Canning helps spread deliciousness throughout the entire year. It can save you money too. Plus, the holiday season is upon us and homemade preserves, roasted red peppers and giardiniera can make beautiful gifts. The even better news is that it just might be easier than you may think, so let’s get your can on…
Okay, first we need to keep in mind that the fresher the produce, the better the taste, texture and vitamin content will be of everything you can. So, harvest your garden fruits and veggies at the peak of their season (when you probably have an overload anyway) or just pop in your local farm market and pick up your favorite fresh produce.
Step number two is to make sure you have the proper tools. You will need canning jars and seals, a wide mouth funnel and clean cloths to keep things from getting messy, a large pot and ladle, a thermometer, and rubberized jar lifters to make things easy.
Then sterilize your jars and lids by placing them in boiling water for ten minutes. Fill your jars, but not completely because produce expands when boiled. You also need to top your jars with boiling water, your favorite pickling solution or juice (tomatoes and fruits require lemon juice), depending on what you are canning.
Make sure there are no air bubbles and wipe the rims for a tight seal. Then, preheat your water to 180 for hot produce and 140 for cold to prevent cracking. Water should be an inch or two above your jars. Bring to a slow boil and cook the required time for the product and region. This can be easily found online. When your jars cool, they will create a vacuum seal.
The moral of this story is that, if you can, you will be enjoying your most beloved fruits and veggies for a long time to come!