Canning vegetables are a part of living off the grid, sooner or later all people who live off the grid or in a homestead will start canning vegetables. The best part about canning vegetables is that it is relatively cheap and you can easily make a large stockpile of canned vegetables. Although buying canned vegetables is not that expensive but if your main goal is to be self-reliant then it is a good idea to start canning vegetables.
In times of plenty, most people who live off the grid will prepare for harder times, this usually means that during the summertime when most vegetables are picked they will can them for later use during the wintertime. Although there are a couple of vegetables that also grow during the wintertime or in cold environments but these tend to grow extremely slow. The slower a vegetable grows the higher its chances are of getting a disease or simply die off.
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There are thousands of vegetables which you can grow, although that doesn’t mean that all of them are good for canning. The main idea of canning vegetables is to preserve them for longer periods of time. If you have canned your vegetables correctly and you have stored them correctly then the canned vegetables will last you for a long time. For what kind of vegetables you should grow to can will mostly depend on what grows well in your area.
In addition to this, you also have to consider what your ultimate goal is with canned vegetables, if you want to have canned vegetables to supplement your diet then choose vegetables which are good for this goal. On the other hand, if you want to mostly eat canned vegetables during the winter then it is a good idea to can vegetables that have a lot of calories for more information check out my recent article Highest calorie garden crops ( Top 24 ).
1. Canning tomatoes
One of the best vegetables for canning are tomatoes, not only they have a long shelf life if they are canned but they also tend to grow fairly fast. Most people who are new to growing vegetables and canning will start with tomatoes, mostly because this vegetable is extremely easy to grow and requires little maintenance. For the most part, you will have a fairly easy time canning and growing cherry tomatoes.
The best tomatoes to can are cherry tomatoes, Big Beef tomato, Celebrity tomato, Grape tomato, Jersey tomato, Big Boy Hybrid tomato, Early Girl tomato, and the Independence Day tomato. If you want to make a profit by selling vegetables then check out my recent article Selling vegetables roadside ( In 9 Easy Steps ).
2. Canning peppers
After tomatoes, peppers are the second-best vegetables for canning. Growing peppers is extremely similar to growing tomatoes, they do not need a lot of maintenance and if you water them properly you will have no problem growing fairly large peppers. Some people will can peppers separately, while others combine them with other vegetables like cabbages, which I do highly recommend you to try.
The best peppers for canning are Jalapeno, Pasilla, Poblano, Cayenne, and Bell peppers.
3. Canning cucumbers
No matter if you love them or hate them, but cucumbers are found in almost every pantry. It is relatively easy to pickle cucumbers and if you do it correctly they will last you for a long time. There is one main problem with canning cucumbers which is that they might get soft and mushy after a while, this mostly depends on how you are pickling them and what kind of cucumbers you are actually using for canning.
The best cucumbers to can are the Burpee Pickler, Calypso, Fancipak, Little Leaf, Carolina, and the Bush Pickle. If you are looking for a good off grid state where you can also grow plenty of vegetables then check out my recent article Off grid living in Missouri ( The Show-Me State ).
4. Canning cabbages
Cabbages are extremely popular with homesteaders and people living off the grid as well. Growing cabbages is fairly easy and a couple of them will fill a lot of cans. You can either can cabbages separately or by combining them with other vegetables. One of my neighbors is from Hungary and he taught me how to make csalamade, which is canned cabbage with other vegetables, and I am making csalamade every year since then, it is delicious.
The best type of cabbages to can are White cabbage, Pointed cabbage, Red cabbage, Savoy cabbage, Cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts.
5. Canning beans
Beans are excellent for canning, their growing period is fairly low and once canned they will last for years. If you want some highly nutritious vegetables to can then beans are for you. Beans contain a lot of fat, protein, and carbohydrates in addition to vitamins and minerals. Even after you have canned them they will keep their nutritional value for the most part. The best beans to can are Pinto beans, Chickpeas, Peas, Black-eyed peas, red beans, Lentils, and Black beans.
6. Canning corn
Corn tends to have a lot of calories, which means that it is ideal to be consumed during the wintertime. There are a lot of ways on how you can preserve corn but canning is probably one of the best options. Just keep in mind that the type of corn that is grown for feeding animals is not suitable for canning. The best types of corn to can are Honey Select, Nirvana, Picasso, Silver Queen, Jubilee, Peaches and Cream, Ruby Queen, and the Stowells Evergreen.
7. Canning potatoes
Most people do not actually can potatoes as they tend to last for a fairly long time provided that you store them correctly. On the other hand, if you can potatoes then you increase their shelf life significantly. Although canning potatoes is fairly easy, but growing them can be difficult if you are a beginner. The best potatoes to can are Maris Piper, Arran Pilot, Pink Fir Apple, Salad blue, Rooster, Cara, and the Cara Sarpo Mira.
8. Canning carrots
Carrots are extremely easy to grow and if you can them then you increase their shelf life significantly. Depending on what type of carrots you actually can you might find that some of them are mushy, although these are still edible and they do keep their nutritional value but their texture is a bit off. The best types of carrots to grow for canning are Parisian Heirloom, Red, Solar Yellow, Thumbelina, Purple Dragon, Short and Sweet, Tendersweet, and the Touchon.
9. Canning peas
Peas are extremely easy to grow and if you take care of them properly then they will have large yields. Canning peas will prolong their shelf life and they are an easy way of making several dishes, especially soups during the wintertime. For the most part, people who grow food for the winter will skip peas as they are other vegetables that provide a lot more nutrition. The best peas to can are Avola, Canoe, Capucijner, Kelvedon Wonder, Hurst Green Shaft, and the Terrain Peas.
10. Canning asparagus
Asparagus doesn’t grow in all areas of the country, although where it grows most people will can them. Canning asparagus is more or less the same process as canning any other vegetables. If you live in an area where asparagus can be grown then you should definitely try them out. The best asparagus types to can are Green Asparagus, Purple Asparagus, White Asparagus, Wild Asparagus, and the Apollo Asparagus.
11. Canning winter squash
Winter squash is excellent for growing and canning as well, only a couple of them will fill several mason jars provided that they’re fully matured. Even if you are not a fan of winter squash you should still can some of them as they can easily be used in a lot of dishes. The best winter squash types for canning are Butternut squash, Red Kabocha squash, Kabocha squash, Carnival squash, Sugar pumpkin, and the Sweet Dumpling squash.
12. Canning beets
Beets are becoming more popular than ever, only a couple of decades ago growing them was not that popular. The main reason why they are so popular today is that they are fairly easy to grow and if you store them correctly they tend to have a fairly long shelf life. The best varieties of beets to can are Red beets, Striped beets, Mangelwurzel beets, Sugar beets, Golden beets, and the Cylindra beets.
13. Canning onions
Most varieties of onions will grow almost anywhere provided that the soil is not that poor. Onions are extremely easy to grow and pickling them will increase their shelf life. Some people will can onions while they are small and others will wait until the plant fully matures. The best types of onions to can are Yellow onions, Sweet onions, Red onions, White onions, Shallots and Scallions.
As you can see there are a couple of vegetables which are excellent for canning. Before deciding what kind of vegetables to grow for canning you have to take a look at what kind of vegetables grow the best in your area and go from there. It is a good idea to try out some of the canned vegetables after a couple of months, mostly to taste them and to see if they have gone mushy, in this case, you should eat these first.