Urban Homesteading, - Canning & the Best Blueberry Jam!

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Canning has been around since about the 19th century, however, in a world of modern convenience, more people turn to the superchains to supply their pantry with their canned fruits, veggies, jellies, jams and pickles. After all, spending a dollar or two is surely much easier than pulling your own veg, chopping, mixing and boiling your own canned foods, right? Well...store packaged foods, as we all know, are usually chocked full of preservatives and often contain chemical laden produce, so home canning is surely the only way to know for sure what is in your food. Whether you are growing your backyard tomatoes or buying them from the market, the process from start to finish is in your control and there is no greater satisfaction than cracking open a tightly sealed lid of a product your made yourself.

Probably the first major step in my attempts of being an urban homesteader was to learn how to water bath can. For Christmas last year all I asked for was a water bath canning set. My husband bought me one and, after keeping my feisty then one-year-old from climbing in and out of it playing hide and seek, I immediately began scouring the markets for cheap bulk produce to make into jams, jellies and preserves. Like most, my first attempt at a jam did not set right and I learned the hard way about storing it in the kitchen pantry located too close to my stove. Yuck! You can read all the books and blogs but the simple fact is that you need to just dive in and learn things for yourself.

Luckily we have a nice year-long outdoor market only a few miles form our house. And, they sell bulk produce. On some mornings I would ride past the market on my bike and see cases of strawberries, apples, and blueberries for just dollars a case...not each...a case!!! Take below for example: I filled my entire gigantic messenger bag full of fresh blueberries for only $3!


Needless to say I had lots of berries and needed to find some jam recipes fast. Over the next day or so I tried several recipes I had found online but found that my favorites were just plain blueberry and blueberry cinnamon. The set very well and were the most delicious on toast...and, turns out, they are also kid approved as my neighbor's youngest ate an entire jar with a spoon one day!

I have pasted below the most basic blueberry jams for all you beginners. You can click on the photo to be taken to my Pinterest to see more recipes. And if you're new to canning, I would definitely check out THIS CANNING TUTORIAL Remember, water bath canning is only for High Acid foods, which includes most fruits. So things like jams and jellies are a perfect place to start and serve as a sweet treat to celebrate your success.

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