Wednesday, August 26, 2015

💙 Welcome to Safe Canning Recipes

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Safe websites to visit that have lots of good recipes and advice: Remember not everything you see on the web is safe. Do not trust all Canning sites, Recipes, YouTube or Pinterest unless you check it against these sites or ask in our group.  There are many good sites but there are just as many who give unsafe advice.
Safe Canning Recipe Sites or books.
BERNARDIN ~ Ball's Canadian site

The Link to our recipe blog which can always be found in the top pinned post on our Facebook page.

Don't feel too seems like a lot to take in at first but if you read and ask questions and gradually buy the items you need while you are learning you will be a pro in no time and wonder what you were worried about. If you have questions, please refer to a safe source for information.

Things to remember: There are two USDA-approved ways to can — with a boiling water bath canner, which reaches 212 degrees, or with a pressure canner (not to be confused with a pressure cooker), which reaches 240 degrees. Each one kills different types of bacteria and sterilizes food in jars.

Water bath = WB = high acid foods = pickles, pickled veggies, fruit, jelly, jams, salsa’s, pie fillings and tomatoes.

Pressure Canner = PC = low acid foods = veggies that are not pickled, all meats, sauces, soups, stews, and chili. You can PC some of the WB items but you can NEVER EVER water bath items that are low acid and require a PC.

First one of these books, they are wonderful: Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving or Ball Blue Book guide to preserving. There are others but either of these are a great start. Always make sure that the canning book you are using is up to date…things change as more research is done and you want to be as safe as you can. Please check the recipes against today's standards for safe canning.

Safe websites to visit that have lots of good recipes and advice: Remember not everything you see on the web is safe. Do not trust all canning sites, cooking sites, recipes, YouTube, Pinterest or Google unless you check it against these sites or ask in our group. There are many good sites but there are just as many who give unsafe advice.


ITEMS YOU WILL NEED: Suggestions and links are included but search the web for the best pricing.

Pressure Canner (make sure it says canner, you can cook in a canner but you can't can in a cooker) and have very good prices on canners. Presto is a very good one to get started and will last many years. One thing to look out for... If you have an overhead microwave or low hanging fan over your stove, check measurements to be sure the 23 qt. isn't too tall. If they hang low, you will have to go with the 16 qt. size. You need enough clearance to be able to tilt the lid away from you to remove it and to safely remove your jars.

*Gas and electric stoves are both good to can on.... If you have a smooth top stove, check your manufacturers manual to be sure that it recommends canning on it, if so Presto is the only canner safe to use on those type stoves. If it doesn't recommend canning on it then check out a single is a good one:

You can buy a Water Bath pot or you can save by using your PC as a WB.

If you decide to get the 23 qt. canner you will want to get an extra rack so you can stack pints and double your canning ability:

You will need a canning tool kit:

AND MASON JARS....LOTS AND LOTS OF JARS ~~ Shop around for the best prices...Grocery stores, Hardware stores, stores such as Walmart, Target, Amazon. Also, resale shops, garage sales, estate sales, ask friends and family, they tend to keep them even though they don't can and might be happy to free up some cabinet space. Check, Craigslist and local classifieds.

Burning Issue: Canning on Smooth Cooktops - If you have a smooth top stove please read this before using it for canning.

What food and ingredients CAN'T be safely canned?
Adapted from Canning Homemade

What you are "able" to put into jars is a much longer canning list than those you can't so for any additions to the list below I will continue to update as I find or research either the ones that I missed or ingredients that have changed their "status". Reasons for not using the products below:

NO Fats: Oil (by itself, there are two safe recipes using a oil/vinegar brine: Marinated Peppers and Marinated Mushrooms), mayonnaise. These products will go rancid and develop bacteria within your jar if left unrefrigerated and mixed in with other ingredients to form a recipe.

No Dairy: butter, milk, cheese, sour cream, cream (whipping or heavy), yogurt (Greek or other), buttermilk, goat or any other animal milk, tofu, soy

Do not add: Oats, wheat, barley, grains, rice, bread, noodles or pasta, hominy, crackers, biscuits, pie dough, eggs. They will also go rancid but also during processing the heat will not penetrate through the recipe and as such will not kill the bacteria in the jar. This is one reason why doing a "pie in a jar" or "cake in a jar" is not a good idea. Pastas because they are made of flour they will breakdown in the jar during the 75 minutes to process in the pressure canner and you will be left with mush at the bottom of the jar. Also most pasta and noodles are made with eggs.

