After adopting cleaner eating habits, the next logical step is growing and harvesting your favorite fruits and vegetables at home. As you stray away from big brands, you’ll need to consume your organic fruits and vegetables more quickly because they do not have all the chemical mutations and preservatives of store-bought produce. A popular way to preserve fruits and vegetables is through canning. Here’s how to start canning fruits and vegetables if you want to try this option.
What Is Canning?
The internet is a fantastic resource for knowledge-seeking people like us looking for ways to consistently improve the short time we share here on mother Earth.
In that light, MasterClass defines canning “as a method to preserve food in jars at high temperatures for a long period of time, killing microorganisms and inactivating enzymes that could cause food to spoil.”
Cold Water Canning VS. Pressure Canning
The first step is deciding on your preferred method for preserving vegetables and fruits before starting the actual canning process.
Cold Water Canning
It uses lower temperatures and is suitable for veggies and fruits with higher acid content. Consider this method for pickles and relish, tomatoes, salsa, and your favorite jams, jellies, and chutneys.
Low-acid foods that include most other vegetables and fruits and seafood, meats, and delicious winter chilies respond better to this high-temperature method for long-term preservation.
Canning Fruits and Vegetables From The Garden
If you are growing your food, it would be helpful to think about the fruits and vegetables you tend to use year-round and always want to have on hand.
For many people, this includes tomatoes for tomato sauce and salsa, onions for various cooking dishes, and fruits like strawberries and blueberries.
Another helpful suggestion is to think about what vegetables and fruits you and your family will likely consume right away. You’ll find this helps you to know what foods you can avoid canning.
So as you begin making preparations for your canning schedule, remember to think about the food you cook the most and what produce is used- doing this can help determine what you want to can.
10 Best Canning Vegetables and Fruits
- Winter Squash
Recipes For Canning Your Own Food
One of the things you’ll need when canning vegetables and fruits is a good recipe.
When canning from the garden, The Prairie Homestead notes that some items “can be tweaked in a canning recipe without any impact on safety to include: salt, seasonings, equivalent acids, sugar, and pepper or onions.”
Some people will add seasonings or oils to the vegetable to get a particular flavor.
For example, you might want sun-dried tomatoes in the can instead of just regular tomatoes, or you may want to add sugar and pectin to your fruit to turn it into more jelly or jam in the jar. There are many books and online recipes for canning that consider both what is being canned and what you will use it for.
7 Things You Need For Canning
- Water Bath Canner or Pressure Canner
- Canning Jars (*be sure your purchase includes lids and bands)
- Funnel (consider one with a wider mouth for fewer spills)
- Food Mill
- Quality Knives and Chopper
- Sturdy Ladle
- Kitchen Grade Tongs with Jar Lifter
Canning What You Can
One of the more important things to remember with canning fruits and vegetables is always labeling the jars. Knowing what is in each jar, the recipe used, and the ‘use-by’ date is essential.
Doing so helps you make use of everything when it is still fresh and healthy for consumption. Canned food lasts a long time, but not forever, so keep that in mind.