Strawberries are an excellent fruit to can. Canned strawberries work great in almost any dish that calls for fruit. They are delicious in pies, jams, yoghurt, smoothies, or even eaten by themselves! Canning strawberries will save you money since it is cheaper than buying canned strawberries at the grocery store. Canning your own is also healthier since you can avoid added sugars and preservatives!
Strawberries can be banned whole or cut into smaller pieces. In either case, choosing the best strawberries for canning is essential. Choose fresh, firm berries with bright red colour and a sweet smell. Remember, strawberries will get redder as you store them, but not sweeter. If possible, try to buy your strawberries from the local farmer’s market as they are bound to be fresher than supermarket strawberries.
The steps for canning are pretty simple. The first step is preparing all the fruit by washing and hulling it. Next, whether you are canning the strawberry in syrup or not, prepare the fruit in a canning liquid and fill your canning jars. Lastly, process your cans in a water bath, and voila! Canned Strawberries are ready!
The first thing to understand when it comes to canning is the different canning techniques. In the canning world, the two main techniques are Water Bath Canning and Pressure Canning. Water bath canning does not require you to have any special equipment. You could even use a large stockpot and a rack to place at the bottom of it. On the other hand, Pressure Canning requires a piece of specialized equipment for canning which has a gauge for monitoring the pressure inside, a vent and clamps to shut the pressure canner.
A simple rule of thumb when deciding which canning method to use is, “All low acid food have to be canned in a pressure canner and never in a water bath.” But why, you ask? A water bath canner simply cannot reach the temperature that a pressure canner can reach. In a water bath canner, the acidity of the food is what helps preserve it along with the temperature attained during the canning process. So, when canning low acid food, the food must get processed at a temperature that eliminates all the bacteria.
Now that you know which method to use, let’s talk about canning strawberries! Strawberries are naturally acidic and, therefore, can be canned safely using a water bath method.
Before you start canning your strawberries, you need to get all the equipment ready, including sterilizing your canning jars and prepping your canning lids. In this canning recipe, we are canning about 16 cups (~12 pounds) of strawberries which should give us 4 quarts or 8 pints of canned strawberries.
Sterilizing your canning jars and lids is a vital step when canning any kind of food and will help eliminate all bacteria from the canning jars and increase the shelf life of your product.
You can either choose to can the strawberries whole or to can them by cutting them into small pieces. But before that, you need to prep them.
Your canned strawberries should last in the pantry for 18 -24 months without any problem. Just take care that you are storing them in a cool, well-ventilated area and away from direct sunlight. Once you open any jar, store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.
Yes, strawberries can be canned without sugar. It is recommended that you skip the sugar if you plan to use the strawberries in any baking recipes. However, you might find them to be a little tart if you use them straight out of the can or use them without processing them in any way.
Canning your own fruit ensures that it has been handled properly and is free from any additional preservatives found in commercially prepared fruits. It can also be a fun family project that can provide you with delicious meals and snacks all year long. You can also check out some of our other canning recipes here.
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