Having trouble canning vegetables? You might be using foods that are hard to preserve through canning such as nuts, almonds, and cornstarch. To learn the basics, practice on the best vegetables for canning first!
Canning Vegetables: 7 Best Veggies to Store and Preserve
Can’t get enough of sweet, crunchy, zesty pickles? Then opt to make your own batch of sour-pickled cucumbers!
- First, refrigerate the cucumbers for a few hours until they become nice, cool, and crunchy.
- Next, wash them clean.
- Afterward, decide whether to slice the cucumbers or pickle them whole.
- Either way, you’ll have to coat them in salt and cover with an ice-topped clean towel.
- Let the cucumbers absorb the salt solution overnight before canning.
Pro Tip: If you want to make your pickles extra sour and juicy, opt to ferment the cucumbers in a special brine solution for a week.
Bite-sized mushrooms are the perfect meal extenders. They go well with all kinds of foods such as steak, grilled chicken, salad, and even soup.
Now, how should you clean and prepare mushrooms for canning? Most people opt to wash them. This might get rid of the hidden dirt and pests, but doing so will also ruin its overall flavor and reduce nutrient density.
A better approach would be to wipe the mushrooms clean and scrape off all the impurities. It gets the veggies clean without sacrificing the taste or nutritional value.
After cleaning the mushrooms, pop them in the oven at 150°F and bake with the oven door open. The goal here is to dehydrate the mushrooms.
Once you’re done, the mushrooms will be ready for canning.
Carrots are hands down one of the simplest veggies to experiment with when exploring the process of canning vegetables. They’re inexpensive, easy to prepare, and best of all versatile.
You can use carrots as an extender for a lot of meals. Whether you’re looking for a light, hearty salad or a heavy, savory slab of steak, a side of carrot sticks will always make your meal feel more complete.
- First, wash and peel the carrots thoroughly.
- Then, slice into thin strips or dice into small cubes and prepare the pot for blanching.
- Once the pot of water’s boiling, blanch the carrots for three minutes.
- Afterward, submerge the blanched carrots in a bowl of ice water.
- Finally, pat dry with a clean paper towel and store in an airtight jar sealed with a pressure canner.
4. Winter Squash
What makes canned winter squash so cool is you can turn them into mashed squash or puree any time you want. Use these for baking squash-flavored cakes and goodies.
- Firstly, wash the squash thoroughly to get rid of all dirt and debris.
- Next, peel and cut them into multiple thin strips.
- Meanwhile, boil a pot of water for blanching.
- Once the pot is ready, blanch the winter squash strips for three minutes.
- Afterward, submerge in a bowl of ice water, pat dry, and then store in an airtight jar sealed by a pressure canner.
RELATED: How to Can Food in 13 Easy Steps
Tomatoes are notorious for their extremely short shelf life. In fact, if left alone, tomato-based dishes won’t even last overnight. They’ll develop a foul, funky smell right away.
So if you plan on stocking up on tomatoes, you need to know how to preserve them properly. Otherwise, you’ll end up wasting hundreds of dollars’ worth of crops.
- Boil a large pot of water for blanching.
- Meanwhile, prepare the tomatoes by slicing small X marks at the bottom of each vegetable.
- Once the water is boiling, blanch the tomatoes for one minute, scoop out with a slotted spoon, then submerge in a bowl of ice water. Try not to go too far over a minute or the tomatoes might break down.
- Wait for the tomatoes to cool down before removing the skin one by one.
- Afterward, cram the tomatoes into the clean jars and seal them with a pressure canner.
Once you’re ready to cook the peas, take them out of the jars and bake into a crisp. This will make a great, healthy midday snack.
- Rinse the peas thoroughly in running water and remove the shells.
- Leave to air dry for a few minutes then transfer the peas to the clean, sterilized jars.
- Make sure there’s a one-inch headspace between the peas and the lid.
- Next, add a pinch of salt to each jar of peas and fill with blanching water. Keep the one-inch headspace in mind.
- Afterward, remove all air bubbles, wipe the brim clean, then close the lid.
- Drop the can in the pressure canner and wait for the machine to completely seal the pea jar airtight.
Onions have a long shelf life, but if you blanch, can, and store them properly, you can extend the lifespan of these delicious crops by almost a year.
- To get started, wash, peel, and slice the onions.
- Then, blanch in hot water for around two to three minutes.
- Avoid blanching too long or the onions might break down.
- Next, jam the sliced onions into the clean, sterilized jars.
- Finally, drop the jar into the pressure canner and wait for the lid to shut airtight.
Want to learn more about water bath canning vegetables? Check out this video by Living Tradition Homesteads where they talk about the best veggies to can and preserve:
Overall, canning vegetables is the gateway to learning about food preservation and storage. Once you get the hang of the process, you can begin canning other foods such as chicken, meat, fruits, preserves, and fish.
Also, sealing the can airtight can be quite tricky, so don’t be afraid to make a few mistakes at first. Just make sure not to throw away the veggies you failed to can!
What are your go-to veggies when canning vegetables? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!
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