Home Canning and Self Sufficiency



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Home canning is one of the easiest ways to save on your food budget and increase self sufficiency. Nothing compares to the feeling of independence you get when you look at shelves stocked with food that you canned yourself. Imagine serving up a meal that was partially (or entirely!) prepared from food that you canned. I can tell you from personal experience that it feels pretty good!



Sme examples of home grown and home canned foods


Canning food is easy once you understand the basics about the canning process and the supplies needed. Buying food in bulk and canning it, can help cut way down on on your food budget. At the same time it will improve the quality, nutrition and flavor of the food that you eat. There are many places that you can find fresh vegetables, fruits, and meats in bulk quantities for canning and freezing.


Home Canning Methods


Next to freezing, canning is the most commonly used way of preserving foods. A couple of generations ago, practically every household in America practiced some form of canning. There are three basic canning methods. I included a fourth one that I use regularly.


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-Boiling Water Canning - This method is used for high acid foods. Most fruits and some vegetables most notably, tomatoes are canned using this technique.

-Pressure Canning or Steam Canning is used for low acid fruits and vegetables, and all meats and fish. Most vegetables are considered low acid.

-Inversion Method - This method is used primarily for canning jellies, jams and preserves.

-Vacuum Sealing - this method can be used for dry foods like flour, corn meal, and popcorn. 


Home Canning Supplies

Basic canning supplies


Besides canning jars and lids there are some basic supplies that you will need, to be sure that you are able to practice home canning easily and safely. If you purchasing these supplies up front, I promise that your adventure in canning will be much easier. Improvising equipment during the canning process because you don't have what you need, is not safe and can cause injury or food spoilage.


A very old byt still functioning pressure canner


There are some safety precautions that you must take to prevent your canned food from spoiling. Spoiled food can make you VERY sick, so follow canning instructions carefully. preparation methods, canning pressures and processing times are very important to making sure that your canned food keeps for a long time.


Some Basic Canning Recipes:


Here are some of my favorite canning recipes. I guess they are my favorites because I grow many of these items myself in my garden and orchard.
You can also find literally hundreds of canning recipes, and more information on canning techniques in The Ball Blue Book of Preserving.


High Acid Foods - Boiling Water Method


Tomatoes and Tomato Juice

Homemade Salsa

Blanching Tomatoes

Peaches

Strawberries

Grape Juice


Low Acid Foods - Pressure Canning Method


Beef and other meats

Fish

Dried Beans

Green Beans

Pasta Sauce

Fresh Shellout Beans

Fresh Peas

Sweet Potatoes

Potatoes


Jellies & Jams - Inversion Method


-Making Juice for Jelly

-Making Jelly and Jam



Learning basic home canning methods can give you a lifetime of independence and self sufficiency. Canning food yourself can reduce your food budget, and provide your family with a healthy alternative to fast foods. Canned food for the most part IS fast food. You can open a jar of vegetables, meat, soup or stew, pour the contents in a pan, warm it up on the stove, and it's ready to eat. No thawing, no muss, no fuss.


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Home Canning Topics:


Water Bath Canning:

Boiling Water Canning

Canning Tomatoes

Home Made Salsa

Canning Peaches

Canning Strawberries

Making & Canning Grape Juice


Pressure Canning:

Pressure Canning

Canning Meats

Canning Fish

Canning Green Beans

Canning Dried Beans

Canning Shellout Beans

Canning Fresh Peas

Canning Sweet Potatoes

Canning Potatoes

Making & Canning Pasta Sauce


Special Techniques:

Inversion Method for Jelly

Making Juice for Jelly

Making Jelly & Jam

Blanching Tomatoes


Other Canning Topics:

Canning Basics

Glass Canning Jars

Canning Supplies

Canning Safety