Canning & Freezing Veggies

After you get your veggies from an organic farmer, follow these steps to preserve them.  Keep in mind that canning is best for sauces and freezing is best for whole veggies.

How to Can Tomatoes (and other veggies)

Required materials:

  • Ball Canning jars, wide-mouth, with lids and rings.  I prefer wide-mouth jars because it is easier to pour.  Also I prefer 16-oz. jars because more can fit into the roaster.
  • I prefer a large turkey roaster to boil the jars inside.  I use 22-qt turkey roaster because it can hold 14 jars at one time.  Another reason why I prefer a turkey roaster over a stock pot is because I have a glass-top stove.  Canning takes a long time, if it is done in a stock pot.  The long-term use of heat on your glass-top stove will cause it to crack.
  • Canning tongs to grab the jars from the hot water.
  • Hand blender

Instructions:

  1. Sanitize jars by running them through the dishwasher, and wash the lids and rings by hand.
  2. Clean veggies.
  3. Fill large stockpot half-way with water.
  4. Bring pot to boil.
  5. Blanch tomatoes for 1 minute to kill bacteria and for the skin to crack, which makes peeling easier.
  6. Put blanched tomatoes in a tub of water with ice to stop the cooking process.  You do not want to cook the tomatoes.
  7. Peel off skin which should be easy, and remove core.
  8. Put peeled tomatoes in large bowl.
  9. Using hand blender, smash the tomatoes.
  10. Pour tomatoes into canning jars, leaving 1/2 inch gap from the top.
  11. Add 1 TBS lemon juice to each jar to help preserve it.
  12. Place lid and ring on filled jar.  Do NOT tighten all the way.
  13. Place filled jars into turkey roaster and make sure the jars are completely covered with water.
  14. Boil jars for 30 minutes with lid on the roaster.
  15. Remove jars from water bath and place them in an area with full circulation, and make sure the jars do not touch.  The sealing process will begin at this point.
  16. Once the sealing process has begun, you will hear “popping” sounds, indicating that the jars are sealed.
  17. Once they are cool, store them where you would like.  Make sure to check each jar by removing the ring and ensuring the lid is stuck to the jar.  Wipe away any residue on the sides.

*Make sure you use new lids and rings since they are only good for one use.

**Blanching refers to a “quick dip” in boiling water, where you are not actually cooking the veggie.

Freezing Corn (and other veggies)

Instructions:

  1. Clean vegetable and prepare for freezing (chop, etc).
  2. Place vegetable in boiling water for 30 seconds.  This is called blanching.
  3. Remove and put into ice bath in sink.
  4. Remove vegetable and place in ziploc freezer bag.
  5. Remove as much air as you can.
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