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Properly Canning Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

Having a summer garden gives us benefits that are second to none. Making the most of that garden fare makes it all just a little bit better. Thereís nothing like pulling out a jar of canned green beans to serve at your Christmas dinner. Homemade jams are the best when it comes to serving up the perfect Sunday breakfast. Something about knowing you put your time and effort into making something your friends and family can enjoy, just brings a sense of accomplishment, and the compliments donít hurt either.


Properly Canning Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

Once you have worked hard to create the best sauce or jam and enjoyed the first batch over a warm plate of pasta or spread out on a steaming hot biscuit, you are left with one dilemma. How should you preserve your precious prize? One way would be to toss it in a zip-lock bag and hope that it tastes as good as when it was made. Why play Russian roulette with your raspberry marmalade and the snap-seal of some plastic bag when canning is obviously the way to go.

Canning is a great way to store your savory sauces and other tasty treats for later use. Canning works because it heats food to kill bacteria while sealing them in a glass or metal container. This process prevents them from spoiling. When having canning supplies handy when you make your sauces or jams, just means that you can keep more of your food fresh for use during the off-season.

Generally, fruits are canned use a boiling water canner. However, fruits like tomatoes (yes, they are actually considered fruits) and applesauce can be canned in a pressure canner due to the pH levels in the fruit.

Fruit does tend to discolor if it is canned naturally, which can be prevented by adding some lemon juice or vitamin C to some water and then placing the fruit in it. Sometimes, fruits need to be packed in simple syrup. There are a few different variations on syrups ranging from light to heavy, but they all use the same ingredients in different amounts.

While some fruits can be canned in a boiling water canner that is not an option for vegetables. Because they are generally more dense and do not contain as much self-preserving sugars as fruits, they must be canned at higher pressure and temperature in order to keep the integrity of the food.

It is extremely important, when canning vegetables, that you remove all of the air bubbles that tend to get caught in the nooks and crannies between pieces and around the sides of the jar. Unlike fruit, many vegetables donít conform to the shape of the jar or can. This can be done easily by running a spatula around the inside of the jar between the glass and the produce.

Having your own fresh fruits and vegetables is rewarding but canning those luscious foods is extremely rewarding. Itís a great way to preserve the freshness of those great garden foods. Having those tomatoes right from your own pantry during their out of season months canít be beat. Try your hand at canning and see just how lip smacking good it really is.


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