Posts Tagged ‘canning’

by Caitlin Saniga

Pouring the boiling liquid over the raw beets keeps them crisp.

  • 1 1/2 ounces fresh ginger, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 whole peppercorns
  • 5 or 6 medium beets, peeled and sliced into 1/8″-thick rounds

Serve pickled beets in place of dill pickle spears. They add nice color and new flavors to the classic.

Combine the ginger, vinegars, water, sugar, salt and peppercorns in a small pan over medium heat and stir until the sugar and salt dissolve. Bring to a boil.

Meanwhile, pack the beets into a pint-size jar up to about 1/2-inch from the top. Pour the boiling liquid with the ginger and peppercorns over the beets and screw on the lid. Allow the jar to sit at room temperature for about an hour before placing it in the fridge. The beets will keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Makes 1 pint jar.

* Lickety Split is our August guide that features recipes for quick pickles, or pickles you can make in minutes and store in the fridge. See all of our Lickety Split pickle recipes here.

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by Caitlin Saniga

These peaches seemed to bring about some pretty strong opinions. When I brought the jar out on the porch to take a photo and told my curious neighbors what was inside, each of them let out a loud “yuck.” But when I told my mom and my friend Meg about my latest pickling creation, both of them requested the recipe. So try them for yourself! They’re not completely sweet, and not completely savory — a bit sour too. Try them over chicken or ice cream or in a salad.

  • 6 peaches
  • 1 vanilla bean (split and seeded)
  • 2 cups white wine
  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup raw sugar
  • juice of 1 lemon

Pickled peaches are the star of this quick and simple salad. Rip up some Romain lettuce and top with a few peach slices, some toasted pecans and a sprinkling of crumbled feta.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the peaches, let them cook for about 15 seconds, and then quickly remove them with a slotted spoon. Allow the peaches to cool for about 3 minutes, then peel, halve, pit and slice them.

In a large sauce pot, add the vanilla bean (seeds and pod), wine, vinegar, honey, raw sugar and lemon, and bring to a boil and let simmer for 5 minutes. Add the peaches and cook until heated through, about 5 minutes after the liquid returns to a boil.

Using a slotted spoon, split up the peaches among 3 clean, pint-size canning jars. Pour the boiling syrup over the peaches and fill to 1/4 inch below the rim of the jar. Seal with lids and place in the fridge. Peaches should keep for up to a month in the fridge.

Makes 3 pint jars of peaches.

Recipe adapted from: PBS.org

* Lickety Split is our August guide that features recipes for quick pickles, or pickles you can make in minutes and store in the fridge. See all of our Lickety Split pickle recipes here.

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by Caitlin Saniga

If possible, try to pick cucumbers that are about 4 inches long. The pint mason jars are about 4 1/2 inches tall. I found the cucumbers I used at the farmers market. I asked a vendor to help me choose cucumbers that were small, firm and had tiny seeds. She was a huge help.

  • 4 small pickling cucumbers
  • 1 small bunch dill
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and trimmed
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon pickling salt, which you can find in the canning section of your grocery store

I didn’t have quite enough dill for this recipe, so I did one jar of dill pickles, and another jar of spicy garlic pickles. The only substitution I made for the spicy pickles was to use 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes in place of the dill. They were delicious, too.

Cut each cucumber into 6 lengths. Pack the cucumbers, dill and garlic into 2 wide-mouth pint mason jars.

In a small pot, combine the vinegar, water and salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Pour the boiling vinegar mixture over the cucumbers to within 1/2 inch  of each jar’s rim. Screw on the lid, and allow to cool for about 1/2 hour. Transfer the jars to the fridge, where the pickles should keep for about 2 weeks.

Recipe adapted from: Epicurious

* Lickety Split is our August guide that features recipes for quick pickles, or pickles you can make in minutes and store in the fridge. See all of our Lickety Split pickle recipes here.

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by Sarah Steimer

A guide on containers in the kitchen can get pretty broad, so I'm focusing on some of the best containers to use for scratch ingredients. From left: all-purpose flour, coriander, dill, dried chilis and ground coffee.

One of the best things about a modern grocery store is that almost all food comes in its own nice, neat container that is pre-labeled and sealed. So why take the time to move your ingredients from their convenient packaging to an entirely different container? Well, I can think of a few reasons: Visual appeal, freshness and reuse.

One common thread you’ll find for most of my tips is that I’ve chosen glass containers. This is for a number of reasons, but most importantly for health. There has been a lot of publicity in recent years regarding bisphenol A, or BPA. This chemical is found in plastics and is banned in some cases in various countries and a few states, particularly for its use in baby bottles and other child-related items. The FDA very recently decided not to ban the chemical’s use in the U.S.

