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Jalapenos - How to Preserve the Harvest


by Shea Wilson

Being at home more this summer (due to the pandemic) has given Brandon and I more time to maintain our garden. Our kids love to help pick veggies in the evenings and is there really anything better than homegrown produce? Truth be told with everything going on in the world, working in our garden has been a much needed mental escape for me also.

Everything we planted has produced really well, especially our hot peppers. I’ve done everything I can think of to use them fresh but we still have an abundance of peppers. Literally bags full. I knew there was no way we would be able to eat them all before they ruined if I didn’t preserve them.

I started with pickling. Pickled jalapenos are the perfect addition to tacos, burgers, baked potatoes, fries and more. Here’s a quick and easy recipe for preserving your own.

Hot Pepper Pickles

Ingredients:

2-3/4 lbs. banana, jalapeño, or serrano peppers (or combination of these varieties), whole or cut into pieces

6 cups vinegar (5% acidity)

2 cups water

3 cloves garlic, crushed

Pickle Crisp Granules (optional)
 

Directions:

  1. Prepare boiling water canner. Heat jars in simmering water until ready to use, do not boil. Wash lids in warm soapy water and set aside with bands.
  2. Combine vinegar, water, and garlic in a large sauce pot. Bring mixture to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Discard garlic.
  3. Pack peppers into a hot jar, leaving ½ inch headspace. Add pickle crisp to each jar, if desired.
  4. Ladle hot brine into a hot jar leaving a ½ inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Wipe jar rim. Center lid on jar and apply band, adjust to fingertip tight. Place jar in boiling water canner. Repeat until all jars are filled.
  5. Process jars 10 minutes in a Boiling Water Bath Canner. Turn off heat, remove lid, let jars stand 5 minutes. Remove jars and cool 12-24 hours. Check lids for seal, they should not flex when center is pressed.

Yield: 5 pint jars

Source: Ball and Kerr

CAUTION: Wear plastic or rubber gloves and do not touch your face while handling or cutting hot peppers. If you do not wear gloves, wash hands thoroughly with soap and water before touching your face or eyes.

Pepper jelly is another great way to preserve your peppers. It’s a fun appetizer to share with friends/family or to give as a gift. Just spoon it over a block of cream cheese, garnish with pickled pepper rings, and serve with crackers or chips.

If you’re not a fan of spicy foods, don’t worry. In the recipe below, the seeds and membranes are removed before chopping and that’s where the heat is concentrated. This recipe is far more sweet than spicy so you’re safe!

Pepper Jelly

Ingredients:

4 or 5 hot peppers, cored and cut in pieces

4 sweet green peppers, cored and cut in pieces

1 cup white vinegar

5 cups sugar

1 pouch liquid pectin

Green food coloring

Directions:

  1. Prepare boiling water canner. Heat jars in simmering water until ready to use, do not boil. Wash lids in warm soapy water and set aside with bands.
  2. Put half the peppers and half the vinegar into blender container; cover and process at liquefy until pepper is liquefied. Repeat with remaining peppers and vinegar.
  3. Combine liquefied peppers/vinegar and sugar in a large saucepot and boil slowly for 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Add liquid pectin and boil hard 1 minute.
  4. Skim and add a few drops of green food coloring.
  5. Pour jelly immediately into hot canning jars, leaving ¼ inch headspace. Wipe jar rims. Center lid on jar and apply band, adjust to fingertip tight. Place jar in boiling water canner. Repeat until all jars are filled.
  6. Process jars 5 minutes in a Boiling Water Bath Canner. Turn off heat, remove lid, let jars stand 5 minutes. Remove jars and cool 12-24 hours. Check lids for seal, they should not flex when center is pressed.

Yield: 5 half-pint jars

Source: So Easy to Preserve

If you have loads of jalapeños in the garden, try one of these recipes. Just remember, food safety is always evolving so it’s important to use recipes that have been scientifically tested and are up to date. There’s a ton of information on canning out there, but if you want to do it safely, the sites you should refer to are So Easy to Preserve and the National Center for Home Food Preservation.

Have any burning questions about preserving foods at home? If so feel free to reach out, I'd love to hear from you! Email smwilson@uaex.edu or call 870-998-2614. Follow me on Facebook or Pinterest.

Please pin and share!

Jalapenos Pin

 Enjoy!

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