Monday, May 23, 2011

Canning Strawberries

About three weeks ago while my mother-in-law was visiting, we went strawberry picking and she taught me how to make strawberry jam! I had never canned before but always wanted to preserve my summer harvests, so I was delighted to learn!

We had so much fun watching the beautiful berries simmer and turn a deep red color. To keep things simple, we used the recipe on the back of the Sure Gel box (this calls for a lot of sugar- I'd like to find another recipe doesn't use quite as much).

After the berries were ready and the jars all sterilized, the actual canning process went rather quickly. Here's how beautiful the jam turned out:

The jam is delicious. I've been savoring the jar I opened and giving away some as gifts. The jars are stunning and I can't wait to fill my pantry with all kinds of colorful preserves. I especially am looking forward to preserving my vegetables this summer! Do you like to make preserves? If so, do you have any tips you'd be willing to share with a newbie? 

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  1. This will be my first year canning as well. We will see how it goes! Our strawberries are a few weeks behind due to all the rain. My mom is coming up this weekend and we were hoping to go picking, but that does not look like it's going to happen.

    I DO want to go picking and do some canning. I am hoping to can enough to give away as gifts for Christmas. Hubby and I are also making several batches of wine and beer to give away for Christmas.

    I am going to be learning with you! :-)
    We can learn together. You are already one step ahead of me with the strawberry jam.

    Great job!

  2. I've never canned before. Thus far my only plans are to can tomatoes this year. We shall see!

  3. You may want to try Pomona's Pectin, available at health food stores or online. We do a lot of canning and I like the 'less sugar' and even honey alternatives they provide on their insert. It's very easy to use.
    We did strawberry, raspberry, pear, and crabapple jam last year using this pectin.

  4. Great job!! Once you learn how to can jellies and jams, it can become very addictive!! :)

  5. Wonderful job! I can't wait to learn how to make jelly and jam.

  6. So far, I've only made *freezer* jam. I'm wanting to learn more about canning in general, but the freezer jam has been easy and tastes great, so I did that again this year. I made some with the SureJell brand, which does call for a LOT of sugar. We also tried the Ball brand pectic, and we really liked that - better than the SureJell. It used WAY less sugar and more berries. Ryan did a taste comparison not knowing the difference between the two and liked the one w/ less sugar and more fruit better. ;)

    I also have some of the Pomona's pectic, but I haven't used it yet. I wanted to get more berries (we make a LOT of jam), and now all the rain has ended strawberry season at some of our favorite patches in the area (or at least the ones that are pesticide-free..). I might have to wait and try this other pectin w/ blueberries or something else.

    I plan on posting some info on the blog soon, and I'll be including more info on the sugar aspect, too. Glad you liked your jam!! :)

  7. These look so yummy! Simply mouthwatering!

  8. Megen- yes we can definitely learn together! I hope you get to go berry picking and do some canning soon. Sounds fun!

    Jennifer and Daisy- thanks so much for the tip on Pomona's Pectin and the Ball pectin- I will have to try those out next time I make preserves for sure. I think I will like the not so sweet versions better!

  9. I replace 2/3 of the sugar that the receipe calls for with Splenda. Our jam was excellant!

  10. I do a lot of canning/dehydrating, but I don't make preserves! Usually just jams/jellies. I'm so glad you had a great experience with it!! That makes it worth all the effort.

  11. There is something so beautiful about growing your own food (eggs too!), preserving food, you know... the domestic arts. And st is art, because these pink jars are little works of art.

    I bet you enjoy that strawberry jam on toast 10x more than store bought.

  12. Inviting you the Carnival of Home Preserving on my blog every Friday. Hope to see you there. Laura Williams’ Musings

    The most recent edition - - open until Thursday 6/7.

  13. DIY strawberry jam, I like it very much. It might be very fresh and delicious. But don't you think that growing strawberry by yourself? Healthy food you will get, and healthy life you will live. And at the meanwhile, the grow lights for indoor gardening will help you to reach this goal easily.