(BPT) - With summer coming to a close, there's more of a desire than ever to hang on to those breezy afternoons and peak flavors from newly picked fruits and vegetables. Canning, a time-honored tradition, makes it simple to not only preserve our favorite garden-fresh flavors, but also share them with those we love.
Whether you're experienced or trying it for the first time, canning offers a simple approach to preserve fresh, seasonal flavors. Those who have a home garden, are a member of a farm-share program or frequent farmers markets have found that canning is one more way to be more involved in the food they eat.
For generations, Ball(R) Fresh Preserving Products, brought to you by Newell Brands, has been helping people experience the joy of canning so that they can continue to find inspiration with the food they grow. As intimidating as it may seem, canning is as easy as simply following the steps in a recipe - if you can boil water, you can also can!
With this spirit in mind, here are four tips from canning expert Jessica Piper that'll help you get started.
1. It's always important to follow a tested and approved recipe when canning. You can find tested recipes on FreshPreserving.com and from the National Center for Home Food Preservation.
2. When preserving, it's always important to preserve in the jar size indicated in the recipe. You can always safely go down and process at the same time, but you cannot go up in jar size.
3. Whether you are filling the jars or allowing them to cool, be sure to always place your hot jars on a towel to avoid a rapid change in temperature.
4. When canning, make sure your canning pot is tall enough to cover the jars by 1 - 2 inches of water to ensure they seal correctly.
Corn and Cherry Tomato Salsa recipe
A simple recipe sure to become a hit with the whole family this summer is Corn and Cherry Tomato Salsa. Once you stock your pantry with it, you can even get inspired with other fun recipes to add it to, like these 3 Step Skillet Tacos, found on FreshPreserving.com.
5 pounds cherry tomatoes, roughly chopped; 2 cups corn kernels; 1 cup red onion, finely chopped; 2 teaspoons salt; 1/2 cup lime juice (about 3 large limes); 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced; 1 tablespoon chipotle chili powder (optional); 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro; six pint-size canning jars with lids and bands
1. Prepare boiling water canner. Heat jars in simmering water until ready for use. Do not boil. Wash lids in warm soapy water and set aside with bands.
2. Bring all the ingredients to a boil in a large stainless steel or enameled saucepan. Reduce heat and simmer five to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Ladle the hot salsa into a hot jar, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Wipe the jar rim. Center the lid on the jar. Apply the band and adjust to fingertip-tight. Place the jar in the boiling water canner. Repeat until all the jars are filled.
4. Process the jars for 15 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Turn off heat, remove the lid, and let the jars stand 5 minutes. Remove the jars and cool.
NOTE: The use of fresh lime juice in this recipe is for the purpose of fresh flavor and has been verified as safe by scientific testing.
In the spirit of sharing, and to encourage new canners, Newell Brands(R) will donate up to $150,000 from the sale of Ball(R) Sharing Jars to Feeding America(R). One more way that canning is about tradition, community, and of course, sharing great food with others.