I recently attended a canning event at Lucia’s Restaurant, put on by Ball and it is safe to say that I’ve officially caught the canning bug. (I also got to see Melissa!)

Lucia, the owner and founder of Lucia’s Restaurant spoke to us about canning and my appreciation and interest in canning grew exponentially. I realized that canning was what once made eating green beans in February possible, what made gifts of jam such a special treat and that the entire canning (and growing) process brings us right back to where we need to be. Making our own food. Not adding corn syrup and preservatives to everything. And most importantly, enjoying local, fresh foods and supporting the farmers that support us.

Learnings from Lucia:

  • Canning is all about “preserving local food flavors from farmers who care about the soil and the land”
  • It extends the season – salsa in January anyone?
  • Allows you to control what is in your food

Now, what to can? I thought it was only right to can something that I picked up at the farmers market so I set out to the Mill City Farmers Market with canning on the brain.

I came home with some fresh veggies, a $2 cucumber & mint springwater (excellent) and a few beets. I know most probably can in bulk but I thought it would be best to practice with a small amount. So I spent Sunday afternoon canning a whole 3 beets. :) My first canning experience went fairly well, though I’m confident next time will go much smoother – and maybe I’ll even can 10 whole vegetables!

Are you ready to start canning? Want to win a Ball Canning Discovery Kit?

Ways to enter:

  • Leave a comment about what you would can with the Canning Discovery Kit
  • Leave a comment about a family canning memory for an additional entry
  • Tweet about the give-away (including @nutritionisteat) and then leave an additional comment letting me know you did so
  • Subscribe to my blog and leave me a message letting me know you did so

I will randomly choose a winner on August 22nd. Good Luck!

Edited to Add: Congratulations Tricia! Please send me your mailing address and I’ll get the kit sent out to you!

39 Comments ( Reply )

  1. Estela @ Weekly Bite
    Aug 17, 2010 @ 8:07 am

    I would can the remaining jalapenos that need to be picked from my garden!

    Reply

  2. Tricia
    Aug 17, 2010 @ 8:09 am

    I will be canning pizza sauce! We love it year-round. That jar-lifter looks pretty nifty!

    Reply

  3. Tricia
    Aug 17, 2010 @ 8:10 am

    I tweeted the blog link and giveaway @LazyTcrochet

    Reply

  4. Tricia
    Aug 17, 2010 @ 8:11 am

    I remember endless peaches. Canning peaches was always a huge family event because we would get a bushel or two and share. Tomatoes have become the next big process.

    Reply

  5. Tricia
    Aug 17, 2010 @ 8:13 am

    I’m glad to have subscribed and look forward to reading more. Thanks Emily!

    Reply

  6. Beth
    Aug 17, 2010 @ 8:19 am

    I planted a garden for the first time this year and I would like to take all my tomatoes and make salsa and sauce and can it.

    Reply

  7. erica
    Aug 17, 2010 @ 8:47 am

    I would can salsa. My mom and I have made so much salsa with all our garden tomatoes. She is great at canning, but I have no experience whatsoever.

    My childhood memory when it comes to canning is with my grandmother who passed in November. Every summer, we would go berry picking (strawberry and blueberry) and then make homemade jam and jellies with them. My mom has continued with the tradition, but I still have lots to learn.

    I am subscribing to your blog as well. I was subscribe until you changed you to this awesome format:)

    Reply

  8. Sarah Jayne
    Aug 17, 2010 @ 8:49 am

    awwww! Awesome! I have nine bazillion tomatoes growing this year- SALSAAAA!

    Reply

  9. Mo@MommyRD
    Aug 17, 2010 @ 9:29 am

    I have really been wanting to try canning -entering all the contests to win this. Maybe this will be my lucky one? I would can tomatoes, and jam as my first try.

    Reply

  10. Mo@MommyRd
    Aug 17, 2010 @ 9:31 am

    Memory of canning, my mom washing all the old glass Ball jars in the dishwasher to sanitize and canning endless dill pickles. (Of course, it was always one of the hottest days of summer too.) She also pickled beets and canned them on year, but the smell of that was nauseating for some reason. She never did that one again.

    Reply

  11. Mo@MommyRD
    Aug 17, 2010 @ 9:32 am

    I think I’m already subscribed to your blog. :-)

    Reply

  12. erin
    Aug 17, 2010 @ 9:34 am

    My favorite canning memory : my mom canning EVERYTHING from our garden (she still does). Tomatoes were a staple; she’d blanch and can them for hours. When she finished, jars filled with the beautiful bright red fruit covered the counter. They were such a treat in the middle of a northwest Minnesota winter. :) Since I don’t have a garden, I would can my favorite jam : rhubarb.

    Reply

  13. Dana
    Aug 17, 2010 @ 10:25 am

    I’ve never canned anything before, but I think I would try to can some oven dried tomatoes. Hopefully my little tomato plant will become so prolific that I need to start canning!

    Reply

  14. Dana
    Aug 17, 2010 @ 10:25 am

    I subscribe to your blog on my google reader :)

    Reply

  15. Dana
    Aug 17, 2010 @ 10:31 am

    Reply

  16. Alex @ IEatAsphalt
    Aug 17, 2010 @ 10:41 am

    I just wanted to say how cool this is. Canned veggies found in grocery stores are so packed with sodium and preservatives, and become stripped of any inherent nutritional value. But our grandmothers and great-grandmothers canned vegetables as a way to eat them throughout the entire year. This is definitely a more sustainable way (both environmentally and economically) of preparing food, which is especially important now.

