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The art of canning produce

stacks of various veggies and fruits in canning jars

The fall harvest inspires many home cooks to give canning a whirl. However, if you’re new to canning, it can be intimidating. While safe canning does require some equipment, it is relatively easy to do once you follow a few simple tips.

Assemble your equipment 

If you don’t want to invest in a canner quite yet, you can use a large soup pot. You’ll also need tongs and potholders to help you handle hot jars and lids safely. In addition, make sure you have some labels handy to mark your jars. And, of course, you’ll also need canning jars.

Not sure where to start? Try jam.

Jam canning is an easy way to get started. First, prepare your fruit by washing, coring and slicing it. Next, get your canning accessories ready and try this basic recipe:

  • 1 cup fruit

  • 1/2 cup sugar

  • Bring your fruit to a boil, add the sugar and cook for about 10 to 15 minutes stirring often until the jam starts to set.

  • Ladle your jam into warm sterilized jars, leaving about 1/4 inch head-space.

  • Cover and band your jars and then place them in your canner or a pot of boiling water for 10 minutes.

  • Finally, remove all jars from the canner and cool them before labeling and storing in your pantry.

Try canning easy fruits and vegetables

There are some fruits and vegetables that are easier to can than others, and not all can be canned. The best fruits and vegetables for canning include:

  • Asparagus

  • Peppers

  • Beans

  • Tomatoes

  • Carrots

  • Peaches

  • Corn

  • Pears

  • Peas

  • Apples

A few important notes

If you decide to can beans, you’ll need a pressure canner. You cannot use a simple hot bath canner or your beans won’t be safe to eat. Additionally, unless you have a lot of experience canning, you should stay away from canning meats at the beginning of your canning career. They are much trickier to can successfully.

Now that the fall harvest is on, try canning a batch of jam and/or a few easy fruits or vegetables. Once you get going, your family and friends will enjoy the bounty of canned produce for many months to come.

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