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Quick and Easy Cherry Coconut Fluff Dessert Recipe

My husband and I were invited to a summer cookout and volleyball extravaganza. Like all good Midwesterners, we automatically knew that includes bringing food for the potluck portion of the party. Unfortunately, earlier in the week due to a raging thunderstorm that took down power line followed by temperatures that shot up into the 90’s (F ) our electric company gave a huge chunk of the state the gift of multiday rolling blackouts early in the week. Fortunately, we got our electricity back in one of the first waves. Even though we didn’t lose any of our food in the freezer (I had the freezer packed with big reusable ice packs similar to these to get them ready for the party) the power outages made grocery shopping for fresh party food ingredients difficult. Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. I poked around my pantry and got a little creative. I made a quick and easy three ingredient cherry coconut fluff salad recipe that just so happens to also b

DIY Mason Jar Vacuum Sealer

I'm on the fence about buying a vacuum sealer. I understand vacuum sealing is a good way to keep dry goods fresh, especially the garden vegetables and herbs I dry in my dehydrator.

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So on the one hand a vacuum sealer is a good idea on the other hand it is spendy for something I may not use very much since I have an itty bitty front yard garden.  On the third hand (mind if I borrow your hand for a bit?) if the vacuum sealer thing works keeping things fresh in my pantry it might be useful in fighting my nemesis freezer burn.

Yes, I tried sucking the air out of the bag with a straw. It didn't work.

I decided to make a vacuum sealer and give it a try. If my inexpensive homemade vacuum sealer works well us, I might spring for a real one. If it doesn't work, I'm only out 20 bucks instead of a couple hundred.

How to Make a Mason Jar Vacuum Sealer

Vacuum sealing is only for dry foods. Powdered dry goods like flours generally will not seal because the fine particles will clog the brake bleeder/pump. Vacuum sealing cannot safely replace pressure canning wet foods.

Homemade vacuum sealer

You will need:

Brake bleeder/pump  (you can buy one similar to mine here.)

FoodSaver regular mouth jar sealer (or wide mouth if you are using wide mouth mason jars) (you can buy it here.)

Mason jar

Canning jar lid

Food for your jar

(Disclosure: I am including big bold affiliate links in this post for your convenience.)

Make it:

1. Place the dry goods in the mason jar. For this example, I'm vacuum sealing some fenugreek I bought from an international market.

2. Put the canning lid on the mason jar.

You can reuse canning jar lids for vacuum sealing as long as the edges are not bent or wonky.

3. Put the jar sealer on the mason jar. I am using a regular jar sealer. FoodSaver makes jar sealers for wide mouth mason jars too.

4. Put the hose and cone tip that comes with the brake bleeder together and place the cone tip into the opening on top of the jar sealer.

5. Pump the air out of the jar with the brake pump for about 5-15 minutes. I usually stop when the gage reaches 500 pounds of pressure.

pump! pump!

Tip: You might need to hold the cone tip with your hand to get the pump to work and create a seal. 

Sometimes I have to hold it. Other times I don't.

4. Label the jar. You're all sealed up and ready to store!

You don't have to use a canning jar ring on a vacuum sealed jar. 
I do because it helps me keep track of the rings and keeps my paper label on the jar lid.

The homemade vacuum sealer works well. I recommend it if you seal one or two jars at a time. Any more than that and my hands were killing me to hand vacuum seal any more!

If you'd rather buy than DIY, check out the following vacuum sealer options - and more! - below!

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Adam said…
5-15 Minutes of hand pumping?! For real?