By: Pamela Redwine
Nutrition and Food
Safety Area Agent
Well, I don’t know about your house, but at my house vegetables are coming in like crazy. I’ve got green beans coming out my ears! More than likely, if you have a garden you know what I am talking about. If you have more fresh produce than you can eat right now, why not try putting some up for later use? Your belly and family will be glad you did when the winter comes and you have home grown vegetables in the cabinet or freezer to pull out and add to your favorite soups or casseroles.
Canning season seems to come at the busiest time of year for me, but then the busiest time of year is all the time! However, sometimes it’s difficult to find the time to put them up in the time that you need too. However, proper food preservation techniques are vital to making sure you have safe food. You need to make sure you have the most up to date recipes and proper equipment as well as the freshest vegetables. The golden rule of home canning is, “The quality of the foods preserved will only be as good as the quality of the foods when they were fresh.” You should use only fresh, firm fruits and young, tender vegetables for preserving. Can them as soon as possible after harvest to retain their freshness. If you must hold them, keep them in a cool, airy place. If you buy fruits and vegetables to can, try to get them from a nearby garden or orchard.
Many older recipes for canning different vegetables are still out there and are still being used. However, just like everything, new technology has come about and we now know that some of those recipes are not safe to use. One of those recipes is canning green beans using what is called the “open kettle” method and vinegar. This method is not recommended, as it cannot heat the green beans to the temperature that they need to be heated to kill possible micro-organisms. According to the latest recommendations, vegetables must be canned in a pressure canner at the appropriate pressure, to guarantee their safety. If they are not canned at the appropriate pressure, the canned vegetable could contain the deadly toxin that causes botulism.
So, if you think you might have one of those “old recipes,” keep your family safe this canning season and stop by your local Extension Office and pick up our canning publications with the newest and most up-to-date information about canning.
Recipe of the Week
Canning Green Beans
Select tender, crisp pods. Remove and discard diseased and rusty pods. Wash beans and trim ends. Break or cut into 1-inch pieces or leave whole.
Hot Pack- Cover beans with boiling water; boil 5 minutes. Pack hot beans into hot jars, leaving 1-inch headspace. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt to pints; 1 teaspoon to quarts, if desired. Fill jar to 1 inch from top with boiling hot cooking liquid. Remove air bubbles. Wipe jar rims. Adjust lids and process directed below.
Raw Pack – Pack beans tightly into hot jars, leaving 1-inch headspace. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt to pints; 1 teaspoon to quarts, if desired. Fill jar to 1 inch from top with boiling water. Remove air bubbles. Wipe jar rims. Adjust lids and process.
Process in a Dial Gauge Pressure Canner at 11 pounds pressure OR in a Weighted Gauge Pressure Canner at 10 pounds pressure:
Recipe Source: So Easy To Preserve