Pressure Canning: Garbanzo Beans

I have been kind of obsessed with hummus for the last few weeks. Obsessed to the point of getting tired of going to the store every few days to buy canned chick peas (or garbanzo beans, if you will).

Then it occurred to me: I can black beans so that this doesn’t happen. Why can’t I can chick peas?

As it turns out, I can. And I did. I used the method I use for my black beans here.

Chick peas are bigger than black beans, so I cut the amount per pint jar down to 1/2 C. In retrospect that was not necessary. 2/3 C. would be fine.

blog 089Then I boiled some water and filled each jar to 1/4″ headspace.

blog 093I processed them at 10 pounds of pressure for 75 minutes. I lost quite a bit of liquid, which probably would not have happened with the full 2/3 C. of dried chick peas in there.

One pound of chick peas yielded 7 pint jars. If you fill them with 2/3 C. of chick peas, it will be more like 4 or 5.

Now I won’t have to run to the store for at least a few weeks!

The Wife


Winter Canning: Banana Sauce

I love to cook and can (duh.) but in the Winter, canning sometimes falls by the wayside.  I can dried beans in the Winter to replenish our supply, but other than that, there’s not a whole lot of produce begging to be canned.

So when I ended up with a batch of dangerously ripe bananas for the second time in two weeks, I started to investigate whether or not it is feasible to can bananas.

As it turns out, there are ways to do it, and this is one of them. I found several recipes for banana jam, banana’s foster jam, or brown sugar banana jam. So I combined them all to make what I call a sauce: it’s looser than a jam, and is meant to be spooned over ice cream or cake. Or anything, really.

And I have to tell you, the result of this experiment is a caramel-colored jar of banana heaven. Rum extract and cinnamon give it the classic “banana’s foster” flavors, and ripe bananas boost the flavor even more.

So if you end up with a bunch (ha!) of ripe bananas, think about mixing up a batch of this sauce.

Spiced Banana Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 10 ripe bananas, peeled and diced
  • 7 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. fruit fresh (optional)
  • 3 C. granulated sugar
  • 2 C. dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. butter
  • 2 Tbsp. powdered pectin
  • 2 tsp. rum extract

Step 1: Dice the bananas and place in a large pot. If you are canning this, get your canner, jars, and lids ready. Sprinkled the lemon juice over the bananas and stir. I did not use fruit fresh for this recipe, not because I didn’t want to, but because I thought I was out. As it turns out, I had a whole new jar tucked away in my pantry. Oh well! If you are using fruit fresh, sprinkle it in with the bananas and lemon juice, and stir to coat the bananas.

blog 083Step 2: Add the sugars, cinnamon, and butter. Heat on medium until the sugar goes from this:

blog 084to this:

blog 085Step 3: Bring the mixture to a boil. Once at a boil, add the pectin. Return the mixture to a boil and boil hard for 2 minutes.  Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the rum extract. Let the mixture sit for about 5 minutes before ladling into hot jars.

Step 4: Fill the jars to 1/4″ headspace. Put on the lids and screw bands and place in the canner. Process for 10 minutes.

blog 086This stuff is to die for spooned over homemade frozen yogurt. in fact, it’s so good, I’m going to share my homemade frozen yogurt recipe on Wednesday! No ice cream maker required!

The Wife

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Christmas In A Jar

I have been posting the canned goods I’ve been making to give as gifts this holiday season. This particular recipe is not a gift. It’s too good, I am going to hoard it all for myself. But it would make a wonderful holiday gift, and the taste can only be described as “Christmas in a jar”. It is cranberry conserve, and while it’s best use is spooned over poultry, I am not above stirring it into yogurt, spreading it on toast, or eating it right out of the jar.

Conserve is a fruit preserve that includes nuts and dried fruits as well as fresh. It sounds like an odd mix, but I promise it is oh, so right. In this conserve I used pecans and dried apricots, but walnuts and raisins would be good, too.

This recipe is perfect for canning, and uses the boiling water bath method. It yields approximately 8 1/2 pint jars.

Cranberry Conserve

Ingredients:

  • 1 orange, seeds removed and chopped
  • 3 C. water
  • 6 C. fresh cranberries
  • 3 C. granulated sugar
  • 1 C. brown sugar
  • 1 C. dried apricots, roughly chopped
  • 1 C. pecans, chopped

If you are canning this recipe, assemble your canning supplies and begin to heat your lids and jars right when you start the recipe. Everything will be ready at the same time this way.

Step 1: Chop the orange into small pieces, leaving the peel on. In a stainless steel pot, combine the oranges and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, for 5 minutes.

Step 2: Once the orange peel has softened, add the sugars, cranberries, and chopped apricots (oh, yeah. Chop the apricots.)

Stir everything together and bring it back to a boil. Boil hard for about 10 minutes.

Step 3: If the gel is important to you, remove the conserve from the heat and test the gel. If it is not set enough for you, return to the heat and boil for another 5 minutes. If not (it wasn’t important to me), remove it from the heat and stir in the chopped pecans. Ladle it into hot jars.

Fill the jars to 1/4″ headspace, wipe the rims (this stuff is sticky!) , top with hot lids and screw bands, and process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes.

Aside from being really beautiful in the jar, this stuff is good on everything. Spread some on a turkey sandwich. Dollop some over ice cream. The possibilities are endless.

The Wife



Pressure Canning: Black Beans; Method 2

When I first started canning earlier this year, I focused on canning things we use on a regular basis. Since we use  a lot of black beans, I took dried beans and canned them using this method. Basically, I cooked the beans for a little while, then canned them with the cooking liquid.

