Thursday, April 17, 2014

Storing chocolate and other happy items...

Various people are known for different skills or areas of self-sufficiency. Mine is being a newbie, who is willing to learn and try. That being said, I am very literal when it comes to storing what I use (and using what I store).
One, I think storing chocolate is extremely important. I eat; therefore I store! I need to add here that I have better results with dark chocolate than milk chocolate. 
Two: I store a LOT of coffee, since I get a pound every week for free, I store, therefore I drink. The coffee is for another post. 
This cache of chocolate is stored in the cabinet under my tv, which happens to sit on 110 gallons of water storage...

We have had multiple discussions about the Food Saver as a great tool for vacuum sealing storage, particularly in canning jars. It is so very easy to do. Here are just two methods I use for dry canning/sealing food for long term storage.. First is using a FoodSaver.
When you purchase your Food Saver you need to insure that it has an “accessory port”. 
This is the accessory tube. It is hidden in the bottom of the Food Saver.

Note these empty jars. They held biscotti and chocolate candy, which "someone" had used (eaten) So, true to my word, I purchased twice the amount that I ate to add to my storage.

Here are the jars waiting to be sealed...

Now I often will do a large batch of sealing at a time. You simply place the attachment on a jar with a lid (with out the ring), insert the tube into a little hole on the top of the lid attachment & hit the accessory button. When it stops, you remove the attachment. That's it.
Here is an example:

We use our Food Saver Attachments frequently.  You can find the attachments for sale on Amazon for under $10 each. I recommend getting both the wide mouth and regular mouth attachment. This is what the boxes look like for the attachments.

Canning jars are a very cost effective way to store. When vacuum sealed (which removes the air from the jar) and stored in a dark cool place, you extend the shelf life for many years.
I recently wrote another post about vacuum sealing jars with with out electricity using a Mityvac Automotive Test and Bleeding Kit

Storing powdered cocoa:  Hershey Company's FAQ they state "Cocoa is considered a non-

perishable item which should  maintain quality if stored at room temperature in a tightly 

sealed container." Sounds good to me.  I have heard as long as it is kept in a cool, dark, 

dry place it lasts a very long time. 

I am now getting my Hersey's Dark Cocoa from Amazon. 

If you  are having difficulty getting a seal, try placing two lids on top, then the attachment. It will only seal the bottom lid.

If you are doing a powder type product, you can either place in individual plastic bags OR add a small coffee filter on the top of the jar to stop the fine powder from being sucked up into the tubing.

Feel free to add our own personal tips here or on Facebook & I will edit this post so we will now have a centralized location to refer people too, who are having questions.

Another tip from Tammy Milasmom: Try taking out the Food Saver attachment's gasket and then reinstalling it. I have to do that constantly to get it to work

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  1. For vacuum sealing powdery stuff you can also use cupcake liners. Way cheap and fits nicely.
    Love this post.

  2. What a great idea. I have been doing this with rice and oatmeal but never thought of doing it with chocolate.

  3. I too believe storing chocolate is a MUST! Do you have any idea on about how long chocolate stored like this might last--(considering that I forget about it and don't open it within a week). ;) I have been leaving my Hershey's backing cocoa in it's original container, sealed--I guess that is ok. I just discovered your blog and I love it!

    1. I have managed to have the chocolate storage for at least 3-4 years. Certain items store better like candies with a shell (m & m's)
      You are able to leave the cocoa powder in it's original containers.

    2. I have managed to have the chocolate storage for at least 3-4 years. Certain items store better like candies with a shell (m & m's)
      You are able to leave the cocoa powder in it's original containers.