All About Canning!
Canning is becoming more and more popular, especially in these summer months leading into fall. There are a variety of ways to can, whether it is by boiling, refrigerating or freeze-drying the particular item. The most popular way is by boiling fruits for preserved jams (like rhubarb!) and spreads, while canning vegetables as sauces and spreads is also a popular way to keep those summer veggie flavors for months (or even years) to come!
Most canned goods have a shelf life of 1-5 years. Canning is a way to eat chemical-free veggies and fruits that come from your own little garden. So many times we start a garden and have a surplus of items that go bad. With canning, no item ever has to be wasted! Here are some ideas and tips for how to make the most of this popular process:
Can you boil water? This is really the only skill needed for canning at home. The water bath works well for canning fruits. Make sure to use a pressure canner or boiling water canner. Just using random pots or old mason jars or other containers you have on hand is unsafe. You have to boil and then cool the items and be sure they are tightly sealed for shelving. There are a variety of home canning kits available from online retailers!
Pick the right fruits and veggies from the season. The best items for canning in the summer months are juicy peaches, tasty blueberries, tart raspberries, snappy green beans and succulent tomatoes. You can make sweet jams, jellies and savory meatless sauces months ahead of time! All of these fruits and veggies are in their prime and will make a flavorful variety of spreads, dips and sauces.
Become a jam and jelly guru! If you find that you have the time and patience for the process, you may find yourself becoming interested in selling your product. You can sign up to show your products at the local farmer’s market or speak to the owner of a local food shop to see if they’d be interested in stocking your item. If you have no desire to make money off of your hobby, can your preserves and sauces and then add decorative tags and give as gifts to friends and family! These canned goodies make a unique personalized gift that your recipient doesn’t have to worry about using right away!
Try your hand at canning this spicy chili sauce!