Canning Low Acid Veggies
Let’s take a look at canning low acid veggies.
Note: All low acid foods must be processed in a pressure cooker. The temperature of the water has to reach 240 degrees F. and the pressure has to be at 10 pounds. Check a canning guide or book to determine the acid levels of the food you’re planning to process.
Raw Pack vs Hot Pack ~ What’s the difference?
Raw packed foods are exactly that, foods that are put into the jars raw or cold and processed. Boiling hot water is added to the hot jars before they are covered with lids and bands. This method is preferred for foods that become more delicate after they are cooked.
Heat packed foods are precooked in water before processing. This method is preferred for vegetables that are firm and easy to handle.
The biggest question I had when I was researching the subject of canning low acid vegetables was, how do you know which veggies you can raw pack? I did look for some sort of a guide but came up with no definitive answers. So, going through two different canning books that I have, I went through each recipe and found that the following foods can be raw packed.
Can be raw packed: Asparagus, Green Beans, Soy Beans, Corn, Carrots, Black Eyed Peas, Sweet Green Peas, and Lima or Butter Beans
I chose corn and carrots for this post to demonstrate both methods of canning low-acid vegetables. When you look at recipe instructions in a canning guide for vegetables that can be raw packed, it always gives details for both methods, so you have a choice.
As described in Monday’s post (Basic Salsa Canning and Preserving) you will need to have your jars heated either in boiling hot water or in a hot dish washer. The lids will also need to be placed in boiling hot water to warm up the sealing compound on the underside of them.
The head space for corn is one inch from the top. You’ll fill and measure before adding liquid.
After you’ve measured, you’ll add boiling hot water to the jars and measure the head space to one inch again.
For pint jars, you’ll add 1/2 teaspoon of salt. For quart jars, it’s 1 teaspoon of salt. Remove any trapped air bubbles from the jars with a wooden spoon or plastic measuring stick. Remember, no metal. Metal can scratch or break the jars.
Wipe the rim with a clean cloth dipped in white vinegar to remove anything that might obstruct the seal between the jar and the lid. Place the hot lids on and screw the bands on to finger tight.
Place the jars in the pressure cooker and fill the bottom with boiling hot water up 1/4 the way up the jars. Corn has to be processed for 55 minutes in pint jars and 1 hour and 25 minutes in quart jars. After processing, you’ll carefully release the steam and allow the jars to sit for five minutes before removing. Place them on a clean towel in a cool, draft free area for twelve hours. Check the seals to make sure they are okay to store without refrigeration. If they’re okay, place them in a dark cool cupboard for up to one year.
For the carrots and the hot pack method, you’ll need to peel them and chop off the ends.
Cut them into uniform sized pieces.
And boil them in hot water for 5 minutes.
Ladle the carrots into hot jars leaving 1 inch head space. Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt for pint jars or 1 teaspoon of salt for quart jars. Add hot water up to 1 inch head space and remove any air bubbles with a wooden spoon or plastic measuring stick. Wipe the rims of the jars with a clean cloth dipped in white vinegar and put the hot lids in place. Screw the bands on to finger tight.
The processing time for carrots is 25 minutes for pint jars and 30 minutes for quart jars.
Something I noticed in my canning books, which are both Ball Preserving Guides is that they give instructions for canning vegetables with certain amounts in pounds. The weights are vague. For instance, on carrots it says 6 to 9 pounds and for corn it says 9 to 18 lbs. I don’t have either of these veggies in my garden so I have to purchase them from the farmer’s market or direct from the farm. Usually I purchase a dozen ears of corn and a bunch of carrots or two at a time. From what I gather, it doesn’t matter how much veg you have. If you want to preserve it, as long as you have enough to fill a jar you can.
For seasonal veggies like corn, if you’re like me and you make your purchases based upon what’s available, canning is a really great option because you can enjoy the quality of those things all year round. That, to me is fabulous! It makes the wait for Spring to roll around again a tad more bearable.
If you have any questions, requests or if you have some great tips on canning and preserving, please catch up with me. I’d love to hear from you!
Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post. I have a great recipe to share.
Make it a great day and as always, keep it delicious!
Till next time ~ much love, Connie