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:

  1. Use a pressure canner and current USDA processing guidelines to can low-acid foods like vegetables and meats.
  2. Acidify tomatoes with the recommended amount of lemon juice or citric acid prior to canning.
  3. Use research-tested salsa recipes, and don't alter ingredient proportions. If you have a favorite salsa recipe, freeze it.
  4. 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.
  5. Store canned goods in a cool dark place. For best quality, use home-canned goods within one year.
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