Intro to Canning Vegetables

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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.

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