Thursday, August 6, 2009

Home Canning in Glass for Your Health

I am beginning to learn about canning (in glass jars.) It is an old art and a sustainable practice. It is also healthier than eating food in cans from the store. Glass is a wonderful way to preserve food. Food tastes better in glass and you don't have to worry about any harmful chemicals leaching into your food. Even Martha Stewart's website warns about eating too many canned foods from the store. Click here to read the article on the Martha Stewart's website that warns the interior coating of some cans contains BPA (bisphenol A). This Martha Stewart article states, "Animal studies have linked low doses of BPA to obesity, diabetes, and breast cancer. However, the FDA has approved the use of BPA." This is not the first time I've read these warnings on BPA and it is enough for me to avoid aluminum-canned foods whenever possible, especially for my daughter.

The following website has wonderful information on home canning:
Martha Stewart's website also has a more basic outline on how to can:

Low acid foods and high acid foods are prepared differently. For high acid foods (fruits, picked foods, and tomatoes) it is a much simpler process. To can with high acid foods, heat the jars in boiling water, add the food to the jar, seal the jar, then boil jar and entire contents for the specified time in the recipe. According to, low acid foods should be canned using a pressure canner. Not following proper canning techniques may result in the food spoilage and won't be safe to eat. If you are unsure if your food is properly canned but the lid is sealed (test this by taking off the rim and see if the lid is still tight) just store in the refrigerator.

So far I have only canned baby food in little Kerr jelly jars I purchased at our local grocery store. I have stored them in the refrigerator because they are low acid foods and I don't have a pressure canner, nor did I use anything close to proper canning technique. I simply placed the freshly steamed and blended hot veggies in jars, sealed them, then boiled them. When I have more time though I want to properly can tomatoes and pickles using the recipes below. And, after reading the Ball information on canning baby food, I'm thinking I probably should put the prepared baby food jars the freezer unless I'm going to use them soon.

A few canning recipes to try:
Tomatoes, whole or halved in water
Martha Stewart's Sweet and Spicy Bread and Butter Pickles

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