Monday, June 18, 2012

Canning Summer Squash & Zucchini

It is only the beginning of June and we already have an abundance of squash & zucchini.  Time to break out the pressure cooker!  Our pressure cooker is on permanent loan from my Mother-In-Law.  She is so good about keeping things together and in working order so its no surprise that we still have the original instruction booklet from 1971!



Most of the recipes in the book are pretty normal although there was a recipe for head cheese, which I found a little disturbing!  It was shocking to see one hog's head as the first ingredient.  As I was writing this post I came across a few articles online that said summer squash is no longer recommended for canning.  I thought this was strange since people have been canning squash for years.  Below is an excerpt from the National Center For Home Food Preservation:

Recommendations for canning summer squashes, including zucchini, that appeared in former editions of So Easy to Preserve or USDA bulletins have been withdrawn due to uncertainty about the determination of processing times. Squashes are low-acid vegetables and require pressure canning for a known period of time that will destroy the bacteria that cause botulism. Documentation for the previous processing times cannot be found, and reports that are available do not support the old process. Slices or cubes of cooked summer squash will get quite soft and pack tightly into the jars. The amount of squash filled into a jar will affect the heating pattern in that jar.

I think that as long as we can the squash properly, and cook it well once opened, we should be fine.  If you are worried you could always freeze your squash or pickle it!  If you are new to canning check out the Presto website for more information.


You will need:
1 Pressure Canner
1 Large Pot
1 Medium Pot
5-7 Quart Canning Jars With Lids
5-7 Teaspoons Salt


A canning funnel, tongs and lid magnet  are great tools that make handling the hot jars a lot easier.

I set up one large pot to blanch the squash, a smaller pot to sterilize the jars and lids and                  
of course the pressure cooker!


Thoroughly was your squash and zucchini removing any dirt and flower ends.  Cut into 1" cubes or 1/2" slices. As I was cutting up my veggies I filled them in the cans to get an idea of how much I was cutting.  I didn't want to end up with too much or too little.  Since the squash will cook down a little you will need enough squash to fill 1-2 more jars than you plan to can.  Place the veggies in a large pot with just enough water to cover and bring to a boil for 2-3 minutes.


While your squash is coming to a boil,sanitize your jars and lids in a smaller pot of boiling water. Fill the hot jars with your squash and the water it was blanched in leaving a 1" head space.  Add 1 teaspoon of salt per jar and make sure to remove any air bubbles. Wipe the rims with a clean damp cloth to remove any seeds or pulp.  Hand tighten lids and place into your canner.  Process at 10 lbs for 40 minutes.
 Follow the manufacturers instructions for your canner.









15 comments:

  1. I can all the time but have never thought to do squash or zucchini. I think I will give it a go when my garden starts producing. Thanks for joining Creative Things Thursday!

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  2. Great post. I've canned shredded zucchini before as well as yellow squash. I used a lot of the zucchini for poor man "crab cakes", muffins, breads, etc. The yellow squash was more challenging to use up for some reason though. Any good ideas on how to use the squash after it's canned?

    Pop over to the Carnival of Home Preserving on my blog. It happens every Friday. Here's a link to the current edition. http://laurawilliamsmusings.blogspot.com/2012/06/carnival-of-home-preserving-16-come.html Hope to see you there!

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    Replies
    1. I use my yellow squash and make chips for the kids and they love them. I cut them into thin slices, and fry in a skillet until crispy. Sprinkle w salt.

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  3. I like to use it mainly in casseroles. I will have to try using it in a bread next time!

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  4. This summer squash and zucchini look so good! We are so glad that you linked up to our "Strut Your Stuff Saturday". Please come back again really soon! Thanks! -The Sisters

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  5. Do you put the squash into boiling water for 2-3 minutes or do you put the squash in water then bring up to a boil for 2-3 minutes? Thanks

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    1. oh, just saw "coming to a boil"

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  6. Thank you so much, my squash is in the pressure cooker now. Never even knew you could can squash. Whoo! Hoo! Love it.

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    Replies
    1. Awesome! Canning is so much fun. Make sure you check out my recipe for pickled squash and zucchini. It is a little quicker to process since you dont have to blanch before packing! http://www.carolinafoodstorage.com/2012/06/pickled-summer-squash-and-zucchini.html

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  7. Help, I do not have a "pressure canner." Can you give me any insight on using just a hot water canner (i.e time necessary) which I use with my jams?

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    1. squash is a low acid food. It has to be pressure canned for safety reasons. The only way I can think of to safely water bath it would be if you added acid by mixing w/ tomatoes w/ added lemon juice or asorbic acid, or by pickling them.

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  8. What food are you planning to can? If you are planning to can squash or zucchini you would need to use a pressure canner. This brings the temperature higher than a water bath killing any enzymes. If you do not have a pressure canner you can always pickle your squash. Here is a recipe
    http://www.carolinafoodstorage.com/2012/06/pickled-summer-squash-and-zucchini.html

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  9. I've canned zucchini before and have found it can be quite mushy when you use it later. My children won't easy mushy zucchini so to disguise it (and still get the nutrients from it), I puree a jar of it and add it to soups and stews as a thickener. They never know it and I can still use the zucchini from the summer garden (without making TONS of zucchini bread or muffins).

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    Replies
    1. That is a great idea Meredith! I will definitely have to give that a try.

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  10. Thanks! We planted a ton of zucchini and squash, so I am going to have to can many of them. This will be my first experience with canning! I'm so excited! :)

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