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Easy Canning Recipes

My domain www.easycanningrecipes.com is about to expire and I am not going to pay the $130.00 extortion charge to renew it for another year so I am simply moving my recipes over here. Hope you find something you enjoy.

CANNING MADE EASY

Canning. 

Remember the days when we were little standing in that hot kitchen as mom or grandma 
toiled away at the stove canning the summer’s fresh fruits and vegetables? The flavors mixing 
in the air to create a scent that will never be forgotten yet  can’t really be explained. It’s just one of 
those, we know it when we smell it  types and it means different things to each of us.
 
Now days, we don’t can much anymore. The convenience of the grocery store and the longer working 
hours don’t really leave much time or incentive for us to can like was done in days gone by. But, the way 
grocery prices are skyrocketing  and jobs are more uncertain than ever, it’s time to get back to our roots. And not just carrots!
 
Canning can be a very rewarding experience. There is nothing like looking at those jars all lined up 
and feeling as though you have really accomplished something. It’s about home and family and being 
able to have a great meal on short notice. Here, I have gathered some of the best and easiest canning 
recipes there are and they taste great whether you are a beginner or have been canning for years. They are
 tried and they are true. I hope you enjoy.


 
Before I get to the recipes, there are a few things you are going to need. 
These are just the basics to get you started.


  • Pressure Cooker. You can use this as it is, a pressure cooker, but also as
    a method for using the “water-bath” for certain jams and such. I will go
    more into this in each recipe.

  • Jars with lids and rings. The sizes will vary according to what you are
    canning and how much you want to can.

  • Tongs. These will be used for lifting hot jars from the boiling water.

  • Wide Mouthed Funnel. This will save you tremendous messes.

  • Sugar

  • Vinegar

  • Canning Salt

  • Pectin


There are a few more things but they will vary depending on the recipe 
you are using. So without further ado, let’s get canning.

Jams 
The steps to making jam are relatively simple. For most jam recipes, the process includes 
washing and crushing the fruit, bringing it to a boil, adding sugar and pectin, and then pouring 
into hot jars for the canning process. Jams and jellies are always water bath canned, since they 
contain fruit. Pectin is often used in homemade jam recipes as a thickening agent. Some people 
get confused about this part, but it's nothing to worry about.

What's the difference between jam, jelly, marmalade, and preserves?

 
Well, jam is usually a smooth, slightly chunky soft-spread. It has a thick consistency with a 
wonderfully sweet flavor. Jelly lives up to it's name - jell. It is usually a stiffer and more delicate spread.
Marmalade is a slightly chunky soft spread - however, it traditionally holds a citrus flavor. Citrus rinds 
are often included to give it that familiar "zing".
 
Preserves are simply  fruit that has been canned- often with a sweet syrup. 
But most people use the words jam, jelly, or preserves as synonyms for the same thing.
These home canning recipes have been tried and true. I know you'll love 'em!
 
Reducing sugar in jam recipes
 
If you're trying to cut down on sugar in your diet, or are simply  looking for a healthier alternative, 
you may wonder if you can reduce the amounts of sugar a homemade jam recipe. Most jam and jelly 
recipes call for cups and cups of sugar, which is not exactly what a diabetic may have in mind!

Sugar does two things to jam: it firms it, and it adds volume. It is perfectly safe to reduce the amount 
of sugar in your homemade jam recipe; however, you may find that the consistency will change! 
Traditional jam is thick and chunky, and this is achieved by adding full sugar to the jam. Sugar tends 
to act as a firming agent to the fruit, so when you leave it out or reduce it, you will just have runny soup. 
The jam will still taste wonderful, but just be aware that it will be the consistency of syrup. These "syrup jams" 
make excellent ice cream toppers!
 
When you are making jams that call for pectin, however, you should always add the correct amount of 
sugar called for. Although it will not affect the preservation, your pectin will be rendered worthless if you 
don't add full sugar. Because pectin is specifically made to help thicken jams and jellies, it is made to work 
with sugar. Fortunately, there are many types of pectin out there. There is a no-sugar pectin that will thicken 
your jam without adding any sugar. This is an excellent choice if you are wanting the healthy option. Sugar 
also adds volume to jam. I have found that when I reduce the majority of sugar in a homemade jam recipe, 
there is a significantly less amount of jam as a result. A large amount of fruit is required to make a no-sugar jam - this is also true of jams calling for no-sugar pectin.

Using honey


For those wanting the sweetness but not the sugar, using honey in a homemade jam recipe works very nicely. 
Because honey is naturally acidic, it will actually aid the preservation of your jams! However, because honey 
does have a distinct flavor, you may or may not want to use it; what you add or subtract from a recipe will have 
an affect on the flavor.To use honey in place of sugar, use 3/4 cup for every cup of sugar. There are many 
homemade jam recipes that actually call for honey; in this case it may also call for pectin. Make sure that 
you use the right kind of pectin, since the different types are not interchangeable.
 
Doubling a homemade jam recipe
 
Want to make an extra big batch of that favorite jam recipe? Do not double it! Yes it's tempting, 
but if you are looking to make two batches, make them in separate pots. If you double a jam recipe, 
especially those calling for pectin, it will not set up and will be very runny and syrupy. I have had personal experience with this and can confidently say, do not double your jam or jelly recipe!
 
When you double a homemade jam recipe, obviously there are more ingredients in your pot. 
The cooking time that your recipe calls for will not be sufficient enough to cook through double 
the ingredients, thus affecting the consistency. Since bringing the jam to a boil is a major step in the 
thickening process, skipping this step will result in runny jam.Doubling the cooking time will not help 
matters, either. Boiling your jam longer will cause the jam to become tough and dark-colored.
 
Sweet Strawberry Jam Recipe

I found this strawberry jam recipe to be really easy. It only calls for three simple ingredients 
that nearly everyone will have on hand! It doesn't even call for pectin - but it thickens nicely nonetheless. 
As with many non-pectin recipes, this one will appear to be watery when you first make it. Don't worry; 
it will thicken up in the refrigerator.This jam makes an excellent ice-cream topping.
It's so strawberry!


Sweet Strawberry Jam
 
2 pounds fresh strawberries, hulled
4 C. white sugar
1/4 C. lemon juice
 
In a large mixing bowl, crush berries until you have 4 cups of mashed 
berries. In a heavy saucepan, mix together the mashed strawberries, sugar, and 
lemon juice. Stir over low heat until sugar is dissolved.
Increase heat to high, and bring the mixture to a full rolling boil. Boil, 
stirring often, until the mixture reaches 220* F.(This is about 15 minutes.) 
Transfer to hot sterile jars, leaving 1/4 - 1/2 inch head space. Place lids and 
rims on jars; process in water bath for 20 minutes.
  

Blackberry Jam
 
4 c. fresh or frozen blackberries, thawed
1/4 c. lemon juice
4 1/2 c. white sugar
1 1/2 tsp. grated lemon peel
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
 
In a heavy 4-quart pan, combine berries and lemon juice. Mash berries 
slightly, if desired. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring often. Stir in 
sugar, lemon peel, and cinnamon. Return to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. 
Reduce heat to medium and boil gently until temperature reaches 220 degrees as 
registered by a candy thermometer (about 15 minutes). Stir often. Remove from 
heat and stir jam. Ladle jam into 4 hot, sterilized 1/2 pint jars. Place broken 
piece of cinnamon stick on the top of each jar.
Wipe rims of jars with damp cloth. Place lids and rims on; process in water 
bath canner for 20 minutes.
  

Pear Butter 

Spiced with nutmeg, orange peel, and citrus juice, this pear butter recipe is so yummy! It's a fun 
twist to the common placed apple butter and the flavor is outstanding.
 
What is pear butter, anyway?
 
Most people have heard of apple butter, but pear butter is a bit more 
unusual. We had never heard of it until our friend told us about it! Not usually 
thought of as a jam or jelly, pear butter can be categorized as a fruit spread. 
Pear butter does not set up like a jelly does; its consistency is a bit thicker 
than that of apple sauce. 


Old Fashioned Pear Butter
 
6-7 lbs. pears
4 C. sugar
1 tsp. grated orange peel
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/3 C. orange juice
1. Wash, core, peel, and slice pears.


2. Combine pears and 1/2 C. water in a large sauce pot. 
Simmer until pears are soft.


3. Puree pears using a food processor or food mill, but do 
not liquify. Measure 2 quarts pear pulp.


4. Combine pear pulp and sugar in a large sauce pot, 
stirring until sugar dissolves. Add remaining ingredients. Cook until thick 
enough to mound up on a spoon. As mixture thickens, stir frequently to prevent 
sticking.


5. Ladle hot butter into hot jars, leaving a 1/4 inch 
head space. Remove air bubbles. Wipe rims with a damp cloth on screw on lids and 
bands.


6. Water bath for 10 minutes.
 
Apple Jam

As soon as it made it onto the breakfast table, this jam instantly became a family favorite! 
Bits of soft apple give this jam an "autumn flavor"....you'll feel like you're eating fresh pie. 
Unlike most jams, this one is sweetened with brown sugar, which gives it an appealing look 
and an even better taste.  The dash of nutmeg gives it the exotic flavor I love - I'm sure 
this one will quickly become one of your favorites!
  
