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The Art of Canning: Preserving the Bounty of Nature

Listen boldies, canning is so easy AND you always have prepared good at your much better could that be? I use the NESCO electric canner (see link below) and it is almost auto pilot!

Canning is a time-honored method of preserving fresh produce that allows you to enjoy the flavors of summer throughout the year. Whether you have a bountiful garden or want to take advantage of seasonal fruits and vegetables, canning is an excellent way to extend the shelf life of perishable foods. In this blog post, we'll explore the art of canning, its benefits, and how you can get started preserving your own delicious creations.

  1. Why Can? Canning offers numerous advantages, making it a popular preservation method for food enthusiasts. Firstly, it allows you to enjoy the taste and nutritional value of fresh produce even when it's out of season. Canned foods are also free from preservatives and additives, providing a healthier alternative to store-bought options. Additionally, canning empowers you to reduce food waste by utilizing excess harvest or surplus produce effectively.

  2. Types of Canning: There are two primary methods of canning: water bath canning and pressure canning.

  • Water Bath Canning: This method is suitable for high-acid foods like fruits, pickles, and most tomatoes. The process involves submerging sealed jars in a boiling water bath to create a vacuum seal that inhibits the growth of bacteria and other microorganisms.

  • Pressure Canning: Low-acid foods such as vegetables, meats, and soups require pressure canning to eliminate the risk of botulism. The food is placed in jars, sealed, and processed in a pressure canner at specific temperatures and pressures.

  1. Essential Equipment: To start your canning journey, you'll need a few essential tools:

  • Jars: Choose glass jars specifically designed for canning, such as Mason jars or Ball jars. Ensure they are in good condition, with no cracks or chips.

  • Lids and Bands: Use new lids for each canning session to ensure a proper seal. Bands can be reused as long as they are in good condition.

  • Canning Pot or Pressure Canner: For water bath canning, a large stockpot or dedicated canning pot with a rack is necessary. Pressure canning requires a pressure canner designed to handle the higher temperatures and pressures needed for low-acid foods.

  • Utensils: A jar lifter, a canning funnel, and a bubble remover/headspace tool are handy tools to handle hot jars and maintain proper filling levels.

  1. Canning Process: The general steps involved in the canning process are as follows:

  • Prepare the produce: Wash and peel fruits or vegetables as needed. Remove any pits, cores, or seeds. Cut them into appropriate sizes.

  • Prepare the jars and lids: Wash the jars, lids, and bands with hot soapy water. Sterilize the jars by submerging them in boiling water or using a dishwasher. Keep the lids in a separate pot of hot water to soften the rubber seal.

  • Fill the jars: Use a canning funnel to pack the prepared produce into the jars, leaving the recommended headspace (the empty space between the food and the lid).

  • Remove air bubbles: Gently run a bubble remover tool or a non-metallic utensil along the sides of the jar to release trapped air bubbles.

  • Seal the jars: Wipe the jar rims to remove any food residue or liquid. Place the lids on the jars and secure them with the bands, tightening them just until finger-tight.

  • Process the jars: For water bath canning, place the filled jars in a canning pot with boiling water, ensuring they are submerged by at least 1-2 inches. Follow the recommended processing time based on the recipe and altitude. For pressure canning, fill the pressure can

1. Mason Jars - Quart, pint, Gallon -

2. Canning equipment -

3. Pressure Canner -

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