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Thursday, September 12, 2013

Canning Pico de Gallo

I feel like canning food has become a lost art. I'm thankful that my mom cans, and I have been able to learn from her. It is something that I think is very important. Not only does it help preserve your food, but you know what is going in whatever you are canning, and, it is pure and has no chemicals or additives.

Canning can sometimes take a while, so it is best to set aside a Saturday to can whatever you will be canning. I chose to show you how to can pico de gallo. It is fairly simple, and uses only a few ingredients.




Essential Tools:

A canning funnel: The lip is wider so it gets down deep in the jar
A lid lifter: To get the rings and inserts out of boiling water
A jar lifter: To place jars in and out of a boiling water bath
A large pot for boiling water: This is what you will process the canned goods in
Small saucepan to boil inserts and rings: They must be hot to ensure a proper seal
Pint jars with rings, and inserts: What else are you going to put your pico in?

Process:
Begin by getting your small saucepan and large pot preheating with water. DO NOT fill all the way to the top because once you put everything inside the water will raise. Once the small saucepan is boiling, add your inserts and rings. Keep them in until you are ready to top off your jars.

Chop your tomatoes, peppers, and onions small (but not too small.) *We used grape tomatoes, and hot and cubanella peppers from our garden.*

Mix them all together in a large bowl. Chop 4 lemons in half and squeeze the juice from them into a small bowl. Strain out the seeds and pulp. *You will need to add more juice to the pico de gallo!* It never hurts to use as much fresh ingredients as you can!

Use the funnel to fill your jars with the pico de gallo mixture. Then, add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to each jar. Make sure the rim around the jar is clean.

Bring your jars over to the stove and carefully take a lid out of the water using your lid lifter. Place it on the jar and immediately get a ring from the water. Put it on the jar and make sure it is TIGHT!

Continue with the remaining jars. Once all jars are sealed, use the jar lifter to place the jars in a boiling water bath for 5 minutes. Once your timer goes off, all you have to do is lift them out of the water, and flip them, lid side down on a flat surface. This will ensure your jars have the tightest seal.

Once they are cool, you can store them in a cool place. I would recommend waiting at least a week to open and eat it. That way, the flavors would have ample time to marinate and get delicious!

Hopefully this got you interested in canning, and the importance of using fresh ingredients.

Do you can? If you do, what types of food do you can? I'd love to hear from you! If you have any questions, leave me a comment!
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