  
Country Apple Jam
  
6 C. peeled and finely diced apples (we used Pink Lady)
1/2 C. water
1/2 tsp. butter
1 package powdered fruit pectin
3 C. granulated sugar
2 C. packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
 
Mix apples, water, and butter in large pot. Cook over low heat, stirring, 
until apples are soft (but not mushy).
Stir in pectin. Bring to a full boil, stirring constantly.
Add sugars, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Return to a rolling boil and continue to 
boil, stirring constantly for 1 minute or until sugars are dissolved.
Pour into hot sterilized jars, leaving 1/4 inch head space. Wipe rims of 
jars with damp cloth; screw on clean lids and rims.
Water bath for 10 minutes. Makes 7 half-pints.
 
FRUITS

There are some important things to know about canning fruits; for example, how much sugar 
should you use? Can you reduce sugar? What canning method should you use? And what kinds 
of fruits can you actually preserve?
 
What kind of fruits can I can?
It really depends on what kind of fruit you are wanting to can. Most fruits can be canned safely 
with no problem, but there are a few that should be frozen instead. There are also fruits that 
may be canned but will taste better in jams or butters, rather than canning them whole.
 
Fruits such as apples, pears, peaches, pineapple, mango, oranges, lemons, grapefruit, apricots, 
grapes, and cherries may be canned whole (or sliced/chopped).
 
Fruits such as bananas, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, watermelons, cantaloupe, honeydew, 
and kiwis may be canned as well; however they should always be canned as a jam, jelly, or butter. 
You can make excellent pickled watermelon rinds, as well.
 
The reason for not canning fruits like these by themselves is because of their high water content. 
Fruits like apples or pears are firm and contain less liquid, so they will keep pretty firm even after 
they have been canned. Berries and melons, however, contain so much water that they will basically turn to mush after canning them. When you mash these fruits ahead of time into a jam, however, they turn out great.
 
Apples

Let's start with the basics of how to can apples themselves. It's a very basic and simple process;
and, unlike other fruits and vegetables, is not very messy.

Choose your canning apples
 
Buy apples that are as fresh as you can find; try to pick firm, crisp apples with minimal bad spots or bruising.
Of course, the ideal way to do this is to pick your own apples at a local orchard, but not everyone has this 
luxury! I've been greatly spoiled by the great you-pick-it orchard down the road a few miles from us. :-) 
You can get great prices if you do it this way, since you are buying in bulk.
 
At the store, though, you might want to ask your "fruit and vegetable man" which apples are the most 
recently stocked, or which ones are the ripest or freshest. It's important to make sure that the food you 
can is good quality.
 
What kind to buy?
 
Really, any apple will work. It is totally your preference here. Now, the only thing to consider is when 
canning apples is that apples such as Granny Smiths are much more tart, and you may need to add 
more sugar to sweeten them up.
 
How much to buy?
 
One bushel of apples will yield about 14 - 18 quarts. All right; get your fruit and let's start canning apples!
 
1. Wash your canning apples. You always want to wash any 
kind of fresh produce before you can it. Besides dirt, there will also be 
chemicals or pesticides coating the skins; so it's pretty important to scrub 
that off before you start.


2. Peel apples. The skins on apples may taste great fresh, 
(and they certainly have a lot of nutrition in them), but canning them is not 
normally done.


3. Slice apples. You can quarter them, halve them, or slice them, (or even dice 
them!), as long as you cut the apple in some way. Obviously, a whole apple is 
not going to fit into a jar, so you have to cut it up one way or another.
The easiest way to slice apples is to use this apple slicer. It makes the process so much simpler! 
I would highly recommend this tool, if you want to spend the money. It cuts your apple into 8 
perfect slices, and cores it, as well.
Slicing apples by hand, of course, will work just as well. It's just not as 
efficient. 


4. Cook your apples. Place 6 cups of apple slices in a large soup pot and fill with 1 gallon 
of water. Now, you could also use apple juice as your liquid, rather than water. If you use juice, than 
you will not need to add any sugar, as there will already be some in the juice.
Boil apples for 5 minutes; then drain off the juice - but SET THE JUICE 
ASIDE; don't throw it out! You will need it later on.Since you will probably be 
canning more than 6 cups of apples, you will need to repeat this step several 
times until all your apples get cooked.


5. Fill clean, sterilized canning jars with apple slices. You don't want to fill it 
too full, though. Just fill it up within 1/2 inch of the top. If you use a 
canning funnel, this process will be much easier and less messy.


6. After all your jars have been filled, pour the hot water or apple juice from step 4 
into your jars. Leave a 1/2 inch head space.


7. Wipe rims of jars. Even though this may seem like a trivial step, it is vitally 
important. After filling your jars, tiny food particles or sticky bits of food 
will have gotten on the rims. If you do not wipe your rims clean, these food 
particles could cause your lids to seal improperly, or not at all. I have had 
first hand experience with this! Use a clean, damp rag or paper towel to do this job. 
Dry the rims when you're done.


8. Put on lids and rims. The rims (also called rings, bands, or screw-caps) should be finger tight.


9. Place your jars in a water bath canner filled with water. There should be enough water in the canner 
to completely cover the tops of the jars. When canning apples, process jars for 20 minutes, adjusting time 
to meet your specific altitude's requirements.


10. Remove jars from canner and place on a cooling rack or a tea towel. Don't disturb for 24 
hours, as they need time to seal and settle. Within 5 minutes to 1 hour of 
removing the jars from your canner, you should hear a "pop" from each jar. This 
means the lids have sealed.
 
Check your lids!
After 24 hours is passed, check your lids to see if they have sealed! You can do this by gently 
but firmly pressing down on the center of the lids. If it "pops" up and down, your lid has not sealed. 
(If it's meat, don't eat!)
If your lid stays firm, however, than they have sealed perfectly and should now be stored.

And.....you're done canning apples! Great job!
 
Your canned apples should be eaten within 1-2 years. Of course, they will 
probably last a lot longer than that, but since they will begin to lose their 
nutritional value after 1 - 2 years, it's a good idea to eat them by then.
Store canned goods in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight.
 
Canning peaches

Selecting the fruit
 
Peaches are usually at their peak around August to September. It's 
important to buy the best fruit you can when canning peaches; if you buy mushy 
or bruised fruit, canning it will not improve their quality. This is true of any 
fruit or vegetable, not just peaches. If you can bad fruit, the result will 
be bad fruit. In fact, you are actually enhancing your risk of food 
spoilage if you preserve rotted or bruised fruit! Canning doesn't improve 
anything.
When picking out your fruit, look for peaches that have a warm yellow blush 
to them. They should feel firm in your hand; mushy should be out of the 
picture.
It's important not to can fruit before it ripens. We once canned 40 pounds 
of pears that were just a wee bit under-ripe, and although they softened some 
during processing, the end result was a jar of tough pears. Never can under-ripe 
fruit - or over-ripe fruit.

1. How many peaches do I need?
About seven normal sized peaches are needed to fill a quart-sized canning 
jar. If you are wanting to can as many jars as will fit in your water bath 
canner, (7 quarts), than you are going to need about 17 1/2 pounds of peaches. 
This may seem like a lot, but keep in mind that once everything is skinned, 
chopped, packed, and canned, all your peaches will have fit nicely in those jars 
and you will have nothing left but peelings.


2. Blanching the peaches
Peeling 17 pounds of peaches would take a long time, which is why 
most people who can blanch their fruit. Blanching is a wonderful method that is 
a huge time-saver.
To do this, simply boil a large pot of water. Once it is boiling, gently 
place your peaches in the pot and leave them for about 20 - 45 seconds. With a 
slotted spoon, immediately transfer peaches to a bowl of ice cold water. (You 
will actually need ice cubes in the water for best results.) Let them soak for a 
few minutes. Then make a slash in the skin with a knife, and the skins will peel 
right off!


3. Slice or chop peaches
There is no rule for chopping peaches. Do this however you like; quartered, 
halved, chopped, or diced. As you slice, cut out and discard bad spots. Canning 
peaches is not complicated!


4. Prepare liquid or syrup
As is true with any kind of fruit or vegetable, when canning peaches, you 
need to fill your jars up with some sort of a liquid. You can pack your jars 
with plain water, or you can use a fruit juice or a homemade syrup.
If you choose to use juice or homemade syrup, than the sugar content in 
your jar if peaches is obviously going to be higher. Sugar actually will help 
the fruit to retain color and firmness; so there are benefits by including 
it.
However, if you're wanting to avoid sugar and can healthier, then packing 
your jars with plain water will work just as well.

Light
Syrup:
 2 C. sugar + 4 C. water = 5 C. syrup
Medium Syrup: 3 C. sugar + 4 C. water = 5 1/2 C. syrup
Heavy Sryup 4 3/4 C. sugar + 4 C. water= 6 1/2 C. syrup
When making a homemade syrup, heat water over medium heat and add sugar. 
Bring to a boil (this allows the sugar to dissolve.) Stir frequently. Pour into 
hot jars packed with fruit.

Can I use Splenda or a sugar substitute in my homemade
syrup?

