With the rising cost of food as well as concerns about preservatives, many people are opting to grow and can their own fruits and vegetables. Not only is this a great way to have fresher tasting food, but growing a garden is rewarding.
You can watch the plants grow and produce your favorite foods. Even if you do not have room for a garden, there are a number of farmer’s markets in most areas where the veggies can be purchased. Home canning is very rewarding, and preserving your own food is the healthiest way to go, particularly in the winter when you have fresh vegetables on the dinner table.
Keep Track of your Fruits and Vegetables
One of the best ways of keeping track of the fruits and vegetables being canned is to use chalkboard labels for mason jars. Write the name of what you canned on the chalkboard label. Perhaps you are canning tomatoes as well as making tomato juice. By using the labels, you will easily know what is contained in each jar even if they look similar.
Add the date to the chalkboard labels for mason jars and attach it to the jar. This helps you to keep track of how long ago the food was canned. This also makes it easier to store the same types of food together.
The canned vegetables or fruits are also a great gift idea. Friends and relatives will love receiving this gift. You can attach a chalkboard label to the back of the jar with one of your favorite recipes for the contents. Tie a ribbon around the top of the jar and it is ready for gift giving.One of the favorite gifts in a jar is home canned all natural jams and jellies. Home canning was out of fashion for a while but it is making a serious comeback due to the wide range of problems with store purchased produce and preserves. When you’re home-canning vegetables and fruits you know precisely what is in them and you know that it’s healthy.
Growing herbs for use in recipes is another way of having fresh ingredients. They can be dried and placed in airtight jars as well. From oregano to thyme, rosemary, marjoram, bay, and dill, it is simple to dry your own herbs and store them. Hang your herbs in bunches from the ceiling or a beam or, easier still, chop them finely and place them on a screen in a sunny window. Stir them once a day and cover them with cheesecloth or a thin cotton cloth and you can dry your own herbs very easily. These too are all natural and you know whats in there.
The chalkboard labels are terrific for placing on the container with what is in each and the date. Dried herbs should be used within a year, so adding the date is important.
Since dried herbs are a bit stronger than fresh ones, make sure you write how much to use on the label especially when giving them as gifts. A teaspoon of dried herbs is comparable to a tablespoon of fresh.