Canning food has become more and more popular in the past decade. As the prices of food continue to soar, people realize that you have to pay attention to food security and food supplies. Canning your vegetables is a great way to preserve it and increase your consumption of the foods from your local markets and your garden.
Caning no longer has to be boring. With these canning ideas and recipes make sure you have fun canning and that you have numerous options to go with when cooking your foods.
Benefits of Canning Your Food
First, you need to know the advantages of canning your food. Here are the most important benefits to note.
Prolonged Shelf Life
Foods that can be canned are great because they are preservative free and thus healthier. You get to choose what you put in your fruits and vegetables before you can them. The canning process uses high temperatures and sterile containers such as these that destroy all the micro-organisms that cause spoilage.
When done the right way, canned foods can remain fresh for up to one year. Ensure that you label your containers to know which ones to use first. You should also keep them for just one year then you should dispose of them.
Canned foods are just as nutritious as fresh foods. They do not have any chemical preservatives. Researchers have proven that canned foods are just as healthy as fresh foods if you handle them appropriately. In fact, to prevent Lycopene cancer, it is always recommended that you use canned tomatoes than fresh fruits.
Because it is heat treated, the bacteria does not get in the foods. The tightly sealed cans ensure that the bacteria do not get into the jars. Make sure that you check for seal tampering, rust, leaks, and dents that may cause the canned goods to go bad.
For you to experience maximum flavor from the food, use them as soon as the container is open. However, if there you can’t eat it all in one sitting, store the foods in a refrigerator to retain its nutritional quality and taste.
You Can Enjoy Fruits That are Not in Season
Nature is great. However, the one thing that every garden grower dislikes about Mother Nature is the fact that our favorite foods are not always in season. If you love a particular fruit, you can enjoy it throughout the year if you preserve it. It gives you the freedom to choose what to eat and when to eat it regardless of whether it is in season or not.
A Short History
Food preservation has been throughout history (from days immemorial). The earliest techniques involved the smoking, drying, fermenting and packing of fat. This method is today known as confit. Later, people began preserving jams and vinegar pickles. These were sealed with wax or suspended in alcohol. While these methods were all great, there was always a significant risk that the foods might get spoiled.
By the1700s, Napoleon found a way to preserve food. A method that could be relayed on by his troops to keep the memory of home fresh while they were out in the wild. Through experimentation and trial- and-era, one Nicolas Appert, a French national discovered that through packing, heating and sealing food, it could remain fresh for longer. His method was so great that It is still used to date.
By the 1850s, canning had become more common in the US. As John Mason was making the first reusable jars, he already had a market from the many people who were looking for ways to keep their foods fresh.
The method used today is two-part canning lit invented by Alexander Kerr, hence the canning jar name “Kerr.”
How Canning Works
Of course, this process is a food science that teaches you about canning ideas and recipes as well as how to be more comfortable in the kitchen. When you preserve food, you are freezing time and encouraging specific bacteria to proliferate that crowd out the harmful bacteria. The critical aspect of canning is the time used for freezing.
The easiest way to go about what can be canned at home is to fill the jars with foods that are acidic. These include berries, tomatoes, and cucumbers in vinegar. Cover these with a lid. Use an open pan such as this, to boil them until they form a seal under the cap. The boiling forces air to get out of the jar and create a vacuum and an acidic environment that allows bacteria to thrive.
This method of canning is also known as a water bath. It allows you to preserve some delicious foods like jellies, pickles, jams and whole tomatoes.
There is also pressure canning is in a pot like this one, that requires more skills and specialization. It is excellent because it unlocks a whole new world of flavors and allows you to mix several fruits and vegetables. This method will enable you to put up many ingredients rather than just working with supporting condiments and players.
What You Will Need for These Canning Ideas and Recipes
You may choose to get some fancy equipment. However, you only truly need a few inexpensive basics tools to make canning work. Choose a pot that will hold enough water to cover whatever sized jars that you want to use. Always leave a small room to boil the water. Jar lifters like this pair are handy, and the pots are a necessity. If you’re going to can a wide variety of foods, you may want to consider using a pressure canner as mentioned above.
Always make sure that you use the freshest products. Make sure that they are free of all blemishes. Make sure you always to buy the foods when they are in season so that you get the best deals. To save even more, consider making bulk purchases with other canners. This action will save money.