Yes you can. Remember, however, that sugar provides a measure of 
preservation, meaning that it helps keep the fruit properly preserved. If you 
replace that sugar with Splenda, it will be the same as if you were you were 
canning in plain water. (Which is perfectly safe, by the way.) In other words, 
whereas sugar will contribute sweetness and preservation, splenda will 
only provide sweetness. Canning with splenda will not help the preservation of 
the fruit like sugar will. Sugar will help retain color and firmness; Splenda 
will not.
Splenda is well known for being able to be substituted "cup for cup" with 
sugar. In baking, this is true; however, canning is a little different. Instead 
of using full Splenda substitution, try using half the amount of Splenda than you 
would sugar. You may find that using full Splenda may be too sweet or contribute 
a bad aftertaste; so start small.


6. Wipe the rims 
Gently wipe the rims of your jars clean with a clean damp cloth. Dry well, 
and place lids and rims on the jar.


7. Place jars in canner
Fill water bath canner or soup/stock pot with enough water to cover your 
jars; plus two inches of water. Place jars in canner and turn onto high heat. 
Bring water to a rolling boil, and process jars for the amount of time your 
elevation requires.
 
Canning Peach Pie Filling

Canning your own peach pie filling is so much better than the store-bought 
variety! This peach pie filling recipe is delicious and makes a scrumptious pie. 
You will love biting into a piece of pie that you know is 100% homemade - 
filling and all. And the best part of it is that you will know that your pie 
filling is healthy; no chemicals and no preservatives.
 
To make 7 quarts of pie filling, you will need:
 
9 quarts fresh peaches, peeled (see above information on blanching) and 
sliced
1 3/4 C. water
5 1/4 C. sugar
21 tablespoons corn starch
14 tablespoons lemon juice
Combine water, sugar, lemon juice, and cornstarch in a large pot and bring 
to a boil. Stir constantly to avoid cornstarch lumps. When boiling, add peaches 
and bring to a boil, stirring constantly for about five minutes.
Pour mixture into hot quart jars, leaving 1 inch head space. Wipe rims of 
jars with a wet paper towel and dry. Place lids and rims on jars and place in 
pressure canner. Process for correct amount of time according to your 
elevation.
 
Canning Pears

Got fresh pears?
Don't know what to do with them?
Good news - canning pears is relatively easy and can be accomplished by 
even the most amateur cook. It's a great way to keep those yummy pears sweet 'n 
fresh!
And the fact is, there's nothing more satisfying than opening up a jar of 
delicious home canned pears.  The store-bought equivalent simply can't be 
compared!
Follow these simple directions for a delicious result!

Step 1: Wash and Sanitize Your Jars
You need to have perfectly clean jars for any canning project!  The easiest 
way to achieve sanitized jars is to run them through your dishwasher right 
before you use them.  While your jars are being washed, prepare your fruit for 
canning using the following steps.

Step 2: Peel the Pears

When canning pears, most people remove the skins before they can them. If 
you've ever purchased commercially canned pears, you'll notice that the peel is 
removed from the fruit. However, this does take a little extra time!  If you 
prefer to leave the skin on your fruit, that is perfectly fine and will not 
affect the taste or quality in any way.  It is entirely up to you! What is your 
preference?
Note: When canning pears, don't peel more fruit than you will need. The 
fruit will start to turn brown if you don't can it right away.  Typically, you 
can fit about 2 lbs. of pears into each quart size jar.  Since your canner 
should hold about 7-8 quart canning jars at a time, you shouldn't peel more than 
16 lbs. of pears!
 
Step 3: Slice the Pears
Using a sharp knife, cut the pears into slices.  Some people cut the pear 
exactly in half and then scoop out the core.  Others simply cut the fruit away 
from the core and then discard it. It really doesn't matter! Whatever you like 
is fine. Canning pears doesn't have to be complicated when it comes to 
slicing.
Place your sliced pears into a large mixing bowl.

Step 4: Fill Your Jars
Remove your jars from the dishwasher and fill each jar with your pear 
slices.
Leave about one inch of empty space at the top of your jar - you don't want 
to cram your jars too full! Set your jars aside.

Step 5: Prepare the Syrup
There are several options at this point.  When canning pears, some people 
fill their jars with only water.  Others prepare a light syrup with water and 
sugar.  Still others prefer the heavy, rich syrups that are more common in 
store-bought pears.  You may also use apple juice for a healthier alternative.  
The choices and recipes are listed below:
a. Water: simply boil hot water and add a dash of lemon  juice.
b. Light Syrup: boil 6 cups of water with 2 cups of sugar.  This makes a 
lightly sweet accompaniment to your pears.
c. Medium Syrup: boil 6 cups of water and 3 cups of sugar.
d. Heavy Syrup: boil 6 cups of water with 4 cups of sugar.
e. You can also fill your jars with White Grape Juice or Apple Juice.
Once you have selected your syrup and boiled it, fill your jars with the 
liquid. Don't fill the jars to overflowing - leave about 1/2 inch of empty space 
at the top!
 
Step 6: Add Lids 
Use a wet cloth or paper towel to wipe the tops of each jar before screwing 
on the lids.  If your rims are too sticky, you won't get a good seal and
your jar may come unsealed later on.

Screw on your lids.  Make sure they are clean and that they have been 
washed in warm soapy water.

Step 7: Can Them!
When canning pears, you will need to use the water bath method.
Place your water-bath canner on the stove and put your jars in it.  Fill up 
the pot with enough water to almost completely cover your jars.  Turn the burner 
on high.  Once the water has started to boil (this may take up to 20 minutes), 
set a timer for the appropriate amount of time!
Depending on your altitude, you may need to process your jars a little 
longer!
If you live at 0 - 1,000 ft, water-bath your pears for 25 minutes.
If you live at 1,001 - 3,000 ft, water bath your pears for 30 minutes.
If you live at 3,001 - 6,000 ft, water bath your pears for 35 minutes.
If you live above 6,000 ft, water bath your pears for 40 minutes.

 
Once the pears are done, carefully remove them from the canner and place 
them on a towel to cool.  Do not touch the jars or disturb them with your 
fingers! Let the jars sit there for at least 12 hours before moving them.
When you're done canning pears, obviously you're going to have a sticky 
mess in your kitchen! Donate that huge pile of pear peelings to the compost pile 
and wipe all your counters down with warm soapy water.
 
If you're like me, having homemade applesauce on hand can be quite 
convenient! I like using it in various baked goods - and it makes a great snack 
for little people. This applesauce recipe is very simple and very flexible; you 
can do a lot with it.
 
Although making your own applesauce isn't really a lot cheaper than buying 
it, you can have the comfort of knowing that it is made out of pure and healthy 
ingredients; you can also have a lot of fun creating your own unique flavors. 
And what's better on a cold evening than a steaming bowl of applesauce?
This applesauce recipe is very general, since it totally depends on how 
much applesauce you are planning to make. And there is really no need for a 
recipe; basic applesauce only calls for two ingredients!



Homemade Applesauce
 
You'll Need:
~Apples (any kind will work! If you choose to go with a 
tarter kind, such as Granny Smith, than you may want to add some sugar to the 
applesauce.)
~Water (enough to cover the apples)


1. Peel, core, and slice apples thinly. Place in a large 
pot and cover with water. Adding some strips of lemon peel will help to heighten 
the apple flavor; so add some in if you like.


2. Bring apples to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until 
apples are soft. Check for softness by poking with a fork. You want them soft 
enough to mash or blend.


3. When soft, transfer apples and liquid into a blender or 
a food processor. Blend until smooth. If you prefer slightly chunky, place 
sliced apples in a bowl and mash with a potato masher until you get it the way 
you want.
If you want to add some flavor to your applesauce now, trying adding 
berries or cinnamon during the blending process. Either fresh or frozen berries 
may be used.


4. Pour applesauce into hot, sterilized jars, leaving 1/2 
inch head space. Wipe rims of jars with a damp cloth and screw on lids and 
rims.


5. Process in water bath canner for 20 minutes; adjusting 
the time for your location.
More Applesauce 
Recipes
If you're wanting a more specific recipe, here's a delicious one that 
blends brown and white sugar into a luscious cinnamon treat.
Ingredients
3 - 4 lbs apples
4 strips of lemon peel (you can use a vegetable peeler to strip four 
lengths)
3-4 T. lemon juice
3 inches of cinnamon stick
1/4 C. dark brown sugar
1/4 C. white sugar
1 C. water
1/2 tsp. salt


1. Put all ingredients into a large pot. Cover. Bring to 
boil. Lower heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes.


2. Remove from heat. Remove cinnamon sticks and lemon 
peels. Mash with potato masher, or place in a blender and blend until 
smooth.


3. Pour into hot sterilized jars. Wipe rims with a damp 
cloth and place lids and rims in. Process in a water bath canner for 20 minutes; 
adjust time for your location.
 
 
Incredibly Easy Apple Pie Filling


4 C. sugar
1 t. salt
1 t. nutmeg
3 t. cinnamon
10 C. water
3 T. lemon juice


1. In a large saucepan, make a syrup of sugar, salt, nutmeg, 
cinnamon, and water.

2. Bring to a boil. Add lemon juice.

3. Fill quart jars with peeled and sliced apples; pour syrup 
into jars and pack. Leave 1/2 inch head space.

4. Put lids on and water bath can for 20 minutes.


And now.......(drum roll, please), here is the grand finale recipe 
that you can use with your freshly canned pie filling! It is probably the best 
apple crisp recipe I've tried!


