How to make safe canned vegetables

When the garden is generous, you can decide to make preserves , in order to bring the flavors of the harvest to the table even out of season and to keep the vegetables longer. Potted vegetables can be preserved in oil, pickled or pickled. However, when storing vegetables, great care must be taken to avoid dangerous toxins, such as botulinum.

Manufacture of canned vegetables total security this is possible by following certain guidelines offered by the Ministry of Health. As already mentioned in the post dedicated to the sterilization of baby bottles, it is essential to take care of personal hygiene first. and the cleanliness of the work environment: wash your hands well, use clean, ironed kitchen towels, carefully clean the work surface and all utensils, sterilize the glass jars, lids and spacers that will be used .

Once ready, we can start preparing our canned vegetables, bearing in mind that it is very important to follow certain essential rules to guarantee the safety of the finished products.

Contents [Ocultar]

  • The choice of ingredients

  • The microbiological safety of preserves

  • How to make canned pickles and pickles in vinegar and oil

    • pickled preserves

    • preserved in oil

    • preserved in brine

  • Verification of canned goods upon opening


The choice of ingredients

The choice of ingredients is the first aspect to consider for the preparation of excellent canned vegetables. To obtain good results, the ideal is to favor the ingredients in full seasonality not immature and at the same time not too ripe to prevent them from losing their consistency during cooking and resting.

If possible, choose organic vegetables and untreated vegetables are just as important when you want to prepare canned vegetables: if you use products from your garden, you can be sure to have authentic products and 0 km available. The same goes for preservatives and flavorings such as herbs or spices: always choose excellent quality extra virgin olive oils and vinegars, as well as salt, sugar, fresh herbs and spices. , preferably whole.

All the ingredients you have to wash them well under running water and, if necessary, with a solution of water and bicarbonate of soda (1 teaspoon per liter of water), then wipe with perfectly clean cloths or absorbent paper.

Microbiological safety of preserves

Canned foods are preparations with a microbiological risk and incorrect preparation or storage can make these foods very dangerous to health.

The main risks come from the generation of mold caused by incorrect pasteurization, by imperfect vacuum packing, by the presence of water or air in the storage or by the formation of botulinum toxins.

If it is easy to check the correct creation of the vacuum and the possible presence of air and mold inside the canned product, the same is not true for botulinum toxin. the presence of which cannot in any case be deduced from a simple visual examination of the product. Botulinum toxin is produced by botulinum spores that have not been properly neutralized.

In a domestic environment, it is not possible to obtain perfect sterilization of canned vegetables and pasteurization is not enough to guarantee safety: unlike bacteria, in fact, botulinum spores can withstand temperatures of 100° C for several hours and, if not neutralized in another way, can make our preserves very dangerous to health.

However, there are some precautions that allow to obtain canned safely Regarding the risk of botulism:

  • Acidity . Vegetables stored in a sufficiently acidic environment are completely harmless from a microbiological point of view, since the spores are not able to be activated and produce botulinum toxin.
  • Salt. Brine, a mixture of water and salt, is a completely safe preservative of botulinum toxin, provided that the following proportion is respected: for one liter of water there must be at least 100 g of salt (minimum concentration of 10 %).

Oil is not a preservative with a guarantee of safety because it is not capable of inactivating botulinum spores: if you want to preserve in oil, you must therefore pre-acidify all the vegetables and flavorings that are going to be used.

How to Make Pickles and Pickles

canned cucumber

Sub-vinegars are the easiest preserves to make at home and also the safest. First of all, it is important to choose a suitable vinegar, of good quality, preferably white wine and with an acidity of at least 6% (you can read the acidity value on the label). Use a vinegar with 6% acidity pickled vegetables can be prepared using a mixture of equal parts vinegar and water (or wine). Of course, you can also unbalance the solution to make it more acidic, thereby increasing the amount of vinegar. If you have chosen a vinegar with an acidity of less than 6%, you will have to use it pure.

For vinegar preparations, vegetables and flavorings can be used raw or blanched in water and vinegar for a few minutes, in any case they must be kept al dente to prevent the vinegar maceration from altering their consistency. . The vegetables should then be placed in sterilized jars (for pickles, sterilization of jars is actually optional) and vinegar cutlery so that the level exceeds the vegetables by at least one centimeter. The spacer must be placed and the cover closed.

Then proceed to pasteurization place the jars wrapped in a tea towel in a pan large enough to hold them and leave them submerged in water for at least 5 cm. The pasteurization time varies according to the size of the jars and must be counted from the moment of complete boiling without interruption: if the water stops boiling, the time must be recalculated.

preserved in oil

To prepare the oil flakes you need a little more care. Since oil is not a safe medium for botulinum control, it is essential acidify all the ingredients – after washing and drying the vegetables, they need to be cut into not too small pieces and scalded in vinegar for a few minutes. Then drain them and let them dry on a clean cloth. Acidification should also be done for all flavors and spices.

Then they must be transferred to the jars to fill all the spaces and covered in oil above the level of the vegetables by at least one centimeter. As with pickles, the spacer, cap, and pasteurization process must be done.

preserved in brine

To prepare pickled preserves, it is important to maintain a concentration of salt at least 10% guarantee the microbiological safety of the preserve. To prepare the brine , bring the water and salt solution to a boil and let it cool. Once cold, pour it over the vegetables and let them macerate for a few days or weeks.

Opening control of canned products

Before eating canned vegetables, it is important to check that they have not been tampered with. The first thing to do is to check the vacuum: if Pressure the lid clicks, it means that the vacuum has not been maintained and the canned vegetables should not be eaten.

If the vacuum is maintained correctly, it is necessary to check the presence of mould, alterations in color or consistency or the presence of air in the preserves: if, when opening the jar, small bubbles are observed which rise to the surface bottom, mould, areas of altered color or questionable consistency, canned food should not be eaten or tasted and should be discarded immediately.

If there have been no alterations, the preserves can be consumed safely, taking care to keep them in the refrigerator after opening and consume them within a few days. For this reason, it is best to choose small to medium sized jars as they are quicker to eat.

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