The steps are simple:
- Prepare all the ingredients
- Fill the jars with foods
- Wipe the rims
- Screw on the lids and bands tightly
- Remove and cool until the lids make a pop-pop sound as the seal is beginning to form
- Store in a cool, dry place
- Always make sure that you have sanitized and sterilized the canning equipment before use
- Use a PH meter to find out whether the cans are acidic enough
- Use these recipes to save time and money
Jellies and Jams
There are always plenty of jellies and jams to select. The difference when it comes to these two is that jellies have one extra step to go through. They often need to be juiced down so that you can remove the seeds. If you do not mind the seeds, you can skip the extra step and have an easy way to preserve them.
The Following are the Best Jellies and Jam Recipes:
Grape Jelly Recipes
- 2 cups white sugar
- 2 cups all natural grape juice
- One teaspoon butter
- Two tablespoons powdered fruit pectin
Instructions for Handing the Jars
- Sterilize the jars you will be using. You can use the dishwasher for this process
- Combine the juice in an 8-quart saucepan and stir in the fruit pectin and butter. Bring it to a full boil that cannot be stirred down
- Add the sugar and continue stirring until it has dissolved
- Ladle the jelly jars and let them cool at room temperature for 30 minutes
- Refrigerate them immediately once they have cooled.
- The triple berry jam recipes
- This recipe can serve strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries
- 6 cups of the berries of your choice. Always choose the ripe ones. You may also use frozen berries. Just make sure they do not have added sugar or syrup.
- Crush the fruits but not wholly. You can leave huge chunks and remove any seeds
- 4 cups of sugar
- 2 ounces of pectin
- Stir in all the ingredients and bring them to a boil
- Skim to remove excess foam
- Pour the mixture into the jars and seal them
- Let them rest for a while
To test for thickness, keep a metal tablespoon in a glass of ice water. Take a half spoon of the mixture and let it cool in room temperature. If the thickness is not how you want it, add more pectin and bring it to a boil again.
Often, the fruits will float to the top of the jar. You can always stir the jar later
Strawberries and Champagne Jam
- 7 cups of white sugar
- 5 cups crushed strawberries
- ¼ cups of lemon juice
- ½ cups of dry champagne
- 75 ounces of packages powdered fruit pectin
- Three canning jars with rings and lids
- Combine the strawberries, lemon juice, champagne and pectin in a pan.
- Bring it to a boil. Continue to stir constantly until the sugar dissolves
- Fill the jars with the jam
- Run a knife through the sides of the jars to remove air bubbles
- Wipe the rims of the jars to remove any residue and screw on the lid and rings
- Place a rack at the boot of the stockpot and fill it will water halfway
- Bring it to a boil and put the jars with jam inside
- Let it boil and process for 15 minutes
- Remove and store in a cool, dry place
- 5 cups of sugar
- 2 ounces of packages dry pectin
- 12 peaches chopped and pitted
- Crush the chopped peaches in a saucepan and bring them to a boil.
- Cook until the peaches become liquid
- Pour the peaches into a bowl and measure 6 cups, add sugar and bring to a boil
- Remove from heat and transfer to sterilized jars
- Process a hot water bath and let it cool
Pear Honey Jam
- 8 cups of white sugar
- 8 cups of cored, peeled and chopped pears
- One unsweetened pineapple juice
- Place the diced pears in a pot
- Pour in the pineapple juice to keep them from browning
- Stir in the sugar and let it boil over medium-high heat
- Reduce the heat and cook until the mixture is texture honey
- Remember that the longer you cook the mix, the thicker it gets
- Ladle the sterile jars and fill with the jam
- Process a hot water bath and throw the jars inside
- Remove and cool at room temperature
Hot Pepper Jelly
- 5 cups of white sugar
- 1 cup of apple cider vinegar
- ¼ finely chopped jalapeno peppers
- 3 cups of finely chopped red bell peppers
- 2 cups of finely chopped green bell peppers
- 75 ounces of packages powdered pectin
- Put all the peppers in a large saucepan and cook over high heat. Mix fruit and vinegar pectin
- Stir constantly to bring to a rolling boil
- Remove from heat when it is thick enough and skim off the excess foam
- Pour the mix in a can
- Process in a hot water bath then let them cool at room temperature
Pickles are great for burgers, sandwiches, and snacks. There are numerous pickle recipes. The secret is to be creative.
