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Kristina Viola is a recent graduate of the Dietetic Internship Program at Vanderbilt University. Originally from Raleigh, North Carolina, Kristina received her bachelor's degree in Dietetics at the University of Kentucky and is now enjoying her time in Tennessee working, traveling, cooking, and exploring Nashville.

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H ealthy Table*

Canning Fruits and Vegetables? It's Not Just For Grandmothers!
By Kristina Viola

I'm Kristina - a twenty-something health professional - who likes to eat healthy on a budget. I love shopping at my local farmers' market and eating fresh fruits and vegetables all year long. Eating fresh in the winter months gets expensive. It makes sense to follow my grandmothers' good examples and can my favorite local fruits and veggies this fall for the cold winter months ahead.

* "It makes sense to follow my grandmothers' good examples and can my favorite local fruits and veggies this fall for the cold winter months ahead."

It is well known that fruits and vegetables are packed with beneficial nutrients that can keep us healthy and help fight diseases like cancer. Canning preserves fresh fruits and vegetables by sealing them in airtight containers or jars. When you do it yourself, you are able to can your produce right at the time of peak ripeness. This ensures they are packed with their maximum nutritional value. Preserving foods allows you to enjoy your favorite fruits and vegetables year round on a budget!

Want to give canning a try' Here is the good news: it is simple and easy to start canning at home. You can either grow your own produce or visit a local farmers' market. Start with something basic, like tomatoes; there are a bunch of great things you can do with them! Canned tomatoes work great for a warm soup on a cold day or a spicy chili to heat up on a frosty night.

Why not start with a canning party? Have fun with friends and catch up while canning. Share the end product for a take home favor! Explore the following websites for more information on canning, plus how-to canning tips and recipes:

http://www.freshpreserving.com
http://tnhomeandfarm.com/index.php/site/food/articles/mason_jar_magic
http://www.utextension.utk.edu/publications/pbfiles/PB724.pdf

Here are some of the fruits and vegetables that are in season and delicious in Middle Tennessee in the fall. Check out your local farmers' market for these great treats, and put 'em up for winter!

Autumn Fruits Autumn Vegetables
  • Raspberries
  • Plums
  • Pears
  • Carrots
  • Parsnips
  • Daikon Radishes
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Pumpkins
  • Winter Squash
  • Mushrooms
  • Peppers
  • Kale
  • Boy Choy
  • Chinese Cabbage
  • Tatsoi
  • Swiss Chard
  • Red Cabbage
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