You have planted the garden and now you are starting to see the fruits and vegetables of your labor. So what do you do with all those veggies? Can them! That’s right, canning is easy. Not only is canning a great way to enjoy your garden-fresh veggies all year but it is also economical and healthy. Home canned vegetables have absolutely no chemicals added. So, if you can boil water and tell time, you can can!

Here are some tools of the trade you may want to have on hand.

  • lids
  • jars
  • wooden long handled spoon
  • canning funnel
  • jar lifter
  • measuring spoons
  • jar rings

Try canned tomatoes; they are an easy way to get started.

Fill a large pot with water up to ¾ full and put on to boil.

Fill a clean water bath canner ½ full and bring it to a boil, with the wire rack in place.

Wash the jars in warm soapy water and rinse. Check each one for minute cracks and nicks in the rim. Leave the jars in the hot water until needed.

Separate the lids and place them in a sauce pan of water. Bring to a boil, and then leave in the water until you need them.

Wash sound, ripe, high-acid tomatoes and dip them in the boiling water of your large pot for about a minute or until the skins crack.

Then place the tomatoes in cold water. This allows the skins to slip off easily.

Core out the stem and discard. Leave the tomatoes whole or cut, depending on size and preference.

Pack into jars and either mash down, so that the juice covers them, or cover with hot water leaving a ½-inch of space between the product and jar rim.

Free trapped air bubbles by using a flat plastic or wood utensil. Slide it up and down around the inside edge.

Screw the lids and rings on snugly, not too tight.

Boil the jars and keep them covered with at least one inch of water. Process the jars in a boiling water bath for 40 minutes for pints and 45 minutes for quarts.

Take the jars out of the water and let them cool overnight.

Check each jar after it cools with one finger, being sure it is tightly indented; if it is not, it is not sealed, and must be redone or eaten soon.

Store in a cool, dry place and enjoy your tomatoes for months to come.

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