Tis the season for canning! Canning can seem daunting with all the sterilizing, boiling and sealing. Not only is it more fun to do with friends but if your a canning novice then it can also be safer. That said, if you have never canned before I would highly recommend it. I want to share the many benefits to canning – from health reasons to environmental reasons, as well as a Simple Salsa Recipe.
What are the Benefits to Canning Food?
- Preserves foods while they are in season and when there is an over abundance of produce. Enjoy foods such as berries, tomatoes, peaches, cucumbers, beans and salmon all year long.
- Limits exposure to nasty preservatives, additives and other junk. Concerns over BPA in the lining of store-bought canned foods is still relevant and can be reduced by canning your own tomatoes, fruit, etc. See my post BPA Health and Environmental Concerns.
- The nutrients in some foods are enhanced the by the cooking process. This includes lycopene, a carotenoid that protects against prostate cancer. Canned tomatoes are better than fresh!
- Reduces waste. Home canned foods are stored in containers that can be reused again the following season.
- Save money! If you already have a veggie garden or access to community fruit trees, canning is a great way to use up extra produce. Often vegetable markets will sell canning vegetables at a cheaper price if you buy them in bulk.
- Sense of accomplishment. Yes really! Just like a keen knitter feels when they finish a sweater… I can only imagine it would be the same.
- Christmas and birthdays are covered. Showing up at a birthday party with a jar of canned peaches will put you in the running for best guest.
- Good excuse for a party. A few wines, a stock pot, some mason jars, and quality time with friends.
- It just tastes better. It really does. But you will never know until you try :)
If you are a beginner canner as well, I would recommend starting with a salsa. Why? Because it’s pretty hard to mess up salsa. The ingredients are relatively easy to get your hands on, and the rewards will be so fitting you will be hooked into the world of canning instantly. A quick Google search will find you thousands of salsa recipes, here is a simple and tasty recipe. Call all your friends… you’re having a canning party!
Here is one of my favourite canning recipes here!
Rachel Dickens, The Conscious Dietitian, is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator. She graduated with her Masters in Nutrition and Dietetics in 2010 from Griffith University. She strives to provide evidence-based nutrition information with a focus on plant-based nutrition and share some of her favourite seasonal recipes and sustainable eating tips.