Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Canning
Health Notes from Dr. Liz
March 26, 2013
“Putting up” a jar of luscious strawberry jam or pickling a bushel of cucumbers gives you the satisfaction that comes with completing a project yourself. DIY canning also brings you a connection to family, culture and even heritage along with some bonus health and environmental benefits.
Peace of Mind
Whether you’re preserving local berries, green beans or pickling cabbage for a batch of sauerkraut, you have the peace of mind knowing where your produce came from, as well as what is going into your prized jars. You aim to keep out preservatives (especially those whose names you can’t pronounce), and you carefully follow canning directions, knowing your bounty will be safely tucked away for enjoyment on a rainy day.
Preserving locally grown produce means beets, peppers, berries and the like are picked at their peak of freshness while they are bursting with vitamins such as A and C, along with heart–healthy minerals like potassium and magnesium.
Boost Immune Health
If making pickles, sauerkraut and other fermented veggies appeals to you, note that these homemade fermented foods supply probiotics—healthy bacteria that populate your intestines and bolster your immune strength. And according to new research, probiotics may ward off diseases such as Chrohn’s and arthritis and even fight the common cold.
Good for Mother Earth
Recycling your canning jars for next season’s bounty puts you ahead of the game when it comes to lessening your footprint on the planet. Using more of your own canned foods means fewer resources will be used in the process of making cans and taking produce long distances to canning factories. Mother Earth will smile.