Fall Food Preservation Tips

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canning jars on shelf

Storage shelves in pantry with homemade canned preserved fruits and vegetables

With the fall months starting, it is a time to finish up some canning for those colder winter months. These are a few tips to keep in mind with fall produce if you are planning on canning or preserving some to eat later.

  • First, with winter squashes like pumpkin, butternut or acorn squash, there is not a tested safe method for canning it pureed like pumpkin butters or pureed soups. You have a risk for botulism if you can pureed winter squashes. You are able to can cubed squash and here are some recommendations from Penn State Cooperative Extension. Another safe way to have it for later is to freeze your pureed squash or soup.
  • Second, when canning soups it is important to follow a tested recipe. The types of vegetables in your soup and other ingredients can determine if it is safe to can. Check out these recipes at the National Center for Home Food Preservation.
  • A third tip is to do a thorough inventory of what you have already stored. Check your dates and follow the First In First Out (FIFO) rule. If tested recipes and processes have been followed, our can foods will remain safe until we choose to eat them. They do end up losing their quality over time. We recommend that you plan to preserve enough food for 1 year or 1 ½ years. After that, you can begin to lose flavor, texture and even some nutrients.
  • Preserving through freezing is always a great way to save food for later, while locking in nutrients.

For more tips on Food Preservation don’t hesitate to call our office or email Cathy Hohenstein, our Family and Consumer Science Agent at cathy_hohenstein@ncsu.edu.