Life Times Newsletter

Fall 2011
Vol. 13, No. 3


 

      NUTRITION & HEALTH

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281 7772400 10058400 259 261 257 276 262 279 1 0`````````````````````` 5 1 0 285 282 1 False 0 0 0 0 -1 304800 243 True 128 77 255 3175 3175 70 True True True True True 278 134217728 1 1 -9999996.000000 -9999996.000000 8 Empty 6684672 13408614 14732492 13421772 8388736 8388608 16777215 45 Sapphire 22860000 22860000 (`@````````` 266 263 5 110185200 110185200

Mary Schroepfer, MED

Nutrition & Health
Education Specialist

SchroepferM@missouri.edu

 

Turn extra produce into gift jars, or can food for later family meals.

You can do home canning at little cost with acidic foods like fruit, apple sauce, jams and jellies, and pickles. Wrapped with a bow and a bit of calico, home-canned sweet spreads, pickled products, or fruits add a bit of yourself to a gift basket or hostess gift.
 

 Choose an easy gift idea. Turn extra apples into applesauce, sliced apples, spiced apple rings or apple jelly. Create salsa, zucchini pickles, pickled green tomatoes, or relish from end-of-the-garden produce. Caution: Pumpkin butter must be frozen, never canned. The product is not acidic enough to safely can at home.
 

 Collect equipment. Acidic foods can be easily canned at home with a few pieces of equipment:
 

 A water bath canner

 Standard canning jars in pint, quart or half-pint size

 New canning flats or lids

 Clean, rust-free canning rings

 A jar funnel

 A jar lifter.
 

 You might be able to borrow canning equipment from a friend or relative to reduce cost. You can easily make a water bath canner using a deep saucepot or stock pot that is 3 to 4 inches taller than standard pint or quart jars. Add a rack to raise the jars off the bottom of the stockpot. Create a simple rack by placing a round cake cooling rack, or old jar rings, on the bottom of the stock pot.
 

 Choose a safe recipe. Safe recipes have been tested to ensure the ingredients and processing time are sufficient to prevent spoilage. Do not change canning recipes. Creative home recipes are safer if frozen since they are of unknown acidity or density. Recommended recipe sources include:
 

 National Center for Home Food Preservation.  www.uga.edu/nchfp/
 

 University of Missouri.
extension.missouri.edu/main/DisplayCategory.aspx?C=194
 

 Ball Blue Book of Preserving (current edition). Available from: www.freshpreservingstore.
com/detail/TCL+14400214001

 

 Gather quality produce. Use
produce at peak of ripeness and of excellent quality. Food that is wilted, overripe, insect damaged, or has soft spots is not recommended for canning purposes.  Try to can or pickle fruits and vegetables within a few hours of picking the produce. Produce loses moisture and quality
deteriorates rapidly once the
produce is picked. If this is not possible, store the produce in the refrigerator, or in a cool place.
 

 Prepare equipment. Sterilize jars if necessary.
 

 Follow canning recipes exactly.
A sealed jar by itself will not
ensure a safe product. Any hot product added to a jar, and then closed, will yield a seal. Safe
canning requires the use of a tested recipe, exact measurement of ingredients, and
recommended processing time.
Measure all ingredients carefully. Do not over pack jars of pickles. Do not add extra vegetables to salsa. This changes the acidity of the final product and may result in spoilage. Follow recommended processing times. Processing times are carefully calculated to destroy potential spoilage
bacteria.
 

For complete canning instructions, see the above recommendations.

 


 

 

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University of Missouri Extension Editor: Roxanne T. Miller
MillerRT@missouri.edu