The Easy Way To Prevent Home-Canned Food From Discoloring

While many centuries have come and gone since canning was invented in 1795 (per The Spruce Eats), this preservation method is still one of the foodies' favorite hobbies. Because although we may live in an age where groceries and fast food are a DoorDash order away, canning's incredible benefits have continued to make it a valuable pastime. In fact, according to Life and Health Network, canning your own food will allow you to eat preservative-free veggies and help you cut back on your carbon footprint at the same time.

However, for all of its rewards, canning is also a big commitment with its share of downsides. For one thing, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that eating improperly canned food could cause you to suffer life-endangering side effects. So if you want to can, you have to both make sure you're doing it safely and that your food doesn't lose its flavor and color over time. But if you've discovered you just can't seem to keep your canned peas green, you don't have to start looking for a new hobby. Instead, there is a quick fix to making sure your canned food maintains its colors from summer to spring.

Loosen your canning rings

To prevent your food from spoiling, your first instinct may be to make sure your cans' rings are screwed on as tightly as possible. However, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) reports that too-tight rings are the reason the color of your preserved food is turning south fast.

According to the USDA, tightening your rings too much will obstruct the air from properly venting when your can is still processing. And because your food was deprived of the venting process, your canned veggies' color won't hold up. However, although Pick Your Own reports that this type of discoloration more than likely means your canned goods are over-processed and not inedible, the USDA does note that tightening your lids could lead to unsafe canned food. For example, if you squeeze your rings too tight, it may cause the jar to break. And the CDC notes that the smallest crack in your canning container will make the food inside of it dangerous to eat.

But luckily, although tightening your rings too firmly is an easy way to ruin your canned food, avoiding this canning mistake is just as simple. Rather than tightening your rings with as much force as possible, simply reinforce them enough to seal your food. Then you won't have to worry about your favorite canned fruits and veggies losing their color before you have a chance to enjoy them.