Pickled vegetables: Canning food safely

Walking thru any farmers market or vegetable stand these days brings to mind the great fall garden relish that families enjoy. It’s a great way to preserve vegetables that can be savored at any time.

“As soon as we turn around twice”, the weather will change! So walking thru any farmers market or vegetable stand these days brings to mind the great fall garden relish that families enjoy now or later. The National Center for Home Food Preservation has an excellent recipe for this type of food item. It’s a great way to preserve vegetables that can be savored at any time, but certainly when cold winds are blowing. Follow the directions exactly and process in a boiling water canner.

Michigan State University Extension reminds us to follow these recommendations to ensure safe canning of these pickled products.

Caution: The level of acidity in a pickled product is as important to its safety as it is to taste and texture.

  • Do not alter vinegar, food, or water proportions in a recipe or use a vinegar with unknown acidity.
  • Use only recipes with tested proportions of ingredients.
  • There must be a minimum, uniform level of acid throughout the mixed product to prevent the growth of botulinum bacteria.

In regards to ingredients: Select fresh, firm fruits or vegetables free of spoilage.

  • Measure or weigh amounts carefully, because the proportion of fresh food to other ingredients will affect flavor and, in many instances, safety.
  • Use canning or pickling salt. Non-caking material added to other salts may make the brine cloudy. Since flake salt varies in density, it is not recommended for making pickled and fermented foods.
  • White granulated and brown sugars are most often used. Corn syrup and honey, unless called for in reliable recipes, may produce undesirable flavors.
  • White distilled and cider vinegars of 5 percent acidity (50 grain) are recommended. White vinegar is usually preferred when light color is desirable, as is the case with fruits and cauliflower.

Fall Garden Relish

  • 1 quart chopped cabbage (about 1 small head)
  • 3 cups chopped cauliflower (about 1 medium head)
  • 2 cups chopped green tomatoes (about 4 medium)
  • 2 cups chopped onions
  • 2 cups chopped sweet green peppers (about 4 medium)
  • 1 cup chopped sweet red peppers (about 2 medium)
  • 3¾ cups vinegar (5 percent)
  • 3 tablespoons canning salt
  • 2¾ cups sugar
  • 3 teaspoons celery seed
  • 3 teaspoons dry mustard
  • 1½ teaspoons turmeric

Yield: About 4 pint jars

Please read Using Boiling Water Canners before beginning. If this is your first time canning, it is recommended that you read Principles of Home Canning.

Procedure: Combine washed chopped vegetables; sprinkle with the 3 tablespoons salt. Let stand 4 to 6 hours in the refrigerator. Drain well.

Combine vinegar, sugar and spices; simmer 10 minutes. Add vegetables; simmer another 10 minutes. Bring to a boil.

Pack boiling hot relish into hot jars, leaving ½ inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace if needed. Wipe rims of jars with a dampened clean paper towel; adjust two-piece metal canning lids. Process in a Boiling Water Canner.

Table 1. Recommended process time for Fall Garden Relish in a boiling-water canner.

 

Process Time at Altitudes of

Style of Pack

Jar Size

0 - 1,000 ft

1,001 - 6,000 ft

Above 6,000 ft

Hot

Pints

10 min

15

20

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