🍅🥕Your Guide to Canning: Preserve Nature's Bounty with Triple E Farm!
July 31, 2023
Here at Triple E Farm, we're always looking for ways to connect with nature and make the most of what it provides us. This month, we're excited to delve into the world of canning — an age-old method of preserving food that's making a comeback
Canning is more than just a trendy hobby — it's a practical, economical, and sustainable way to store food. It allows us to capture the freshness and nutrition of fruits, vegetables, and more at their peak, so we can enjoy them year-round. It reduces waste, saves money, and gives us control over what goes into our food.
Canning for Beginners: Tips to Get You Started
- Start Simple: If you're new to canning, start with high-acid foods like jams and pickles. They're less likely to spoil and don't require special equipment beyond a boiling water canner.
- Use Fresh Produce: The quality of your preserved food is only as good as the fresh food you start with. Use ripe, unblemished fruits and vegetables for the best results.
- Follow Recipes Closely: Canning isn't the time to get creative with recipes. To ensure food safety, it's important to use tested recipes and follow them precisely.
Benefits of Canning
- Nutrition Retention: Canning preserves most of the nutrients in food — especially heat-sensitive and water-soluble ones, such as vitamins A, C, and B.
- Longevity: Properly canned food can last for years, helping you build a pantry that can sustain you through winter months or emergencies.
- Sustainability: Canning reduces reliance on commercially canned foods, cutting down on packaging waste and the environmental impact of transportation.
Canning: A Pillar of a Strong Local Food System
Canning plays a significant role in building and supporting a robust local food system. By preserving locally grown produce, we can enjoy homegrown flavors all year round, reducing dependence on imported foods. Plus, canned goods make fantastic gifts — they're a great way to share the bounty of our region with others and celebrate our local food culture.
Moreover, canning connects us to our food in a profound way. It allows us to participate directly in the process of food preservation, giving us a deeper appreciation for the effort and resources that go into growing food.
Beginner-Friendly Blueberry Jam Recipe
With berries in peak season right now, what better way to start your canning journey than with a simple, delicious blueberry jam recipe? Whether you pick them wild, gather from your garden, or fill your bucket at a local farm, fresh, locally grown berries will make this jam truly special.
- 8 cups fresh blueberries
- 6 cups sugar
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (optional)
- 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
- 1/2 teaspoon butter (optional, to reduce foaming)
- In a large pot, crush the blueberries.
- Add sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon, lemon zest, and butter (if using) to the pot.
- Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently.
- Once the mixture reaches a rolling boil, continue to boil it, still stirring frequently, until it reaches the gel stage. This can take anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes. To test for the gel stage, use the spoon or sheeting method: Dip a cool metal spoon into the boiling jelly mixture and lift it about one and a half feet above the pot to pour the mixture back in. When the mixture first starts to boil, it will drip off the spoon in light, syrupy drops. As it gets closer to being done, the drops will become heavier, and they will slide off the spoon two at a time, side by side. When the two drops join together and "sheet" off the spoon, the jelly is done.
- Ladle the hot jam into hot, sterilized jars, leaving 1/4 inch of headspace. Remove any air bubbles, wipe the rims clean, and seal with the lids.
- Process the jars in a water bath canner for 10 minutes.
- Remove jars and cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. Lid should not flex up and down when center is pressed.
Remember, properly canned food can last for years when stored in a cool, dark place. Always check for signs of spoilage before consuming. Enjoy your homemade canned blueberry jam!
And, canning is not just about preserving food — it's about preserving a lifestyle that values self-reliance, sustainability, and a deep connection with the earth's bounty. Here at Triple E Farm, we're proud to be part of that tradition and part of supporting a strong local food system. We hope you'll join us.