Making your own preserves is an easy and smart way to make your fresh produce last longer. Instead of letting all those fruit and veggies go to waste after their prime time is up, try breathing new life into them by turning them into preserves. Not only are canned goods great for longer shelf life, but they can be a healthier way to package up your food.
Canning food is a really safe option due to sealing out foodborne pathogens, as canstruction.org notes. With all the different types of canned preserves out there, these are some of our favorite choices for canning.
Fresh Canned Corn
Corn on the cob is cheap to buy in the spring and summer, but if you find that you’ve stocked up on more ears than you can handle, preserving them in cans is a great way to go. The process involves cooking them in a special way, but anyone who can read will certainly be able to follow along.
Corn Cob Jelly
Another option for reviving and storing your excess ears of corn is to turn them into corn cob jelly preserves. This traditional recipe has been used for decades and is surprisingly tasty with a sweet flavor a bit like honey and goes great on rolls, toast, and vegetables. You might even think of it as a honey alternative.
While you might not immediately think of peppers as a great vegetable to make jelly from, this spicy concoction is ideal for adding spice to a number of snacks and meals. Try mixing some with cream cheese and use it as a dip, or give your vegetables, meat, fish, and even cheese toppings a glaze. If you find you like it so much you run out of your canned preserves, you can find some delicious options for pepper jelly online.
Everyone loves a fresh basket of juicy ripe strawberries, but this is a fruit that can turn on you in a very short amount of time. When you notice your strawberries starting to go soft, turn them into a preserve and use it as a jelly, pie filling, or topping for a variety of desserts or appetizers.
Even though apples can last for a long time in your refrigerator without going bad, sometimes too many can accumulate in your produce drawers. Cooking them and turning them into preserves for your shelf is a great way to use them and have fruit ready to use any time you need them.
Cherries are another fruit that does really well when it’s canned, as this tasty treat can make a great healthy snack, added to fruit salads, and are often used for a delicious pie filling. Cherries are used in some cake recipes like a Black Forest cake and served up with cheese as an appetizer as well.
Caramelized Onions Preserve
Another vegetable that keeps really well as a preserve is caramelized onions. You can prepare them, can them, and then add them to any recipe, and no one will realize that they were made months before. The canning process allows the caramelized onions to gain even better flavor over time.