Do not use thickeners: Cornstarch, tapioca, arrowroot, flour, Wondra flour, cornmeal, soup bases, package mixes like taco mix or ranch dressing as they will breakdown. The only approved thickener is Clear Jel

Veggies: For broccoli and other veggies listed below the heat from pressure canning will destroy the flavor and render them mushy for the amount of time that it will take to be safe in processing. Broccoli, Brussels sprouts (pickled ok), cabbage (pickled, Sauerkraut and slaw ok), cauliflower (pickle ok), eggplant (pickled ok), summer squash if not included in a recipe with other veggies (pickled ok), olives (pickled ok), lettuce, artichokes. Any "mashed" vegetable like mash potatoes, butternut squash or pumpkin will have density issues.

No Food recipes: pumpkin butter, pudding, cream soups or cream veggies, refried beans, peanut butter, Pesto, chocolate made from milk solids, quick breads.

These Fruits: mashed bananas, avocados, coconut milk. Fruits such as bananas also have a thickness that the heat will not destroy the bacteria during the water bath process.

Meats: avoid high fat, pate (duck, beef), liver and giblets (chicken, beef), hot dogs, meats with fillers. With meat you want to use a leaner meat. Pate and liver during the pressure canning will not heat through to penetrate and kill all the bacteria including any natural bacteria from canning organ meats.

Candy: caramels, peppermints, marshmallow will end in a jar of liquid goo.

Do's and Don’ts for storing your canned goods:

Many canners during the season search for locations in their homes where they are able to store their precious jars. Finding that perfect spot sometimes can be a challenge and the "Do's and Don'ts" of storage are important to keep in mind.

The most important "Don't" before we start is never put any jars that have not been properly processed either by water bath or pressure canning methods or the lids have not sealed into your storage. They will not be shelf stable and could make someone sick if consumed or worse!

1. Don't store your jars in a hot garage or in a basement near the heater or boiler. Do find a cool place between 50 and 70 degrees to keep your jars. Reason: If the contents of the jars are stored in a warm place or in direct sunlight the food may lose some of its eating quality in a few weeks or months, sooner if the temperature is anything like Vegas in the summer!

2. Don't store your jars in wet or damp area. Do find a location that is dry and has some circulation. Reason: Dampness may rust the metal lids and rings and could cause leakage so the food will spoil. Storing the jars in a cool dark pantry, closet, or some have even stored them under their bed, but in the house is optimal.

3. Don't store your jars with the rings still on the lid. Do take the rings off or loosen them! Reason: If there is a problem and bacteria develops in the jar the lid will release from the build-up of gas inside the jar. The lid will be loose and when you open the jar and the lid will just slide right off. If you leave the ring on and the bacteria develops the lid is being held down by the ring and over time the lid may reseal itself and will trap the bacteria inside and you will not know.

4. Don't stack your jars if you don’t have to. Do find space for them to be in a single layer either in boxes or on shelves. Reason: There are two reasons to not stack jars, first there is the danger of jars falling over and breaking, but more important is that you are again putting a heavy object on the lids of the bottom jars and possibly trapping bacteria you may have in your food. If you do not have sufficient space and must stack, use a cardboard layer between and only stack 2 high.

5. Don't lay your jars on their side or upside down. Do keep your lids up! Reason: Natural ingredients in some foods, in particular foods with acid, corrode metal from the lid and make a dark deposit on the underside of jars. This deposit on lids of sealed, properly processed jars is harmless but will detract from giving the jar as a gift and will look visually unappealing.

6. Don't forget to label your jars. Do mark the lid using a permanent marker with the name of the recipe and date canned or create a sticker label with the same information. Reason: Again two reasons to make sure your jars are properly marked; make sure you know what's in the jar since sometimes the color and contents are not obvious as to what's inside and the date will let you know how old the contents are in the jar.