  
Easy Apple Crisp Recipe

2 quart jars homemade apple pie filling


Topping:

2 C. shortening
2 C. brown sugar
2 C. oatmeal
2 C. flour

Pour pie filling into a greased 9x13 baking dish. In a bowl, combine topping 
ingredients with a fork until the mixture is crumbly and well mixed. Sprinkle on 
top of crisp.


Bake at 350* for 40 minutes.


  
Canning Blueberry Pie Filling
Making your own blueberry pie filling is both an economic and delicious way 
to enjoy blueberries.   It seems like every time I go hunting for store-bought 
pie fillings, blueberry filling always takes 1st place for the most expensive.  
Why is that? :-) Because of the rising cost of these items, I try to always 
make my own pie fillings, except for on special occasions. 

When it comes to canning blueberries, you know that you are dealing with a 
fruit which means that it will need to be water-bath canned. 
 
How many blueberries will I need to make blueberry pie
filling?


Great question.  Making even 1 quart of pie filling is going to take 3 1/2 
cups of blueberries.  If you want to make 7 quarts (a full canner "load"), than 
you are going to need 6 quarts of berries.


Start making blueberry pie filling

1. First you need to sift through your berries and wash 
them.  Since this recipe requires fresh blueberries, you will probably have some 
dirt or stem/leaf debris mixed in with the berries.  Even more so if you pick 
them yourself.  Simply rinse them in cold water in a strainer, picking out any 
debris or leaf pieces you find along the way. Also make sure to pick out any 
mushy, rotting berries you find. There is no need to dry them, since you will be 
using them immediately for your pie filling.

2. Place your berries in a large soup pot filled with enough 
water to cover the berries.  The ratio here should be 6 cups of berries at a 
time to 1 gallon of water.
Boil your water first, and then place the berries in.  Once the water "adjusts" to 
the berries and returns to a full boil, boil for 1 minute.

Drain the blueberries in a strainer and keep them covered to keep them warm 
while you're making the liquid for the blueberry pie filling.

3. Measure 1/4 C. + 1 Tbsp. clear jel starch with 3/4 
cup + 2 tbsp of sugar in a large pot.  (NOTE: Clear jel starch is not the same 
as fruit pectin!) Add 1 cup water or blueberry juice and stir well.  Heat and 
stir it until it starts to bubble and is thick.  At this point, add 3 1/2 tsp. 
lemon juice, stirring constantly to prevent burning.

4. Add your berries to the liquid mixture. Fold in very 
gently, as you don't want to crush your blueberries.


5. Using your canning funnel, pour your hot filling into 
hot, sterilized jars. Leave 1/2 inch head space. It is very important that your 
jars are actually hot, or you run the risk it actually breaking right there on 
the counter.  You can do this by pouring boiling water into your jars just 
before you fill them, or you can run them through the dishwasher.  Just make 
sure that they are warm enough to see steam coming out of them.

6. Wipe the rims of your jars with a wet paper towel or rag. 
(Make sure that your towel or rag is clean, of course!) This is a vital step of 
the canning process.  If you don't do this, you will leave sticky residue on the 
rims of the jars, which will almost always result in lid failure later on.

Place lids and rims on your jars, and place in a water bath canner. Your 
water bath canner should already be about 1/2 to 3/4 full of water; just enough 
to cover the tops of your jars within 2 inches.  Turn your burner onto high heat 
and bring the water to a boil.  Once you can see it has come to a boil, start 
your processing time for 30 minutes.  Of course,  adjust this time for your 
specific altitude, as this is relative to 1,000 feet above sea level.

7. Once you have finished processing your blueberry pie 
filling, carefully remove your jars from the canner and place them on a tea 
towel or cooling rack.  Do not disturb them for about 24 hours, as they need 
time to cool down, settle, and seal properly.

8. You now have a beautiful blueberry pie filling!  Save it 
for a future pie, give it away as a gift, or set it on your counter as 
decoration.

Vegetables

Canning vegetables is a great way to keep those summer treats fresh and 
preserved - whether you're taking advantage of a sale at the store, or trying to 
keep up with your fertile garden.
 
I've canned a lot of vegetables in the past - green beans have been the 
highlight! There are so many fun and delicious ways to can your veggies; like 
turning unwanted cucumbers into sweet crunchy pickles, for instance. 
As with any canned food, the results are always well worth the effort.


What kind of vegetables should I can?
Great question. You can can most any vegetable safely - here's a general 
list to get you started:


  • snap beans

  • carrots

  • beets

  • cucumbers (pickles)

  • asparagus

  • dry beans (any kind)

  • peppers

  • potatoes

  • onions

  • corn

  • peas

  • mixed vegetables

  • mushrooms

  • peppers

  • potatoes

  • sweet potatoes

  • tomatoes

What canning method to use
 
First off, because vegetables are a low-acid food, you need to pressure can 
them. The reason for this is bacteria.

Certain foods have a high level of acid in them. Acid kills bacteria. Foods 
with lots of acid in them don't require much heat to successfully kill of all 
the bacteria found in them. These foods (usually fruits) are canned using the 
water bath canning method, because they don't need a lot of heat to get rid of 
all the bacteria.

But foods like vegetables and meat have a tougher kind of bacteria in them! 
They also don't have much acid. So low-acid foods should always be pressure 
canned.

A lot of people think that just because grandma canned all her meats, fruits, 
and veggies using the water bath method, it must be perfectly alright.

However, we've learned a lot more about safe food preservation since then, 
and just because grandma did it that way doesn't mean it's safe. Maybe 
she never died from food poisoning, but it's a very real risk she took (without 
knowing it, of course).

You don't want to play around with food poisoning; it is often fatal and is 
NOT a risk worth taking!



Preparing your vegetables
 
When you're selecting your vegetables, make sure you choose good, fresh 
produce. Don't try to canning vegetables that are wilted or bruised - canning 
them won't help the quality any! The quality your vegetables are before you can 
them will be the same after you can them.

In other words, if you can bad green beans, they'll still be bad green beans 
when you open your jar.

Bad spots on a vegetable have bacteria in them; and since bacteria is the 
very thing you want to avoid when canning, why preserve rotting food? If your 
vegetables have any bruises, bad spots, or worm-eaten areas, make sure you cut 
them out and discard them before canning.

When canning vegetables, (or any fresh produce, for that matter), it's very important 
to wash them first. Any pesticides, chemicals, or dirt have got to go.

There are two ways of doing this. If you are working with a lot of 
vegetables, you'll probably want to fill up a clean sink with cool water. This 
has worked great for me! It will eliminate the majority of dirt; but make sure 
you give your veggies a final rinse before packing them in jars.

Another way, if you're working with a small amount of vegetables, is to 
simply place them in a strainer and rinse them by hand.

Since you'll be using the pressure canning method, it's time to get out your pressure canner and start 
canning vegetables!

Now, the basic method for pressure canning 
vegetables is fairly generic.
 
1. Sterilize your jars. What kind of jars do you plan to 
use? Quart? Pint? Choose your size and boil them or run them through the 
dishwasher to sterilize them.

2. Chop, slice, or dice your vegetables. This part is 
completely up to you. It's really a matter of preference; if you like your green 
beans whole, then just snip of the ends. If you like them chopped into 2-inch 
pieces, you can do that as well.

This goes for any vegetable except for pumpkin and squash. The USDA states 
that you must chop these vegetables. The mashed version is considered 
unsafe.

3. Pack your vegetables into the jars. Make sure you leave 
1/2 inch head space; then fill with clean water.

4. Wipe rims of jars. This is an extremely important step in 
the process of canning vegetables. Food particles, bacteria, or microscopic 
crumbs and grease often lie on the rims of the jars after you have filled them. 
If you do not remove them, they will interfere with how your lids seal.

I have had many jars come unsealed because of this problem! This is 
especially true when you are canning greasy or sticky foods, like meat or 
jam.

5. Place lids and rims on jar. Lids go on first, then the 
bands. The bands should be screwed on finger tight.

6. Place filled jars in pressure canner. Of course, first 
your pressure canner needs to be filled with water. Check your owner's manual 
for specific instructions on this.

7.Put lid on. Make sure it is firmly latched or sealed.

8. Turn heat on high. Wait for your canner to begin puffing 
steam out of the vent on top (if it is a weighted gauge canner). Once this 
occurs, place the weighted gauge on the vent.

9. Process jars for however long your recipe dictates. You 
will need to adjust processing time for your altitude.

10. Turn off heat. It's time for your canner to cool down! 
This usually takes a little while, so be patient. In the meantime, do
not attempt to remove the lid!
 Because of the extreme pressure that has 
built up inside, taking off the lid while it is still hot could cause serious 
burns or other injuries. I have done this and still have a scar on my thigh from the scalding hot water that burst out.

11. Remove the lid. You will know that it is safe to remove 
the lid when the small weighted gauge is resting comfortably on the lid. By 
this, I mean that it is no longer "held up" by the steam puffing out of the 
vent.

12. Remove jars. Using your canning tongs, carefully remove 
the jars from your pressure canner and place them on a tea towel or cooling 
rack. They need to rest undisturbed for about 24 hours. During this time, you 
will hear each jar "pop", which means that the lids are sealing!

It doesn't matter if this is your first time canning vegetables, your third, 
or your fiftieth - it's a fun process that yields great results. You 
should be proud of yourself!


Canning Carrots
 
Canning carrots is messy. There's no two ways about it - the whole process 
is time consuming and messy. But the results are fantastic! There is something 
about canned carrots that taste so farm-ish. (Unfortunate that's not a word.) 
Serve them steamed and glazed, and you've got a delicious side dish - worth 
serving!
 
