It’s the height of harvest season which means an abundance of produce! Sometimes, a large harvest can result in food waste when not planned correctly. If you don’t know what to do with your harvest, try canning!
Food preservation, like canning, has been around for centuries and it wasn’t too long ago that these methods were common knowledge. Most home canning involves a method called water bath canning. Supplies needed include a large pot, canning rack, unused mason jars, a jar lifter, and a funnel. Here are the basic steps:
- Boil the jars in water to sanitize them before filling them with produce.
- Once sanitized, fill a hot jar with prepared food (following a trusted canning recipe) using your funnel and make sure to leave some space.
- Wipe the rim and seal your jars with the lids, twisting the band securely.
- Place the jars onto a rack in a pot with simmering water, covering the jars with at least 1 inch of water. Boil jars according to your recipe (add more minutes for higher altitudes).
- Turn off the heat and let the jars sit for 5 minutes. Then, take the jars out and let them cool for a day.
- Check to make sure your jars are sealed properly!
Home canning is a great way to eat local all year long while also reducing food waste. Other great food preservation methods include pickling and canning. Check out USUS Extension’s Food Preservation Resources for more info at https://extension.usu.edu/preserve-the-harvest/canning !