Canning Tips

October 28, 2014 12:00 am

Don’t we all wish sometimes that we could bottle a moment or a season and take it out later when we need the sunshine or happiness?  In the depths of the harsh, New England winters, wouldn’t it be great if we could take out a little ray of sunshine that would remind us that the good weather is right around the corner?   Canning your fruits and veggies could be just the answer to our winter blues.

According to the website Canning 101, home canning and preserving has regained its popularity with a new generation of home canners. It remains a very satisfying food process, proven to be well worth the time and energy required to produce nutritious, healthy and additive-controlled foods for your family.

Let’s look at some basic tips for how to safely can your favorite fruits and veggies to enjoy later.

  • Use Quality Fruit and Veggies.  Don’t use overripe fruit or vegetables.  The quality of the fruit doesn’t improve with canning so choose wisely.
  • Choose Jars with strong seals.  Use standard mason jars for home canning. Commercial food jars that are not heat-tempered, such as mayonnaise jars, often break easily. Sealing also can be a problem if sealing surfaces do not exactly fit canning lids. Be sure all jars and closures are perfect. Discard any with cracks, chips, dents or rust. Defects prevent airtight seals.
  • Sterilize. Boil your jars in water for at least ten minutes.  Sterilize the lids according to the manufacturers directions.
  • Sealing. Pour fruits or vegetables into the jars, and wipe the rims carefully. Each jar should be filled up to a quarter-inch from the top. Eliminate air bubbles by poking through the contents with a wooden skewer. Place the lid onto the rim and twist on the screw band until it’s tight. Put a wire rack on the bottom of a large pot, and fill the pot with hot water. Use a jar lifter to place each jar on the rack. Add enough water to cover the jars by 2 inches, and bring the water to a boil.  Boil the jars for 10 minutes; remove from the water with a jar lifter, and allow the jars to stand on the towels for 24 hours. When the jars are cool, check for a slight indentation in the lid, which indicates a vacuum seal. For more specific directions see the rest of Martha Stewards recommendations at Martha Stewart.

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