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Odd looking fruit and vegetables

Odd looking fruit and vegetables

It’s what’s on the inside that counts.

What is it about these vegetables?

Sometimes they're crooked, misshapen, and even oddly coloured. This makes them the perfect candidates for adding to soup and muffin recipes, for mashed veggies, canning, and so much more. IGA suggests cooking them; their wonderful versatility may surprise you.

THE ABCs OF CANNING

Techniques

There are two main canning techniques: in a pot of boiling water or in a pressure cooker. The first technique with the pot of boiling water is used for recipes with relatively high acidity. The pressure-cooker technique, also called retorting (not to be confused with the “Presto”), is used for recipes with a pH greater than 4.6, i.e. low-acid foods.

THE ABCs OF CANNING

Good tools for the boiling-water technique

Canning is a fun activity to do in a group, with family, or among friends! However, you will need fresh ingredients, a good recipe, and the proper equipment. Here is a little list of things to have on hand before getting started:

  • Glass jars: perform a thorough inspection to make sure there are no chips or nicks before starting.
  • Rings and lids: the rings can be reused but the lids must be new.
  • Canning jar lifter: essential for a secure hold.
  • Non-metallic funnel: a funnel with a large base is very useful for transferring your food.
  • Long metallic utensil: it will help you pop any air bubbles forming inside the jar once full.
  • Magnetic lid wand: essential for removing the lids from the water without touching them.
  • Large pot: choose a thick-bottomed pot that is large enough to support the jars.
  • Canning rack: these racks keep jars in place to prevent them from hitting each other during sterilization.

DIRECTIONS

  • Sterilize the jars by placing them on the canning rack inside the large pot. Let them sit in low-boiling water for 5–10 minutes.
  • The lids should be new to ensure proper sealing. They should be soaked in hot non-boiling water before use.
  • Fill the jars, leaving a 1 cm (½ in.) space with the help of a non-metallic funnel. Wipe the edge with a clean, damp cloth if necessary.
  • Remove the air bubbles with a non-metallic utensil.
  • Remove the lids from the water with the help of a magnetic lid wand and place them on the jars.
  • Close the jars with their rings without overtightening.
  • Immerse the jars in boiling water for at least 15 minutes.
  • Remove the jars from the water with the help of a canning jar lifter and let rest for 24 hours. The lids should be depressed and make a small popping noise: this is the sign that the jars are well sealed.

The jars can be stored for one year in a dark, dry, cool place.