Preserving the produce obtained from the garden has always been of great importance to every gardener. Many gardeners have come up with a lot of home canning recipes that allows gardeners all over the world to easily make using their harvest at home.
There are literally hundreds of recipes that can be found on the internet or gardening books. Canning at home can be a troublesome task but it is definitely worth the effort in the end. Now you can enjoy your favorite produce all year round.
As stated above there are many methods for canning and most of them are relatively easy to master.
Water Bath Canning Method:
Water bath canning is one of the easiest way to preserve your harvest. You will need a water bath canner, jar rack, a 5 or 6 quart pot and sauce pan, jar lifter, a funnel and obviously some jars.
First wash your jars thoroughly with soap. Then you want to fill the canner with at least 2/3 water and put it on the stove. When the water is hot but not boiling, put the jars in the water for about 10 minutes until you are ready to fill them up with the final product.
Use a funnel to pour the prepared recipe into the hot jars. You should mix it at the end since you don’t want any air bubbles left in the jar with the recipe.
You can mix it using a spatula. Leave adequate space at the top for the jar lids to properly seal. Place the jar rack inside the hot water and place the full jars in the rack. Submerge the rack below the water and leave it to boil for the specified amount stated in the recipe.
Golden Spoon’s Mason Jars are high quality mason jars set designed to preserve the freshness of your fruits and vegetables. Highly recommended!
Pressure Canning Method:
This pressure canning method is mostly to preserve vegetables and your meats. Before you begin with this method, you should be aware that not every pressure canner is the same, so your process might need to be altered a little according to the canner.
Things to prepare
You will need the following items: a pressure canner, wide mouth funnel, jar lifter and some jars. Make sure that the jar is proper and not cracked/chipped in any place.
Place the canning lids of the jar in a small sauce pan and fill it with water, and bring the water to a nice warm temperature. This loosens up the sealing strip in the jar.
Steps to follow
Fill your jars with the product using the funnel to do so. Leave some space at the top of the jar, and secure the jars properly with their seals and lid correctly placed.
Place the canning rack in the pressure canner and fill about 3 quarts with water. Put the jars carefully on the rack so that they do not touch each other.
Cover the pressure canner with a lid and secure it properly. Heat the pressure canner over medium high until steam can be seen. Then leave the canner for 10 minutes.
After the 10 minutes have passed, place the pressure regulator on top of the vent pipe. Change the stove heat to high. Leave it for as long as the recipe states. After this is done, uncover the lid on the vent and let the built up pressure dissipate.
Remove the jars using the jar lifter and voila, you have the jars successfully sealed using the pressure canning method. A properly sealed jar can last for about a year or more.
If the jar is not properly sealed then it’s best to use them up in a couple of weeks.
Another recommendation for a mason jar to use for canning and preserving your harvest is Jarden’s 12 Ball Mason Jar with Lid. Good quality and very economical!
Tomatoes are a really popular choice for gardens hence you might probably have tomatoes growing in your backyard. Most recipes featuring tomatoes make use of the water bath canning technique. A great way to preserve tomatoes is to make canned spaghetti sauce that you can enjoy whenever you feel like it.
Ever found yourself wishing you had some salsa to go with your snack? You can preserve the tomatoes in your garden in the form of a canned salsa. Now you can enjoy your snacks the way they were meant to be enjoyed, with salsa.
Another great way to preserve your tomatoes is to make your very own ketchup because who doesn’t like ketchup. Using the tomatoes in your garden that you know are fresh. This homemade ketchup can easily be put in to jars or even empty ketchup bottles and stored in the fridge.
Roasted Tomato Pizza Sauce
A really great way to preserve your tomatoes and enhance the flavor of your pizzas. The roast actually helps bring out the natural sweetness of tomatoes which gives the pizza a tangy flavor.
Everyone enjoys jam so why not make some tomato jam. Definitely a new and exciting flavor for jam that is sure to brighten up your day and preserve your tomatoes, all in one jar for you to enjoy. But if none of these recipes work for you, there is always the option of canning whole tomatoes.
To preserve your tomatoes whole so that they are available for any option, you need to peel the skin off and put the tomatoes in the jar along with garlic and basil leaves. Add some lemon juice and some salt, then fill it up with hot water.
To learn how to preserve in batches, as well as drying, freezing, canning, and pickling techniques, check out The Big Book of Preserving the Harvest by Carol W. Costenbader.
If you want to try something new by growing new and unique vegetables, check out this helpful article, 21 Unusual Vegetables You Can Grow and Where to Get Them.
Whenever you think about preserving cucumbers, your mind always goes to pickles. But there are actually a lot of recipes about preserving cucumbers.Click To Tweet
First off, let’s start with a cucumber relish recipe. This recipe is incredibly easy to make and can be canned for later. The next time you need some cucumber relish for your hotdog or bratwurst, you always have some at home.
Ever got tired of eating the same old jelly again and again? Why not try something new, like cucumber jelly. This jelly isn’t like the regular one that you’re used to, it has a sweet and tangy taste with a nice hint of cucumber.
