Zucchini is an organic food with a much longer shelf life once we appropriately preserve it. Some people keep zucchini in the freezer after shredding it. That’s a good idea for occasional use, but what if you could keep the entire harvest of your garden. You could prepare so much bread, muffins, fried zucchini slices, and brownies whenever you want.
Zucchini plants grow very fast, making sense to find ways to preserve their fruit. Kids love the beautiful dishes made of zucchini, and there is no need to give away if you could keep it for later use. By canning zucchinis, we could create a pantry of food for our families and add to our stockpile of useful stuff, which everyone loves.
BUT IS IT SAFE TO PRESERVE BY CANNING IT?
What is the most critical aspect when we start looking for recipes to preserve precious zucchinis? It has to be safe. After all, safety is not optional.
The National Centre for Home Food Preservation does not endorse the canning of summer squashes. According to the institute, the canning may not be safe due to variations in the processing time.
Squashes like zucchini are vegetables with lower content of acids. Hence, it is vital to ensure that no bacteria is left. But an ideal processing time is yet to be discovered. It is unclear what length of processing time is enough for safe canning of squashes, including zucchinis.
That leads us to a technique suggested by NCHFP to can the zucchinis with a higher safety level. The acid does the trick in this method to ensure no bacteria are left. The zucchini pineapple dish recommended by NCHFP is very delicious, and pineapple juice provides a higher acidic content ideal for canning vegetable squashes like zucchinis, which contain a meager amount of acids.
But we soon realized that we could not merely process the cubes of zucchini for canning as they become soggy in water. Many people may not find them suitable for regular usage. While finding a perfect recipe, we have also got one safer formula suggested by NCHFP to preserve zucchinis called the bread and butter zucchini pickles.
There are many ways to preserve our garden produce of zucchinis. We can safely try the recipes endorsed by NCHFP. Still, before we share the standard canning steps, we would like to understand zucchinis’ nutritional value to know how healthy they are for our families.
NUTRITIONAL VALUE OF ZUCCHINI
Zucchinis are a rich source of many vitamins and minerals like Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin B6, Magnesium, Manganese, Riboflavin, Phosphorus, Potassium, Folate, etc.
Particularly Vitamin C is perfect for our overall health. It is one of the essential vitamins to heal wounds and maintain blood vessels. Vitamin C is right for our skin and bones, and it saves us from severe diseases like scurvy, caused by a deficiency of this vitamin. Research also reveals that Vitamin C can even cure tuberculosis. Given so many benefits, we always recommend adding this vital vitamin to our diets.
The central idea of creating a stockpile is to ensure that it serves to provide nutrition to our families. You may experiment by adding mint or basil jelly to see if you get to create the best pantry for your family. After all, preserving zucchinis by canning them ensures a regular supply of healthy nutrition to our family for years together.
Zucchinis are relatively low in calories with an average of 31 calories, and on top of that, they contain no fat or cholesterol. The best part of zucchini is that a medium-size zucchini can meet more than half of your day’s vitamin C needs and about 11% of vitamin K requirements. That makes it an ideal food for ensuring your overall health.
MATERIAL REQUIRED FOR CANNING OF ZUCCHINIS
You need the following items for the proper canning of zucchinis in addition to vegetables and herbs. Before starting, please ensure that you have all these items readily available.
Keep the following items handy: A water bath canner, canning jars, a stockpot, funnel, jar Lifter, magnetic lid lifter, lids, rims, bubble popper, kitchen towels, and hot pads. You will also need a grater, stirring spoons, a cutting board with sharp knives for trying some of your shortlisted recipes.
How To Can Zucchini
The steps are easy to follow, and you should not skip any step. In case you are canning in multiple batches, ensure to heat and clean your jars every time you start the canning.
- First of all, fill the water bath canner with sufficient water and start boiling it. Hot boiling water is a prerequisite for the canning process. Please wait for it to boil thoroughly and begin after the water boils with large bubbles.
- The jars must be adequately clean. Before starting, inspect the jars if there is any chipping or cracking. To store things like dry foods, you can use chipped pots. But avoid them at all costs for any canning activity. We cannot put cracked containers in a canner. Hence, it is better to inspect before doing so.
- After the necessary cleaning of jars, we can fill up the sink with hot water and put them in hot water until they are ready for canning. Also, separately boil some water put the lids in it. Remove just before you start canning
- After you remove the sealed jars off the Water Bath Canner, keep those jars on the tea towels already set out on the countertop. You must not move them for the coming twenty-four hours. After a day, check if every jar’s rim has proper seals. You should label the jars with date, amount, type of recipe, or whatever to differentiate similar containers.