*Carrots are a vegetable - when canning carrots, always pressure can
them.

 
How to can carrots

1. Figure out how many you'll need. For a load of 7 
quarts, you'll need approximately 17.5 pounds of carrots.
 
2. Wash and peel your carrots.
Garden fresh carrots are dirty - and you don't want to can dirt (think of all that 
bacteria!). Even if you buy carrots at the store, they still need to be washed.
If you have garden fresh carrots, give them a preliminary wash and then 
begin peeling them. Store-bought carrots normally don't have all this dirt on 
them, so in that case just skip this step and begin peeling them.
 
3. Snip ends and tops and cut into coins. You can 
slice your carrot coins as thick or as thin as you like. Of course, you may also 
can them whole or sliced; but "carrot coins" are the traditional way.

4. Give your carrots a second washing. Use a large container, or fill up a 
clean sink with cold water. However you do it, rinse them with water until they 
are totally clean. Remember, you want as little bacteria in the jars as 
possible. Make sure that the final rinse produces sparkling clean 
carrots.

5. Cook carrots. Place all your carrot coins in 
a large sauce pan filled with water. Bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes, 
stirring occasionally. The idea is to get them slightly 
cooked.

6. Pack your jars with carrots. Fill your jars 
with your carrots, but make sure you jars are also full of the "carrot water" 
that you just finished boiling them in. Leave 1/2 inch head space.
 
7. Wipe rims and put on lids and rims. Remember that 
wiping the rims of your jars is a very important step. If you have food 
particles or sticky substances on your rims, your lids may not seal properly. 
Use a clean damp cloth to wipe them clean; and then dry them. Then place lids on 
and screw rims "finger tight".

8. Canning carrots. Place your jars of carrots in a pressure canner filled with water, and process them 
for 30 minutes - be sure to adjust processing time for your specific altitude! 
 
9. Place your jars on a cooling rack or a tea towel to
cool.
 Don't shake them or press on their lids until 24 hours is past. 
This gives them plenty of time to properly seal. You will know when they have 
sealed, because within an hour or two of removing them from your canner, you 
will hear them "pop". This is the lids sealing into place.
  
10. How long will canned carrots last? 
Most canned goods should be consumed within one or two years of canning them. Of 
course, your carrots will still be perfectly safe to eat beyond this time 
period, but then you will start losing the nutritional value. Make sure you 
store them in a cool, dry place - away from direct 
sunlight.

Canning Green Beans
 
Canning green beans was a big project for me this year and last. I canned over 100 
quarts of home-grown green beans last year, and are still enjoying the fruits 
(or vegetables, I should say) of my hard labor!



Growing Green Beans
 
Growing green beans is something I do every year in our big garden. Since everyone (Mostly) in our 
family loves them, and they grow very well in our area, canning green beans is a 
staple for us!
 
When your green beans are ready to be harvested, you may not have time to can them all in one 
day. We keep our freshly picked beans in the refrigerator - they'll last up to a 
week. That's about how much time you have to can them from picking day!
 
Canning Green Beans
 
1. Wash your green beans thoroughly. You can do this in a strainer, a clean sink, or collendar - just 
make sure that each bean gets a good washing. If you're washing home-grown green 
beans, dirt and leaf pieces will cling to the beans - so make sure these get 
removed.

2. Cut your green beans to size. Chop off the ends of the beans, and then cut each bean in halves 
or thirds, depending on how large or small you want them to be. Just make sure 
they're small enough to fit easily in your jar!  

3. Fill your jars with your now washed and cut green beans. When the jar appears 
full, hold it by the rim and shake up and down to settle the contents. Leave 
about an inch head space.
 
4.  Fill your jars with clean water. 

5.  Wipe the rims of the jars with a wet paper towel to 
remove any bacteria or dirt particles. Dry; top with clean lids and 
rims.

6.  Fill your pressure canner with water according 
to your manual's instructions. Place filled jars in canner and process, 
depending on your altitude:

7.  Once jars have been processed, remove jars and place on counter to cool. Do not touch lids or 
disturb jars for 24 hours.

Canning Pickles: 
The Best Pickle Recipe Ever!
I'm not exaggerating when I tell you that this pickle recipe is the best! 
This recipe is a bit more time consuming and does take a little extra work, but 
the results are outstanding! I think you'll love this recipe. And I 
do mean love.

As far as canning pickles, know right now that it is a lot of work. It does 
take time to chop the cucumbers, and prepare the brine, and soak, and rinse, and 
soak again, and boil, and can.....but this pickle is so fabulous that you're 
efforts will be well worth it! Canning pickles - 56 quarts of them - was a big 
project for me, but we are well supplied for a while. I love to open a jar for 
a sweet side dish or appetizer.

Of course, I say that about nearly every home-canning recipe on this 
website...(I'm a bit biased, I know!) but this pickle recipe deserves 
applause.

I got this recipe from my great-grandma, who was famous for canning 
pickles. You could say that this recipe has been handed down "from generation to 
generation"!

Now, please don't let the complicated looking recipe below deter you from 
trying it out - it's easier than it looks. The only thing it is (besides 
marvelous) is time-consuming.

And so, without further ado, here is the best pickle recipe you'll ever 
find....

Old Fashioned Pickles

8 lbs. medium cucumbers (you can weigh your cucumbers by putting them in a 
trash bag and placing them on a regular bathroom scale)

2 C. hydrated lime (available at Wal-Mart in the canning section)
2 gallons water
12 C. vinegar
12 C. sugar
1 1/2 T. salt
1 1/2 t. celery seed
1 1/2 t. whole cloves
1 1/2 t. mixed pickling spice

1. Slice cucumbers into 1/4 inch slices. Place in a clean 
5-gallon bucket.

2. In a bowl, mix together the lime and a portion of water; 
stir to dissolve. Pour over the sliced pickles with the rest of the water. Let 
the cucumbers soak for 24 hours, and no longer.

3. After 24 hours, pour off the lime water and rinse 
cucumbers very well under running water. Rinse out the bucket that they soaked 
in previously and dump the cucumbers in it. Cover with fresh, ice cold water. 
Let the cucumbers soak for 3 hours and no longer.

4. After 3 hours, drain the cucumbers. Mix together sugar, 
vinegar, spices, and enough water to cover the cucumbers. Pour over cucumbers in 
bucket and soak overnight.

5. In the morning, divide the cucumbers into two large pots 
and pour the brine that they soaked in overnight over both of them. Gently boil 
for 30 - 40 minutes.

6. Pack hot pickles into sterilized jars. Use your head space 
measurer to pack pickles in securely. Use a clean damp cloth to wipe the rims of 
the jars - they will be sticky!Screw on clean lids and rims. There will be 
enough pickles for 7 quarts, and then some.

7. Water bath can for 15 minutes. Adjust the time for your 
altitude, if necessary.

Now, canning pickles wasn't that bad, was it? Try one - aren't they good? The 
sweet, tangy, crunchy combo makes for the perfect pickle. They're definitely 
different than most pickles you've probably tried....but they're 
oh-so-good!


 Canning Tomatoes
 
Canning tomatoes is probably one of the best ways to preserve these luscious 
vegetables. Because they will go bad after only a few days, canning tomatoes is 
a great option. You may can them a variety of ways, as well - whether it's 
spaghetti sauce, tomato puree, or quartered tomatoes, the finished product will 
always be delicious and versatile! There is just nothing better than a steaming 
bowl of soup cooked with home canned tomatoes.


What kind of tomatoes to can
 
The USDA states that any kind of tomato can be safely canned, including the 
yellow and orange varieties. Even green, unripe tomatoes can be safely canned 
due to the large amount of acid they contain! But never can mushy or bruised 
tomatoes, as any mold or rotten spots will introduce the very bacteria you are 
trying to kill through the canning process.

There are, however, preferred types of canning tomatoes. Roma tomatoes are a 
good choice, as are San Marzano, because they have less water content, making 
them easier to work with. Many do not advise canning cherry or grape tomatoes - 
this seems to be a personal safety preference that you will have to decide for 
yourself.

How to can tomatoes

First you must decide in what form you are going to can them. You can puree 
them, making a smooth tomato paste; or you can quarter them for future soups and 
casseroles. I have found that quartered tomatoes work great because you can do 
so much with the finished product!


1. Gather your tomatoes. 

If you're wanting to make seven quarts, which is the most commonly done, you will need approximately 20 pounds of tomatoes. The easiest and least expensive way to do this is to buy them at a 
local orchard or on sale at the grocery store.

2. Blanch your tomatoes.

Blanching is the easy alternative to peeling the skins off by hand. Anyone who has done this knows 
what a long, messy process this can be! That's why blanching is such a commonly 
used method.
 
To blanch your tomatoes, drop them in a pot of boiling water for 10 - 15 
seconds; longer if needed. Immediately remove them and place them in ice water 
(make sure you actually have ice cubes floating around in the bowl). Let them 
soak for a minute, and then take them out and simply pull off the skins!

3. Prepare the tomatoes.

There are many different ways to do this. You can quarter them; or you can puree them at this point. Quartered 
tomatoes work best for soups, stews, and casseroles; while pureed tomatoes can 
serve as a future paste, sauce, or ketchup.
 
