Properly Canning Fresh Fruits And Vegetables
One of the best ways to include fruits and vegetables in your food storage is to can it yourself. By canning it yourself you can minimize the number of preservatives used and you can maximize the number of nutrients that are preserved.
Some nutrients are lost through the heating process, but canning is still one of the best ways to preserve most of the nutrients. Not only is home canned food better for you because of these things, but it can be cheaper then buying at your local store.
There are many things that you can do to make sure that your jars seal properly and that the food turns out deliciously. The first thing you should make sure you do is use fruit that is still good.
You do not want to use fruit or vegetables that are overripe. Food that is overripe does not taste very good, and the canning process cannot make it taste better.Besides, even if the food is preserved, it will still age slightly, meaning that it will not get any better. The second thing you should make sure you do is to add exactly the amount of ingredients called for in the recipe.
If you add too many low-acid ingredients such as onions, celery, peppers, and garlic for flavor, the jars may not seal properly because the acidity level is too low. If you want to add a lot of these ingredients, you will need to make sure that you add some lemon juice or something else to readjust the acidity level.
In general it is usually better to simply stick to the recipe though. Even if the jar does seal properly, it may not preserve the food like you hoped if the acidity level is too low.
In addition, you should not add a lot of extra seasonings or spices. This is because bacteria are often present in these things and canning the food with extra bacteria can make the food unsafe.It is probably okay to add an extra teaspoon or two to a large seven quart batch, but if you add too much it could turn out poorly. Common sense should be used when adding extra spices.
Another thing that should not be added to a home canning recipe is butter or fat. You should only use these things in proven and tested recipes.Butters and other fats do not store well for a long period of time. As a result, the food that you can with these products will not last nearly as long.The addition of butter or fat can also make the recipe take longer to heat up properly. During the canning process, you may not cook the jars long enough and the food inside may not be safe when stored for a long period of time.
While it may be tempting to replace ‘clear-jel’ with another thickener when you are slightly short of the amount you need, you should not do it. Starches, flour, rice, barley, pasta and so forth are all thickeners that should not be used.
This applies to all kinds of home canned items. These thickeners can also mess with the heating process and it can result in unsafe food.
Clear-Jel has been tested in numerous recipes and it seems to work really quite well. There are many items that should be added to certain recipes as well.
For example, you should add some kind of acidic liquid like lemon juice, vinegar or citric acid to tomato products or tomato sauces when canning them. Items with low acidity can result in botulism when eaten.
If you are worried about the effect that these things will have on the flavor of your recipe, you will probably want to add vinegar as it is a part of many Italian recipes anyway. Lemon juice will add a sharp flavor to your tomatoes or sauces.
Meanwhile, acidic acid will fall in between vinegar and lemon juice in how it affects the flavor. While some recipes may state that it is simply okay to put the hot lids on and screw them shut after processing jams or jellies, all foods should be processed through a hot water bath.
This ensures that the lids seal properly and that the food will be preserved. Even jams and jellies should be processed this way so that you know they will be safe for your family to eat them when they need them in a time of food scarcity.
More: Healthy food