After you have started growing and harvesting the vegetables in your garden, you will either need to use them right away or save them. A popular way to preserve vegetables is through canning. Here are some beginner tips if you want to try this option.
Choose the Method of Canning
Before you start the actual canning process, you need to decide what method to use. There are two main types of canning, including canning in a water bath and using pressure.
With water bath canning, this is going to use lower temperatures and is good for veggies and fruits that have a higher acid content.
This might include your pickle and relish, tomatoes, salsa, and any jams or jellies. Most other vegetables and fruits can be canned using pressure canning. This is also done with people who can seafood or meats.
Decide on What to Can
If you are growing your own food, you might decide that certain produce is going to be used right away. This is what you can avoid canning. Instead, think about fruits or veggies you tend to use year-round and always want to have on hand.
For many people, this includes tomatoes for tomato sauce and salsa, onions for various cooking dishes, and fruits like strawberries and blueberries. Think about the food you cook the most and what produce is used. This can help determine what you want to can.
Choose a Recipe
When canning your vegetables and fruits, you can also use a recipe. Some people will add seasonings or oils to the vegetable to get a particular flavor. You might want sun-dried tomatoes in the can instead of just regular tomatoes, or you may want to add sugar and pectin to your fruit to turn it into more of a jelly or jam in the jar.
There are many books and online recipes for canning, based not just on what is being canned, but what you are going to use it for.
Always Label Your Jars
One of the more important things to remember with canning vegetables is that you label the jars. This is essential so you know what is in there, what recipe was used, and when it needs to be used by. This helps you makes use of everything within the time it is still fresh.
Canned food lasts a long time, but not forever, so keep that in mind.