This week Joe Lamp’l talks canning and preserving with trained Master Food Preserver, Theresa Loe. Today we talk Canning 101 and if you’re new to preserving your own food or just want a refresher, this is the show for you!
GGW123 – Show Notes: Canning & Preserving 101 with Theresa Loe
Over the last few years, canning and preserving has grown in popularity in a big way. More people are looking for ways to preserve fresh-from-the-garden-flavors to stretch the meal dollar and know what it is in their food.
In this episode, Joe interviews Theresa Loe on the subject. Theresa is the canning expert on Growing A Greener World.com and was also the Associate Producer (now the Co-Executive Producer). She writes a weekly canning blog for GGW and hosts our series of canning and preserving videos here on the website.
Joe and Theresa discuss why canning is so popular today and why we should want to do it ourselves. This old fashioned process has really taken America by storm and it is no wonder! By canning our own food we can:
– preserve those bumper crops of food we may be growing in our backyards
– still eat locally grown food in the middle of winter.
– know exactly what is IN our food and what is NOT.
– create unusual recipes that you can’t find anywhere else.
Joe also has Theresa explain the two main types of canning: water bath vs. pressure canning.
Water bath canning is for high acid foods such as jams, jellies, pickles, fruit preserves and tomatoes that have been acidified with citric acid or lemon juice. These foods have a low pH (below 4.6) and are safe to can with this method. If you want to can any vegetables with this method, they have to be “pickled” with vinegar so that they are in the proper pH zone.
Pressure canning is for low acid foods such as plain vegetables (that are not pickled) and meat. These foods have a pH of 4.6 and above and this is the area where you can get into trouble with the bad bacteria such as the botulism toxin. In order to be safe, food in this pH range must be heated to a very high temperature for a sustained amount of time and that is only possible “under pressure”. So, if you want to can something like your favorite chicken soup recipe, it must be pressure canned because it contains meat.
For this podcast, Joe and Theresa focused mostly on water bath canning and how you would get started. It is a surprisingly easy method and no special equipment is required. Armed with a modern canning recipe (old recipes may use out of date canning methods), a tall stockpot and some canning jars, anyone can dive into this versatile hobby.
For recipes and more information, visit Theresa’a blog posts on:
You can also find great canning information and recipes at the USDA website and their Complete Guide to Home Canning.
Joe and Theresa plan to discuss several other canning and preserving topics in future podcasts including the basics of pressure canning, freezing and dehydrating. Stay tuned!
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