7. Don't put the jars in the pantry without washing them. Do take the time to remove the rings and wash, rinse and dry your jars. Reason: It's important to clean any food residue or if you are pressure canning you may have some residual fat from canning meat on the outside of the jar. Cleaning the outside with warm soapy water helps to avoid ants and other insects in your pantry.

8. Don't leave the jars unchecked. Do take the time to rotate your jars by date as you pull jars out of your pantry. Reason: Since the optimal quality in the food we can is one year for any type of processing you will want to want to fill your shelves just like a grocery store. Pull the older jars to the front and newer projects to the back or create a section of its own. The date on the lid of the jar will help to keep you organized.

Adapted from SBCanning

What is botulism? Botulism can be avoided if you follow the safest canning methods. Botulism is a rare, but serious illness caused by a germ called Clostridium botulinum. The germ is found in soil and can survive, grow, and produce toxin in a sealed jar of food. This toxin can affect your nerves, paralyze you, and even cause death. Even taking a small taste of food containing this toxin can be deadly. Botulism is a medical emergency. If you have symptoms of foodborne botulism, seek medical care immediately.

Symptoms may include the following:

  • Double vision
  • Blurred vision
  • Drooping eyelids
  • Slurred speech
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Dry mouth
  • Muscle weakness
  • Death

Protect yourself from botulism: When in doubt, throw it out!
Home-canned food might be contaminated if:

1. The container is leaking, bulging, or swollen

2. The container looks damaged, cracked, or abnormal

3. The container spurts liquid or foam when opened

4. The food is discolored, moldy, or smells bad If you suspect home-canned food might be contaminated with the germs that cause botulism, throw the food away. If any of the food spills, wipe up the spill using a dilute bleach solution (1/4 cup bleach for each 2 cups of water).

• Never taste home-canned food to determine if it is safe. Do not taste or eat foods from containers that are leaking, have bulges or are swollen, or look damaged, cracked, or abnormal.

• When you open a jar of home-canned food, thoroughly inspect the food. Do not taste or eat foods that are discolored, moldy, or smell bad. Do not eat food from a can that spurted liquid or foamed when it was opened.

• Do not open or puncture any unopened cans, commercial or home-canned, if you suspect contamination.

⛽ Beans (Dry & Fresh)

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***There is no canning recipe for refried beans. You make refried after you open a jar to eat and mash in a skillet***

Ham & Bean Soup (see below)
Chili Ready Beans (see below)

From the Ball® Blue Book



🥜 Boiled Peanuts 👀

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Step 1 - Select your peanuts Select fully mature, but still green peanuts. They must not be roasted or already cooked or dried.  Fully mature peanuts do not make good quality boiled peanuts; rather raw or "green" ones are used. "Raw" denotes peanuts in a semi-mature state, having achieved full size, but not being fully dried, as would be needed for roasting or peanut butter use. The most flavorful peanuts for boiling are the Valencia type. These are preferred in the United States, being grown in gardens and small patches throughout the South. Green Virginia type peanuts are also sometimes used - these do have larger kernels, but the flavor is not as good.

Step 2 - Prepare the jars and pressure canner

Wash the jars and lids This is a good time to get the jars ready! The dishwasher is fine for the jars; especially if it has a "sanitize" cycle. Otherwise put the jars in boiling water for 10 minutes. I just put the lids in a small pot of almost boiling water for 5 minutes, and use the magnetic "lid lifter wand" (available from target, other big box stores, and often grocery stores; and available online - see this page) to pull them out. Get a large pot of water boiling
We will use this water to pour over the peanuts and fill each jar with liquid, after we've packed them full of peanuts. I use the largest pot I have, so that there is plenty of clean, boiling water ready when I need it. Get the pressure canner heating up. Rinse out your pressure canner, put the rack plate in the bottom, and fill it to a depth of 4 inches with hot tap water. (of course, follow the instruction that came with the canner, if they are different). Put it on the stove over low heat, with the lid OFF of it, just to get it heating up for later on.

Step 3 -Wash the peanuts Wash them under running water.

Step 4 - Soak the peanuts

Soak the peanuts in the shell in fresh water for one hour.

Step 5 - Soak again Discard the water, cover again with fresh water and soak for another hour.

Step 6 - Soak a third time! Repeat this soaking process one more time for one more hour. This makes a total soaking time of three hours, using fresh water each time.

