How To Can Strawberries




CanningStrawberriesStrawberries are absolutely delicious, no matter the occasion. However, the problem with strawberries is they have a short season and you can only stuff so many in your mouth on any given day. You could always make a jam or a jelly, but they have a limited use. Another idea is to can the strawberries whole.

Canning strawberries isn’t an overly complex process and can be done by anyone. Canning strawberries can be done in a variety of ways. Some people like to add sugar to the canning process, while others like to just can the strawberries whole.

There’s no right or wrong style of canning strawberries, it’s all up to your personal preference. Unlike jams and jellies, canned strawberries can be used in a variety of ways. You can eat them right out of the jar, use them in cooking or as dressing on your favorite desserts like ice cream or cake.

The Strawberries

In my opinion, picking fresh fruit is by far, better than any store bought fruit. Spending an afternoon picking fresh strawberries can be wonderfully relaxing and if you’re diligent enough, you can pick the perfect strawberries.

Of course, not everyone has access to strawberry fields, where they can pick them fresh. If you have access to fresh strawberries from a farmer’s market, they’re just as good. If you have access to neither of those, it’s fine to use store bought strawberries.

Prep

Once you have your strawberries, you should give them a good washing. Make sure there is no soil, leaves or any other contaminate.

After they have been throughly washed, cut off the tops or the greens. If you like, you can give them another quick wash, just to make sure there are no loose greens sticking around.

At this point, you can either use the strawberries as they are or halve or quarter some of the larger strawberries. It’s entirely up to you on how you like to proceed. When you’re done with taking all the tops off and halving or quartering the strawberries, place them in a large pot.

Cooking

Once you have all your strawberries in the pot, add a half cup of sugar for each pound of strawberries. Give them a gently stir to distribute the sugar as evenly as you can. If you need to, you can add more sugar to ensure all the strawberries are coated.

Let the strawberries rest in a cool place like the fridge for roughly 2 – 3 hours. This will allow the strawberries to create a syrup in the pot.

At this point, it’s a good idea to get your jars and lids cleaned and ready, if you haven’t already done that yet.

Take the pot and cook the strawberries on low to medium heat. You don’t want to cook the strawberries. You just want to get the strawberries hot and have all the sugar dissolve.

The Canning

Once the strawberries are hot and all the sugar has dissolved, it is time to can.

Some people like to warm up the jar lids in a pot of hot water for a few minutes. It’s entirely up to you. Although, it is a good way to soften the gummed underside of the lid as well as disinfect the lids.

Take your strawberries and carefully fill your jars, leaving about 1/4 inch of space from the top of the jar. Give the rim a quick wipe to remove any spills.

Put on the lids and tighten the rings around the jars, you only need to get the rings finger tight. If you over tighten the rings, you might never get them off again.

Once you have all your jars sealed, place them in the canner. Fill the canner with enough water, so that the jars are submerged by roughly half an inch. Make sure the jars aren’t touching either other.

Bring the water to a boil and keep it at a steady boil for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, carefully remove the jars and place them in a dry area for 24 hours.
When they’ve cooled down a bit, check the seals and wipe the jars off. If any of the jars haven’t sealed, you can place them in the fridge and consume them within a week or try to re-seal them in a new jar.

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