For pureed tomatoes, blend them or place them in a food processor until they 
reach the desired consistency. Then pour into sterilized jars and proceed with 
canning directions.

For quartered or chopped tomatoes, cut them to the size you want, and then 
pack into sterilized jars with water. Continue with pressure canning.

4. Pack into jars. 

After you have packed or poured your 
tomatoes into jars, wipe off the rims with a clean, damp rag. This will remove 
any tomato juice and other organisms that might prevent the lid from sealing 
properly. Screw on the rims finger tight.

5. Canning tomatoes. 

Place jars into your water bath canner, 
and bring to a rolling boil.


Canning Ketchup
 
My brother loves ketchup. There's no two ways about it. When it 
comes to either mustard, mayo, or ketchup on his hot dog, he's a ketchup man all 
the way. But somewhere along the lines, I began to realize that ketchup, at 
least the store-bought version, is chock-full of sugars and preservatives - 
not a healthy choice. So when you make your own....well, the ketchup 
starts getting healthier.

I got this recipe for ketchup from a friend and think it's the perfect 
addition to your juicy hamburger and crispy french fries. Even though this 
recipe has that strong ketchup flavor that makes it so delicious, it also 
carries a subtle hint of homemade...which makes it just right.


Homemade Ketchup

4 quarts red-ripe tomatoes (about 24 large)
1 C. chopped onion
1/2 C. chopped sweet red pepper
1 1/2 t. celery seed
1 t. whole allspice
1 t. mustard seed
1 stick cinnamon
1 C. sugar
1 T. salt
1 1/2 C. vinegar
1 T. paprika

Peel, core, and chop tomatoes. Cook with onions and pepper until soft. Blend 
in a blender or food processor until smooth. Transfer to a large pot and cook 
rapidly until thick (1 hour) - the volume is reduced about one half during this 
process.

Tie whole spices in a cheesecloth bag; add with sugar and salt to tomato 
mixture. Cook gently about 25 minutes, stirring frequently.  Add vinegar and 
paprika, cook until thick.  As mixture thickens, stir frequently to prevent 
sticking to pot. Remove spice bag and pour into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch 
head space. Process for 10 minutes (adjust the time for your specific altitude) 
in a water bath canner.

Yields: 3 pints


The key to this recipe is patience - you need to wait for it to thicken or you will end up with runny ketchup. 


Canning Salsa

The key to great salsa is the spice level. Too much peppers (of any kind) 
will make it too spicy; but not enough will make you think you're eating tomato 
paste. There is a true art to canning salsa.

Try this terrific salsa recipe - a true Mexican fiesta! 

Terrific Salsa

10 C. tomatoes
6 C. seeded, chopped chili peppers*
4 C. chopped onions
1 C. vinegar
3 t. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper

*Try a mixture of mild and hot peppers

Caution: Always wear plastic or rubber gloves when handling hot 
peppers. If you don't wear gloves, than wash your hands well with soap and water 
before touching your face or eyes.


Wash and dry chilies. The peppers do not need to be peeled, but you may prefer 
to peel certain types. For example, the skin of long green chilies are sometimes 
tough.Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan and heat, stirring frequently 
until mixture boils. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring 
occasionally.

Ladle into clean, hot jars, and leave 1/2 inch head space. Wipe rims of jars 
with a damp cloth and place lids and rims in jar. Process in a water bath canner 
for 15 minutes, adjusting as needed according to your altitude.

Canning BBQ Sauce
 
Oh yum. Whether it's a freshly grilled steak, or a baked potato, BBQ sauce 
is a traditional favorite! This recipe has a terrific chicory taste that 
surpasses any store-bought version.

Get out there and BBQ!

Mom's BBQ Sauce

28 oz. crushed tomatoes
1/3 C. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 - 3/4 C. molasses
1/3 C. mustard
3 T. liquid smoke
1/3 C. brown sugar
minced onion and garlic, browned

Whip all ingredients in a blender and pour into sterilized jars. Wipe rims of 
jars with a damp cloth and place lids and rims in jar. Water bath can them for 
20 minutes, adjusting the processing time according to your altitude.

Right from the start, you know that home-canning corn is going to be so much 
better tasting than buying it from the store. And, depending on what recipe you 
choose, it will also be a lot healthier! No yucky additives or preservatives 
will be in your jars....just sweet, garden-fresh corn.

Corn

The first thing to know is that frozen corn will retain the flavor better. 
Canning does a moderate job of this, but freezing allows the corn to keep its 
crispiness, as well as more of its flavor. So, if you are wanting to start 
canning corn, you may want to try canning homemade creamed corn rather than 
fresh. But canned corn is still delicious and I think you'll get great results 
from it.

Also, canning corn isn't the easiest job in the world - it is very time 
intensive! But, as with any canning project, the end result is always worth the 
effort.

Because corn is a low-acid food, you need to use the pressure canning 
method.

Choosing your corn
 
First, choose what kind of corn you will can. There are a few different 
kinds, and they are all perfectly safe to can. There are yellow, white, and 
bi-color varieties. Of course, the yellow corn is probably the more traditional 
type, but it's up to you.

When you're choosing your corn at the store, make sure that they are good, 
juicy ears. Ideally, they need to have plump kernels with a milky-white juice 
inside. You will know that they are perfect if the kernels are easily punctured 
with your fingernail!

How much to buy?

The USDA states that 32 pounds of sweet corn (in husk) will fill 7 quarts; 
and 20 pounds will yield about 9 pints.

Prepare the corn for canning
 
Ah-ha....the fun part! Now is when you get to make a huge mess all over your 
kitchen counter with gooey corn kernels. :-)

1. First, husk your corn and peel off as much silk as you 
can. Break or cut of the thick end at the bottom of each ear. Once you've 
removed as much silk as possible, rinse your ears of corn with cool water and 
place them in a clean bowl.

2. On a cutting board, use a knife to scrape and cut the 
kernels away from the ear. It can be difficult to do this and not smash the 
kernels in the process. Because of this, I prefer to use a knife instead of a 
corn cutter, as it gives me more control. 

Also, try scraping the kernels off into strips, rather than separately. This 
will help keep your kernels whole. Then, once you are done, the "strips" will 
break apart into kernels very easily. The main idea is to keep the kernels whole 
so that when you are canning corn, it is not a big gooey mush-mess.

3. Now that you have your corn all stripped off the ears, 
measure how much you have, using a glass measuring cup. You may also want to 
rinse your corn once last time to remove any extra dirt or silk particles.

Place your corn in a saucepan, and add 1 cup of hot water for each quart of 
corn you measured. (That would be 1 cup of water for every 4 cups of corn.)

Bring the corn/water mixture to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes.

4. Now, fill your sterilized (and hot!) jars with the corn 
mixture. Your jars must be hot, because the extreme heat from the corn could 
cause room-temperature jars to crack or break. You can heat your jars by boiling 
them or washing them in very hot water.

As you fill your jars, make sure that each jar gets enough liquid to cover 
the corn. If you don't have enough liquid, you can add plain water. When canning 
corn, leave 3/4 - 1 inch head space.

5. Wipe the rims of your jars with a clean, damp rag. As 
much as this may seem like a trivial step, it is extremely 
important! Anything that is on the rim of the jar, including corn liquid, could 
prevent the lids from sealing properly.

Screw rings (also called screw caps, bands, or rims) on finger-tight.

6. Place your jars of corn in your pressure canner. Your 
canner needs to already be on the stove and full of hot water - enough water to 
cover most of the jar.

Processing Times For Canning Corn:

Quarts: 85 minutes
Pints: 55 minutes

Adjust this processing time for your specific altitude, of 
course!

If you are using a weighted-gauge canner: Place 
the lid on the canner and bring the water to a boil, as hot as your stove will 
allow you. Once steam starts to "puff" out of the steam vent on top, place the 
weighted gauge on the vent and begin processing time. Of course, before doing 
this, figure out how many pounds of pressure you will need to apply for your 
specific altitude.

If you are using a dial-gauge canner: 
Place the lid on the canner and bring water to a boil, as hot as your stove will 
allow you. Once your dial reaches 10 or 11 pounds, begin the processing time. Of 
course, before doing this, figure out how many pounds of pressure you will need 
to apply for your specific altitude.

Adjust the heat as needed to maintain this pressure.


Canning Potatoes
 
Canning potatoes is one of those practical skills that everyone should have ~ 
potatoes are such a staple.  It's one of those things that you will use over and 
over again.  When you're running low on grocery money for the month, what's the 
cheapest food you can buy that's still nutritious and filling? Potatoes!

The one thing, though, that I've never liked about potatoes, is how long they 
take to cook.  Growing up, it took a lot to convince Mom to make mashed potatoes 
(except at Christmas and Thanksgiving) because of all the work it meant. At the 
time I didn't understand, but now, as I've done more cooking, I 
totally sympathize with her! Who wants to peel and chop potatoes for the next 
hour, anyway?

That's why canning potatoes is such a great idea.  If all you have to do to 
make mashed potatoes is pop open a jar and heat, I'm in! Bye-bye, time intensive 
mashed potatoes! And hello convenience.