Dill Pickle Recipe
Next we have the crispy dill pickle recipe. Everyone enjoys a nice crispy pickle here and there. The secret to canning a dill pickle and ensuring they remain crispy is leaves. Yes, grape leaves are the key. They contain tannins that prevent the pickle from softening.
Zesty Bread and Butter Pickles
Another great canning recipe for cucumbers is the zesty bread and butter pickles. It’s pretty much the same as a normal bread and butter pickle with the key difference between them being the addition of some spices that bring out the flavor.
There is also some adjustment in the quantity of ingredients but it’s all minor. If you enjoy cucumbers and love growing them in your garden, then you should definitely try out the sweet pickle recipe. It makes for a great snack whenever you feel hungry and is definitely something you can enjoy.
What does the expert say about home preserving? To learn more innovative and enticing recipes from the experts, check out Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving by Judi Kingry.
A lot of gardens have an abundance of beans and with this type of population you will definitely need some ways to preserve them so you can use them at your leisure. They can be either pickled then water bath canned or you can use the pressure canner method. First on this list is the spice lemon pickled beans.
As the name suggests they are spicy with a hint of lemony taste that is sure to amaze and dazzle your tongue with its flavors. It’s actually a great way to get your kids to eat their green beans.
If you like dilly beans but you want to save them for later then you should learn how to can dilly beans. Put the trimmed beans in jars along with 1 clove of garlic, 1 head of dill and ¼ teaspoon of cayenne.
After you add this, do not touch the beans for a few weeks, so that the taste develops properly. Then you give them a water canning bath. Different types of beans require different methods of canning. This will tell you how to can pinto beans.
Canning pinto beans, even though they are cheap, is a very great money saver considering that they have a shelf life of 1 or 2 years. Pinto beans are canned using the pressure canning method.
Bormioli Fido Clear Square Canning Jar is a good quality jar that works well for storing beans and they look great on the shelf. Check it out!
If you want to preserve zucchini you can use either the water bath canning or pressure canning method, whichever one you prefer. Zucchini is one of the favorites for vegans which is why not many gardeners tend to grow them but if you like zucchini then these recipes are for you.
Canned Zucchini Pineapple
The canned zucchini pineapple is a little unusual recipe but it is still pretty good. It makes use of zucchini and pineapple juice with a little bit of lemon added in there for taste.
If you are a little more daring then maybe you can try the garden fresh zucchini salsa recipe.
This recipe is a little tricky to achieve due to troubles with getting the heat just right but if done correctly it is definitely a new twist on salsa’s that is sure to blow you away.
If you prefer, you could take the traditional route with the canned zucchini salad recipe. It pairs great with meat and baked potatoes or generally something that you can have if you are on diet and need a little fat-free snack.
If you are a beginner, Canning and Preserving for Beginners by Rockridge Press is a book that provides great solution to always having local, seasonal, and budget-friendly food in your kitchen. Check it out!
Don’t have a lot of space for growing vegetables and plants? No problem! Check out this article of Crafty Container Vegetable Gardening Design, Ideas and Tips.
A lot of the vegetables that you grow in your garden are often left to rot due to not using them on time or not having enough space in your home to store the whole vegetables. Well here are some recipes that are sure to help you with that particular problem.
One of the lesser known recipes out there is about canning corn. Most people grow corn in their garden as snacks but since they end up having more amount then they can eat, it is usually thrown out. Now using the pressure canning method you can have corn at any time you want.
Red Pepper Garlic Jelly
Another great recipe out there is the red pepper garlic jelly. This sweet and spicy recipe is sure to bring something new to your day and will definitely knock the socks off anyone who tries it. By using the water bath canning method you can have this exotic jelly all year round.
If you are a fan of relishes then maybe you should try a homemade corn relish. It is a great way to save your corns for the winter. First you have to separate the kernels from the cob before you get into the process of creating a canned corn relish.
A lot of the gardeners tend to grow peppers in their gardens due to its many uses in cooking so if you also grow peppers in our garden then you can make use of the canned pickled pepper recipe. It is sure to add flavor and spice to your winter meals.
Pickled asparagus is also a great canning recipe that helps you enjoy the flavors of the asparagus all year round.
Due to the small harvest period of the asparagus you might find more asparagus on your hand then you know what to do with hence you can use the pickled asparagus recipe to preserve the asparagus for later.
Things to remember:
Whenever you use either of the canning methods mentioned above, there need to be some minor adjustments for each and every recipe such as the timing, quantity of ingredients or some other factors that needs to be different.
Before using the jars for canning, make sure that they are not chipped or cracked anywhere or else the produce might end up going bad.
To check if the jars are sealed properly, press lightly at the top of the lid and if the lid stays solid, then the seal is okay. If it dips or moves, then the jar was not sealed properly. You should refrigerate the jar, and try to finish it within a week or two.
PS: If you live in a small apartment and wondering what type of fruits and vegetables you can grow, check out this comprehensive and helpful article, Vegetables and Fruits You Can Grow in Your Apartment.