Diane Devereaux believes in the notion that food is art; therefore, canning is preserving that art. A life-long Michigan resident, in Grand Rapids for over a decade, Devereaux began canning as a teenager in northern Michigan. By starting Canning Diva, Devereaux brings her support of non-GMO seeds and products and growing crops without chemicals, pesticides, and genetic manipulation to the West Michigan community.
Devereaux stresses the importance behind consumers’ right to know the contents of what they are consuming.
“We are in a time where the negatives of processed foods have outweighed the positives,” she says. “People understand now more than ever what they put in their body, they will soon become. Knowing where your food comes from and how it is grown is essential to healthy living—and canning the goodness of wholesome, locally grown foods extend those benefits year round!”
Canning Diva holds classes on the art of preservation, canning and dehydration. The classes fall under the categories of Canning 101, Seasonal Canning and Large Batch Personal Production Seasonal Canning. Canning 101 is a beginner class that teaches the basics of handling, utensil usage, food safety, and many recipe options. Season canning incorporates sauces, chutneys, and more to teach participants how to add a different flavor to ordinary recipes. Finally, the Large Batch Personal Production Seasonal Canning is a great class option that teaches how to preserve produce in abundance so as to not waste a large crop. Here is the full calendar of classes.
Devereaux’s hope is that, “teaching these time-honored traditions will open a door to a valuable skill set and expand the consumption of healthy foods throughout the year.”
The classes teach how to cut food costs, and create experiences that allow stocking your pantry with healthy, homemade options.
Canning your own fruits and vegetables has a number of different benefits. Fruits and vegetables begin to lose their nutrient level bit by bit as soon as they are picked. However, canning typically uses products right after they have been picked thereby preserving and locking in the highest level of nutrient levels. Fruits and vegetables have abundant nutrients such as fiber, vitamins A and C, potassium, folate, and iron. They are also a good source of phytochemicals, which aim to keep us healthier in general. Canning allows us to broaden the spectrum of fruits and vegetables that we consume throughout the year since we are then able to eat certain options that might be out of season at the time.
As Devereaux reiterates, “I am a firm believer in consumers having the right to know the content of what they ingest and am a proud supporter of honest and forthright labeling of all foods. It is because of these beliefs I choose to home-can throughout the year, stacking the cards in my favor, to provide a healthy lifestyle for myself and my family.”
What are your favorite fruits and vegetables for canning?
Photo credit: SP Photoart