Preserving foods through canning is easy with the right equipment and an understanding of the basics. Heat kills the microorganisms present in all fresh food, and the processing creates a seal of the jar, allowing for long-term storage in a cool, dark location. Using fresh, unblemished fruits and vegetables and meat well-trimmed of gristle or excess fat turns out a healthy, safe end product.
It’s in the Soup
A great food to have handy is soup or stew. Because it can contain vegetables, grain, and meat, each jar is a meal in itself. By home canning this nutrition powerhouse, extra additives like heavy salt can be avoided. With the pressure canning process, meats, poultry, and fish can be safely preserved in a rich broth loaded with favorite vegetables and seasonings. Doing the work now ensures healthy, energy-rich foods for your family in a time of need.
An Apple a Day
All fruits can be preserved in their original states or as ingredients in relish, chutney, jam, or dessert fillings. One of the most nutritious and accessible options is the apple. With antioxidants, fiber, and versatility, apples top the list of home-canned fruits. Peeled or unpeeled, chopped, sliced, or cooked down into applesauce or apple butter, apples can be eaten easily by adults and children. And most really like them. The only preparation tip to keep in mind is to dip uncooked apples in lemon juice, citric acid, or another acidic medium to prevent browning.
Carrots – Easy to Prepare, Sweet to Eat
In a crisis situation, fresh vegetables may not be available. One of the most nutritious veggies that doesn’t lose a lot of vitamins in processing is carrots. They contain healthy compounds including beta carotene, antioxidants, and minerals. Home canning carrots is as easy as wash, peel, and pack, keeping in mind they must be canned with pressure. Plus, most people find them tasty. The best diets include a wide variety of vegetables, and any can be canned at home.
Tomatoes Standing By
Whenever home canning is discussed, it seems that thoughts always turn to tomatoes. Nutritious, adaptable, and healthful, there is much that can be done with them to provide nutritious meals. They can be eaten right out of the jar or cooked down into pasta sauce and other excellent dishes. Personal preference governs preparation other than tomatoes should always be peeled before canning. They can be packed whole, sliced or chopped, seeded or not, or salted or not. Jars process in a water bath canner.
The day may come when getting through a crisis is helped by the availability of home canned food. When fresh food isn’t available, the ability to rely on healthy choices from a stock of home-canned options would be a relief.Find out more about storing foods with this guide to home canning.