This is article will help teach you how to can your own organic produce. You will learn about the benefits of canning your own food versus purchasing it pre-packaged in a store. You will also learn about the history of canning and the different types of canners available today.
What is organic farming?
Organic farming is a way of growing food without using chemical fertilizers, pesticides and genetically modified organisms (GMOs). It also means that the food is grown without using any synthetic chemicals or preservatives. Organic farming has been around for thousands of years, but in the past few decades, it has become more mainstream and many farmers are now switching to this type of farming.
Need help with weeds, read Top Tips for Organic Garden Weed Control.
The benefits of organic food
The benefits of organic food are many and varied. Organic agriculture is not only good for the environment but also for your health. It can dramatically lower your risk of getting certain diseases, extend your life span and make you a more productive and happier person. Here are some of the major reasons to eat organic:
History of Canning Produce
The history of canning dates back to the 19th century when it was first used as a method for storing food. It was initially used to store fruits and vegetables, but later it expanded to other foods. By the middle of the 20th century, canned foods were widely available and considered a staple in many households. In recent years, the trend has been toward more natural foods, with less reliance on processed foods.
Mechanics of Canning
Canning is fairly simple. You fill a clean jar with prepared food, apply the flat lid and the threaded ring, and then submerge the jar in boiling water for a prescribed amount of time. When you remove the hot jar from the water, the heat begins to escape, taking with it any air left in the jar. The escaping oxygen pulls the lid down, creating an airtight seal. A food-safe sealing compound embedded into the lid aids in the maintenance of the seal. The best food to preserve is high-acid foods, like the salted cucumbers below, which can be stored for at least a year.
Tools We Need for Canning
Before starting, look over your current kitchen supplies. You’ll want to gather:
- A funnel
- Different sizes of measuring cups
Vessels: A large, wide, non-reactive pot like an enameled Dutch oven is a good vessel for cooking preserves. A deep stockpot makes an excellent canning pot. Just pop a round rack or kitchen rag into the bottom of the pot so that the water can circulate fully around the jars.
Interested in the advantages of organic gardening, read 10 Advantages of Organic Gardening.
Note: If you are using a pressure canner a few notes before you start. Here are some things that are not allowed in a pressure canner:
Glass jars or plastic jars with metal lids (not all plastic is safe to use in a pressure canner) Cooking oil, vegetable oil or other fats Sugar, honey or other sweeteners Dry beans or other legumes Flour, cornmeal, oats or other grains (for baking) Rice, potatoes, pasta, wheat or other starchy foods Whole eggs, dried eggs, eggnog, custard or other dairy products Grains and nuts:
Simple Steps for Canning
Now that we have our tools, it is time to start canning our organic produce.
1. The first step is to find a recipe. I recommend using a reliable source such as Ball. They have a variety of canning recipes for everything under the sun and are safe and proven.
2. Remove the lids from the jars and remove the rubber bands or putties from around the lids. Place the jars, unbanded, into the hot water. Keep an eye on the water and stir the jars occasionally to make sure the water is at a continuous simmer. Let the water come to a full, rolling boil and then reduce the heat to a bare simmer.
3. As the canning pot heats up, prepare your ingredients for canning. After your canning recipe is complete, remove the jars from the canning pot and lay them out on a clean towel on your counter.
4. Carefully fill your jars with your product. Depending on the recipe, you’ll need to leave between 1⁄4 and 1⁄2 an inch of headspace (that’s the room between the surface of the product and the top of the jar).
5. The rims of the jar should be wiped with a damp paper towel or kitchen towel. To hold the jars down during processing, apply the lids and screw the bands on the jars.
6. The filled jars need to be lowered into the canning pot. Make sure to be careful as the water is hot!
7. The pot has returned to a boil and you need to start your timer. When your timer goes off, remove the jars from the water bath as soon as possible. Place them back on the countertop and let them cool down.
8. After the jar lids have been removed from the pot, they should start pinging. The sound of the seals being formed and the center of the lids becoming convulsing as the vacuum seal takes hold is known as the pinging.
9. Remove the bands and check the seals after jars have cooled. By grasping the jar by the edge of the lid, you can lift it off the countertop. The lid needs to hold fast.
10. After you’ve determined that your seals are good, you should wash the jars and remove the sticky rings. It’s a good idea to store your jars in a dark place and they should last for at least a year. If you want to use the Jars that don’t seal, refrigerate them and use them first.
How to can your organic vegetables without killing any of the good bacteria in them. We’re all about canning, and we love canning foods that are naturally preserved. But canning is also a great way to preserve some of the nutrients found in fresh foods. The key is to avoid overprocessing your food, which can reduce its nutritional value and potentially cause spoilage bacteria to grow.
Organic foods and their benefits
Since we are learning to can our organic produce, I thought it was a good time to bring up some of the benefits of organic foods.
1. Organic food has more vitamins and minerals than non-organic food.
2. Organic food is less expensive than non-organic food.
3. Organic food does not contain chemical fertilizers or pesticides.
4. Organic food does not contain chemical additives.
5. You can prepare it in many ways.
6. It tastes great!
7. It’s good for you!
8. It’s a renewable resource!
9. It’s better for the environment!
10. It will save you money!
We hope you enjoyed our simple guide to canning your organic produce and it helps you on your journey to living a healthy, organic lifestyle. Have questions or additional tips, make sure to leave a comment below.