Home Canning Lets You Save Money and Eat Healthier

Home Canning Lets You Save Money and Eat HealthierPreserving your own food is a great way to save money on grocery bills and eat healthier. Canning produce is making a comeback as more and more people struggle to make ends meet in tough economic times. Additionally, canning is a great hobby and gives canners a sense of accomplishment when they eat their own preserves. Many people treat canning as a family tradition, passing the hobby down through the generations.

The Cost Savings

Canning your own produce can lead to big savings at the grocery store. Once you have purchased the necessary goods for canning production, your future costs will be minimal, requiring only a time investment. You won’t have to spend large amounts of money on certain goods at the grocery store anymore. Home canned products are not limited to raw carrots and other vegetables. You can create any number of special recipes, including delicious jams, relishes, varieties of applesauce, dips and much more.

The Health Benefits

Produce that you have canned and preserved yourself is usually much healthier than similar products found on store shelves. You are in control of what additives and preservatives are used in the canning process. Many professionally canned goods are high in sodium, which is easy to avoid in your own canning. This is also a fantastic way to make your preserved food exactly the way you want. Your own canned food will quickly replace any store-bought alternatives for you and your family.

Sources of Produce

Many canners grow foods expressly for preservation. Others choose to purchase food or go to specific farms to pick produce. Growing your own food is a great way to save on the cost of produce, but it will require a time investment from you. Any produce you plan to can should be carefully washed and prepared before use.

Two Ways to Can

The canning processes involves heating your food enough to kill off any bacteria and produce a seal to protect the food from further contamination. There are two ways to can food properly.

First, you can use a boiling water bath. This method requires the use of a deep pot, fitted with a rack at the bottom to keep jars from touching the base. Once your glass jars are full of your ingredients and closed with a lid, place the jars in the pot. Fill the canning pot with water and boil. When the heat causes the lids to seal, the tell-tale popping sound will tell you that the jars are finished.

The second method uses a pressure canner. These canners are specially designed for canning and include a variety of features. Pressure canners are more expensive than boiling water baths, but they are able to preserve a greater variety of food. The canner boils water and vents steam as the temperature rises. A pressure canner is able to reach higher temperatures than a boiling water bath, making the pressure cooker the only way to preserve certain foods that carry a higher risk of botulism. These foods include poultry, red meat and milk.