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Canning beets, Preserving yellow pear tomatoes, and Storing dried herbs — 3 Comments

  1. I always plant and can Detroit Red beets. Great fresh greens and beautiful, red canned beets.

  2. Jacqueline, next year try growing Gladiator and Ruby Queen (both quick maturing) beets to can, instead of Bull’s Blood. Some beet varieties are more likely to lose color during canning than others, and Bull’s Blood is one of them. (If you need a non-toxic red food color, Bull’s Blood is a great source). It is a good beet for beet tops, looks good pickled fresh for salads in vinegar and olive oil, but not for canning. You can can the beet tops, which as you know have a wonderful dark red color, but I don’t know whether they will fade. I grow Shiraz Tall Top for greens, but I steam and freeze them. You can also call your county Extension Agent or contact Johnny’s, Baker Creek or other seed companies and ask what they recommend for a canning beet that won’t lose color. Beautiful red canned beets were really important to old time canners and you live in an area where canning and entering items at county fairs go back generations, so your Extension Agent should be able to help.

  3. I had the same yellow pear tomato issue as well. I found a recipe for preserves from “Joy of Cooking: All about Canning and Preserving.” It came out great, although took a while.

    Half 2 lbs. yellow or orange tomatoes. Combine with 2 cups of sugar and steep the tomatoes (let stand for 4-8 hours in a cool place or 24 hours in the fridge). After steeping, peel and slice in thin strips 1/4 lb. fresh ginger. Finely grate the zest and extract the juice from 1/2 lb. lemons. Strain the tomato syrup into a saucepan, reserving the tomatoes. Mix the ginger, lemon zest and lemon juice with the tomatoes. Bring the syrup slowly to a boil. Boil it until it falls from a metal spoon in 2 heavy drops. Add the tomato mixture and boil to the jelling point. Remove from the heat, skip the foam and ladle into hot jars leaving 1/4″ headspace. Process for 10 minutes in a water bath.

    The recipe makes 3 half pints. Since we didn’t know how it would turn out, we did them in the little 1/4 pint quilted jars so we wouldn’t have an open jar hanging around. It came out great though, so I wouldn’t hesitate to use the bigger jars next time. It has a really nice flavor of ginger and lemon with the hint of yellow tomatoes.