Canning with Berkey CAN Make All the Difference


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Nothing beats the taste of a home-grown tomato that ripened on the vine, or the juiciness of the sweetest peach just bursting with flavor.  The quality of produce fresh from a farm is beyond compare to what's found in most grocery stores.  

One of my favorite things about summer, is definitely the weekend drives out to the farm stands. Call it nostalgia, but I grew up just minutes away from the same market that I take my own daughter to now.  I love being able to share that same experience with my family.  Being able to teach her to appreciate the resources we have available to us is something I absolutely cherish.  

Canning preserves the delicious fresh produce for the long-term. Months later fruits and vegetables can be eaten with the same crisp and exquisite flavor. Canning offers a solution for fresh food availability during off-season, and food storage in case of emergency. Following the proper steps and using best ingredients offers no healthier way than to enjoy fresh, local food all-year long. 

The Best Secret Ingredient--Berkey water.

Why go to the trouble of picking the most beautiful fruits and veggies that were grown without chemicals, only to store them in a swimming pool of them? A Berkey Filter removes over 200 contaminants from your water, including pesticides, pharmaceuticals, chlorine, etc.  

There are some simple ways to incorporate Berkey water into your canning process, whether using a water bath canner or a pressure canner.

Food Preservation with Berkey Water

Wash your produce with Berkey water. When washing your produce at any time, using Berkey water ensures that the water you are cleaning with is itself the cleanest possible.  Who wants to wash with dirty water?

Use Berkey water to sterilize your equipment.  When canning there are guidelines that must be followed to ensure the safety of your final product.  One of these rules is to sterilize your jars, lids, rings, etc. that you will use while canning.  Place your equipment in your water bath canner and make sure they are covered by at least an inch of water.  Boil for 10 minutes (altitudes less than 1,000 ft.).  If you live at a higher elevation, boil for 1 minute extra for each additional 1,000 ft of elevation.

Use Berkey water to prep your lids. You will want to pre-heat your lids in a small saucepan of simmering Berkey water.

Berkey water should be used when “hot-packing” OR “raw-packing”  jars. There are two methods of filling your jars, and which one you use will depend on what type of food you are preserving.  Hot packing requires you to heat the food to boiling and simmering for a few minutes before putting it into jars.  Raw packing can also require water depending on the food, and method.  Raw packing is filling the jars with the prepped, unheated food.  You generally will need to add boiling water to the jar after the food is packed into it.  ALWAYS follow the official recommendations for the specific food that you are canning.

    It is CRITICAL to always follow a tried and true canning recipe, and USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) guidelines. When not prepared properly and safely, your canned food items can be susceptible to bacterial growth, including Clostridium botulinum which in canned food may cause a deadly form of food poisoning called botulism.  Certain foods CAN NOT be canned using a water bath canner.  Low-acid foods, such as corn, and green beans MUST be canned using a pressure canner. The USDA provides recommendations for canning food safely. 

     



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