4 Ways To Preserve Vegetables For Long-Term Survival
You’ve worked hard in your garden and now you have a ton of beautiful vegetables ripe and ready to eat. What should you do with them, though? Preserve them, of course! There are many ways to prepare your produce so that you can store your vegetables long-term and enjoy them for months, and even years, to come!
This is probably the most common way to preserve your vegetables for long-term storage because canned veggies can be eaten up to a decade (or longer) after they’re preserved. There are a few methods that you may choose depending upon the type of vegetable that you are canning. For some vegetables, you may choose the water bath method, and for others, you’ll need to pressure can them.
The reason that canning preserves your food is because, during the process, bacteria are killed and most of the air is released out of the jar. The jar seals because air shrinks as it cools, causing the rubber around the seal to create a vacuum in the jar. Thus, air and bacteria can’t get into the jars and spoil the food.
How long you have to boil the jars in order to kill the bacteria depends upon the type of vegetable that you’re canning.
Water Bath Canning
Water bath canning is great for canning fruits, high-acid vegetables such as tomatoes, or for vegetables that are canned in a high-acid juice or sauce. We’ll get into the reason behind this when we talk about pressure canning in a minute. This manner of canning is relatively easy to do and only requires a few pieces of equipment that you likely have on hand including:
- A pot large enough to hold your jars and tall enough that you can fill it with enough water to cover your jars to the neck.
- A rack that sits on the inside bottom of the pot to keep your jars from coming into direct contact with the bottom of the pot.
- Canning jars
- Canning rings
- Canning lids with seals
- Tongs (preferably canning tongs) to remove the jars from the pot
- A spatula small enough to slide down the inside of the jar to release air pockets
You can buy a pot specifically designed for water bath canning. It comes with the rack for the bottom and the size is already adapted to hold a certain amount of jars. If you don’t have one, though, you can use a stock pot or pressure cooker pot.
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