Step 7 - Make a brine solution Combine 1 cup of pickling salt or kosher salt with 1 gallon of water. Set this on a burner on low heat (so it does not boil away)  until you are ready to fill the jars (Step 10 )

Step 8 - Parboil the peanuts Then parboil the peanuts for 10 minutes in fresh water and drain. Parboiling means to maintain the stove's burner so that the water is simmering, just below boiling. This can be done inside on the stove or outside on a propane burner for a larger volume. The boil can go on longer than 10 minutes, depending on quantity and the age of the peanut (green "raw" peanuts cook faster and tend to be better tasting), but you do not want to boil so long that the peanuts become peanut butter! When they are soft, they are done. If they are still slightly crunchy, they are not done yet.Flavorings such as spices, hot sauce or Cajun seasonings can be added to the boil.

Step 9 - Fill the jars Pack the hot peanuts into hot jars, leaving ½ inch head-space.

Step 10 - Add the hot brine Fill each jar to ½ inch from the top with boiling brine (1 cup salt per gallon of water).  Remove any air bubbles.

Step 11 - Seal the jars and fill the canner Wipe the jar's rims, put the lids on then the rings and tighten them snugly.  Place the jars into the pressure canner.

Step 12 - Let the pressure canner vent steam for 10 minutes You MUST use a pressure canner.  Peanuts are a non-acidic food. Put the heat on high and let the steam escape through the vent for 10 minutes to purge the airspace inside the canner.

Step 13 - Put the weight on and let the pressure build After 10 minutes of venting, put the weight on and close any openings to allow the pressure to build to 11 pounds (see the charts below for different canners).

Step 14 - Process in the PRESSURE CANNER Process in a Dial Gauge Pressure Canner OR in a Weighted Gauge Canner at the following pressures dependent upon altitude and for the recommended time:Recommended process time for Boiled Peanuts in a dial-gauge pressure canner

Recommended process time for Boiled Peanuts in a dial-gauge pressure canner
Canner Gauge Pressure (PSI) at Altitudes of
Jar SizeProcess Time0 - 2,000 ft2,001 - 4,000 ft4,001 - 6,000 ft6,001 - 8,000 ft
Pints45 min11 lb12 lb13 lb14 lb
Recommended process time for Green Peanuts in a Weighted-gauge pressure canner
Canner Gauge Pressure (PSI) at Altitudes of
Jar SizeProcess Time0 - 1,000 ftAbove 1,000 ft
Pints45 min10 lb15 lb

It is important to learn how to operate your pressure canner by reading the owner's manual that came with your particular canner. If you cannot find your owner's manual, you can obtain find one online: Here is where to find some common manufacturer's manuals:Presto canner manualsor by contacting the company that made your canner. Give the model number to the manufacturer, and they will send you the right manual. Click here for more information about pressure canners and a variety of models you can order.

Step 15 - Turn off the heat and let it cool down When the processing time from the chart above is up, turn off the heat, and allow the pressure canner to cool and the pressure to drop to zero before opening the canner.  Let the jars cool without being jostled. After the pressure drops to zero (usually, you can tell but the "click" sound of the safety release vents opening, as well as but the gauge.  Let the pressure in the canner drop to zero by itself. This may take 45 minutes in a 16-quart canner filled with jars and almost an hour in a 22-quart canner. If the vent is opened before the pressure drops to zero OR if the cooling is rushed by running cold water over the canner, liquid will be lost from the jars. Too rapid cooling causes loss of liquid in the jars!

Step 16 - Remove the jars Lift the jars out of the water and let them cool on a wooden cutting board or a towel,  without touching or bumping them in a draft-free place (usually takes overnight), here they won't be bumped. You can then remove the rings if you like, but if you leave them on, at least loosen them quite a bit, so they don't rust in place due to trapped moisture. Once the jars are cool, you can check that they are sealed verifying that the lid has been sucked down. Just press in the center, gently, with your finger. If it pops up and down (often making a popping sound), it is not sealed. If you put the jar in the refrigerator right away, you can still use it. Some people replace the lid and reprocess the jar, then that's a bit iffy. If you heat the contents back up, re-jar them (with a new lid) and the full time in the canner, it's usually ok. You're done!