Dill pickle recipes
- Fresh Dill
- Grape leaves
- 1 peck cucumbers, skinny, straight and small
- 3 pints cider vinegar
- Two pickling salt
5 quarts of water
- Prepare a water bath and bring the water to a boil
- Combine the salt, vinegar, and water in a large pot and bring it to a boil
- Was the cucumbers and cut off any bad spots
- Put the cucumbers in the jars
- To the boiling mixture, add alum, garlic, dill and hot pepper
- Ladle the pickling solution to the jars and tightly seal them
- Place the jars in the boiling water bath
- Cool at room temperatures
- Store for three weeks before consumption to make sure that the flavors set in
Zesty Bread and Butter Pickles
- 25 cucumbers sliced into ¼ inch pieces
- Six onions
- ½ cups of salt
- Apple cider vinegar
- Two red bell peppers, sliced thinly
- Five cups of sugar
- Two teaspoons of celery seeds
- Two teaspoons of ground turmeric
- Two tablespoons of mustard seeds
- Mix onions, cucumbers, red bell peppers, and salt in a large bowl and let them stand for three hours
- In an oven put the cider vinegar, mustard seeds, celery seeds, turmeric, and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil
- Drain the liquid from the cucumber mix and let the mixture boil
- Pour in the cucumber mixture and remove from heat before it begins to boil to keep the cucumbers from cooking
- Transfer to the jars, seal and refrigerate
Claussen Knock-Off Pickles
- 1-gallon cold water
- 40 small to medium pickling cucumbers
- 1 cup raw apple cider vinegar
- Four cloves garlic
- 2/3 cups kosher salt. Never use iodized salt
- Four fresh dill heads
- Clean the cucumbers
- Layer the dill heads, slice cucumbers and garlic cloves in a large jar
- In a separate bowl stir in the remaining ingredients and ensure that the salt dissolves
- Pour over the cucumbers and make sure they are all submerged
- Cover the jar and leave under direct sunlight for four days
- These have a shelf life of up to six months as long as they have a brine covering
Quick Sweet Pickles
- ¼ cups of kosher salt
- 9 Kirby cucumbers or 2 regular cucumbers
- 1 cup water
- One cinnamon stick
- Three cloves
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- One teaspoon mustard seeds
- One bay leaf
- One small red onion sliced thinly
- Wash and dry the cucumbers. Coat them with salt and place in a bow. Let them sit for about 1 hour then rinse and dry the cucumbers
- Place them in the jar quart along with the onions
- Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil
- Once the brine is cool, pour it into the jar of cucumbers
- Refrigerate for 4 hours
- These can be canned, crushed and turned into salsa. The canned tomatoes will make great soups during the winter to fight off the cold.
- Canned whole peeled tomatoes
- Choose well-ripened tomatoes. You can use them whole or choose to core them
- Put the tomatoes in boiling water. Do not put too many at once to prevent the temperature of the water from dropping
- Put the blanched tomatoes in cold water to keep them from cooking any further
- Peel tomatoes
- Put the vegetables in the jars and seal the jars
- Four green peppers, diced
- 30 Roma tomatoes, sliced
- Four cloves of garlic
- Six medium onion, diced
- ¾ cups of vinegar
- 3 tbsp of sugar
- 2tbsp pickling salt
- 4tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- Three cans of tomato paste
- One tsp paprika
- Put all the ingredients in a large pot and bring them to a boil
- Add the hot mixture to jars
- Place the mixture in the hot water bath for 25 minutes
- Store in a cool dark place
The fact of the matter is that most of these recipes are similar. With enough creativity, you can safely can most of your favorite fruits and vegetables to ensure that you get the right flavors throughout the year. The best part about canning is that it is cheap and easy to do once you get the hang of it. You also have control over the ingredients you use and the time you choose to store the foods.
With the canning ideas and recipes provided here, perhaps this harvesting season you can try your luck at filling your pantry with your favorite canned foods. What about you, do you like to grow your own garden or do you frequent the farmers market?
I hope you found this article helpful and can learn to do your own canning to help save you money. Canning is a staple in the Homesteading life, and people are turning to this lifestyle more each day. Check back often as we will have new, fresh content for you to enjoy.
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