The Benefits of Canning and Preserving Foods: How to Get Started

Canning and preserving foods is a great way for families to save money and eat healthy. It is also a fun and rewarding activity that can be done together as a family. Here are some reasons why you should consider starting to can and preserve your own foods.

  1. Save Money Canning and preserving your own food can save you money in the long run. By buying fresh produce in bulk when it is in season and preserving it for later use, you can avoid paying higher prices for out-of-season produce. You can also save money by avoiding the high cost of pre-packaged, processed foods.

  2. Eat Healthier Preserving your own food allows you to control what goes into your meals, which can help you make healthier choices. You can choose to use organic or locally grown produce, control the amount of salt and sugar in your recipes, and avoid preservatives and additives.

  3. Reduce Food Waste Canning and preserving food is also a great way to reduce food waste. By using up excess produce before it spoils, you can reduce the amount of food that goes to waste in your household.

  4. Enjoy Fresh Tasting Food All Year Round When you preserve your own food, you can enjoy the taste of fresh, in-season produce all year round. This is especially true for fruits and vegetables that have a short growing season, such as berries or tomatoes.

  5. Bond as a Family Canning and preserving food is a great family activity that can be enjoyed by all ages. It is a great way to spend time together, learn new skills, and create memories that will last a lifetime.

So, how do you get started with canning and preserving your own food? There are many resources available online and in local libraries and bookstores that can guide you through the process. You will need some basic equipment, such as canning jars, lids, and a water bath or pressure canner, as well as a good recipe book to get you started.


How Would You Start Canning? 
Starting to can can be intimidating if you have never done it before, but it's actually not as difficult as it may seem. Here are some steps you can take to get started:
  1. Research Before you start canning, do some research. Read books or online resources to familiarize yourself with the process and learn the basic safety guidelines. You can also take classes or workshops at your local community center, university, or extension office.

  2. Gather Equipment You'll need some basic equipment to get started, including canning jars, lids, and a water bath canner or pressure canner. Many home goods stores sell canning equipment, or you can find it online.

  3. Choose Your Recipe Select a recipe that you would like to make. Make sure to follow a tested recipe from a trusted source, such as the Ball Blue Book or the USDA's Complete Guide to Home Canning. Don't experiment with your own recipes until you have more experience.

  4. Gather Your Ingredients Buy fresh, high-quality ingredients that are in season and at their peak flavor. Make sure to follow your recipe carefully to ensure that your ingredients are prepared correctly.

  5. Prepare Your Jars Wash your jars, lids, and bands in hot soapy water and rinse well. You can also sterilize them in boiling water or in your dishwasher.

  6. Fill Your Jars Fill your jars with your prepared ingredients, leaving the recommended headspace as specified in your recipe. Make sure to remove any air bubbles before sealing.

  7. Process Your Jars Place your filled jars in your water bath canner or pressure canner, following the recommended processing time and pressure for your recipe. When the processing time is complete, remove your jars and let them cool on a clean towel.

  8. Store Your Jars Once your jars have cooled, check the seal to make sure it is tight. Store your jars in a cool, dry place and label them with the contents and date.

Remember, safety is key when canning. Make sure to follow the recommended guidelines for processing times, pressures, and headspace to ensure that your food is safe to eat. Don't be afraid to ask for help or advice from experienced canners or your local extension office. Happy canning!

In conclusion, canning and preserving food is a great way to save money, eat healthier, reduce food waste, and bond as a family. It is a fun and rewarding activity that can be enjoyed by all ages, and can provide fresh, delicious food for your family all year round. So why not give it a try? You might be surprised at how easy and enjoyable it can be!