I have been canning for several years now, and even though I don’t know everything about the art that is Home Canning I have figured out a few benefits and tricks. Here are five benefits I have discovered:
Once you have the basic supplies: Jars, Water Bath Canner and/or Pressure Canner; the only cost incurred for each canning session is the produce, a lid, and any other ingredients required by the recipe. At a minimum you are looking at $.17 for a lid plus a small allowance for water and energy.
Where you get your produce can control the rest of the cost. Extra apples in the backyard? Great! All you have is the lid and water/energy cost. Are peaches on sale for $.50 a pound? Good, it’ll take 2 1/2 – 3 1/2 pounds per quart. So your cost would be $1.25 to $1.75 MORE per quart.
When you get your produce for free via your garden or from friends and neighbors you reap the largest savings from canning. But, paying per pound will generally save over a commercially canned product.
2. Preserve Excess
Garden overabundance, CSA or produce box extras, or just finding a super awesome deal at the grocery store. Canning can preserve some of these items for use later. No more eating (insert name of produce here) at every meal so it gets used before it goes bad. Less wasted food means more bang for your buck at the store.
3. Build Stockpile
When canning you typically use a fair amount of water, time and energy. So, to be most efficient, large batches should be done. Think bushels of produce and dozens of jars.
Okay, maybe not quite that much at one time…
Most sealed jars and recipes last at least a year with quality going down after that. Canning is a great way to stock your stash and assure you have a nice collection for future use.
4. Assurance of Quality/Content
I know plenty of people these days are concerned about food allergies, eliminating sugar and other substances from their food. Not to mention bacterial scares and recalls. Canning is one great way to guarantee what you are getting.
If organic is important to you, buy and can organic produce. No sugar fan? There are dozens of canning recipes that use natural sugars like honey and many that have no sugar requirements.
You also get to pick and inspect each piece, so you know just what you’re getting. No surprises.
And if you follow approved recipes you can guarantee the food will be safe weeks, months and even years down the road.
Our family thinks that home canned food tastes much better than commercially canned products. The reason is simple. You take produce at the peak of freshness, quality and taste and seal that goodness in.
I don’t know about you, but I’d prefer to have premium taste and quality, fill my shelves, and preserve food that would otherwise go to waste ALL at a lower price. Even if I have to work a little for it.