This Summer, Start Preserving
There is no downside to canning: It can save you money by avoiding costly imported produce, preserve seasonal flavour all year round and reduce food waste by using up your garden’s bumper crop. Plus, canned jams, pickles and sauces make pretty, handmade birthday and hostess gifts for those impossible-to-buy-for people on your list.
The other good news is that canning leftover cukes and tomatoes won’t compromise your health. In the colder Canadian months, fresh produce often travels hundreds of miles to reach our tables, losing valuable nutrients along the way. Suddenly, the word “fresh” seems like a misnomer. In this case, canned and frozen may be the better option.
As for frozen versus canned, while the heating process involved in proper canning reduces more nutrient content initially, the vitamins and minerals are better retained over time in the air-starved container.
But what about all that sugar in homemade jellies and jams, you ask? Truth bomb: It’s not there just to make it taste good. Sugar sucks up moisture, preventing mould and bacteria growth, plus it thickens preserves and makes them more spreadable. If you want to cut the sugar, I suggest sticking to smaller jars, so you can use them up quicker once opened and prevent bacterial growth and spoilage.
Here are two recipes we: one savoury and one sweet. Take your pick or make them both!