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Most everyone knows what canning is. In short, it's a form of preserving food, killing all the bacteria so it can be stored on a shelf. Canning is great if you have your own garden, you can have produce all year around. I'm giving you my canning 101 tips so that even if you know nothing about canning you'll become a pro.
No garden? No problem! Buy produce in season at the lowest price and stock up and can it so you have it later in the year! (Here is a great chart of when produce is in season)
Caning 101: What are the benefits of canning?
quoted from Canning and Preserving For Dummies
- A pantry full of fresh, homegrown foods: Having a stocked pantry offers a cushion against the fluctuating cost of healthy foods.
- Convenience: You can build a pantry of convenience foods that fit into your busy lifestyle and that your family will enjoy.
- Protection against rising food costs: The whole idea of canning and preserving is to take advantage of fresh food when it’s abundant. And abundant food generally means lower cost.
- A sense of relaxation and accomplishment: For many people, working in the kitchen and handling food provides a sense of relaxation, and watching family and friends enjoy the products of your efforts gives you a great sense of accomplishment.
- Confidence in the ingredients that go into your food: If you love fresh ingredients and like to know what goes into your food, doing your own canning and preserving is the answer.
- A good time: Producing canned and preserved food in your kitchen is fun and easy — and who doesn’t like fun?
I preserve food we use a lot. My favorite is Strawberry Jam for $7 I can get 10 jars that would have cost me $3 a jar or around $30 (without coupons!) Even couponing my stock up price is about $1.50 or $15 or 10 jars. I saved either way!
Canning 101: Tools you'll need for canning.
The next thing you need is the most obvious, Mason Jars and Mason Jar Lids! These can be found everywhere and during ‘Canning Season' (spring and summer) even at your local grocery store! Watch for coupons too! Now keep in mind, Mason Jars and the rings can be reused but the center lids need to be new each time.
The last thing you need (besides the food to can!) is Pectin. Now the type of Pectin you need will vary based on what your canning and how your canning it. Jam takes a certain type of pectin but then there is pectin for low or no sugar jams too. Also, not everything you can will need pectin. But the things I make most do so I keep some on hand.
Canning 101: Canning recipe books and more canning tips!
I love cookbooks and if you want some great canning recipes and even more great canning tips, here are a few of my favorites:
- Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving – My Mother in Law gave me this one and it's been a HUGE help!
- Canning and Preserving For Dummies
- Food in Jars: Preserving in Small Batches Year-Round
- Better Homes and Gardens Can It!
You may also want to try some of these great canning recipes:
Canning Peach Pie Filling