Think, Eat, Be Healthy

“Can It!” by Jackie Callahan Parente

"Can It!" by Jackie Callahan Parente

“Can It!” by Jackie Callahan Parente is a good introduction to the art of freezing and canning whole food or for anyone looking for canning recipes.

About “Can It!”

“Can It!’ is a book about preserving food written by Jackie Callahan Parente. The publisher is I-5 Publishing, LLC and Hobby Farm Press. The book is 223 pages and includes a comprehensive index. The author is an experienced gardener, canner and food writer.

As expected from the title, “Can It!” is mostly about canning food. It begins with a little history, background and theory about food preservation. Next is a section on freezing fruits and vegetables that goes into some detail. Freezing and thawing food may seem too basic to have to think about but doing it properly makes a difference and this book tells you how.

The real heart of this book starts on page 68 and comprises three chapters covering all aspects of canning. Everything you need to know to start canning food is presented clearly and concisely along with all of the appropriate safety warnings. Necessary equipment is also thoroughly covered. The differences between water-bath and pressure canning are clearly explained, including why they are not interchangeable. This is an extremely important safety issue that all canners must understand.

What sets this book apart from many other books on the subject are the recipes. “Can It!” contains more than 100 recipes. There are recipes for fruit preserves, jams, jellies, salsas, pickles, relishes and more. Anyone that would like to get started canning or that is just looking for good recipes will appreciate this book.

Why preserve foods?

Everyone that wants to eat a healthy whole food diet should know how to do at least some basic food preservation. Food is not cheap and preserving is another way to make the most of our food budget. Freezing gives us a chance to save food for another meal when it is about to spoil. Canning presents an opportunity to take advantage of low prices when crops are “in season” to buy large amounts and preserve them for future use.

Freezing and canning healthy whole foods can both be done without the use of preservatives or other unwanted chemical additives. The foods retain almost all of their nutrients and can be enjoyed all year round. Preserving food this way means we can buy more locally grown produce when it is at its peak of ripeness and flavor.

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