Fruits and vegetables can be preserved by dehydrating, freezing and canning, but it's important to use up-to-date recommendations. If you are tempted by home-canned goods at bake sales or farmers' markets, remember they are not tested for safety like commercial products are. You will be eating them at your own risk.. These are a few home food preservation tips to ensure safe food in your cupboard:
- Use a pressure canner and current USDA processing guidelines to can low-acid foods like vegetables and meats.
- Acidify tomatoes with the recommended amount of lemon juice or citric acid prior to canning.
- Use research-tested salsa recipes, and don't alter ingredient proportions. If you have a favorite salsa recipe, freeze it.
- Seal jams and jellies with a regular canning lid (not wax) and process in a boiling water bath for 5 to 10 minutes depending on altitude.
- Store canned goods in a cool dark place. For best quality, use home-canned goods within one year.