Yes We Can
Author: be well™ with Big Y® Registered Dietitian Team
Right now, we’re surrounded with delicious, in-season fruits and vegetables at their absolute finest. And while we’re fortunate enough to be able to enjoy just about all of our favorites year-round, there is something special about just-picked, locally grown summertime produce.
In days past, those who wanted a taste of sweet strawberries in December or tart pickles in February would preserve summer flavors themselves. Try those time-tested, do-it-yourself methods yourself and store a bit of summer in your pantry all year long.
With our easy, step-by-step recipes, you’ll be able to preserve and can your favorite flavors of summer to enjoy any time of year.
Tools You Need to Get Started
- Canning jars
- Rims/Ring bands and lids
- Water bath canner
- Jar lifter
Sterlize Canning Jars
Whether you’re using a new canning jar or an old one, sterilizing before filling will remove any accumulated dust, small bits of debris or tiny microorganisms you can’t see. Discard any jars with cracks or rough edges as they will not properly seal.
Whether using the Boiling Water Method or Cold Pack Canning, it's imperative to sterilize jars, rims, ring bands and lids before beginning. Follow manufacturer's guidelines or boil jars in their own water bath and rims, rings and lids in their own water bath.
Boiling Water Method
1. Fill your canner half full with water. Heat over medium-high to 140 degrees Fahrenheit for raw food packed jars and 180 degrees Fahrenheit for cooked food packed jars.
2. Carefully place filled and sealed jars on the canner rack. Add more water until all jars are completely covered by 1½ inches water.
3. Turn heat to high and bring water to a rapid boil. Once boiling, start tracking processing time indicated in your recipe.
4. Cover canner with lid and reduce heat to medium, making sure to maintain a gentle boil throughout processing time.
5. When time is up, carefully remove jars with a jar lifter and place on a rack or towel, a few inches apart, to let cool.
6. Once completely cool (12-24 hours), tighten lids and store jars in a cool, dry area out of direct sunlight.
Cold Pack Canning
In cold pack canning, you fill canning jars with freshly prepared, unheated food. The food is raw, while the canning jars are hot. But the water, juice or syrup added to the raw food, is brought to a boil before being added to jars.
1. Fill hot sterilized jars with freshly prepared, unheated food.
2. Add boiling water, juice or syrup to raw food before sealing jars.
3. Once completely cool (12-24 hours), tighten lids and store jars in a cool, dry area out of direct sunlight.