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April 02, 2022
Whether you are using an Ergo Spout® or not, we all know that mason jars are the workhorse of the home. They offer so many uses in and around the kitchen and we want to highlight the ways you can use your mason jars to preserve food. Preserving food is fun, healthy, and a great way to seal in goodness and ensure that your food doesn’t spoil. So without further ado, here are just a few more ways you can use your mason jars:
Water bath canning can be done using mason jars. This process is specifically for high-acid foods such as jams, jellies, salsas, pickles, and fruits in syrup. The method involves submerging your jars in boiling water and ensures that the highly acidic contents become shelf-stable. Shelf-stable just means that you can keep it in your pantry without refrigeration and don't need to worry about it spoiling or going rancid. It's quite an easy method, but be sure to research how to do it before attempting it yourself. We recommend using an official site like - The National Center for Home Food Preservation.
Pressure canning refers to loading low-acid foods in jars before placing them into a specialized pressure pot which brings the food to an appropriate temperature and seals the lids shut. Pressure canners - like this one - can be purchased online and are really quite simple to use. It's important to read the instructions of your device before beginning as each seems to be a little different, and most importantly, read all of the safety recommendations when using a pressure canner! This method can be used to preserve meats, vegetables, soups, and stocks - ensuring the freshness of your savory creations until you enjoy them later.
Vacuum sealing in a mason jar is best used for dry goods such as rice, oats, spices and freeze-dried food. It also requires a special vacuum sealer, like this one, which sucks as much air out of your sealed mason jar as possible. This in turn means that no bacterial or fungal growth, or oxidation can occur.
Another quick and easy way to vacuum seal mason jars is to use an oxygen absorber in the jar. As oxygen is absorbed a vacuum is created in the jar, allowing food to keep longer.
Fermenting in a jar or a crock has been used by different cultures around the world for centuries, and is making a huge comeback thanks to its gut-health benefits. Fermenting vegetables in salt and water encourages healthy cultures and probiotics to break down the plant cells and preserves the food. Depending on the recipe you are using, you can either encourage a natural probiotic growth, or you can kick start the process by adding in some pre-bought cultures. Either way, this method of preserving food in mason jars is ideal for delicious sides such as kimchi or sauerkraut.
Pickling fruits and vegetables in a mason jar in your fridge is not only easy to do, but also really fun. The basic requirements are salt, sugar, vinegar and water. From there, all you need to do is add your fruit or veggies to be pickled and whatever spices you wish to flavor them with. The pickling process is fast and can last a few weeks in the fridge.
Freezing things for another day is a tried and tested method of preserving food. The idea of freezing food in glass mason jars may be daunting for some but it is perfectly safe. All you need to do is ensure that the jars’ contents are completely cooled before sealing and putting into your freezer. Another good tip is to ensure there is at least two inches of headspace between the contents and the lid. This allows for any expansion while freezing without popping the lid or cracking the glass.
So, next time you are at your supermarket in the canned food aisle, wondering what to stock up on, think of all those nifty mason jars you have at home. Remember that you can preserve your own foods without having to worry about nasty chemicals and preservatives. No matter the method you choose, you can use your mason jars to preserve foods and build up a pantry of your family’s most loved ingredients, recipes, and snacks!
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