You Have Contemplated Learning How To Can Your Own Food?
Food Canning can be very rewarding. Imagine having fresh food all year long that is so good for your body and soul. I feel a great sense of accomplishment and pride when I serve fresh food that I know has no preservatives, still, has the nutrients and vitamins that normally gets lost with factory produced food. Much of the nutrition is lost in the processing along with unnecessary additives that we don’t need.
Let’s not forget GMO
GMO has not yet been ordered by FDA to label foods grown using GMO seeds. The controversy is apparent that all GMO foods cannot possibly be good for you in the long run. Both sides argue, scientists claim they are okay for consumption. Other scientists claim they are killing us. What it all boils down to folks, in my opinion, and millions of others, GMO should not be consumed in any way. Three years ago, I gave up my beloved box mac and cheese. I also gave up fast food. I have no processed food of any kind in my house, What I do buy or consume is very minimal. It’s really hard to avoid everything. But, I try.
So, keep in mind when you do decide to can your food, buy from a farmer or local farmers market. That way you can be sure you are not canning foods grown by GMO seed. Depending on where you live, I would ask the farmer how his seeds were grown.
You will need….
Canning Jars and lids
Depending on your preference, whether you are canning for yourself or for gift giving, choose the proper size jars, decorative for gift giving. Generally use quarts for tomatoes, pickle recipes, and fruit. Pints would be used for salsas, apple butter. Half and Quarter pint jars are used for single-serve, sauces, and gift giving…I put my gift jars of jams and jellies in half pint jars.
Canning utensils and Tools
Stainless Steel Ladle
Canning Jar Lifter
Good Pair of Kitchen Tongs
Canning Pots come in different varieties. I prefer the large canning pot with the removable canning rack. I would not water bath can my foods without a rack, So much easier with one.
Good Kitchen Towels
This is very important. You must have good clean towels to set your jars on after they come out of the canner, also when wiping the rims of the jars before sealing. if food spills on, or drips on the rims or threading of jars. These must be clean or new. New is better. The cotton ones with the stripe in them are perfect for this job.
A Good Canning Book
For Recipes and yields, you would need a good book. I have a few that I recommend. You will also get instructions for canning and recipes on this site, so stay tuned.
Food Mill or Food Strainer
This is an optional item for canning. If you are using food that will be pureed or ground for canning, you can use one of these. For all my canning needs I use the attachments of my KitchenAid. Read my review on Review for KitchenAid
The Day Of Canning
Prepare your area. If you have pets, put them out of the kitchen. Allow 15 minutes for the dust to settle. Completely sterilize your counters and sinks, including drains. All areas must be sterile. Jars prepared for canning must be washed in very hot soapy water. Keep jars in the sink when preparing food for canning in hot water. Also keep caps in hot water while preparing food for canning. Everything must be clean and free of germs. Canning can go awry without these steps. This is very important in the canning process.
Washed glass canning jars should be kept in hot water that has boiled to 180 degrees. Once submerged, you can pull out one jar at a time to use. The hot water will be fine to use if you use the submerged jars within 30 minutes. If not, boil the water again to 180 degrees, then proceed.
There are many recipes for home canned foods. I will list my personal favorites and the recipes for them in future posts. For now, gather the tools and equipment necessary to complete this project.
I found several sites that kits can be purchased. You can check them out here, or if you are strapped for cash or on a low budget, you can also find canning supplies at resale shops. It will take time to collect all your equipment so the time is now to start searching for next year’s harvest. Yard sales and flea markets are also a good place to purchase items for canning.
Books for Canning. My personal Favorites.
You should have all the information you need to complete your project of collecting your equipment. I hope you will consider canning as a fun project because it is. It is a worthwhile project with many many benefits.
Next posts coming soon with recipes for canning your favorite foods.
Thank You and Have a Bountiful Day
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