Start Canning Potatoes
 
1. The first step to canning potatoes is to wash and peel 
them. Some people say it's fine to can the potatoes with the skin, but 
I do not recommend doing this.  No matter how much you scrub a 
potato, it's unlikely that you'll ever get all the dirt off.  When 
you're canning, it's very important to eliminate as much bacteria as possible ~ 
and that includes washing and peeling vegetables when necessary. So.....peel 
those 'taters!

2. Now you need to chop the potatoes.  Chop them in cubes 2 
inches large or less.  Remember, they need to be small enough to cook and soften 
in the pressure canner.  You don't want crunchy potatoes!

At this point, you may want to rinse them one last time in a colander or 
strainer to get the last bit of dirt off.

3. Remember how potatoes darken if you leave them out? Well, 
thankfully that doesn't have to be the result of canning potatoes.  
Simply soak your chopped potatoes in a solution of lemon juice and water (about 
1 C. of lemon juice to 1 gallon water) or you can use 2 T. Fruit Fresh in the 
same amount of water. This will keep them from darkening - and it will make your 
potatoes look much more appetizing in the end.

Once you're done, drain the potatoes and throw out the liquid.

4. Now cook your potatoes in a large pot of water for 2 
minutes, no longer. Don't try to cook potatoes until soft; this step is not to 
cook them. You're only trying to blanch here.

Again, once the 2 minutes is up, drain and throw out the liquid.

5. Now it's time to fill your jars. Make sure that they have 
been washed and sterilized well ~ this can be done by boiling a few jars at a 
time on the stove, running them through the dishwasher, or washing them by hand. 
Just make sure they're clean and hot.

Have hot jars when filling them with hot food is very important, by the way. 
If you have cold jars and dump steaming hot food in them, it is possible that 
your jars could shatter, injuring you and ruining the food. Always heat your 
jars before packing them with hot food.

Don't pack the potatoes in tight, but loosely fill the jar and shake 
up and down to ensure they are settled.

6. Wipe the rims of your jars. This is a 
very important step.  When you fill the jars, it's very likely 
that you will get food particles/sticky stuff on the rims.  This will almost 
always cause lid failure, meaning that the lids will not seal. I've had this 
happen before, and it's not fun.  Avoid this issue entirely by taking a few 
seconds to wipe the rims with a clean, damp towel or rag.  Then wipe dry with a 
paper towel. 

7. Place the lids and rims on your jars.  The rims (also 
called rings or bands) should be finger tight. You don't need to wash your lids 
since they're new (don't ever re-use lids) but the rims can be re-used, so wash 
them if they're dirty.

8. Since you are canning potatoes, and those are vegetables, 
you are going to pressure can them.  So....fill up your pressure canner with 
water (about half-way, but check your user's manual for specific instructions). 
Place it on the biggest burner on your stove, and then place your jars in the 
canner.  Remember, a typical canner will hold 7 quarts, no more.  Never try to 
cram more than that in the canner.

9. Turn the burner onto high heat and place the lid on your 
canner.  Make sure that it is really "on".  Since there are two types of 
pressure canners, you need to read the manual that came with your canner to know 
exactly what to do at this point.  But as far as processing times, you should 
can potatoes for roughly 40 minutes.  Also, it's very important for you to know 
how much weight or pressure you should place on your canner.  
 
10. Once you have finished processing your potatoes, it's 
time to remove them from the canner. NEVER open up your 
pressure canner until it has completely released all of it's pressure and steam. 
  Opening it will it is still under pressure could cause serious injury to you. 
Wait until it has completely cooled.

Once you are positive that it has cooled down, carefully open the lid and 
remove the jars.  Place them on a cooling rack or a tea towel on the counter.  
Jars should not be disturbed for 12 - 24 hours, as they need to be still in 
order to seal properly.

Congratulations!  You just finished canning potatoes! Now you have a 
beautiful store of delicious food that you can have ready at a moment's 
notice.

Canned Yams  (or sweet potatoes)

I love yams, especially around the holidays...but 
they're good any time of the year.  Unfortunately most people only cook them 
during the holidays...but if you can them, you can enjoy yams all year round. 
One of our favorite ways to have yams are mashed - with brown sugar, butter, 
and plenty of marshmallows on top.  Another great way to have them is mashed 
with cinnamon butter on top - a real treat!


Now that I know how to make canned yams, I'll definitely be doing it more 
often. My son loves yams, but doesn't get them very often.  Perhaps this is a 
way to remedy that problem. :-)


Make Canned Yams
 
1. Picking the yams you are going to can is a small task but 
still important.  You will need medium to large potatoes that have a deep orange 
color.  If you are canning them fresh from your garden, make sure you get them 
canned within 1 - 2 months of harvesting them, to ensure the best quality.

Refrigerating yams will result in a hard core and a bad taste, so don't chill 
them.  Also 2 1/2 pounds of fresh yams will make 1 quart of canned yams, so plan 
accordingly!

2. Peel your yams.  Yes, this takes a while, but you don't 
want all that yucky tough skin in your jars.  Once you have them peeled, rinse 
them well to remove any dirt.

3. Place the yams in a large pot with enough water to cover 
them.  Boil them for about 15 - 20 minutes, just enough to partially cook them 
and get them soft.

4. When the 15 - 20 minutes is up, take your yams and chop them in 1 - 2 
inch cubes.  Do not mash them.  Just like squash, 
it is unsafe to can mashed yams....but the cubed version is fine. 
This is recommended by the USDA. 

5. Before you fill your jars with yams, make sure they are 
clean and sterilized.  This can be done several ways.  You can boil them, wash 
them by hand, or run them through the dishwasher.  However you do it, just make 
sure they're clean.

6. Fill your jars with yams!  Don't pack them in; but just 
place them in the jars loosely and shake the jar a few times to help them 
settle. 

Now it's time to decide what liquid you want to use.  A light syrup solution 
can be made by boiling 9 cups water and 2 1/4 cups sugar.  Just boil it long 
enough to dissolve the sugar; it won't take long.  This solution will fill 7  -  
quart jars. Remember that yams aren't naturally sweet....so you do need the 
sugar to sweeten them up a bit.  Later, when you use the canned yams, you may 
want to add some additional sugar.

Pour the syrup solution into each filled jar, leaving a 1 inch head space.

7. Wipe the rims of your jars.  They may look 
clean, but whenever you can any kind of food, you are going to inevitably get 
some food particles or sticky juices on the rims. If this is not wiped off, your 
lids may not seal later on.  Believe me, I've had experience with this, and it's 
not worth it.  Avoid lid failure and just wipe the rims.  Use a clean, damp 
paper towel, and then dry with a dry paper towel.

8. Place lids and rims on jars.  Rims (also called rings or 
bands) should be finger-tight.

9. Since yams are a vegetable, you are going to pressure can 
them.  Your canner needs to be about 1/2 full of water, but check your canners 
user manual for specific instructions about this.  

10. Place filled jars in the water, and attach lid.  At this 
point, there will be different steps for different canners, so again, check your 
user's manual.

11.  For canned yams, process your jars for 65 minutes for 
pints, or 90 minutes for quarts, at 11 pounds, or 10 pounds for a weighted 
gauge.

How to Make Canned Beans

It's truly a great idea.  Canned beans are so economical to prepare....and 
think of all the yummy dishes you can make with them down the road.  Re-fried 
beans, Mexican casseroles, nachos, and even a quick chip dip are great ways to 
use those beans!


Why make canned beans when you could just store them dry?

That's exactly what I thought for years, too.  Dried beans can sit 
on the shelves for years, and apart from getting dusty, they'll be as fresh as 
when you first bought them!  A no-fuss method of being prepared, right?

Start thinking outside the box.  What if a bad storm comes your way and 
knocks out the electricity for several days? How are you going to cook 
your dry beans? And think about how much water it takes to cook beans. In the 
case of an emergency, water may also be limited, so you definitely wouldn't want 
to waste it on cooking beans.

That's why I decided to start canning beans - it's literally a meal in a 
jar.  Since self-sufficiency and preparedness is one of the reasons behind 
canning food in the first place, it seems like have pre-cooked foods (like 
canned beans) would be a good idea to have on hand.


What kind of beans to can

You can preserve any kind of bean out there - kidney, navy, white, soldier, 
pinto, split peas, and so on.  I've had experience canning pinto beans, white 
beans, and kidney beans, but other types of canned beans are sure to be just as 
delicious!

As far as the quantity of beans you'll need, from my experience, 20 cups of 
dried beans will equal 20 quarts and 1 pint of canned beans.


Start Canning Beans! 
1. If the beans you're canning are straight from your 
garden, you will need to rinse them ahead of time to get the dirt off of them.  
By the way, if the beans are from your garden, make sure they are truly dried.  
Leave them on the stalk until their shells or pods become brown, dried, and 
crackly.

2. Place beans in a large soup pot or roaster and fill with 
enough water to cover the beans, plus some extra.  Soak the beans overnight.  
The idea here is to have the beans soft and partially cooked, so that after they 
are canned, you have very soft, fully cooked beans.  If you just put dry beans 
in a jar with water, they will be crunchy and half-cooked in the end.

3. The next morning, discard the old water and replace with 
new water.  This time, you are going to bring to a boil for 30 minutes, stirring 
constantly.

4. While your beans are boiling, start preparing your 
canning jars.They need to be sterilized and clean; you can do this by boiling 
them, washing with very hot water, or running them through the dishwasher. 
However you do it, make sure the end result is clean jars. 

