guest post by Jackie Dives
Take advantage of the bounty of harvest time by canning foods so they are available to eat in the winter months. Despite the rumours, canning is not as difficult or time consuming as people make it out to be. It is a fun activity that keeps your mind and body healthy. Green beans are available year round, with a peak season of May to October.
- 4 500ml canning jars with lids and rings
- 3 pots – small, medium, large
For inexpensive jars keep a look out at your local thrift store. Double check that the jars are crack and chip free. Jars and rings are reusable, but lids are not. Once the lid’s sealing compound is used it will not reseal properly again.
If you find a bunch of jars at a thrift store with no lids or rings it’s no problem. You can buy them at most grocery stores. If you prefer to buy new jars Canadian Tire has a great selection.
Optional equipment: (These things will help, but are not necessary)
- canning tongs
- lid lifter
- plastic spatula
If you are missing some equipment have a look at this website for DIY canning equipment instructions.
- ¼ cup kosher or canning salt
- 2 ½ cups of white vinegar
- 2 ½ cups of water
- 2 lbs green beans, cleaned and ends trimmed
- 3 jalapenos
- 4 sprigs of dill
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 2 tsp black pepper
Step 1: In large pot sterilize jars by boiling them for 10 mins. Water should be one inch above jars.
Step 2: While the jars are sterilizing, cut up the jalapenos and garlic.
Step 3: After 10 mins, take the jars out of the water. If you have tongs, use them. If not, wait for the water to cool before you take them out.
Step 4: Fill the jars with beans, jalapenos, garlic, dill and pepper.
Step 5: On high heat, stir the water, vinegar and salt in the medium pot, until the salt is completely dissolved. This liquid is the brine.
Step 6: Pour the brine into the jars, leaving about 1 inch of room below the top of the jar.
Step 7: Wipe the rims of the jars with a clean cloth or paper towel. There can’t be anything on the rim, or else it may not seal properly.
Step 8: Remove any air bubbles by using the plastic spatula. The first time I canned I just used a plastic fork.
Step 9: Put the jars back in the large pot, adding water if needed, and boil for 10 mins. This is called heat processing.
Step 10: After 10 mins, take the jars out of the water. See step 3. Leave your jars to cool. The lids will make a snap or pop sound when they have sealed. If any of your jars do not seal, keep them in the fridge and eat from those jars first. Store the jars for a min of two weeks before eating.
These are basic instructions for canning. You can use this method for other foods including turnip, beets, okra, carrots. Simply look online for ingredient lists and heat processing times.
Originally posted on Granville Online August 31, 2010.