Canning in winter can be a blast

After a break to recover from the hectic summer canning season, winter is a good time to begin a new project that does not require you to start with all fresh ingredients.

Michigan summer and fall months allow for a wealth of fresh food preservation possibilities. Tomatoes, corn and green beans from home gardens or farm markets can keep you canning or freezing until you wear out. But by winter, you may be ready to try some different types of preserves. 

You don’t always have to start with fresh fruits and vegetables. The National Center for Home Food Preservation (NCHFP) suggests that you consider making orange jelly from frozen juice concentrate. This recipe calls for frozen concentrated juice and powdered pectin and creates a delightful, flavorful orange jelly for toast or biscuits on dreary winter mornings or late afternoons. 

The recipe can be found at the NCHFP’s website:  Just click on the “How do I? . . . Make Jam & Jelly” link on the left of the home page to find this and many other recipes for jams, jellies and other sweet spreads to make now or next summer.

If jelly is not your canned food of choice, try an easy hot sauce recipe to spice things up. It is great for stirring into vegetables or cheese dips and spicing up soups and chili.  It starts with canned tomatoes as the basic ingredient.  This recipe is also available on the center’s website listed under “How Do I? ...Can Tomatoes.”

Canning can be a fun and delicious activity to add flavor and spice to the long winter months. For more winter recipes or tips on year-round preservation visit the NCHFP website.  


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