If you grow your own food in your garden then you are already saving money. What do you do with your produce? Do you usually eat it all up with a little bit to spare for family and friends? Why not take the next step to save even more money off of your food budget?
This year, plant some extra produce and plan to preserve it, so you will have plenty of food the whole year through. That is where canning comes in.
Sure, there are some types of produce that can be frozen, but most of the time, frozen produce, even when you are able to do it, can’t be used for much more than baking or cooking into recipes. But with canning, you can retain the texture, color and feel of fresh produce, or at least eat it pretty much out of the jar. And canning fresh produce can retain most of the nutrients in the food.
There is a reason that this old fashioned practice is gaining popularity. Not only does it save you money in an age of rising grocery prices, but it also gives you a sense of accomplishment and helps you to be prepared in an emergency.
You can can foods in many ways and in many combinations. You can pickle produce, pack produce in syrup, and make jellies, jams and butters, all to preserve your food for months and even years later. The optimal time to use produce that has been canned is within a year, to get the best nutrition and crispness. So, if you make it a practice to can some of your garden every year, you’ll soon learn how much produce your need to optimally grow.
Canning requires only a few simple pieces of equipment and a few hours of your time. The biggest concern with canning, of course, is preventing botulism or spoiled food. Making sure your jars, lids and other equipment is always sterilized is important.
Mary Ann Romans also writes for the Computing Blog here at Families.com where she shares everything from the latest news on technology to cool downloads and fun websites.