Canning Makes It Easy To Handle Special Diets!

Here you can see my 'pineapple' zukes, left, and drink concentrates, center and right. I use Ball® and Kerr® jars.

Here you can see my ‘pineapple’ zukes, left, and drink concentrates, center and right. I use Ball® and Kerr® jars.

When I was growing up in Kent, Ohio my mother and grandmother canned tomatoes every Labor day. I hated it, I just wanted to be normal and buy tomatoes from the store in a real can not a jar that we said was a can. I didn’t want the bees swarming our hot house and I wanted to tell my friends of some fun activity that we did- not can tomatoes!

I smile when I think of that young girl that so desperately wanted to fit in and be cool. Now I have given up and embraced the country world I am in and love to can. I love the freedom I have when I pull a jar off the shelf and don’t need to read the fine print or call the company to make sure it won’t harm my family. I also love that I can look at recipes in canning cookbooks and not have to make any real dietary changes.

In our family, allergy awareness is always a focus. My daughter has several severe food allergies, including wheat, milk and nuts. But when I’m canning, I don’t worry! Wheat and milk can’t be safely canned, so for my allergy world that is a blessing. I also like to know everything that is going into the product; I know the fields where the veggies come from and the kids that pick them. I also love that I can make something real out of things I collect from my own garden and the many stands around the area.

Every year I put up a little more. Last year I added faux pineapple from sbcanning.com to my list- it is zucchini that is canned in a pineapple juice mixture which will taste like pineapple with the texture of mango, and it’s in the picture above. It’s a great use for the HUGE zucchini. This year I have added juice drink concentrates. I usually make jam and jelly from all kinds of fruit. We eat those jams and jellies on our allergy-safe pancakes and give as gifts but you can only use so much in a year. The juices give us more options when canning seasonal fruit.

Ball Blue Book

Pick up a copy of the Ball Blue Book for step-by-step instructions for safe pickling and canning. Availabe at Lehman’s in Kidron, Ohio or at Lehmans.com.

Not wanting to miss out on the fresh strawberries from our garden this spring and early summer, I found the recipe in my Ball Blue Book for strawberry lemonade concentrate. We love it so much!

Tonight I just finished up Black Cherry Limeade and Black Cherry Lemon-Limeade which is also heavenly. So I think it’s time to ask for my hubster to build me some more shelves because at this rate I won’t have room for home-canned salsa and spaghetti sauce. I guess canning has helped me find a new normal and helped me create a new comfort zone.

After my jars seal, I remove the bands to use again. I need fewer bands that way. I also write the contents and date on each lid.

After my jars seal, I remove the bands to use again. I need fewer bands that way. I also write the contents and date on each lid.

I am thankful for our food allergies and limitations because without them I don’t think I would have such a need to can. I love that I can put up some safe soup that I can open on a busy school night.

Yes, prepping and organizing can be a bit more work,  but I am in control and I know my daughter will not get sick from the food I put on her plate. No matter what we put up at home, I am able to use so recipe as written with no tweaking or exceptions for my family’s food limitations. It is very freeing.

I encourage you to try it out, take a class or get a great book, phone a friend for company and can away. What are some interesting things you have found to extend your summer bounty throughout the year?