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Canning Vegetables and Fruit
Canning vegetables and fruit grown in your own garden is a great way to enjoy the fresh flavors year round. Homemade jam, tomato sauce, pickles, and many more recipes, make great gifts too!
Canning vegetables or canning fruit is not difficult, but it does take time. With the right canning supplies and by correctly following a recipe, your products will last a year. For the safety of you and your family, it is very important to follow proper canning procedures, and work with clean, sterile equipment.
BASIC CANNING SUPPLIES:
Glass jars with lids and bands.
Canning jars, if not damaged, can be re-used, but the lids cannot be reused.
A large pot for boiling the jars. Depending on what you are preserving, a steam pressure cooker may also be necessary.
IMPORTANT NOTE: The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends you do not use a hot water bath for any canning.
Products that contain little acid have to be heated above 212 degrees which will require the use of steam pressure.
A jar lifter for safely removing the hot jars from the boiling water. It's special design securely grips around the jar.
A lid wand that safely removes the lids from boiling water.
A funnel for easily pouring liquid into the mouth of the jar.
A bubble spatula for removing air bubbles in the filled jars.
If you are new to canning, many of these supplies can be purchased as
It's important to closely follow recipes for canning vegetables and fruit, as the heating temperature and time will vary based on the acidity of the food and what you add to it.
The Ball Blue Book for canning has many recipes.
To begin the process of canning vegetables or canning fruit, pre-boil the jars and lids prior to filling them. This helps prevent the jars from cracking and helps the lids to vacuum seal.
The level to which you fill the jar once again depends on what you are filling it with. Low acid foods require more space than high acid foods. Follow recipes.
Once the jars are filled and the lids and bands are secured on them they are heated in the boiling water according to the recipe you're following.
When the processing is complete remove the jars using the lifter utensil and place on a cloth towel. Cool them at room temperature for the recommended time. The sealing process takes placed during this time.
The lid on a properly sealed jar is concave and should not flex in the center.
Prepare ahead of time for canning vegetables and fruit. Have all the necessary ingredients on hand and ready to go. Plan to make a day of it. The rewards from canning vegetables and fruits grown in your own garden are well worth the effort.
Tomato Press and Food Mill
A tomato press or food mill is a canning essential, for making tomato juice or sauce. It is also used on a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. It strains out seeds and skin, while making quick work of creating vegetable juices.
Making your own form of V8? Just add them to the tomatoes while cooking, then pass them through the tomato press or food mill.
A Tomato Press makes fast work preparing
sauce and juice for canning tomatoes .
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