This article, entitled "Garden Bursting With Bounty? Preserve It!" comes from Melanie Bloom, MomsEveryday blogger from Lincoln, NE.
Fall is approaching and your garden is likely still producing crab apples, peaches, tomatoes and many other fresh produce items.
Whether you freeze, pickle or can your bounty, here is some advice from nutritionists at Mayo Clinic, aimed at making sure your food stays safe and tasty.
Stick with recipes.
Don't guess. Safe recipes will guide you through the process from washing and preparing produce for canning, to filling and sealing containers, to labeling and storing them.
Put safety first.
A food thermometer is essential to follow the recipe to ensure bacteria are destroyed and jars are tightly sealed. Follow the recipe's recommendations for storage - usually to keep them in a cool, dry, dark place.
Plan to preserve your best produce. Avoid those that are bruised, punctured or cracked open, or have off colors or texture. The best time to preserve produce is at its peak - brightly colored and plump.
Use the right equipment.
Use jars, lids and bands meant for canning. Other equipment includes a large pot, pressure cooker, funnel, jar lifter and ruler. A food thermometer is essential to ensure your produce is cooked to the right temperature to destroy harmful bacteria.