Screen reader version:
You are devoted to your garden. It’s your very own patch of paradise, bearing the fruits and vegetables of your labour. You toil under the sweltering sun, plotting out the land and nurturing the soil. You cultivate tiny seeds into thriving vines and pluck away the pesky weeds.
Come harvest time, much of your garden’s generous bounty is tossed into fresh salads, baked into wholesome goodies, or stewed into hearty soups. Often, our dedication yields more than we can consume in a single season.
What can we do to avoid tossing away our hard-earned nourishment? Can it!
Save some green…:
Rather than purchasing ingredients for a meal or buying out-of-season fruits and vegetables, you will have a plentiful pantry of canned produce, salsas, butters, and jams.
While being green:
When you can your own produce, it cuts back on the waste of pre-packaged food. You can ensure that the result is organic and free of pesticides. Plus, jars are reusable!
Rescue your harvest:
Overwhelmed with heaps of cucumbers and tomatoes? Rather than bitterly parting with your extra harvest, you can pack it into cans. There is a delectable array of recipes to try.
There are so many savory and sweet flavors you can create with canning. Peach butter? Strawberry rhubarb jam? Garden tomato relish? Yes, please!
Everybody loves food! You can customize your heartfelt concoction to suit the recipients’ tastes. Plus, jars are a delightful canvas for DIY ribbons, fabric, and labels!
Healthy and pure:
DIY canning is a fantastic way to avoid the harmful BPA present in many commercially canned goods. You are in control of what goes into your creations.
Plump the penny jar:
Some canners sell their scrumptious wares at farmers’ markets and even stock the virtual shelves of Etsy.
Hobbies are essential for a happy, fulfilling life. Many canners are proud and passionate about their craft, and you could join them!
You can can:
- Fruit butters
- Whole fruits
- Pie fillings
You will need:
For beginners interested in canning fruits, jams, jellies, pickles, and salsa. You can learn with this piece before upgrading to a pressure canner. Stainless steel is recommended.
This is a must for a serious canner. It is used for canning vegetables and meats because it reaches a higher temperature.
Lemon juice and sugar or honey:
Lemon juice helps your mixture reach the right acidity for safe preserving. Sugar and honey sweeten jams and jellies.
- Wide-mouth funnel
- Canning jars with lids and rings
- Jar lifter
Many helpful items you will likely have stocked in your kitchen already, such as knives, spoons, mixing bowls, oven mitts, and kitchen timers.
Can with the right canner
Water-bath canner with lug and twist closure jars
Pressure canner with high-heat liners
- Meats and stews
Fire up your can-do attitude: Two beginner recipes
Here are two basic recipes to try! As your passion for canning develops, it may be worth investing in canning books. The Internet is also an abundant source from which to harvest information and inspiration.
To prepare for every recipe:
2. Lay out your ingredients and equipment for quick, easy access.
3. Read the instructions that come with your canner. You will follow these instructions during the PROCESS stage of each recipe.
4. Inspect the jars. Never use jars with nicks, cracks, uneven rims, or sharp edges.
5. Fill a large saucepan with water. Heat the canning jars in hot water (not boiling) until ready to use. They need to be hot until filled with the recipe in order to prevent cracking. Leave lids and bands away from heat so they can be safely handled.
6. Fill the water-bath canner half-full with water and keep it simmering until the jars are full and ready to process. If using a large pot instead of a canner, there needs to be enough room for the jars to be surrounded by two inches of water.
7. Use a non-metal spatula to remove air bubbles inside the filled jars by pressing the mixture against the jar walls.
8. ALWAYS wash your jars and lids thoroughly between uses.
Apple jam (recipe courtesy of Ball)
- 6 cups (approx. 910 grams) peeled tart apples such as Granny Smith (about 6 medium apples)
- 6 half-pint (240 mL) glass preserving jars with lids and bands
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 3 tbsp Ball RealFruit Low or No-Sugar Pectin
- Juice and grated zest of 1 medium lemon
- 3/4 cups (about 115 grams) raisins
1. Combine apples, lemon peel, and lemon juice in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer until the apples start to soften.
2. Remove from the heat and add the pectin with a whisk. Add the raisins and cinnamon.
3. Boil again for five minutes. Remove it from the heat and stir in the sugar. If foam is present, skim it off.
4. Use a wide-mouth funnel and a ladle to pour the hot jam into pre-heated jars, leaving [an] inch [or 2.5 cm] of room empty at the top. Clean the rim, centre the lid on the jar, and screw on the band until it is fingertip-tight.
5. Process in the boiling-water canner for 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Remove the jars and cool undisturbed. Check the seal of lids after 24 hours. The lid should not flex up and down when pressed.
Papaya grapefruit preserves (recipe courtesy of Ball)
- 2 large grapefruit
- 7 half-pint (240 mL) glass preserving jars with lids and bands
- 6 tbsp Ball RealFruit Classic Pectin
- 3 1/2 cups (approx. 703 grams) sugar
- 1/4 cup (approx. 59 mL) water
- 2 cups (approx. 303 grams) chopped papaya or mango
1. Grate 2 tbsp grapefruit peel. Peel the rest of the grapefruit and remove the pith. As you remove grapefruit chunks and discard the membrane, catch the juice in a bowl. Measure out 2 cups [approximately 303 grams] of grapefruit with juice and set aside.
2. Mix the grapefruit segments and chopped papaya (or mango) and water in a large saucepan. Whisk in the pectin until dissolved.
3. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently. Add the sugar. Bring it to a rolling boil for one minute. Remove the mixture from the heat and skim off the foam.
4. Ladle the mixture into pre-heated jars with 1/2-inch [or 1.25 cm] headspace. Remove air bubbles. Clean the rims. Centre lids on the jars and apply bonds until fingertip-tight.
5. Process the jars for 10 minutes. Remove the jars and cool undisturbed, checking the lids after 24 hours. Lids should not flex up and down when pressed.
This infographic provides plenty of basic know-how, but there’s so much more to discover in the cheery world of canning. As you cultivate your newfound hobby, [you can] read books, browse websites, and connect with canning communities to develop your craft. See the source section for some great places to start!
If you found this information interesting, you may enjoy reading An 18-Step Guide to Building a Hydroponic Garden in a Bottle>>