Preserving Fruit

Preserving fruits and vegetables can be very rewarding and it can save you alot of money, not to mention the pride that comes from canning your own food.

Canning fruits and vegetables can be very rewarding and it can also save you a lot of money, not to mention the pride that comes from canning your own fruits and vegetables.

If you are fortunate enough to be able to grow your own fruits and vegetables, you can also enjoy the benefits of canning them. If you can't grow your own, wait until they are in season and plentiful and buy your favorites. They should also be very low in price if they are in season.

You'll be very pleased when, in the middle of the winter, you can go to your pantry and get a jar of fruits or vegetables that you canned yourself.

Canning is a process of preserving food by heating and sealing it in air tight containers. The process was invented in 1809 by Nicholas Appert, a French confectioner.

Equipment needed:

Boiling water canner with a wire rack and tight fitting lid.

Pot holders and kitchen towels. The food and jars are very hot!

Wooden spoons, rubber spatulas, potato masher, tongs, skimmer, ladles and a big spoon

Measuring cups and spoons

Home canning jars. There are many sizes so choose the jars that are most suitable for what you are canning, such as small jars for jams and jelly.

Two-piece caps-two piece vacuum sealing closures. Always use new lids and bands.

Cutting board

A sharp set of knives

Jar lifter- tongs for removing jars from hot water

Funnel- for putting the food in the jars

One or two large pots

Timer...Timing the cooking process is very important.

The boiling water method is for acid foods. The heat is transferred to the product by boiling the water which completely surrounds the jar and two piece cap. A temperature of 212 degrees F is reached and must be maintained for the time specified. This method is adequate to kill molds, yeasts, enzymes, and some bacteria. This method cannot be used for low acid foods.

In order to kill all bacteria you must use the steam pressure method. It reaches a temperature of 240 degrees F.

Always use the best , top quality ingredients.

Preserve fruits and vegetables at their peak of ripeness.

Use only current home tested recipes. Fill hot jars with prepared recipe and leave a small space at the top of the jar. Place rubber sealed cap on jar then run a spatula underneath to remove air at the top of the jar. Wipe rim and threads with a clean, damp cloth. Center heated lid on jar. Screw band down evenly and firmly until a point of resistance is felt.

After processing, remove jars from canner and set them upright on clean kitchen towel to cool. Do not retighten bands or check for a seal while jars are hot. After 24 hours check lids for a seal. Sealed lids curve downwards. Press the center of the lid to insure it does not flex up or down.

Reprocess or refrigerate any unsealed jars. Remove bands. Wipe jars and lids with a clean, damp cloth and dry. Wash bands in soapy water, dry and store.

Label and store jars in a cool dry dark place. For best quality, use home canned foods within a year.

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