Food - Drink
Do You Have To Peel Produce Before Canning It?
Canning fruits and vegetables is a rewarding process, but takes time and effort, not to mention you need to follow rules to ensure that your food remains safe to eat. There are also factors to consider regarding the final taste and texture of your canned food; for instance, you have to decide whether to peel your produce or not.
To peel or not to peel boils down to the safety and quality of the produce. Healthy Canning recommends washing, peeling, and rewashing your fruits and veggies before canning, since washing them once with the skins on doesn't necessarily remove every trace of dirt and bacteria, but some canners have other opinions.
Kathie Lapcevic of Homespun Seasonal Living points out that leaving the peel on produce like tomatoes, plums, and pears saves time and preserves their valuable nutrients. She also says that you only need to remove the peel if you prefer the texture of the peeled produce, and the canning process itself should kill any lingering bacteria.
While Lapcevic does recommend peeling peaches, citrus fruits, and beets before canning, she believes that peeling vegetables is more of a matter of preference. Either way, the safest advice is to follow your recipe's instructions on whether or not to peel your produce when canning; it's unwise to deviate from those instructions.