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squashes, including zucchini, that appeared in former editions of So Easy to Preserve or USDA bulletins have been withdrawn due to uncertainty about the determination of processing times.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.