Back to Blog
As you prepare for your future, think of the things you can do right now to prepare for any disaster. Then get busy learning to do some things yourself now, to be prepared. Do not wait to learn in the middle of necessity. Can you grow your own garden, raise your own meat, hunt for you own meat? Do you know how to can foods? I am a believer that canning is absolutely, invaluable for survival, since you can do it over and over without incurring a whole lot of additional expenses.
When I say canning, do you think pickles, jellies and jam? Crawl out of the cave you have been in, because canning is so much more than that! Canning consist of fruits, vegetables, soups, salads, salsa, spaghetti sauce, chili’s, gumbo’s, meats and so much more. There is so much information online about canning. With so many good websites offering hundreds of proven canning recipes. Canning is a simple, effective, and low cost method of storing large quantities of delicious, nutritious food.
A few things you should consider about canning. Canning does require a significant amount of time. It will take a little money to get started (you will need jars, lids, a water bath canner and/or a pressure canner).
If the proper canning process is not used, home canned food may cause you sickness, discomfort and even kill you. I suggest you only use tried and proven canning recipes. If you have any doubt, do not use a recipe or process. Some foods canned at home require the use of lemon juice and some require the use of vinegar.
There are two ways to can fruits and vegetables for long-term storage: the boiling water bath method and the pressure canning method. The boiling water bath method requires a simple stockpot with a basket or rack, whereas the pressure canning method requires specialized equipment called a pressure canner.
The general agreement among long time canners is that pressure canners kill bacteria effectively and it is usually used to preserve foods with low acidic level along with meats.
The basic process is that you sterilize the jars and lids, add the food products using a jar funnel. Also add the natural preserving solution to the jars (like salt, sugar and vinegar). Use the proper canning process, pressure and time to process and seal the lids. Sealing the lids properly is critical. If the jar is not sealed properly, the air will enter the jar allowing for bacterial growth and effectively spoiling the food you worked hard to preserve. On top of that, exposed canned produce can cause botulism, a dangerous bacterial infection.
To avoid spoiling, add acid to acidic foods. Lemon juice or vinegar work well.
Be sure not to overfill the jars with produce. When you add the liquid, fill the jars enough to submerge the produce. Make sure there are no bubbles or foam on top.
Place the jars in the canner and process sealed jars following a proven recipe for the proper time and pressures. Once you have allowed the jars to process for the proper amount of time let the pressure canner cool down and the pressure drop back to zero, before you open the canner. Remove each jar gently with a jar lifter and set the jars on a towel or cooling rack. Let the jars cool about eight or more hours before you touch or move them to the long-term storage.
Be sure to label your canned foods with a name and expiration date prior to putting them away for long-term storage. Canned foods will stay fresh for a long time.
I have written a canning book that gives the basics of canning from my point of view, “COMMON SENSE HOME CANNING FROM MY POINT OF VIEW.” There are other books that will help guide you through the canning process and offer recipes to help you add variety to your canned foods. There are many websites to help you with the basics of canning and some good proven recipes.