Growing up in the country, we always had a large garden. We typically tried to grow and preserve many vegetables to last our family through most of the winter. And while it wasn’t high on my list of things to do back then, my mom taught us how to freeze and can vegetables, fruits, tomato juice and pickles.
Now in my interest of eating healthier, I am so thankful that I learned how to preserve food naturally from my mom. I wish she were still here to learn more from!
I also wish I had the time to do all of the canning we did back then, and had the garden that would support it! Thankfully, there are many local farmer’s markets and farms where you can buy produce and try your hand at preserving some good vegetables for your family. By following a few simple tips and tricks, you too can be the envy of your friends and family for your homemade canned vegetables!
Canning at home may seem a bit daunting and scary to some but with today’s methods, it is very safe. The key to home canning safety is processing at a high enough heat to prevent spoilage and to kill bacteria. The safest canning methods are water bath processing and using a steam pressure canner.
One of the best places I have found for canning and preserving recipes is the Blue Ribbon Preserves book by Linda J. Amendt. The book has sections by the type of canning you want to do and offers tips for specific foods. Each recipe shares how long to water bath process or steam pressure can.
The second biggest key is to be organized!
This Infographic provides easy Step by Step directions to follow with your recipe!
Other Helpful Canning Tips
- Fruits and high acid foods can be safely processed in a hot water bath.
- Vegetables not pickled and low acid foods must be processed in a pressure canner.
- A pressure canner is not the same as a pressure cooker.
- When pickling, use vinegar with at least 5% acidity.
- Do not turn jars upside down to seal them; even after water bath processing.
- Never re-use lids. It is safest to just get new rings and lids each time you can.
- Never use canned goods that look discolored. Toss it and be safe!
There are many good recipes out there to help you preserve your garden’s bounty. Don’t let canning scare you! Just follow the step by step directions in this post so that you are completely organized before you begin. Organization is the key!
Have you got super canning tips? Share them here – we all want to be a canning goddess!