How to properly can and store your garden’s fruits and vegetables

Local News

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Canning season is marked from early to late summer and early fall, when a lot of garden harvesting is being done. So, how do you properly can foods?

To preserve your fruits and vegetables and keep them as fresh as possible for as long as possible, canning is recommended. Many supplies are offered at local markets.

Canning is the process of sterilizing and sealing food into air-tight glass jars. There are different canning methods recommended for different foods.

“You have your pressure canner and then you have your water bath. Water baths you use for a lot of jams, jellies and tomatoes, as long as you’re acidifying them, but everything else basically goes in your pressure canner,” said Beth Stefura, OSU Extension – Mahoning County.

Experts say canned food usually is good for about a year. To keep track of that, they encourage to label the food item and the date it was processed.

“The reason is, it starts to lose… it doesn’t taste so good and so sometimes we’re not sure about the stableness of that item,” Stefura said.

Now that it is prime canning season, experts say it’s a good opportunity to stock up and properly store foods for the winter to keep them fresh.

“Who doesn’t love to go… and it’s snowing out, you want to make a home-cooked meal. You can go pull that bag of sweet corn out of the freezer or that jar of sauce and make spaghetti,” said Carl Angiuli, Angiuli’s Farmers Market.

The process of canning food can help to save money and time in the long run, but experts say it must be done correctly because if not…

“You might have botulism or other foodborne illnesses that could make you potentially sick,” Stefura said.

To try to prevent this, it’s important to sterilize equipment beforehand to prevent any cross-contamination during the canning process.

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