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Canning Vegetables 101

By Edited Jan 24, 2014 0 0

Having a garden is a wonderful way to celebrate the summer. Not only can you celebrate the summer with a garden, but gardens also spill into the fall for most folks with a green thumb. There are winter vegetable gardens available for some of us, but for the most part summer is where it’s at. As the summer months come to an end, so does a beautiful vegetable garden. If you are not able to eat all of the vegetables out of our garden, consider canning garden vegetables. Whether foraging food products from a raised vegetable garden or patio vegetable garden, in the end it is all the same. Home food preservation which is better known to most as canning, is a terrific way to enjoy the fruits of your labor from a veggie garden all year longs.

Many newbie canners find their way to preserving foods simply because there are so many extras left at the end of a garden growing season. Even some of the best laid small vegetable garden plans can spill over into something that produces a multitude of additional food that cannot be wasted. With the current generation of inhabitants here on earth conscious of health, the environment and income, canning is the next logical step for those with an abundance of extras coming out of the garden.

Canning vegetables are a wonderful multifaceted experience. It provides a healthy food supply, saves money in the long run, saves the precious commodity we call food as well as being an admired and respected hobby when done right.

At one time in our history canning vegetables was purely for the survival of most families. Families that ignored those left over remnants from the garden would never survive in climates with a harsh and cold winter. Current day and age families will can vegetables from the garden for a number of different reasons outside of surviving with food for the long cold winter months.

One of the most popular reasons that lots of people currently turn to canning veggies is for health conscious reasons. Canning your own vegetables gives a cook the freedom to determine the amount of seasonings contained in food. For an example, the amount of sugar and salt added to a grocery store can of garden vegetables may be a lot different than what a cook would use at home canning their own foods. A cook can also decide whether they are eating organic veggies or not or simply get their vegetables exactly the way the want rather than what happens to be on the shelf. Canning gives a freedom with food that cannot be ignored.

A number of food preservers actually enjoy the idea of a variety of vegetables on the shelf at any given time. Whether you’re particular favorite out of the garden happens to be in season or not, you can still enjoy it with canning food stuffs. Food stuffs that are out of season are only an arm’s length away all year.

Canning veggies are certainly not an easy task. A novice that believes you simply slap a couple of beets into a Mason jar and twist the lid tight are sadly mistaken. To learn how to can vegetables is something that cannot be done in a rush. Although many treat it as a hobby of sorts or leisure activity, it does take time and education. Remember that preserving your food must be done safely and correctly as a serious matter because it can possibly lead to life or death in some cases. Education for canning veggies can come in many forms.

The internet has an abundant supply of useful and relevant information for cooks that want to can vegetables. Respected magazine, newspaper, cook book and government sites can supply educational material for vegetable canning. Make certain to follow instructions carefully.

Canning has advanced significantly since the pioneer days. Safer canning procedures have been adopted and are utilized. Things such as correct acid levels for food, cooking methods in general and storage practices for food have all been revised over the years. Even changes made since our grandmother’s time of canning in the kitchen have been noteworthy. For those using grandma’s recipes, make certain that the methods have been endorsed by the US Dept. of Agriculture for a safe and proper canning experience. For an example, low acid foods need canning under a pressure canner while high acid levels must have water bath canning.

The US Dept. of Agriculture’s website has some wonderful information that pertains to specific questions surrounding canning veggies. Additionally, in nearly all supermarkets and stores that sell canning supplies and additives for preserving recipes that are up to date with the USDA’s restrictions put in place for protection from harmful ingestion or preservation of food stuffs can be found. As well as canning veggies, consider drying your fruits.

Try a new and wonderful experience that simply extends the privilege of gardening, canning veggies. Canning is a wonderful vehicle to take taste buds on a journey of foods that they will love.

 

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