Home Preserving, or "Canning" ...
... is back
Simply put, home preserving saves money because you can buy produce seasonally & preserve while cheap, fresh, and flavourful, while helping to avoid preservatives, artificial colourings, flavour enhancers, and stuff you just don't like.
Plus it allows you enjoy quality "home cooking" anytime, lets face it, you know what goes in your own food.
This is a jar of my "Home Preserved"
pasta sauce, no preservatives, lot's of flavour, and cheap too.
Enjoy the bounty of the harvest
"All Year Round"
There is nothing more satisfying that standing back and seeing the results of your own labour,
and when it comes to preserving food, it can also be deliciously rewarding.
There are many reasons for making your own preserves. If you are growing your own fruits and vegetables,
the best way of using up that abundant harvest is by making your own delicious preserves.
If you do not grow your own produce, it is still an advantage to be able to purchase produce in season,
in larger quantities, at a cheaper price, and then preserve it for future use. Last but not least is the
taste of your own preserves.
There is no doubt that home preserves simply taste better.
Processing Your Preserves, Safely
After cooking the sauce, pickles, jam, or other foods for preserving,
your filled, and closed jars of food, need processing.
This is done to kill the pathogens such as yeasts, bacteria, and mould,
that are abundant in nature, and are around us all the time,
and can contaminate your preserves.
For most home preserving, processing is simply submerging the closed jars under hot water,
bringing to the boil for a specified period of time,
and then allowing to cool.
For safe, and GREEN preserving, we recommend re-using twist top jars, such as Dolmios, with new lids.
High and Low Acid Preserving
There are two types of processing for safe home preserving, or canning, that are considered "world's best practice": the boiling water bath method and the
pressure canning method.
The method of processing you use will be determined by the type of produce you are going to preserve.
High acid foods should be processed using the
Boiling Water Bath Method,
while low acid foods must be
processed with the
Pressure Canning Method.
Examples of High and Low acid foods.
| Low Acid
|| High Acid
Preparation of the food can also change the acid content, such as in pickles.
Cucumbers, for example, are low acid, but once you pickle them in vinegar, they become a high acid preserve.
This is true with all chutneys and acid based relishes that can be made with a variety of low acid and high
If your new to "home preserving" it would probably be best to start with
high acid, boiling water bath preserving
that requires only basic home cooking equipment, and basic cooking skills.
Testing for Acidity with PH Strips
|Testing the acidity of your preserves is easy.
7 is neutral, and less than 7 is increasingly acidic, with 4.6 being the accepted cut off for safe preserving, so less than 4.6 is considered "high acid" for home preserving purposes.
Simply cut a small piece of the test strip, and touch to some of your preserves, prior to bottling. The strip started "yellow" and very quickly changed to "orange", indicating a PH of 4 or even lower.
For this photo we just used the juice of some of our cultured vegetables, which just two weeks before was just cabbage and water.
Home preserving is a fascinating, adventure and can be very fulfilling.
There is nothing like the taste of home preserves, and they will be a favourite
with the whole family. They also make wonderful gift ideas. Get some festive
fabric that matches the season of your giving, cut a square big enough to go
over the top of the lid, covering it completely, and then use a piece of
string to secure it around the top of the jar. Add to this an artistically
designed label and you have a fantastic looking gift that will mean the world
to the person you give it to just because you made it yourself.
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