Class Notes Food Preservation

High Acid Foods Acceptable for Water Bath Canning
Food with a pH of 4.6 or less

Food Item                                                    Approx. pH
Apples                                                                           3.2-4.0
Apricots                                                                        3.8-4.0
Blackberries                                                                 3.85-4.5
Blueberries                                                                   3.1-3.2
Cherries                                                                        3.25-4.54
Figs                                                                               4.6
Grapes                                                                          2.8-3-8
Grapefruit                                                                    3.0-3.75
Jams and Jellies with added lemon juice                   3.0-4.5
Ketchup                                                                       3.9
Lemon and Lime                                                         2.0-2.8
Mangoes                                                                      3.4-4.8 *
Peaches                                                                       3.3-4-0
Pears                                                                           3.5-4.6
Persimmons                                                                4.42-4.7*
Pineapple                                                                    3.2-4.0
Plums                                                                          2.8-4.3
Pomegranate                                                               2.93-3.2
Prunes                                                                         3.63-3.2
Raspberries                                                                 3.22-3.95
Rhubarb                                                                      3.10-3.4
Sauerkraut                                                                  3.3-3.60
Strawberries                                                                3.0-3.9
Tomatillos                                                                    3.83
Tomatoes                                                                      3.5-4.9*

*Test with litmus to check pH. If the pH is not high enough, add lemon juice or vinegar.   Many pickled items are high acid and can be water bath processed due to the added vinegar. Check your recipe for processing instructions. 

You can purchase an pH meter online on Amazon.

All other food that are not in recipes that add appropriate amount of acid must be processed in a pressure canner. When in doubt, pressure can it!!

                              Cranberry Power Bites

2 cups whole grain rolled oats, (not quick oats)
1 cup Craisins
1.5 cups almonds
2 tbsp. orange zest or 1/2 tsp orange extract
10 pitted Majool dates
1  4 oz. jar of Cranberry Conserve, (recipe in Ball Blue Book) or other thick preserves, strawberry would be good but may be a little wetter than cranberry conserve so add less than 4 oz., working in by increments until the proper consistency is achieved. 
1 tsp. Ceylon cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. vanilla, I use Mexican vanilla but regular will do.

Put oats and almonds in a high speed blender and pulverize to small bits. Add remaining ingredients, except for conserve or preserves. Blend. Remove from blender and place in a large bowl. Hand mix in the conserve or preserves, being sure to work in well so that when you start to form into balls the goods will stick together. Take a handful and squeeze lightly, if the mix sticks together well and can be rolled into a firm ball, then it is good. If it falls apart add more conserve or preserves, if it is too wet or sticky add more blended oats. Use a heaping tsp. of the mix and roll it into a nice tight ball. I put mine in the dehydrator for an hour to dry the surface so they wouldn't stick together. Recipe make 60 1 inch bites. You can also pat into a casserole dish lined with parchment paper to a depth of 1 inch, then turn out onto dehydrator tray and peel off the paper. Dehydrate for 1 hour then cut into 1" squares. If you don't have a dehydrator, then air dry a few hours covered lightly with cheese cloth, before storing away.

Here are a few of my "Go To" books on food preservation:

Ball Blue Book

How to Dry Foods, by Deanna Delong, HP Books

All About Pickling, by the staff at Ortho Books

Canning, Freezing and Drying, by the editors of Sunset Books

Fancy Pantry, by Helen Witty

New on my Book Shelf : The All New Ball Book of Canning and Preserving 


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