With the recent release of the 37th edition of its Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving, Jarden Home Brands has shared several tips that it said even the most experienced canners may be surprised to hear.
Below is a summary of some of the advice, culled from the 200-page book, which has been updated with 75 new recipes, as well as a variety of new ideas and suggestions:
Tip #1: Safety is just as important as taste. A recipe needs more than good flavor to be considered safe for home canning, that’s why it’s absolutely imperative to choose recipes that are tested and approved in accordance with USDA guidelines. The recipes in the Ball Blue Book have gone through vigorous testing and are deemed safe for home canning, the company said. Process and recipe validation is always the highest priority to ensure the best results consistently for consumers.
Tip #2: Fresh preserving is just three steps. If you can boil water, you can can. Simply prep your equipment, prepare your tested and approved recipe, and follow the proper corresponding preserving instructions to ensure the perfect batch every time.
Tip #3: Size matters. Fresh preserving is equal parts art and science. Each recipe is tailored for a specific Ball canning jar size, so it’s important to use the jar indicated in the recipe. Experts at Jarden Home Brands have tested all Ball Blue Book recipes to determine the most appropriate jar size, which is listed alongside each recipe. You can also reference this helpful jar selector guide on FreshPreserving.com if you’re unsure.
Tip #4: Jam isn’t just for toast. Fruit spreads are some of the most versatile preserved foods and can be used for more than topping scones or toast. The newly-added meal creations guide in the Ball Blue Book showcases how to transform a jar of Apricot Preserves into recipes like chicken glaze, or how to turn Strawbery-Kiwi Jam into salad dressing.
Tip #5: Tomatoes are a top pick. Out of all fruits and vegetables, tomatoes are the most popular ingredient to preserve because they’re so simple to prepare — and delicious, Jarden noted. Tomatoes packed in juice is a way to begin preserving the season’s tomatoes from your farmers market, home garden, CSA or local grocery store.
According to Jarden, the 37th Edition of the Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving is available now for purchase at the company’s Fresh Preserving Store online site, and can also be found at select grocery, hardware and mass retailers and e-tailers nationwide.