When it comes to preserving foods, canning is what most people think of. Canning is a time-honored way to preserve the harvest, even though it’s actually pretty modern (true canning didn’t begin until the 1800s).
It may surprise you to find out what foods that you can actually can. Here is a basic list of foods that work best for canning.
Canning chicken? Yes, you can! Because chicken is a low-acid food, sources insist that the only safe method is a pressure canner. This is the only way to ensure that the bacteria will be killed, especially since you don’t have the high-acid environment that helps kill germs.
It’s not recommended that you pack the raw meat tightly into the jars; place the meat into the jar and tap the jar periodically on the countertop to settle the meat. Sources say you do not have to remove the bones; just cut the meat into pieces that will fit in the jar and fit your needs. You don’t even need to add liquid first if you use raw meat.
You can also boil or stew the chicken, then cut the meat into pieces and pack the meat and broth together. (Leave 1 1/4 inch space at the top.)
Venison, bear, and other wild meats can also be canned. You can grind or chop it first, and cook it or pack it raw. Water, broth, or tomato juice are then added to fill in the space. Always leave 1 1/4 inches at the top.
Another low-acid food, carrots are best canned using a pressure canner. Carrots can be packed in jars sliced, chopped, or even whole (especially if small). They can be steamed first or packed raw.
It may surprise you to learn you can can fresh fish. Being very low in acid and prone to bacteria, a pressure canner is considered essential. Sources say you do not need to add liquid to the fish pieces; just place them in jars with the skin on (skin should be facing out, next to the glass).
Grapefruits, oranges, and tangerines are high-acid foods, so a boiling water bath will probably be fine. Raw segments can be placed in jars and sugar syrup poured over, leaving an inch and a quarter at the top.
Canned corn can last a long time and bring the taste of summer into the middle of winter. Use a pressure canner to kill bacteria, as corn does not have a lot of natural acidity. You can pack it raw and add salt if you like, then fill with purified water to 1 1/4 inches from the top.
There are also many other foods that can be canned successfully, from berries to apples to cucumbers.
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