As a child, I vividly remember watching my mom and grandma can and preserve so much food every summer and fall. After I was old enough to help, I realized that it was a actually quite a bit of work… but everything tasted SO much better than the storebought alternatives.
Now, 10 years into canning on my own, I’m happy that I have continued the tradition and that my own kids can watch me preserve the food from our garden and from local orchards. However, I am also very thankful it’s no longer a necessity for American families to can and preserve all their own food in order to have enough to eat during the long winter months.
I like doing it as a hobby, but I don’t know if I could ever can enough food for our family to eat all winter!
Over the years, as I shared some of my canning journey here on my blog, I have been continuously asked for my “favorite” canning and preserving recipes. And while I have several recipes already posted on my blog, there are many other recipes I use from other websites and blogs.
In an effort to compile all my favorites in one convenient location (both for myself and for you) I thought it might be nice to link to them all in one post… just in time for peak canning season here in West Michigan!
NOTE: Several of the recipes I link to below are blog posts I wrote 5-6 years ago, so the photos are tiny and very poor quality. That said, the recipes are still the same ones I’ve been using for 10+ years and the same ones my mom and grandma have been using for much longer than that!
- Peaches, Pears, and Apricots (I’ve eaten these weekly since I was a toddler!)
- Applesauce (I always say that applesauce is my favorite “condiment” because I eat it with almost every meal)
- Apple Pie Filling
- Peach Pie Filling
JAMS and JELLIES:
Jams and jellies are by-far the easiest way to start out canning — and there are plenty of freezer jam recipes if you have an extra freezer and don’t want to can. I usually can several varieties of jam every 2-3 years and then take the years inbetween “off”.
- Here’s a post detailing how I can all different fruit jams (strawberry, raspberry, triple berry, strawberry-rhubarb, blackberry, blueberry, etc.)
- Apple Butter (this is SO good on pork chops or a pork loin)
- Apple Jelly (from leftover apple peels after canning applesauce)
- Apple Jelly (from apple juice — it’s SO easy!)
PEPPERS and PICKLES:
- Sweet Pepper Jelly (this stuff is addicting!)
- Candied Jalapeños (I just made these for the first time this year and they are delicious)
- Pickled Jalapeños (this is a very simple refrigerator method so there is no canning involved)
- Dill Pickles (I take the easy way out and use the recipe on the back of Mrs. Wages pickling spice for refrigerator dill pickles!)
TOMATOES and SALSA:
- Canned / stewed tomatoes
- Pasta Sauce (Everyone asks me about pasta sauce, but I have yet to find a home-canned recipe I actually like. Instead, I use this semi-homemade recipe to make pasta sauce as we eat it)
- Salsa (we don’t can salsa anymore because we like fresh salsa better. Here is the recipe I roughly follow for fresh salsa)
As you’ll notice, there are A LOT of things we do not can — mainly because we don’t like the texture of most frozen veggies and we prefer the taste of many store bought items over home canned alternatives (like salsa and pasta sauce). So if I don’t have a recipe listed above, it’s because I don’t can it 🙂
That said, I’d love it if you shared some of YOUR favorite canning and preserving recipes in the comments!