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Old 04-25-2017, 01:15 AM   #1
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Canning Old Vegetables

A couple times a month I get about 60 pounds of old fruits and vegetables. This is produce that isn't suitable to sell in stores because it is bruised or has bad spots, so is sold in bulk just as-is. Mostly it is tomatoes, but there are also always some yellow squashes, zucchinis and bell peppers.

I make a spicy tomato soup out of it by just boiling all of these vegetables (after I've cut out the bad parts) with broth and enough green chiles to make it yummy, then blending it until it's smooth. Serve it with cheese and tortilla chips on top. I always freeze it because there is a lot of it, but it uses so much of my freezer space!

I would like to can it. I am new to canning and everything I've read always starts by saying I should pick out fresh and delicious veg to can in order to make it best. Obviously I am not doing that!

Is it ok to can up these old vegetables? Also I'm very scared to can this because it isn't a recipe that I'm following that tells me exactly what to do. Should I just follow the processing directions from any tomato soup recipe I find? I'm very nervous and any help will be much appreciated!

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Old 04-25-2017, 01:35 AM   #2
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Welcome to DC!

Since you are cooking the vegetables after trimming, I don't think the age of the veg will affect anything. Any tomato soup canning recipe will work for you.
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Old 04-25-2017, 01:50 AM   #3
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In the old days, the ugly vegs with spot and dents went for canning, pickles, chutneys, jam and sum such. The fine vegs went for storage or the table. So long as the vegs and fruit is firm, you can remove bad spot, not mold and dont use green potatoes , they cant be used at all.
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Old 04-25-2017, 04:13 AM   #4
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Hi and welcome to Discuss Cooking

Since you are using several low-acid vegetables, you must process this soup in a pressure canner. Water-bath canning will not get hot enough to make the result safe for shelf storage.

Here is basic information about pressure canning: http://nchfp.uga.edu/publications/ug...s_canners.html

Good guidelines for pressure canning: http://bayfield.uwex.edu/2015/06/23/...ssing-recipes/

And here's one recipe for pressure canning vegetable soup: https://www.freshpreserving.com/home...es-br1067.html
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Old 04-25-2017, 05:53 AM   #5
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Thank you GG. I'm at work and away from my personal computer.
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Old 04-25-2017, 11:40 AM   #6
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Got Garlic is absolutely spot on with the links. If you are a new canner, you can't go wrong with the first link, everything you need to know is in there. You do need to use an approved recipe. Look thru those recipes and find the one the matches best with what you make, and use that recipe. Don't make any adjustments in quantities unless the recipe says you can.

You can trim bruised fruit/veg, but better to discard moldy stuff. Sometimes mold penetrates into the whole thing.

Better safe than sorry.
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Old 04-25-2017, 12:08 PM   #7
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USDA recommends discarding soft vegetables and fruits with mold (chart at the bottom of the page).

https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal...rous_/CT_Index
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Old 04-26-2017, 12:39 AM   #8
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Thanks for the replies and links! I'll read all about it tonight and hopefully feel more confident and ready to cook and can tomorrow.
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Old 04-26-2017, 06:46 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BunnyTime View Post
Thanks for the replies and links! I'll read all about it tonight and hopefully feel more confident and ready to cook and can tomorrow.
Just checking Do you have a pressure canner? Not a pressure cooker - a pressure canner. They're different and you can't use a pressure cooker to can low-acid foods.
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Old 04-26-2017, 12:05 PM   #10
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I do have a pressure canner. It is an All American 15 1/2 Quart Pressure Cooker Canner.

But in reading all the links I am thinking that canning isn't for me. I wanted to be able to throw what I have into a soup and can it up, but it looks like I would have to follow a recipe precisely as written. That would put me in a position of having to buy more stuff to make the recipes perfect, and then have leftover veg that I wanted to go in but now can't use... It is just all a lot more exacting than I expected. I also hoped to can the vegetable broth I make from scraps I save in the freezer, but looks like that is also right out!

Live and learn, but I should have learned more before I bought the canner! I guess what I really need is an extra freezer. I thank you all so much for your time and your wonderful links. I make jelly, so the links are still super useful!
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Old 04-27-2017, 04:26 PM   #11
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Ok, I have been in a canning spiral these last few days. How did y'all learn to can and not always feel afraid of poisoning your loved ones? I can't find any in-person classes, only online tutorials. Those are helpful, but not enough to give me confidence to tackle it all on my own. It is all very intimidating.
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Old 04-27-2017, 06:44 PM   #12
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I have only done boiling water bath canning and quick pickles. I suggest you start small and become familiar and comfortable with the process before moving on to pressure canning.

I love this site for the types of canning I do: www.foodinjars.com

I have two of her books. Her second one is all about making small batches of canned and otherwise preserved foods, so you don't have to start with 15 pounds of tomatoes, for example: https://www.amazon.com/Preserving-Pi.../dp/0762449683

Also, your local Cooperative Extension office might offer canning classes.
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