Canning Is Great for Storing Food Year Round


Shelves of Canned Fresh Food

Part of the diet-and-exercise lifestyle change involves learning to cook for oneself.  Some people choose to be dabblers in this particular subject, but others are taking a dive and finding their new role to be deeply satisfying.  They are becoming closer to their food, which means they have a much deeper understanding and control of all aspects of what they eat and how it is prepared.

Canning can be an important step in this process because as the cook you control exactly what goes into each jar.  Plus, modern canning just has options that your grandmother didn't have making the process easier for you.  For traditional canning, a potent combination of acidity, salt, and pasteurization was relied upon to add shelf life to food.  Remember those mason jars of pickles on grandmother's shelf whose lids were sucked in by the canning vacuum. 

While the old-fashion methods are often a little intimidating for your average home cook, the truth is, canning is now a very simple process, particularly for certain foods.  Dill pickles, for example, are very easy, and just require the packing of fresh cucumbers, with their ends cut off and cut into spears, into a hot vinegar laden brine with some garlic and some dill (or your preferred spice mix), and then packed with a hot-canner for 10-15 minutes. 

Making jam, similarly is very simple, and the recipes are often provided by the pectin manufacturer.  Other than the time and effort of processing the fruit, if any processing is necessary, the hot jam simply needs to be packed into jars fresh out of the dishwasher, and submerged in that hot water bath.  Jams and preserves can be revolutionized with a sugar-free option and the freezer jam technique.  This allows you to use fresh fruit, but you have the ability to opt out of the canning process or omit unwanted ingredients like sugar, depending on your specific wants or needs.  

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