Tips for Canning and Freezing

Can and freeze your own fruits and vegetables and you’ll savor summer flavors during the cold months ahead. It’s easy – all you need are a few basic tools and some simple instructions from the team of experts at Giant Eagle®.
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Home-canned goods are stable for up to 12 months

Proper canning and freezing is an economical way to preserve the nutritional value of your favorite produce. Follow these safety tips to enjoy them with family and friends year-round!

Use the Latest Guidelines

  • Make sure your recipes are up-to-date! The USDA web site provides a complete guide with recipes and pointers for preserving fruits and vegetables, including tips for baby food and special diets.
  • To learn more about safe canning and freezing, contact your regional cooperative extension office or nutrition@gianteagle.com.

Invest in the Right Equipment

  • Choose bags and jars intended for canning or freezing
  • Make sure containers are designed to withstand the temperatures listed in your recipe
  • Sterilize jars before you begin, and purchase new seals every year.
  • Label cans and containers to monitor shelf life
  • Tip: Giant Eagle carries a wide variety of glass jars, lids, seals, freezer bags, canning ingredients and more.

Know Your Freezer Facts

Freezing is easier than canning, but be sure you have a freezer that can hold the food safely.

  • Your refrigerator freezer is meant for short-term storage and small amounts of food.
  • Larger quantities should be kept in an upright or chest model freezer with enough space for foods to freeze quickly.
  • Check the temperature to make sure it’s below 10°F; 0°F is recommended. Frozen foods can be kept at this temperature for eight to 12 months. 

Store Canned Foods Safely

Keep them in a cool, dry place – home-canned goods are stable for up to 12 months. Jar rings can be removed because the jar is sealed; this keeps them from rusting and makes them available for reuse.

 

Fun Facts About Canning

Developed as a way for the French military to preserve food during the Napoleonic Wars, “canning” was initially done using glass jars. Since glass didn’t travel well, jars were replaced by metal cans.  Unfortunately, can openers weren’t invented for another 30 years, so soldiers had to open cans by cutting them with bayonets or smashing them with rocks!

Today, home canning involves heating the contents of a jar to a high enough temperature to kill any bacteria inside. It also creates a positive pressure that forces out air and creates a tight seal as the jar cools. With the removal of oxygen, vitamins and minerals in the food are preserved – ready for your enjoyment any time.

For more tips and techniques on preparing and preserving the harvest, enroll in a cooking class at your local Giant Eagle Market District® or consult our staff of registered dietitians and chefs.

Brought to you by the Registered Dietitians at Giant Eagle and Market District