Canning helps keep summer going all year long

Fruits and veggies of summer can be enjoyed all year, until next season’s bounty appears

  • Aug. 27, 2017 2:30 a.m.

Cathi Litzenberger

Morning Star Columnist

As we approach the end of August, gardeners are coming to the end of their growing season and moving on to canning, freezing, jamming, and/or smoking the harvest for the winter season.

I’ve been working with peaches and tomatoes this week because home-canned tastes so much better to me and it doesn’t have all the extra salt, sugar and preservatives commercial companies add.

Our Best Peach Salsa Recipe for Canning

10-12 cups roma tomatoes, diced or lightly puréed in food processor

4 cups sweet peppers, diced or lightly puréed in food processor

4 cups onions, diced or lightly puréed in food processor

1/2 to 1 cup (or less) jalapeños, minced

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup cider vinegar

1 tbsp. salt

Tomato paste to thicken (if needed)

5-7 peaches, diced

Bring diced tomatoes to a simmer and cook for an hour. While tomatoes cook, dice the peppers and onions and add them to the pot, continuing to simmer. Add jalapeños, garlic, vinegar and salt and continuing simmering until salsa is reduced and thickened (time varies depending on tomato variety’s water content).

Prepare 12 pint jars for canning (you will likely have some extra). Bring water bath kettle to a boil and heat lids and rings. Add diced peaches to the salsa just before beginning the jar-filling process. Stir peaches into the salsa and begin filling jars. Process in boiling water bath 20 minutes. Remove jars to cool.

The Best Canning Salsa

30 tomatoes, peeled and chopped

10 cups chopped onions

2 cups vinegar

2 (8 ounce) cans tomato paste

2 green bell peppers, chopped

2 red bell peppers, chopped

4 banana peppers, chopped

1/2 cup white sugar, or more to taste

10 cloves garlic, chopped

8 teaspoons pickling salt

1 teaspoons ground black pepper

1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped

17 (1 pint) canning jars with lids and rings

Combine tomatoes, onions, vinegar, tomato paste, green bell peppers, red bell peppers, banana peppers, sugar, garlic, pickling salt and black pepper in large stockpot; bring to boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 30 minutes. Mix cilantro into salsa.

Sterilize jars and lids in boiling water for at least 5 minutes. Pack salsa into hot, sterilized jars, filling to within 1/4 inch of the top. Run knife or thin spatula around insides of jars after they have been filled, to remove any air bubbles. Wipe rims of jars with moist paper towel to remove any food residue. Top with lids and screw on rings.

Place a rack in bottom of large stockpot and fill halfway with water. Bring to boil and lower jars into boiling water using a holder. Leave 2-inch space between jars. Pour in more boiling water if necessary to bring water level to at least 1 inch above tops of jars. Bring water to a rolling boil, cover the pot, and process for 35 minutes.

Peach Pie Filling

7 cups sliced peaches

2 cup sugar

1/2 cup ClearJel plus 2 tbsp.

1-1/2 cups cold water or peach juice

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 cup lemon juice

2 quart jars/lids/rings

1/4 cup lemon juice or Fresh-Fruit Pectin

Make an X in the bottom of each peach. Place into boiling water for 30-60 seconds. Remove and place into ice cold water, Remove skins. Cut up the peaches. To keep from turning brown, mix in 1/4 cup lemon juice or Fruit-Fresh pectin. Stir to coat.

Combine the water, sugar, ClearJel and cinnamon in large pot. Stir and cook over medium high heat until the mixture thickens and begins to bubble. Add lemon juice and boil sauce for 1 minute more, stirring constantly. Add in the drained peach slices and cook for 3 minutes. Fill the jars within ¾”-1” from the top. Put the filled jars in the canner and keep them covered with at least 1” of water. Boil for 30 minutes.

Roasted Veggie Antipasto

1 green bell pepper, chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 yellow bell pepper, chopped

1 1/2 cups fresh green beans, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1 large white onion, finely chopped

12 cloves garlic, pressed

1 head broccoli, finely chopped

1/2 head cauliflower, finely chopped

2 stalks celery, finely chopped

2 cups finely chopped fresh mushrooms

1/4 cup olive oil

2 cups ketchup

4 tomatoes, peeled and chopped

3/4 cup white vinegar

1 dash balsamic vinegar

Salt and ground black pepper to taste

1 (6 ounce) can pitted black olives, drained and coarsely chopped

1 (5 ounce) jar pitted green olives, drained and coarsely chopped

1 bunch fresh basil, chopped

12 half-pint canning jars with lids and rings

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Spread green, red, and yellow peppers, green beans, white onion, garlic, broccoli, cauliflower, celery and mushrooms onto several baking sheets and drizzle with olive oil; toss lightly to coat. Roast vegetables in preheated oven until slightly browned and softened, about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

While vegetables are roasting, pour ketchup into large pot over medium heat and stir in tomatoes, white vinegar, balsamic vinegar, salt and black pepper; bring to boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer 5 minutes; stir in roasted vegetables, black olives, green olives and basil. Simmer until cooked through, about 5 more minutes.

Sterilize jars and lids in boiling water at least 5 minutes. Pack roasted vegetable mixture into sterilized jars, filling jars to within 1/4 inch of the top. Run a knife or a thin spatula around the insides of the jars after they have been filled to remove any air bubbles. Wipe the rims of the jars with a moist paper towel to remove any food residue. Top with lids and screw on rings.

Place a rack in bottom of large stockpot and fill halfway with water. Bring to boil and lower jars into boiling water using a holder. Leave 2-inch space between jars. Pour in more boiling water if necessary to bring water level to at least 1 inch above tops of jars. Bring water to rolling boil, cover pot, and process 15 minutes. Remove jars from stockpot and place onto cloth-covered or wood surface, several inches apart, for 24 hours. Once cool, press top of each lid with a finger, ensuring the seal is tight (lid does not move up or down at all). Store in cool, dark area.

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