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Yield: 7 to 9 pint jars
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Making and canning your own mixed vegetables is easy and you can use quite a variety of vegetables (with a few exceptions noted in the ingredients section). Typical combinations include carrots, peas, green beans, corn, tomatoes, summer squash, etc.
The only trick is, you really do need a pressure canner. Every university food science department and the government will tell you that it just is not safe to use the water bath bath method; it takes the higher temperatures of the pressure canner to kill the botulism bacteria.
BUT, with a pressure canner it's easy. And although a pressure canner costs $100 to $200 (see this page for pressure canners models, makes and prices), they last a lifetime, and your children and grandchildren may be using it. You can also find free information from the USDA in this PDF file (it will take a while to load!) about selecting and using canners here!
Yield: 7 quarts, but you can scale this recipe up or down to suit your needs!
This is a good time to get the jars ready! The dishwasher is fine for the jars; especially if it has a "sanitize" cycle. Otherwise put the jars in boiling water for 10 minutes. I just put the lids in a small pot of almost boiling water for 5 minutes, and use the magnetic "lid lifter wand" (available from target, other big box stores, and often grocery stores; and available online - see this page) to pull them out.
Rinse out your pressure canner, put the rack plate in the bottom, and fill it to a depth of 4 inches with hot tap water. (of course, follow the instruction that came with the canner, if they are different). Put it on the stove over low heat, with the lid OFF of it, just to get it heating up for later on.
Just wash them under cold running water!
Except for zucchini or other summer squash; wash and prepare the vegetables as appropriate for each vegetable, see below:
"Prepare" means cut out any soft or bruised parts, stems, and inedible portions!
Carrots, peel and remove ends
Green beans, cut of ends and slice
Corn, shuck, de-silk and slice off the cob
And so on for the other veggies. Zucchini: Wash, trim, and slice or cube zucchini.
Dice the vegetables into 1/2 inch (1 cm) sized pieces (approximately, don't measure each!). "Prepare" means cut out any soft or bruised parts, stems, and inedible portions!
Combine all vegetables in a large pot or kettle, and add enough water to cover pieces. Boil for 5 minutes. (This is a blanching, not cooking step!)
Fill the jars with the hot vegetables pieces, using a slotted spoon. Add hot liquid from the pot, leaving 1-inch headspace. Optional: Add 1 teaspoon salt per quart to the jar, if desired. I don't add any salt, it is not needed to preserve the food; and you can always add it when you open the jars later!
Put the lids on each jar and seal them by putting a ring on and screwing it down snugly (but not with all your might, just "snug").
Using the jar tongs, put the jars on the rack in the canner. By now the water level has probably boiled down to 3 inches. If it is lower than that, add more hot tap water to the canner. When all the jars that the canner will hold are in, put on the lid and twist it into place, but leave the weight off (or valve open, if you have that type of pressure canner).
Put the heat on high and let the steam escape through the vent for 10 minutes to purge the airspace inside the canner.
Once the gauge hits 10 pounds, start your timer going - for 75 minutes for pint jars, 90 minutes for quart jars. Adjust the heat, as needed, to maintain 10 pounds of pressure.
Note: the tables below will help you determine the right processing time and pressure, if you have a different type of canner, or are above sea level.
It is important to learn how to operate your pressure canner by reading the owner's manual that came with your particular canner. If you cannot find your owner's manual, you can obtain find one online: Here is where to find some common manufacturer's manuals:
or by contacting the company that made your canner. Give the model number to the manufacturer, and they will send you the right manual. Click here for more information about pressure canners and a variety of models you can order.
|Recommended process time for Mixed Vegetables in a dial-gauge pressure canner.|
|Canner Pressure (PSI) at Altitudes of|
|Style of Pack||Jar Size||Process Time||0 - 2,000 ft||2,001 - 4,000 ft||4,001 - 6,000 ft||6,001 - 8,000 ft|
|Hot||Pints||75 min||11 lb||12 lb||13 lb||14 lb|
|Recommended process time for Mixed Vegetable in a weighted-gauge pressure canner.|
|Canner Pressure (PSI) at Altitudes of|
|Style of Pack||Jar Size||Process Time||0 - 1,000 ft||Above 1,000 ft|
|Hot||Pints||75 min||10 lb||15 lb|
When the processing time from the chart above is up, turn off the heat, and allow the pressure canner to cool and the pressure to drop to zero before opening the canner. Let the jars cool without being jostled. After the pressure drops to zero (usually, you can tell but the "click" sound of the safety release vents opening, as well as but the gauge. Let the pressure in the canner drop to zero by itself. This may take 45 minutes in a 16-quart canner filled with jars and almost an hour in a 22-quart canner. If the vent is opened before the pressure drops to zero OR if the cooling is rushed by running cold water over the canner, liquid will be lost from the jars. Too rapid cooling causes loss of liquid in the jars!
Lift the jars out of the water and let them cool on a wooden cutting board or a towel, without touching or bumping them in a draft-free place (usually takes overnight), here they won't be bumped. You can then remove the rings if you like, but if you leave them on, at least loosen them quite a bit, so they don't rust in place due to trapped moisture. Once the jars are cool, you can check that they are sealed verifying that the lid has been sucked down. Just press in the center, gently, with your finger. If it pops up and down (often making a popping sound), it is not sealed. If you put the jar in the refrigerator right away, you can still use it. Some people replace the lid and reprocess the jar, then that's a bit iffy. If you heat the contents back up, re-jar them (with a new lid) and the full time in the canner, it's usually ok. You're done!
This document was extracted from the "Complete Guide to Home Canning," Agriculture Information Bulletin No. 539, USDA. Reviewed 1994.
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