There are few things as delicious and nutritious as home canned fruits and vegetables. Families in this country and around the world have done so throughout history as a necessity towards feeding their families. Today, canned fruits and vegetables can be found at any grocery store. Why go through the hassle? Well, for one, there is no hassle. Canning your own produce using a pressure canner is easy and fun. Two, much has been made about all of the artificial preservatives the food industry puts in those canned vegetables. Isn't it better to know exactly what ingredients are-and are not-in the food you're eating and feeding to your family? Finally, perhaps the most important reason: it simply tastes better.
Why a Pressure Canner?
In order to keep fruits and vegetables safe for consumption for long periods of time, measures must be taken to prevent spoilage. There are a couple of methods for doing this: using the boiling water method or using a pressure canner. However, using a pressure canner is the only method approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for foods that are low in acid. This includes meat, poultry, seafood, and vegetables. Pressure canning these foods removes the dangers of spoiling agents such as enzymes and bacteria. While boiling water will get rid of some of the dangers, only a pressure canner can reach the temperatures necessary to get rid of them all.
After canning the food you wish to preserve, it's important to store the food properly. The first step in doing so is to make sure the food has been sealed properly. If the center of the lid is slightly concave, you know you have a proper vacuum seal in place and the food is well protected within. The food should be kept in an area that is cool and preferably dry. While canned food will last several years, the quality begins to go down after the first year. For this reason, home canners should be careful to label each jar with both the contents and the date on which it was canned.
Pressure canning one's own foods brings with it a tremendous sense of joy and achievement. It's becoming harder and harder in today's world to feed your family organically, avoiding many of the potentially harmful ingredients mass production has brought to our grocery stores. With a pressure canner, you can be sure that you're eating nothing but pure food. Is there anything better than having that peace of mind?
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