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  • Writer's pictureChelsea Wilson

Preserving Your Garden Crop: Best Recipes for Canning

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I started canning food about 5 years ago. Every summer we would go fruit picking and we always over-picked more than we could eat. I didn't want to waste anything so I decided to make my first batch of strawberry jam. It was delicious and made a great gift for people. It is super satisfying to can fruits and vegetables because you know it will last for a long time.

Ever since I made that first batch I was addicted and wanted to can as much as I could.

Once I was able to start growing my own fruits and vegetables I started with other recipes. My dad had found wild concord grapes growing in his yard last year so we picked as much as we could and I made a ton of grape jelly. It was so much tastier than any store bought jelly. I also made pickles and hot pepper jelly last year as Christmas gifts.

Fast forward to this summer, our first summer in our new house, two neighbors have brought me so much zucchini this past week I had no idea what I would do with it all. Then I thought to myself, what about a zucchini relish? I looked up recipes and changed it to make it fit my taste. Here is an easy recipe for canning zucchini relish.

I will continue to update this list of recipes as I try them out this summer and fall to preserve our vegetables.

What Do I Need For Canning?

There are some tools you'll need to be successful with canning. Here's a list of what I use:

Zucchini Relish

zucchini relish canning


  • 4 1/2 cups of zucchini (you can make a mix of zucchini and summer squash if you want)

  • 2 cups of bell peppers

  • 1 jalapeno (more if you like more heat or you can omit)

  • 2 cups of onion

  • 2 cups of apple cider vinegar

  • 1/8 cup pickling salt

  • 1 tablespoon celery seed

  • 2 teaspoons mustard seed


zucchini relish canning
  1. Chop the zucchini, peppers, and onions and put in a large bowl.

  2. Toss vegetables with pickling salt. This helps with preserving the vegetables.

  3. Pour ice water over the vegetables and let sit for 2 hours.

  4. After 2 hours, rinse the extra salt off of the vegetables.

  5. Pour apple cider vinegar, sugar, celery seed, and mustard seed into a stainless steal pot (not aluminum!) and let mixture simmer.

  6. Once liquid is simmering, pour rinsed vegetable mixture into liquid and let simmer for 10 minutes, stirring often.

  7. Ladle vegetables and liquid into clean sterilized cans (which ever size you want) and tighten the lids (you can use this canning kit I use)

  8. Boil water in a tall pot and lower cans into boiling water so they are covered by 2 inches of water.

  9. Let boil for 10 minutes, take out of boiling water, and place on top of a towel on the counter and let them cool down to room temperature

  10. It can take up to 24 hours for cans to seal, if they don't seal, put in fridge and eat within 1 week. Sealed jars can be stored for up to a year in a cool dark place.

Cucumber & Red Onion Quick Pickle

quick pickle cucumbers


  • 1.5 cups white vinegar

  • 3/4 cup sugar

  • Cucumbers

  • Red onion

  • Dash celery seed (optional)

  • Dash mustard seed (optional)


  1. Slice cucumbers into coins about 1/8 inch thick and slice onions.

  2. Pour vinegar, sugar, and celery seed and mustard see into small pot and bring to a simmer.

  3. Put cucumbers and onions in cleaned jar(s) and pour vinegar mixture over vegetables.

  4. Cover and let sit on counter until it reaches room temperature.

  5. Put in fridge once cooled and let sit at least 4 hours.

  6. Lasts up to 1 month in fridge.

Strawberry Jam


  • 5 cups of prepared strawberries

  • 7 cups of sugar

  • 1 box of pectin

  • 1 tablespoon of butter (optional)


  1. Wash strawberries and remove the stems

  2. Prepare jars but washing and boiling them to sterilize

  3. There are different ways to do this next step. You can cook the strawberries down in a pot and break them up OR what I do is put them through my KitchenAid juicer attachment with the "sauce" strainer so it breaks them all down and I mix the pulp and juice together. (Note: If you like chunkier fruit jam use the cook down method instead of the juicer method.)

  4. Measure out 5 cups exactly of the prepared fruit and put in a pot. Stir in pectin and butter and bring to a full rolling boil (it keeps boiling when you stir). Stir in sugar and boil for 1 minute exactly

  5. Ladle into hot jars and wipe the rims to get rid of any food to prevent spoilage

  6. Put on lids and process jars for 10 minutes in boiling pot of water

  7. Place hot jars on towel and let cool to room temperature

  8. It can take up to 24 hours for cans to seal, if they don't seal, put in fridge and eat within 2 weeks. Sealed jars can be stored for up to a year in a cool dark place.

More Recipes To Come


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