Victoria is a stay-at-home mom, author, educator, and blogger at Healthy at Home. She currently lives in Colorado with her family.
Why I Love Canning My Own Food
I am absolutely crazy about canning! But I'm even more crazy about providing my family with good, nutritious food. What I love about canning my own food is that I know what ingredients are going into each and every jar. For instance, when I pressure-can my black-eyed peas, it's literally just black-eyed peas that I soaked in a large pot of water the night before, a small amount of pink Himalayan salt, and boiling water. There are never any chemicals, preservatives, or man-made ingredients. It's just beans, natural salt, and water—and, boy, is it delicious.
In fact, everything I can tastes exactly like its supposed to. My canned pineapple looks and tastes like fresh-cut pineapple. My canned corn was cut straight from the cobs of organic sweet corn from Sprouts. It's bright yellow, crunchy, and extremely sweet straight out of the jars. Once again, I only put corn, Himalayan salt, and boiling water in my jars. My applesauce is just chopped up apples cooked in a crockpot all day, blended and poured into jars. They have no sugar, no salt, or any other ingredients.
Not only can I provide a healthier, better-tasting food option for my family by canning, but I really enjoy doing it as well. I get a strong sense of satisfaction being productive, doing something for my family, and getting to know that we are enjoying food every night that I made with my two hands. And then I get to teach my children how to do the same for themselves. My oldest little boy has been helping me can ever since he could stand in a chair beside me. You'll see his pictures in a variety of my canning tutorials because I'm hard-pressed to keep him from helping. Let me show you how easy it can be.
|Prep time||Cook time||Ready in||Yields|
1 hour 15 min
14 hours 15 min
9 pints of black-eyed peas each round
- 2 pounds dried black-eyed peas
- 4.5 teaspoons pink Himalayan salt
- About 9 cups boiling water
- Soak the beans overnight in water. Refill when needed.
- Rinse the beans and set up your canning station.
- You'll need a pressure-canner, a pot of boiling water, a spoon, 9 pint jars, 9 lids, 9 rings, and your canning supplies.
- Fill each jar with your soaked, rinsed beans, just to the bottom of the neck of each jar.
- Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt to each jar.
- Fill the jars to the bottom of the neck of each jar with boiling water.
- Release air bubbles in each jar and refill as needed with water.
- Wipe the rims with a damp washcloth.
- Put a lid on each jar.
- Put a ring on each jar, tightening only until you feel the slightest resistance.
- Add the jars to the canner. Your canner will need 3 quarts of water in the bottom.
- Put the lid on and lock it into place. Turn the heat on your stove to high just below the very highest setting.
- For a weighted-gauge pressure canner, when the air vent on top starts spouting steam, give it ten minutes to vent before putting on the weighted gauge. Your air lock in the back will pop in the middle of this process.
- When the weighted gauge starts to rock, turn your heat down to about medium (you still want at least a slow rock), and set your timer for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
- When the time is up, turn the heat off on the stove and let the pressure canner cool down on it's own. It will take about an hour and a half for it to release all of the pressure inside.
- The air lock will go down when it is done and you can remove the weighted gauge, but leave the lid on for ten more minutes.
- When the time is up, remove your jars, setting them aside on a towel to cool for 24 hours, and you can start the next cycle if you wish.
- You will know that your jars have sealed when you hear them popping. If after 24 hours there are any jars that did not seal, put them in the fridge and use them within a few days.
- If more than 4 jars did not seal, you can reprocess them. but first you must remove the ring and lid, make sure the water level is still at the bottom of the neck, put a clean lid and ring back on and go for it again.
- Store your jars in a cool place like the pantry or basement without their rings. They should last at least a year if not more.
Remember That Practice Makes Perfect
I know the process seems difficult, and yes it takes some time to do and to learn, but practice definitely makes perfect. I started with pressure-canning refried beans first, and that's what you do. You pick one thing and you figure that out before you move on to something else. What is it that your family uses the most of? What could you benefit from the most at your house?
Is it refried beans like at our house? Or maybe it's pasta sauce? I think those are the most typical items. You could even start with canning veggies like carrots, corn, green beans or black-eyed peas. Pick one item. Try out the process and work out the kinks, and then try out something new. Pasta sauce was the second thing we tried, which quickly turned into tomato soup, salsa, diced tomatoes and tomato paste. When I find tomatoes on sale, I usually buy them by the hundreds of pounds and do everything.
Don't let all the steps or all of the options overwhelm you. Pick one item, that's it. And if you ever have any questions, you can call the manufacturer of your canner and ask them. Presto, I know from experience, is exceptionally nice and helpful. I will help you learn everything you need to know about canning. One of these days you'll look back and wonder what it was like not to can anything for your family.
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© 2018 Victoria Van Ness
Donald on July 14, 2020:
Is there any body that has pressure canned veggies for sale?
Brett Watkins on March 25, 2020:
Do you need to sterilize your jars before you put the cold peas in multicraft the jars I'm a little confused
Victoria Van Ness (author) from Fountain, CO on May 17, 2018:
You'll have to check out my pressure canning course coming up! Livehealthyathome. com
Louise Powles from Norfolk, England on May 10, 2018:
I've never tried pressure canning anything, but it sounds a really good idea. I'd like to try this.