Pressure canning summer squash relish is a great way to preserve the bounty of the summer season. Made with fresh summer squash, onions, and other flavorful ingredients, this relish can be used as a condiment, added to sandwiches or burgers, or used as a topping for grilled meats or vegetables. By pressure canning the relish, you can store it for months to come and enjoy the taste of summer all year round.
Why should you use a pressure canner for Pressure Canning Summer Squash Relish?
Pressure canning is recommended for summer squash relish (and other low-acid foods) because it helps to eliminate any potential harmful bacteria that could cause spoilage or foodborne illness. Unlike water bath canning, which is suitable for high-acid foods like fruits and pickles, pressure canning uses high temperatures and pressure to destroy bacteria, spores, and other pathogens.
Summer squash relish is a low-acid food, meaning it has a pH level above 4.6, so it needs to be pressure canned to ensure it’s safe for consumption and has a long shelf life.
How to make Pressure Canning Summer Squash Relish in a pressure canner
Here is a recipe for pressure canning summer squash relish:
- 8 cups of grated summer squash (about 3-4 medium-sized squash)
- 2 cups of grated onions (about 2-3 medium-sized onions)
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
- 1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
- 1/4 cup of pickling salt
- 2 cups of white vinegar
- 2 cups of granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons of celery seed
- 1 teaspoon of mustard seed
- 1 teaspoon of ground turmeric
- Combine the grated squash, grated onions, diced bell peppers, and pickling salt in a large bowl. Cover and let sit for 2 hours, then rinse well and drain.
- In a large pot, combine the vinegar, sugar, celery seed, mustard seed, and ground turmeric. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
- Add the squash and onion mixture to the pot and bring to a boil again, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to low and let simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.
- Ladle the hot relish into hot, sterilized jars, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace at the top.
- Wipe the jar rims clean, place the lids on top, and screw on the bands until they are fingertip-tight.
- Place the jars in the pressure canner, making sure there is enough water to cover the jars by at least 1-2 inches. Lock the lid in place and bring the canner to a boil.
- Allow steam to vent for 10 minutes, then close the vent and bring the canner up to the recommended pressure for your altitude (check the manual for instructions).
- Process the jars at the recommended pressure and processing time for your altitude (again, check the manual). Once the processing time is complete, turn off the heat and allow the canner to cool down naturally.
- Remove the jars from the canner and let them cool on a towel for 12-24 hours. Check the seals and store the jars in a cool, dry place for up to a year.
Enjoy your homemade summer squash relish on sandwiches, burgers, hot dogs, or as a side to your favorite dishes.
Tips for making Pressure Canning Summer Squash Relish in a pressure canner
Here are some tips for making pressure canning summer squash relish in a pressure canner:
- Use fresh, high-quality ingredients: When making relish, it’s important to use fresh, ripe vegetables and fruits for the best flavor and texture.
- Follow the recipe closely: Follow the recipe measurements, instructions, and processing times closely to ensure safe and tasty results.
- Sterilize jars and equipment: Make sure to sterilize your jars, lids, and equipment before use to prevent contamination.
- Leave the proper headspace: Leave the recommended 1/2 inch of headspace in each jar to allow for expansion during processing and to ensure a proper seal.
- Release pressure slowly: After processing the jars, it’s important to allow the pressure canner to cool down slowly and naturally to prevent the jars from cracking or breaking.
- Check the seals: After the jars have cooled for 12-24 hours, check the seals by pressing the center of the lid. If it pops up and down, the jar is not sealed and should be refrigerated and consumed within a few days.
- Store jars properly: Store the jars in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight and heat sources. Label each jar with the date and type of relish for easy reference.
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