BRING YOUR FAMILY A HEALTHY LIFE
Keep your family safe by preparing your own food and canning it to preserve for longer period. These days, the proliferation of fast foods give us few healthy options – it’s a battle between burger vs. pizza. It’s fattening and a cholesterol overload. Well, why can’t it be a glass full of Mom’s tomato pasta, lovingly cooked with fresh tomatoes from her garden?
If you want to keep your family safe, if you want to choose healthy eating to eliminate diseases in the family, can your foods.
THE GOODNESS OF CANNING
Canning is a food preservation process where you fill a tin can or glass jar with foods, seal it and heat it or put under pressure. This step gets rid of bacteria in the food that may cause it to eventually spoil. When the container is removed from the water, it is compressed and sealed.
BENEFITS OF CANNING
Aside from being able to preserve healthy foods for your family, canning foods also has these other benefits:
- It is economically-friendly. Since you are not buying commercial, you save the environment the logistics of getting commercial food on your table. This includes packaging that are not eco-friendly and shipment of the food.
- It is economical. Buying in bulk fruits or vegetables in season will cost you less. Bulk-buying supermarket foods also has the same cost-saving benefits. You also become less of a victim of prices that go nowhere but up;
- Preparation for the rain. Or for down times. In short, there may come a time when you may not have the resources to buy. Might as well plan for that time;
- Convenient eating. You can prepare your lunch food for the week ahead of time. Then you just choose which one to get from the ref, bring to the office, and pop in the microwave;
- Eat even if it’s out of season. When you preserve harvest by canning, you can still enjoy its sumptuous goodness even months after;
- You personalize your gift. Everybody recycles gifts, and it makes you already wonder and doubt the sincerity of a friend who gives you a recycled candle-holder. But if you give a gift with a tag, ‘made from Jona’s Kitchen”, the effort is much appreciated by the recipient;
- You get more good stuff. If you just perfected the right sauce for nachos, then you must make sure to have that exact same goodness in the future;
- Top quality food for your family. When you personally prepare your own foods, you know it is clean, uses the healthy ingredients, and is a family favorite;
YOUR CANNING FRIENDS
You are excited to start canning. What do you need to have?
- Jars and lids used for canning. It comes in different sizes. Glass is the best option, because it is not affected by the taste, smell and color of the foods inside. When you use plastic, it retains the smell and color. The size of your jar will depend on the food you will place inside, and the kind of vacuum-sealing system you have. You need to have a jar seal of the same size as your lid – regular mouth or wide mouth. A good kind of canning jar can be re-used as long as you thoroughly wash it, and best if you can sterilize it after use. Some cans have a stick-on kind of lid, while some has that plus a ring which you twist open;
- Tools and utensils. To enjoy the process, you should have within easy reach a canning funnel to slide the food inside, a steel ladle, jar lifter with rubber grips, kitchen tongs and a magnetic lid lifter;
- Canner or a large pot with a canning rack. If you are not ready to invest yet, you can make do with a water bath canner, or if you are ready to be a pro, you can get a pressure canner, which you can also use as a pressure cooker;
- Kitchen towels which you can use when the jars are hot, and to wipe the rims of the jars. Rims or mouths with sauce or oil may not seal properly;
THE CANNING PROCESS
There are two techniques used for canning.
- Water bath. This is recommended for high-acidic foods like fruits, juices, jams and jellies. You can also water bath salsa, sauces, vinegars and fruit spreads;
- Pressure canning. This is the method when preserving meats, vegetables, poultry or seafood. It will keep it safe and tasting fresh;
WATER BATH CANNING
Pressure canning uses pressure canners, an equipment specifically for canning, and can be a bit expensive. If you are just trying out canning, you can do the water bath canning for starters.
- Fill a big pot half-way with water. Fill your jars with ordinary water, close lid. Place these jars inside the pot. Bring to a simmer, not a boil;
- Fill your jars with foods;
- Fill your canner with water, enough to immerse the jars, bring to a boil;
- While the water simmers, place inside the canner the jars with the foods. Position them carefully on the rack, careful they don’t tip over;
- Remove the jars, let cool;
- Check after 12 hours if the seal is good.
You are ready to try canning. Let’s start!