Fresh fruits and vegetables are the best source of vitamins and minerals for the body. However, most of the time we cannot keep more than a small amount of them on hand due to spoilage and seasonal availability. Fortunately it is possible to preserve them for later use, which will allow us to store larger quantities even during times of economic collapse. Canning them is often the best method of preservation, and if done at home with an easy-to-do process, you can avoid harmful chemicals that are usually used in commercial products.
How to Can Fruits:
Canning can be done using either of two canners: a water bath canner or a pressure canner. They are available in aluminum or steel usually, and can be easily bought at local stores or on the Internet. In case you do not own a canner, a pressure cooker can be used though many experts do not recommend this as the best option.
What you need for canning would be a fruit like berries, cherries, or apples, some lemon juice, sugar, a canner, and airtight quart or pint jars. Then follow the steps below.
- Wash the fruit and jars properly.
- Soak the jar lids in lukewarm water for enough time to soften their rings and seals.
- Make the syrup by boiling water and sugar in a proportion of 6:3 for moderately sweetened syrup.
- Add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice to a quart jar or 1 tablespoon to a pint jar.
- Add the fruit to the jar and fill it to the top. The space left should be filled with the syrup.
- Seal the jars with the lids, and put them in the canner for about 20 minutes in a water bath canner for a quart jar and 15 minutes for a pint jar. In case you are using a pressure canner, you should put a quart jar in the canner for 10 minutes, or 8 minutes for a pint jar. Keep the water level in the canner at least 2 inches above the level of the jars.
- Cool the jars overnight after removing them from the canner.
- The jars can then be stored and used over the next 18 to 20 months.
How to Can Vegetables:
You need a pressure canner for canning beans or corn, along with some salt and airtight quart or pint jars. Then use the following procedure.
- Wash the vegetables and jars properly.
- Prepare the vegetables the way you want them: cut the beans or remove the corn kernels from the cob.
- Fill the jar with the vegetables leaving two inches of empty space at the top.
- Add boiling water to the jar, covering the vegetables and still leaving one inch of empty space at the top. Add salt according to taste and seal the jars.
- Put the jars in the pressure canner without using the weight on it and let it boil for about 10 minutes.
- Next put the weight on and steam for about 25 minutes.
- Let the canner cool, remove the jars, cool them, and store them.
This article was supplied by Nidhi Varma.