5. Now it's time to fill your jars with beans!  Since your 
beans are now hot, your jars need to be hot too.  If you place steaming hot food 
into a cold jar, you will often have jar breakage.  You can heat your jars by 
pouring very hot water into them and letting them sit for a minute, then dump 
out the water and fill jars with beans.

There is no need to add any liquid to your beans, as they are pretty liquidy 
already.  Leave a 1 inch head space.

6. With a clean, damp paper towel, wipe the rims of your 
jars, then wipe them with a dry paper towel.  This is a very important step.  
Food or food particles sometimes get on the rims of the jars, and if they are 
not wiped off, your lids may not seal.  I've had this happen to me before, and 
believe me, it's not worth the trouble!  Avoid lid failure by taking a minute to 
do this very important step. 

7. Place lids and rings on your jars.  Rings (also called 
rims or bands) should be finger tight.

Lids do not need to be washed, since they are brand new.  (Don't ever re-use 
lids! They should be thrown out after each us.)  Rings, however, can be re-used, 
and they should be washed before using again.

8. Time to can those beans!  Get your pressure canner out 
and fill it with water according to your user manual's instructions.  Place the 
jars in the canner and put the lid on tight. 

Pints: 10 lbs for 1 hour and 15 minutes Quarts: 10 lbs for 1 hour and 30 minutes


 Canning Meat:

Is It As Scary As It Sounds?


No! I don't know where it got started, but the notion that canning meat is somehow more 
"dangerous" than canning simple foods, like fruits or vegetables, is just not true.

Meats can be canned just as safely as any other food; you just have to know 
how to do it.  You're not going to get any sicker from canned meat than from 
canned fruits, or any other canned item. 


What kinds of meat can I can?

Any kind - fish, beef, poultry, and even venison, can all be canned 
successfully.  Keep in mind, however, that you need to be canning high-quality 
meats in order to get high-quality results.  Canning tough meat won't make it 
tender!  Choose cuts that you prefer in order to get the best results.  Also, 
it's important to know that lean meats, with the fat trimmed, are the most ideal 
for canning.

In addition to different kinds of meats, there are also different 
ways of canning meats.  For example, you could make your favorite beef 
stew or chicken soup, and can that.  Or, you could prepare your meat your 
favorite way (strips, diced, cubed, etc.) and can it in that form.  It all 
depends on what you plan to actually do with your canned meat. Think 
ahead on this one!


Canning Meat? Pressure Can It!

One thing you need to realize right from the start is that the only safe way 
of canning meat is through the pressure canning method. Meats are an extremely 
low-acid food....which means it needs a lot more heat and pressure to kill the 
bacteria contained in the meat.  Although water bath canning will safely can 
high-acid foods, like fruits,this method of canning will not 
safely can meats!  Don't kid yourself; water bath canning meats is highly risky. 
Let me explain a bit more.

Water bath canning heats canned goods only to the standard boiling 
temperature, which is 212* F.  The entire point of canning is to kill the 
bacteria in the food you are preserving, so it's important that you bring that 
food to a temperature high enough to successfully kill all that bacteria. 
Because foods like fruits, jams, and jellies contain high levels of acid in 
them, they don't need to be heated higher than 212* F.  That's why high-acid 
foods can be safely canned using the water bath method.


However, when you deal with low-acid foods, like meats and vegetables, you 
are dealing with something much different. Obviously, since they have a much 
lower level of acid in them, they are going to need a lot more heat to safely 
preserve them.  Since water bath canning can only reach the standard boiling 
temperature, 212* F, you are going to need a different canning method!  This is 
where pressure canning comes in.  Pressure canners have sealed lids on the top, 
which allows a great deal of heat and pressure to build up inside.  Because 
pressure canning brings food to a much higher temperature than water bath 
canning, the bacteria in low-acid foods is going to be completely eliminated. 



So that's the first main point:  When canning meat, always use the
pressure canning method.


Avoid lid failure...it's so important to wipe the rims of your jars.  Avoid losing all your 
deliciously canned meats to lid failure by wiping your rims!


The first time I canned meat, I canned chickens that I had bought at the store  I canned maybe a dozen jars of chicken, and was terribly disappointed to find out that, just days after canning them, all of the 
lids were one by one "unsealing" and popping off the jars.  Of course, I had to 
discard the chicken.


It was only after the fact that I realized my mistake: I hadn't wiped the rims 
of the jars.  And if I had, I hadn't done it thoroughly.  Remember that meats 
are very greasy foods, and no matter how hard you try to avoid it, you will 
always end up getting that grease on the rims of your jars.  It will 
happen.  When you have slimy rims, the lids will not seal properly.  Even if 
they stay sealed for a few days, they will eventually "slide" off.  That grease 
will always get you!


The other main point:  Always wipe the rims of your jars to avoid
lid sealing failure.
 This is true of any food you can, but especially 
meats.


How to Start Canning Chicken
Canning chicken makes me think of hot casseroles, simmering soups, and 
steaming fajitas, all with bits of chicken that have been lovingly preserved for 
family.  When you start canning chicken, you'll never buy the store-bought stuff 
again - home canned chicken is just so good!  It provides the convenience of 
being able to just pop open a jar for a quick and tasty lunch.  And better yet, 
home canned chicken is so much healthier for you.





Healthier? Really?


Did you know that the cans of chicken you buy at the store contain large 
amounts of aluminum?  Worse yet, do you know that the aluminum slowly leaks into 
the chicken inside?  While this will not create an immediate health crisis, 
studies have shown that there is a direct link between aluminum intake and 
Alzheimer's disease.  Canning chicken at home totally eliminates this risk since 
you'll be canning in glass jars.


Plus, no added ingredients, hormones, or icky preservatives will be lurking 
in your canned chicken.  Nope! Just fresh and healthy chunks of chicken that 
will please everyone who tries it. Canning chicken is truly the best way.


Start Canning Chicken 
1. Prepare your chicken. When canning chicken, you have two 
options open to you for this canned chicken recipe.  Raw pack or hot pack.  Raw 
pack is canning your meat raw (it will get cooked in the canner later) and hot 
pack is canning your meat pre-cooked. Hot pack: Cook 
your chicken.  This can be done several ways.  You can fry it in a skillet (but 
don't add any oil!), boil it in a soup pot full of water, or cook it in a 
roaster.  Whichever way you choose, make sure that your chicken is 
almost done.  Not thoroughly cooked; but almost though. Cook meat until 
rare. 


Raw pack: Rinse your raw meat if desired, and pat 
dry with a clean paper towel.

2. Cut your chicken. On a sanitized surface, cut, slice, 
dice, or chop your chicken pieces into any size or shape your prefer.  It really 
doesn't matter how big or little it is.  Keep in mind that small pieces of 
chicken will be more useful for soups, casseroles, sandwiches, etc. Make sure 
you remove pieces of bone as you do this.

3. Pack into jars. Once you have your chicken pieces cut to size, place 
them into clean, sterilized jars. Make sure to leave a 1 inch head space.  This 
means there should be 1 inch of space between the top of the chicken at the top 
of the jar.  Leaving plenty of room between the two will guarantee a good seal 
later on.


It's important that your jars are really clean.  You can do this by running 
them through the dishwasher, boiling them, or washing them thoroughly by hand 
with hot soapy water.  However you do it, make sure the end result is spotlessly 
clean jars! 


*If you are using the hot pack method for canning chicken, make sure your 
jars are warm/semi-hot before packing with hot meat.


4. If you are using the raw-pack method: Add 1 tsp. of salt 
to each quart jar of chicken, if desired.  Do not add any liquid.


If you are using the hot-pack method:Add 1 tsp. of salt to 
each quart jar of chicken, if desired.  Pour chicken broth (either from the 
chicken or homemade) over the pieces of chicken, leaving 1 inch of 
head space.


5. Wipe rims of jars! I can't emphasize how important of a 
step this is.  When you're canning chicken, (or any kind of meat, for that 
matter) you need to remember that it is greasy, and you will always get some of 
that grease on the rims of the jars.  No matter how hard you try, it will always 
happen.  Even if you can't see it.  If you fail to wipe the grease of the rims 
of your jars, your lids will almost always unseal, or fail to seal. Avoid a lot 
of trouble by just doing this simple step.


6. Place lids and rings on the jars.  The rings do not need 
to be extremely tight, but just finger tight.  Tight enough to stay on, but 
loose enough to come off later.


You may be wondering if you should wash your rings/lids ahead of time.  
Rings, yes.  Lids, if you want to.  Since your lids should be brand new when 
you're using them, they are virtually clean.  However, if you want to be extra 
careful, you can gently wash them in luke-warm water.  Never boil them, though!  
The hot water will damage the seal.


7. Prepare your pressure canner. Fill your pressure canner 
about half full of water.  You need to check your owner's manual for specific 
instructions regarding the amount of water, though. 


8. Place jars in canner. Remember that a pressure canner 
will only hold 7-8 quarts at a time, so don't cram more than that in.  For a 
weighted gauge canner, process at 10 pounds.  For a dil gauge canner, process at 
11 pounds.  Process pints for 1 1/4 hours, quarts for 1 1/2 hours.  Increase
pressure and processing time for your specific altitude.
  It's very 
important that you figure out exactly the pounds of pressure and the processing 
time needed for your altitude, because under-processed meat is a serious health 
hazard.


 


  







  


  


  


 


  


  


  

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