Tag: Food Preservation

Free Online Food Preservation Series

University of Nebraska Extension is hosting a FREE Food Preservation Virtual Learning Series. Each session will include a short presentation and time for discussion and question/answer on any food preservation related topic. All sessions will be taught online through zoom and pre-registration is required. The session details are below:

  • August 5, 6:30 p.m: Food Preservation 101
  • August 19, 6:30 p.m: Boiling Water Canning/Steam Canning/Pressure Canning
  • September 2, 6:30 p.m: Freezing/Dehydrating

Each Zoom session will be recorded and a link to the recording will be sent to all participants who register. Sessions will be led by Nebraska Extension’s Food Preservation Team.

For more information and to register, please follow this link: https://food.unl.edu/article/home-food-preservation-series

By: Ashley Svaty

Electric Multi-Cookers Are Not Canners

Ashley Svaty
Nutrition, Food Safety and Health Agent

Canning season is in full swing and we must remember to only use SAFE and trusted preservation techniques and recipes. It is critical to use scientifically tested recipes when canning and while some electric multi-cookers have a “canning” button, no research is available to back up this function. Use these appliances for cooking only! Find safe and trusted recipes here: https://www.rrc.k-state.edu/preservation/index.html or call any Post Rock District office and we would be happy to help!

By: Ashley Svaty

Preserving Tomatoes

Tomatoes may have that tasty zing that makes them tart and tasty. But in reality, they are not as acidic as they seem, especially when canning tomatoes.

Tomatoes have a pH value around 4.6 which makes them unsafe to can by themselves, with many varieties above 4.6. All tomatoes must be acidified with either citric acid, bottled lemon juice, or vinegar with 5% acidity in both water bath and pressure canning processing.

Without this added acid, tomatoes will likely ferment and spoil. Learn more in Preserve it Fresh, Preserve it Safe: Tomatoes.

By: Ashley Svaty

Let’s Preserve Cherries!

Whether you like them sweet, sour, golden or red, cherries are in season! Their short season means you must enjoy them as much as you can now. But wait! They can also be preserved to save them for a later date.

Cherries can be preserved by canning, freezing, dehydrating, or made into canned pie filling, jam, jelly. The uses of fresh cherries are endless in many meals or just a simple snack.

Freezing is easy. Simply wash, remove stems and pits. Dry and spread on a tray in a single layer to freeze. Then place them in freezer containers. Cherries can also be frozen in a syrup or sugar pack.

If making canned pie filling, use sour cherries for that classic pie flavor. Use Clear Jel® starch (cook type) for best results.

Learn more about preserving cherries at https://bookstore.ksre.ksu.edu/pubs/MF1180.pdf. To dehydrate cherries, see https://nchfp.uga.edu/how/dry/csu_dry_fruits.pdf.

Please call any of our offices with food preservation questions or visit: https://www.rrc.k-state.edu/preservation/

By: Ashley Svaty

Online Food Preservation Videos and Publications

Looking for ways to learn about food preservation? Videos can help! There are several resources available to help guide you.

From selecting recipes to storage, the process of preserving food safely is in your hands! Start with reliable, tested recipes and follow them exactly. A lot of science goes into food preservation, so using researched recipes is the best choice. Using untested recipes, methods or outdated equipment can lead to spoiled food or foodborne illness.

So let us help! See the video selections at www.rrc.k-state.edu/preservation/videos.html

Many publications are also available at your fingertips! Learn more at www.rrc.k-state.edu/preservation/index.html

Do you pressure can? If so, it’s recommended to have your dial gauge tested annually by the extension office.  Please email Ashley Svaty at asvaty@ksu.edu to discuss a process for testing your gauge to ensure a safe canning season!

By: Ashley Svaty

Begin Planning for Food Preservation

Winter is here, but many people are planning now for gardening. While you study garden catalogs or websites, don’t forget to plan how you will preserve the produce this summer. Your edible garden can be preserved in many ways including canning, freezing, dehydrating, and pickling.

What freezer space do you have? Be sure to use up last year’s stash to make room for the new batch. Clean the freezer to remove stray food and spills from broken packages. To freeze food, follow freezing guidelines for each food and use bags or plastic containers designated for freezing to maintain best food quality.

Do you like to can your produce? If so, get up to date on current recipes and guidelines. For best safety and quality, follow tested recipes. Using older recipes and methods can lead to spoiled food, food waste, and foodborne illness.

Have you checked your equipment? Now is the time to get your dial gauge tested. Contact your local Extension office for testing. The canner brands we can test include National, Presto, Maid of Honor and Magic Seal. Inspect the canner for any wear and get parts replaced. Sources for replacement parts can be found at www.rrc.k-state.edu/preservation/canning.html.

Learn more about food preservation at www.rrc.k-state.edu/preservation/index.html.

By: Ashley Svaty

Electric Pressure Cookers Still Not Safe for Canning

The message continues. Do not use electric pressure cookers for canning. Research conducted at Utah State University shows that electric pressure cookers do not always reach or sustain safe temperature levels for safe canning. This is even more critical at higher altitudes.

Electric pressure cookers also have faster heat up and cool down time periods. This can affect heat transfer and pathogen destruction.

Learn more about Utah State University’s study at https://bit.ly/2Yqxhah and from Food Safety News at https://bit.ly/2JydlyO.

Photo source: Utah State University Extension

By:  Ashley Svaty