    Reply

  17. Laura
    Aug 17, 2010 @ 10:43 am

    Canning brings back memories of watching my Grandmother do it when I was little. My Grams lived with us and I remember every late July and August the kitchen being filled with canning. I remember helping take part by snapping green beans or skinning tomatoes after they had been blanched.

    Reply

  18. Angela
    Aug 17, 2010 @ 10:45 am

    I would love to can. Its such an excellent way to capture the fresh produce. If I could I would probably can peaches, berries and beats. I’d like to try other veggies but I’ll have to do some research first!

    Reply

  19. catherine (FOOD SNOB)
    Aug 17, 2010 @ 12:51 pm

    I really should can my own salsa, since it is one of the only “processed” foods we buy — and we go through a TON of it!

    Reply

  20. Marie Daly
    Aug 17, 2010 @ 2:00 pm

    I’ve done canning before! I gave them as Christmas presents. We did some hot peppers, asparagus, green beans & cauliflower! We did tons of cans but had some issues with getting the cans to seal properly. Next time, I will need more practice with the sealing!

    Reply

  21. Courtney
    Aug 17, 2010 @ 6:06 pm

    I am so jealous–I have always wanted to learn to can! I have never been to Lucias…I need to change that soon :-)

    I would love to can fresh summer fruits to enjoy year round!

    Courtney

    Reply

  22. Courtney
    Aug 17, 2010 @ 6:07 pm

    I subscribed to your blog!

    Courtney

    Reply

  23. Courtney
    Aug 17, 2010 @ 6:08 pm

    Family canning memory? Hmmm…one year my mom and I tried to make and can blueberry jam after we went blueberry picking when I was in high school, and we canned a bunch of blueberry syrup, lol. It didn’t really work out. I would love to give it another try!

    Courtney

    Reply

  24. Carissa @ Fit To Indulge
    Aug 17, 2010 @ 6:49 pm

    I love this post!! I’ve recently gotten really into canning. I want to have my own garden and can EVERYTHING. For now I’m picking blackberries off the bushes in my yard. I have 3 giant bags of frozen berries in my freezer and I’m dying to learn how to make jam and can, can away. So for that, I could use a Canning Discovery Kit to get started. :)

    Reply

  25. Carissa @ Fit To Indulge
    Aug 17, 2010 @ 6:50 pm

    I tweeted the giveaway..

    Reply

  26. Jessie
    Aug 17, 2010 @ 6:54 pm

    Great job with your canning! I agree – canning foods yourself really helps you appreciate the food, not to mention you can control what you put in it! I would love to can my own jams and jellys, so I can make them as tart as I’d like!

    Reply

  27. kate
    Aug 17, 2010 @ 7:58 pm

    looks like fun!

    i used to make pickles and raspberry jam with my grammy every summer. we would pick the rapberries and make chocolate chip cookies with the jam was cooking. i would try to recreate one of her recipes with your kit.

    Reply

  28. Sis
    Aug 17, 2010 @ 8:31 pm

    Emme, Sean and I have been doing “quick” pickles but are excited to try long-term canning of pickles. We’re also thinking about getting some beets canned while they’re at their peak right now. We want to win the kit!!:-)

    Reply

  29. Lori
    Aug 18, 2010 @ 7:34 am

    I really need to make it to an official canning class. I’ve been teaching myself from what my mom has told me and books. Then, of course, there was what we learned in school which is the main reason I didn’t start canning until this year. They scared us silly with spoilage and all that. So far I’ve had moderate success. It took me a while to get the jalapenos perfected, but I’m doing well with jams and salsa. Great job on your beets!

    Reply

  30. Angharad
    Aug 18, 2010 @ 9:52 am

    Um so awesome that you got to do this! I love Lucia’s so much! Where was it advertised? I need to pay more attention to these things!

    Reply

    • Emily
      Aug 19, 2010 @ 7:33 am

      I’ll be sure to let you know next time I hear of an event!

      Reply

  31. Kristy
    Aug 18, 2010 @ 10:21 am

    I haven’t canned in a while but I have a great recipe from an old friend for “berry jam”, soo delicious on toast in the morning!!

    Reply

  32. Kristy
    Aug 18, 2010 @ 10:21 am

    I subscribed to you blog! :)

    Reply

  33. Mercedes
    Aug 18, 2010 @ 7:24 pm

    I’m in ND this week and my mom and I just canned 22 pints of beets! It was so much fun and I’d love to can together sometime. We just finished jalepeno jelly today which also made me think of you!

    Reply

    • Emily
      Aug 19, 2010 @ 7:18 am

      Jalapeno jelly is my favorite but I’ve always been too afraid! I would love to do that one together! :)

      Reply

  34. Mercedes
    Aug 18, 2010 @ 7:32 pm

    If I won the Ball Canning Discovery Kit I think I would try bing cherries. My mom says that my dad always loved when she canned them. My mom used to have a pantry full of any fruit and vegetable you could think of perfectly canned and organized as if she owned a grocery store. My favorite part of canning the beets is peeling them after they have been boiled. I can remember laughing with my grandma and my mom as beets slipped all over the place as we peeled them! Wish my grandma was still around to can with us!

    Reply

  35. Lulu
    Aug 18, 2010 @ 7:36 pm

    Emily, I love your blog and read it often! My favorite canning memory is going down to the basement in the winter when the temperature is below zero and seeing all of the summer produce-the bright orange of the peaches, green of the beans, the red of the tomatoes…. To have a taste of summer during the coldest part of winter was always refreshing!

    Reply

    • Emily
      Aug 19, 2010 @ 7:17 am

      Lulu I love this memory!! Thanks for sharing.

      Reply

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