One of my lovely readers (thank you, Sheri!) commented that cooking the beans isn’t necessary. You can put dry beans in the jars, top them with hot water, and pressure can them, thus preventing mushy beans. And, while the first batch of beans I canned weren’t mushy, omitting an extra step did appeal to me. So, since we ran out of canned beans a few weeks ago, I thought I’d try out Sheri’s method.

I put 2/3 C. of dry black beans into pint jars (2 pound of beans filled 8 pint jars)

Then I boiled water and poured it into the jars, leaving 1/4″ headspace.

Then I topped the jars with hot lids and screw bands and placed them into my preheated pressure canner.

From here I  followed the regular procedure: venting the canner and processing the beans for 75 minutes at 10 pounds of pressure.

The only drawback I can see is that two of my jars didn’t seal. This may be my fault, and not the method used. Either way, I put those two in the fridge, and will use them in the next few weeks.

This method was definitely easier and didn’t take as much time (or cooking equipment). I will use this method from now on. Anything to keep from cleaning…

The Wife



An “Old” Preserving Cookbook Classic

I decided quite a while ago to can salsa once Hatch Chile season rolled around.

When I found out that the unacknowledged canning bible had added a “salsa” category to the book, I quickly acquired a copy of “So Easy to Preserve.”

This book is put out by the University of Georgia Extension Office, and has been recently updated. So if you’re looking for updated information about the safety and process of canning, this is the authority.

This book is not entertaining. It is not engaging. it does not have beautiful photography, or offer even a nice cover to grace your cookbook shelf.

It does, however have in-depth and up-to-date information about canning,dehydrating, and freezing and which method works best in any given situation.

“So Easy to Preserve” offers graphs, charts, and tables that clearly illustrate the science behind the process of preserving foods. Think of it as the textbook for home food preservation.

It has a wealth of information for the beginning canner. And if you’re wanting to branch out and make your own canning recipes, they whys, hows, and what-fors are all here for you too.

I highly recommend this modest volume for anyone who cans, dehydrates, or freezes. It is set up for easy subject reference, and has a lot of tables to visually illustrate some of the more complicated concepts behind food preservation.

Your best (and cheapest) bet is to order it from the University of Georgia here.

The Wife

 

Preserving Week: Peach White-Wine Preserves

I made some yogurt this weekend, which can also be considered preservation. To top this yogurt, I made use of the abundance of peaches here in TX, and made a yummy peach preserve.

Peach White-Wine Preserves

Ingredients:

  • approx. 6 cups peaches, peeled and chopped
  • 2/3 C. white table or dessert wine
  • 2 C. sugar
  • 4 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 3 Tbsp. flex-batch pectin

Step 1: blanch the peaches, then peel and chop.

If you like chunky preserves, leave the peach pieces larger. If not, then cut them up more finely.

Step 2: Put the chopped peaches in a dutch oven. Simmer for 30 minutes.

Step 3: Once they have simmered, add the white wine and simmer for another 5 minutes.

Step 4: Next add the sugar and lemon juice and bring everything to a boil. Once boiling, add the pectin and boil hard for 1 minute.

Step 5: Skim the foam if needed, then ladle into hot, sterilized jars leaving 1/4″ headspace. Wipe the rims, place the lids, and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.

Step 6: After processing, cool in an out of  the way spot for 24 hours, then store.

Make sure you use a sweeter wine; too dry a wine does not complement the peach flavor as well. This made 4 12 oz. (jelly) jars.

The Wife

BWB Canning: Blueberry Lemon Verbena Butter

I finished Marisa McClellan’s book Food in Jars in less than 24 hours. If you have never been to Marisa’s blog, you absolutely must go. It is beautifully executed and has tons of amazing recipes from granola, to this blueberry butter.

If I haven’t said it before, The Renaissance Man is addicted to blueberries. Ladies, if you need to find the way to your man’s heart, feed him blueberries. It worked for me.

I used Marisa’s recipe for blueberry butter. It is featured in her book, as well as on her blog here. Instead of lemon zest, though, I used lemon verbena. I think it lended a nice earthy note to this butter.

Blueberry Lemon Verbena Butter

Ingredients:

  • 8 C. pureed blueberries (approx. 8 pints)
  • 2 C. sugar
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 8-10 leaves lemon verbena, chopped

Step 1: Puree the blueberries. Dump them into a crock pot.

Blueberries in a black crock pot are hard to see.

Step 2: turn the crock pot on low for 8 hours. Put on the lid. After 1 hour, stir the blueberries and prop open the lid of the crock pot a bit.

Step 3: Stir every hour and monitor the consistency of the butter. When it gets almost to the consistency of pie filling, add the sugar, spices, lemon juice, and lemon verbena. Let it cook for one more hour.

Step 4: You can either leave the blueberry butter chunky, or stick an immersion blender in it to smooth it out. I used this as an excuse to pick up an immersion blender, since they are amazing and I’ve been needing one for a while.

Step 5: When the butter is almost done cooking, prepare your jars, lids, and BWB canner.

Step 6: Ladle the butter into prepared jars, leaving 1/4″ headspace. I’m using Weck jars here, and I had to increase the headspace to 1/2″ to account for the glass lids.

Step 7: Put lids and screw bands onto the jars (or lids and clamps, for the Weck jars). Place them into the canner and bring the water to a boil.

Step 8: Once the water is boiling, process the jars for 10 minutes. After the processing time is up, remove the jars and set aside to cool for 24 hours.

Serve this blueberry butter on biscuits, toast, or anything you’d put jam on.

I processed 8 1/2 pints of this blueberry butter and I guarantee it won’t last long.

The Wife

Oh, by the way, does anyone know how to get blueberry stains out of a wooden spoon?