There are so many delicious seasonal ingredients at their finest right now – canning and preserving is a great way to make use of this abundance of fresh, local produce. From berries and jams, to veggies in salsas and chutneys, here are some tips for canning and preserving so you can enjoy summer’s crop all year long.
Stock up on supplies early. Sales for jars and lids begin in late summer. Flea markets and garage sales can also be a great place to source second-hand materials.
Get the freshest produce possible. That means growing your own and harvesting them at the best time of year. You can also scour local markets for inexpensive fruits and veggies that have recently been picked (plus you’ll be supporting local farmers).
Have a work plan. Proper canning takes precision and planning. Allocate a good chunk of time for any preserving project. You can also enlist the help of a friend to help speed things up like washing, peeling and chopping (plus, it’s always more fun to have some company).
Use precise measurements. This is one of those times you really don’t want to flub up on the exact measurements of ingredients. Slightly too much sugar, vinegar, etc. can completely ruin an entire batch of something homemade and delicious. Read the entire recipe ahead of starting the project, and even pre-measure the necessary ingredients.
Store the finished product well. Canned items should be kept in a cool, dark, dry place. Make sure your resting place is predetermined and prepped for your stockpile.