We have listed 5 benefits of canning and preserving below. Preserving food began when it was a need. Today it is not necessary to can foods so you may ask, "why take the time"?
- Too Many Veggies - If you have a garden, you probably have experienced too much of one thing coming at once. Right now, our fridge is FULL of cucumbers. We have eaten cucumbers with almost every meal, made summer salad, put them on sandwiches, and they just keep coming! We look so forward to that first cucumber but after the 100th cucumber, well, they aren't as exciting. So, we get busy canning. Another option is to give them away (and after a while your neighbors will say no thank you also!) or share with the chickens. Canning is a great way to store that abundance of harvest from the garden.
- Save Money - A pack of seeds is just a couple dollars. And that pack of seeds can produce so many veggies. There is some initial cost to canning, but when growing your own food, you can save a ton on your grocery bill. For example: A bushel of tomatoes would make 3 batches of spaghetti sauce (approx 15 jars). The jars are re-usable from last year so they are free and the lids are about $1.80 for twelve. Chop up some onions, peppers, etc from the garden and you have 15 jars of spaghetti sauce for $2-3. Or even easier, use a Mrs. Wages Spaghetti Sauce package that has all the others ready to go. Fifteen jars of spaghetti sauce from the grocery would cost approximately $45 (at $3 each).
- Be Prepared - No, we are not technically Preppers... yet. 🙂 Preparing for a time when your freezer stops working or God forbid our nation has a crisis--it can't hurt a thing. Having a pantry stocked with food that doesn't require refrigeration or a freezer, can only be a good thing in a crisis. In addition, when Mom doesn't make it to the grocery store, there is ALWAYS something to eat. Love to come home late from an event, everyone is starving, you're tired... and then you remember there is some yummy homemade vegetable soup in the pantry that only needs to be heated up! Preparation always yields good results.
- Better Than Store Bought - We all know that food from the garden is better tasting and better for you. No corn syrup, no MSG, BPA free––it's just better! Freezing may do a better job preserving nutrients in the food but canning is much better than the processed food from the grocery store. But most of all, it tastes MUCH better. I love cracking open a jar of green beans in December!
- Share the Love - One of our favorite things to do with the things we can is to give it away. Giving a gift that we made ourselves is one of the best gifts we can share. Homemade jam or jelly is one of our favorites to share with friends and family. Another way to share is to grab a jar of that yummy veggie soup off the shelf when you have a friend not feeling well.
- Decorations - Okay, I said 5 but have just one more... They make great decorations! I love having the jars of different colors around our kitchen.
There are more benefits of canning and preserving, however, if only these few it is worth the try. Take a day to check it out. If you don't garden, no worries, run to our local Farmer's Market and shop around. We have learned that if we ask the owner of the booth to sell you a big box at once, the price is much better. Don't be afraid to ask.
Interested in learning? Check out our Canning and Preserving Class.
Share with us your favorite canning recipe!