There’s no conclusive evidence of BPA’s effects on the human body, but it has been shown to act like the sex hormone estrogen and lead to adverse developmental effects in animal models such as mice.

I haven’t made a full switch to glass, as many of my leftovers find themselves in plastic containers. I’m trying to start with food items that spend the longest amount of time in one container: Scratch ingredients such as flour, coffee and spices.

Visual appeal: I love seeing my containers all lined up and ready to go in the pantry. They look far more inviting in uniform jars instead of haphazardly squished in the bags they came in.

So maybe visual appeal is the weakest argument for choosing new containers – but it’s valid nonetheless!

Many people like to keep their flour and sugar containers out on the counter or, if you’re like me, you may have an open pantry that just about anyone can peek into. If you take the time to make sure your dish towels match you kitchen’s decor, why not make sure your containers do as well?

There are lots of stores that sell attractive and cheap bulk food containers. My jars are from World Market, but the Container Store and Ikea also have great options. If your kitchen has a retro look, try using old-school Ball jars. If you have a specific color scheme you can find matching lids for your containers.

This can even be taken a step further with a little customization. I took the easy route with my labels (also from World Market), but I’ve seen some really cool ideas for painting labels jars or printing custom decals in cool fonts.

Freshness: Most containers that food is packed in do not guarantee freshness, so it's important to keep that in mind when deciding what food items could use a new container.

Buying in bulk is great, but storing all those items in the bags you shoveled them into at the store isn’t so wonderful. Many bulk items such as spices, flours and nuts/dried fruit will store much better in an air-tight container.

Some of the best containers to keep food fresh in have a rubber seal at the closure point. The lids usually pop on or have clamp lids (such as the ones shown). These sorts of containers are especially helpful for spices that you want to access quickly without shuffling through little zip-lock containers.

Coffee is a great example of an item that should be in a well-sealed container for freshness, and it’s also another argument for using glass. If you guy your coffee by the bag, it’s pretty obvious that it won’t stay fresh because it’s nearly impossible to reseal a bag once it’s open. Keeping coffee in a tin or plastic container can also change the way the coffee tastes. A well-sealed, glass container is the route to go for fresh coffee – just make sure that if you use clear glass that it does not receive any direct sunlight.

Don’t pass up containers that seal well but maybe are not the ideal material. Use these to store smaller containers! In the picture above, I used an old Teavana tin that has a good seal on it, which is meant for keeping for tea fresh. Instead, reused it for my extra packages of spices. This takes us right to the next tip…

Reuse: Plastic containers are more commonly reused, mainly because most food is sold this way. When you have the option, plan ahead and choose the glass jar of mayo instead of the plastic jar.

A chance to recycle is alway welcome, so I like to keep a lookout for glass containers that can be reused.

In the picture above, I show two really great examples of glass containers that can be saved for something else: a canning jar and a simple glass jar with a screw-on lid. I love getting homemade preserves, which usually come in containers with a metal band and a rubber ring to seal the product, making them perfect for keeping other items fresh.

As with any container you reuse, make sure to wash it well. It sort of goes without saying, but the most important part is to get into any of those nooks and crannies in the lids with a brush so you don’t contaminate the next food item.

Some of the best items to store in these reused jars are leftover canned goods. In the picture above, I used a canning jar to hold extra chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. This is usually sold in a can that cannot be resealed after use, and I certainly didn’t want to throw away perfectly good food.

Looking for more cleaning tips and tricks? Check out our full Spring Cleaning guide here.

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by Caitlin Saniga

There's plenty of room for modifications in this recipe. Don't have whole black peppercorns? Use 1/4 teaspoon black pepper instead. Don't have star anise? Replace it with 1/4 teaspoon fennel.

There are plenty of opportunities for substitutions in this recipe. I didn't quite have enough apple cider vinegar, so I made up the difference with red wine vinegar. I didn't have star anise, so I used 1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds instead. And I only had ground pepper, so I used 1/4 teaspoon of that instead of the whole black peppercorns.

  • 5 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced into sticks
  • 1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • one 3-inch piece of ginger, peeled and cut into coins
  • 2 whole star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
These carrots are ready to eat in minutes, but they last for up to 3 weeks in the fridge.

These carrots are ready to eat in minutes, but they last for up to 3 weeks in the fridge.

Place the carrot sticks in a pint-size jar, and set aside. In a small saucepan, heat the vinegar, sugar, ginger, star anise, cinnamon stick, peppercorns, coriander seeds and salt over medium heat until simmering. When the liquid is near boiling, pour it over the carrots and let the mixture sit until cool, stirring occasionally. When the liquid had cooled, the sealed jar can be placed in the fridge for up to 3 weeks, or it can be served with the brine right away.

Makes enough for 4 side-dish servings.

Recipe adapted from: Urban Pantry

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