Learn > How To > The Basics of Home Canning

The Basics of Home Canning: How to Enjoy Your Garden the Whole Winter!

The Basics of Home Canning: How to Eat from Your Garden the Whole Winter
email Print

Canning is a great process that almost anyone can enjoy. It is a good way to make sure that you can have a lot of great produce that will last you the whole winter long. Those who do not can any food end up having to rely on produce that is delivered to the grocery store. During the winter, this produce can be old and not very tasty because they have to travel farther distances from the warm areas where they grow, and the extra mileage can be hard on them.

The Benefits of Canning

Canning, however, provides you with fresh fruits and vegetables all winter, along with a whole slew of additional advantages. You can start up a garden of your own, enjoy some of the produce at the end of the season, and then store the rest of it until you need it through the winter. It is also a great way to save money. You will be effectively cutting out the middle man so the overpriced vegetables and sauces that you purchase as the store will no longer be an issue. It can also be a good way to help out the environment since there will be less waste (you will be able to reuse the cans over and over again rather than throwing them out) and the plants that you are growing could help put more oxygen into the air.

Home Canning: 101

Canning is a pretty easy process once you have had a little bit of practice. All you need are some canning jars, some lids and seals, the fruits and vegetables that you want to use, and a stove to boil water on. Basically, you will cut up the product that you want to use in order to put it into the can and have it sealed until you are ready to eat them later on. The combination of boiling the product and sealing it will help to kill off and keep away all of the bacteria. Boiling prevents Clostridium botulinum bacteria from contaminating the food. When the decontamination process is done properly, this means that you will get fresh tasting product at any time of year without having to worry about it getting old or you getting sick.

Canning has been rising in popularity over the past few years. People like the idea that they can plant their own gardens and ensure that the vegetables and fruits that they like will be ready when they are. They are no longer at the mercy of the grocery store; instead, they can have whatever produce they want, whenever they want. Canning makes it easy because you do not have to plant the food and then eat it directly afterwards. You will be able to use this procedure in order to enjoy the product all year.

What Foods are Best for Canning?

There are many different types of foods that you can do this process with. These include fruits and vegetables and even meats. Some examples of fruits that you may enjoy canning including applesauce, pears, peaches, strawberries, and bananas. Often, people will take the fruits and make them into jams and jellies to enjoy later. Vegetables are another type of food that you will be able to do this process with. Some popular vegetables include cucumbers (sometimes turned into pickles), carrots, beets, tomatoes (turned into sauces or ketchup), zucchini, and much more. Often, people do not think about canning some of the meats that they have. This is a great way to store them if you do not have a lot of freezer space. Any type of meat can be canned, including deer, goose, other birds, fish, beef, and chicken. There is so much that you will be able to do with canning, and it is a cheap alternative to purchasing food from the store.

Laura Holt, for Agrilicious!

To place comments please Log in or Create an Account.
Adriannabaines1, San Antonio TX
How long are they good for once they are canned.
8/3/2016 6:57:00 PM
login to report
mlford32, UNK
I'm in Bryan, Ohio and would love to learn how to can. This is something my mom never taught me and I would like to learn. Anyone know of any classes in the area?
8/25/2015 8:26:00 PM
login to report
Nursejazz, Cleveland OH
Hello: I am in Cleveland, Ohio and would like to take a canning class. Is there anyone here who would like to teach myself and a friend? Thanks
7/2/2015 7:38:00 PM
login to report
septdeb, Wilson NC
I love to can; however, it is important for newbies to know that when canning meat and low acid vegetables, a pressure canner is necessary. The meats are awesome to be able to can. I can stews, chilli, soups, it is amazing to have it shelf ready.
6/1/2015 2:24:00 PM
login to report
jayz28c, Bothell WA
We like to make kimchi at home, which is fermented cabbage.
12/11/2014 4:02:00 PM
login to report
Chris123, El Paso TX
I've canned bananas for baby food before.
12/11/2014 3:09:00 PM
login to report
Logan17, Perry OH
Good morning Laura; How do you can bananas? I never heard of this before; and I have never seen a recipe.
10/5/2014 12:37:00 PM
login to report
LTLKROW, Strasburg VA
Great article, Laura. I can enough food to get me through the winter. Canning is fun and for many foods, especially fruits and pickles, it is quite simple. I know you said "when the decontamination process is done properly" but everyone needs to know that it is recommended that even acid foods (tomatoes, pickles, fruits, jams, jellies, etc.) should be canned using the water bath system. Meats and other non-acid foods will need a pressure canner.
9/30/2014 8:22:00 PM
login to report
Did You Know?
You can lead a cow upstairs, but not downstairs. Cows knees can’t bend properly to walk downstairs.