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Canning Pineapple

March 21, 2012

I started canning for the first time about two weeks ago, and I discovered that I really love it.  It’s simpler than I expected, and the home-canned food is so delicious.  Plus, canning it myself gives me the extra reassurance that I not only know every ingredient going in, but I am in total control of those ingredients.  I am no longer limited to “no salt” or all salt or the food industry’s definition of “reduced salt.”  I can find my own happy medium. But unfortunately our cabinets are running over with strawberry products–even after having giving quite a bit of jam and strawberry sauce away.  And we are no where near exhausted on our new salsa supply.  So when I stopped at the grocery store and saw the price on pineapple, I thought “Eureka!”  Pineapple is a high acid food (and thus suitable for water bath canning–I am not yet ready to head down the pressure cooker route), it is currently in season and therefore cheap, and it is so much more delicious fresh than store bought in the canned foods aisle.  The only problem I have with buying it fresh is that half the time I don’t get around to cutting it up until it is too late.  This is the by-product of a too busy schedule and my crazy, yet wonderful, toddlers.  Canning solves both issues. I put the kids to bed, eager to begin canning, and did a little quick reading to make sure I wasn’t missing any steps in my head.  Nope, pineapple is extremely easy–especially if you don’t want to can it in syrup or do anything fancy with it.  About five minutes later, my two toddlers came out with one diaper needing to be changed.  The other just figures this is an excuse to claim needing a bathroom break of her own even though she doesn’t really need one.  Chaos reigns for about ten minutes, and then finally some blessed silence and a return to the work at hand. Or so I thought.  First a little cleaning, of course.  I have gotten better at the “rhythm” of canning–getting things set up so that the whole process happens easily, moving from one step to the other without interruption.  I’ve learned a lot in the past few weeks about getting my stock pot to the right boiling point at the time I am filling my jars, for example.  It’s kind of a beautiful thing when it starts to come together, because it makes it even easier than it already is.  So I set everything up the way I like it in my tiny kitchen, pull out the cutting board and chop up my pineapple into far smaller pieces than I normally would.  I guess this would qualify as “tidbits” in the grocery store lingo.  I’m going to be cooking them and canning them in water, because I don’t want them in a sugary syrup, but I take extra pains to squeeze out all the juice on the backs of the skins anyways.  This way the liquid is a blend of water and natural juice which should preserve some of the vitamins and nutrients in the original fruit.  Not to mention the juice tastes delicious… Throwing the pieces into the pan and covering them and their juice with water, I get them boiling for about ten minutes, transfer them into the jars and submerge them in the water bath for another ten minutes to seal them.  Hands down the best part of canning pineapple has to be the way my kitchen smells after I am done.  And I am impressed by the process as well–total yield is three and a half pints from one pineapple.  I’m thinking that I may have found the perfect way to tide myself over until peach season.

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  1. Canning Raspberry Dessert Topping « bestintentionsmom

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