Hi, it's Mom.
I just wanted to introduce to you...our very first guest post ever! This wonderfully written post is from Sarah Rexman of BedBugs.org.
Please give her your full attention ☺
We've talked about the importance of stockpiling food in case of emergency, and have discussed ways to do these by purchasing non-perishable items when they are on sale and by drying or dehydrating foods for preservation. Now we're going to discuss what food items you can preserve through canning, as well as some basic tips for how to get started with canning and what supplies you will need.
Safety Guidelines for Canning Food
Whenever you preserve any foods -- whether they are produce or meats -- you must start with the freshest ingredients possible.
Start the canning process as soon as you harvest your fruits or vegetables. If you are canning meat, or you purchase produce from the store or the farmer's market, choose items that are fresh and then start the canning process as soon as you get home.
When you start canning, you must use clean, sterile jars and equipment to ensure that you don't let in bacteria that will multiply over time.
Equipment Needed for Canning
Glass jars with rings and seals
Wide neck funnel
Magnetic lid lifter
Pressure canner or water bath canner
There are two basic methods for canning: Pressure canning or water bath canning.
Water bath canning is used for canning fruits and jams. You can purchase a water bath canner, or you can simply use a large soup pot with a lid. Your pot should be large enough to hold your canning jar, sitting on a wire rack, covered by two inches of water.
A pressure canner is used to can meats and vegetables, as it is capable of reaching higher temperatures to kill off stronger strains of bacteria.
To get started canning, you need to wash all your jars, lids, and other utensils to ensure that no bacteria are present. Follow a recipe for whatever it is you wish to can -- such as jams, fruits in syrups, or pickles -- and fill your jars with their contents. Be sure to leave at least 1/4 inch of space in the jar and stir to get rid of any air bubbles before putting on the seal and the lid.
Place your sealed jars in your water bath or pressure cooker for the time specified in your recipe. This will kill off any bacteria present in the jars and will help to seal them.
When they are finished, remove the jars from the pressure cooker or water bath and leave them to cool. As they cool, the jars will seal and you will hear the lids pop in place.
After seven or eight hours, you should test the seal to be sure it is complete. Press down on the lid, and if it remains firm and in place, the seal is intact. If the seal is not intact, the lid will pop up and down when pressed.
Store jars in a cool, dry place for up to three years. Do not freeze, as this can cause the jars to shatter from their expanding contents.
Foods That Can be Canned
Almost all meats can be canned, including poultry and fish.
Almost all fruits and vegetables can be canned. Some favorites include:
Using Your Canned Food
When you can your food, you will be preparing it the way you expect to enjoy it later. For example, you will likely can fruit as a jam or in a syrupy dressing. Vegetables and meats will likely be canned in a bath of oil and herbs. Often, you can open a can and enjoy whatever you have prepared as a tasty side dish. Fruits and jams can be enjoyed on toast or muffins. Meats and vegetables can be added to stews or casseroles. Use your imagination to try out new uses!
Read More -
Part 1: Stockpiling Food Before Disaster Strikes - Make a Plan
Department of Agriculture's National Center for Home Food Preservation
The Jarden Company instructional videos
About the author:
Sarah Rexman is the main researcher and writer for BedBugs.org. Her most recent accomplishment includes graduating from Florida State, with a master’s degree in environmental science. Her main focus for the site involves teaching people what to do if they notice a bedbug as well as where to find pest control services.