been in the dehydrator for for around 6 hours, I will take out one green bean and set it on the counter for a few minutes to let it cool. Then, once it is cooled I check it to see if it bends at all. If it bends, it is not done dehydrating and I will leave the beans in the dehydrator for another couple of hours before checking them again. If it does not bend, the beans are done. When the beans are done, I turn off the dehydrator and let the beans set in it for about half an hour to cool down. Then, I take out the trays and check the beans as I put them into a canning jar (or plastic baggie). If I find any that are still soft, I will lay them aside on the tray and put them back into the dehydrator until they are completely done.
So, as you may have noticed, I will put the dehydrated green beans in a canning jar and put the lid on it. Then, I put the jars into a cupboard that is near the sink so I can check the jar several times throughout the next couple of days to make sure there is no condensation or moisture in the jar. If there is any moisture at all, I will take the beans out of the jar and put them back into the dehydrator for another hour or two. Then, repeat the procedure of putting them in the jars. This is called "conditioning" which should be done for all dehydrated vegetables and fruit. NOTE: You can use plastic baggies to "condition" the beans if you don't have canning jars, or if you will be using mylar bags for storage.
Once the green beans have been "conditioned" you can either place an oxygen absorber inside the canning jar with the beans, or you can use your vacuum sealer with a jar attachment to suck the air out of the jars. If you do not have canning jars, you may put the green beans into a mylar bag, add an oxygen absorber, and then seal the mylar bag using a hot iron meant for straightening hair, or a regular iron for ironing clothes. I would not recommend storing your dehydrated green beans in any other manner for long term food storage. If you only need them to last 3-6 months, then you can store in a baggie. No matter your method of storage preparation, make sure you put your jars or bags in a dry, cool, dark place for storage. Your garden fresh green beans should have a shelf life of anywhere from 5-10 years when stored properly. They could last even longer than that, but they may start to lose their nutrients and taste.
Now, you have "instant" garden fresh green beans! That's right! Just like instant rice! Well, sort of. All you have to do is add the green beans to boiling water (just enough to cover the beans), turn off the heat, and let them set for about 15-20 minutes and they are ready to eat!
I am so very excited to be back to writing and sharing my prepping adventures with you!! There may be a few changes that you might notice. I will be making a few changes to the blog site itself; cosmetic changes mostly. And, the blog content may change just a little. The changes probably won't be significantly noticeable. At least I don't think they will be. I'm taking a leap of faith here and letting God lead me into whatever He has prepared for this blog site and my YouTube channel. Another change that MAY be taking place has to do with Facebook. I canceled the Facebook group and kept the Facebook page. Now, I'm thinking I should have kept the group and canceled the page. So, I'm leaning towards opening the Facebook group back up. But, don't worry...if you were a group member and didn't leave it when I closed it down, you will still be a member!
My focus going forward will be more on content and less on numbers. I sometimes look at the numbers of followers, subscribers, etc. and those who actually read the articles and I get discouraged. I know it's not all about the numbers, but it's always nice to see if people are even paying attention. But, at the same time, it can be discouraging when I see that people are not paying attention. So, my focus will be on following God's lead and putting out some good content while sharing my experiences with you.
Some of the things I will be sharing with you in the near future will have to do with our garden; since that is where my prepping focus is at the moment. But, I will try and have other encouraging content to go along with it. So, keep an eye out for your email notifications when I post something new! If you aren't on the email list yet and would like to be, you can just scroll down until you get to the green box that says, "Join Christian Prepper Gal's mailing list". Fill out and send the info and you will get an email notification when I post new blogs/articles. I do not use your email address for anything other than post notifications and a (rare) occasional newsletter.
Well, that's all for now. So, until next time...happy prepping, and God bless!
Isaiah 40:31, "But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint." (KJV)
DISCLAIMER: I have provided links to a few of the products that I use. I do NOT earn a single penny (or more) from the links if you purchase using them. They are only provided so that you can see what products I use. I am not, in any way, affiliated with Amazon other than being a frequent customer.