My Grandmother’s Canned Pickled Green Tomatoes

With fall comes the clean up of the final tomatoes lingering on the now drying vines in our garden. Yes, it’s hard to believe that it’s time to harvest the last of the green tomatoes. Pickled green tomatoes is a third generation family favorite. I also love the memories that come with canning pickled tomatoes each year. Fall canning was one of my favorite times of the year when I was a little girl. I’ve stood beside my grandmother and mother countless times washing jars, rinsing tomatoes, and eventually slicing tomatoes. My grandmother passed away more than fifteen years ago, but she left me a treasured keepsake, her hand-written recipe for pickled tomatoes. My mom doesn’t can anymore due to age, and health complications. But that doesn’t keep me from taking her our canned goods to enjoy! I love to share our canned food, or what I like to call our blessings with others.

Okay, enough reminiscing! If you’ve never had the pleasure of eating one of these crisp and spicy slices of deliciousness…you don’t know what you’ve been missing! I know they sound weird, but trust me, they are delicious with pinto beans, aka soup beans, soups, meatloaf, and any other hardy supper. Pickled tomatoes doesn’t have to be limited to a side for heavy country cooking. Remember, clean recipes can include soup beans, soups, tuna patties, meatloaf made with venison, or elk, grilled chicken, and so much more. They also make a great addition to salads as well. I like to use them in place of pickled banana peppers with my salads. The possibilities are endless!

Pickled Green Tomatoes are a fall and winter favorite. Pickled Green Tomatoes are a fall and winter favorite.

Now for the few ingredients that you will need.

green tomatoes
1 pint of salt
1 quart of vinegar
5 quarts of water
jalapeno peppers (optional)

Pickle crisp can be added to this recipe as well.

Process

1.) wash and sterilize quart jars

always wash jars, even if they are new always wash jars, even if they are new
wash jars Sterilize all jars before using them

2.) in large stock pot combine salt, vinegar, and water

3.) While these ingredients are coming up to a boil, wash and quarter the tomatoes, or slice them according to your preference.

4.) Slice jalapeno peppers (the removal of seeds is optional)

5.) add sliced tomatoes and jalapeno peppers to sterilized jars with a teaspoon of pickle crisp if desired to ensure crispness.

5.) Bring ingredients up to a boil and pour over tomatoes

6.) wipe rims and seal tomatoes

7.) Process in boiling water bath for ten minutes (optional) 

my canner

8.) Carefully remove jars of tomatoes, place on a towel to cool

9.) Do not disturb the jars over night, check rings to ensure tightness the following morning

10.) Don’t forget to date the lids before putting the jars of tomatoes in the pantry

Tomatoes will change from bright green to a dull green after they are processed. Tomatoes will change from bright green to a dull green after they are processed.

Now all that’s left to do is to try to contain the excitement ,and desire to crack open a jar of these delicious green tomatoes! You can experiment with various seasonings for spicier pickles. We have added red pepper flakes to the ingredients, which resulted in a much spicier pickle. They were delicious, but I prefer to use the recipe above. I confess, I’m somewhat a creature of habit! This recipe is time-tested and has always turned out a crispy delicious pickle. I’ll never forget my youthful summers spent helping my grandmother and my mother can tomatoes. I’ve been canning pickled tomatoes with this same recipe for nearly thirty years, and still enjoy the process almost as much as I did when I was a little girl! I am super excited to share this recipe with you, and for you to try my grandmother’s green tomato pickles. If you have enjoyed this fall favorite, be sure to check out my clean and spicy salsa recipe Clean and Spicy Salsa. I look forward to hearing from you. Feel free to follow my blog for many more upcoming fall favorites.

Canning Your Very Own Delicious Apple Butter

apple butter

It’s a beautiful morning in the mountains of Kentucky! I love taking early morning walks and listening to the sounds of the mountains waking up! To me, there’s nothing more inviting than hearing our roosters crowing their early morning wake up calls, listening to the doves gently cooing a peaceful call from the tree-tops, and hearing the creek water flowing over the time-worn stones. This type of morning was especially inviting and therapeutic today after a long day of working in fresh picked apples yesterday!

Haney's Entrance to Haney’s Apple Farm in Nancy, Kentucky

A couple of days ago, we decided to visit Haney’s Apple Farm located in Nancy Kentucky. I want to take a few minutes to give a shout out to this exceptional family owned and run business. The grounds were beautiful, clean, had a nice large variety of ready to pick apples, already picked apples, and many more apple related products, and treats. The prices were affordable and they had a friendly and informative staff on hand to answer all of our questions. After we picked three bushels of apples, we enjoyed eating a delicious homemade fried apple pie in a quainte little café located at the entrance of the farm. All in all, it was a memorable day of picking apples in preparation of making and canning apple butter, as well as a few other family favorites. I’ll share those favorite recipes in future posts, but for now…let’s make apple butter!

apple two Beautiful crisp Molly apples at Haney’s Apple Farm
apple three My family enjoying a day of picking apples

You will need the following ingredients & tools to make and can your apple butter.

Ingredients

One half bushel Apples of choice (I’ve used a variety of apples. Most work well, but I didn’t like using the Granny Smith apples for apple butter)
3 cups of white sugar
1 cup of brown sugar
3 tablespoons of ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons of ground all spice
2 tablespoons of ground cloves
2 tablespoons of Real Fruit (I use the little or no sugar and pectin type)
the juice of two lemons
3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
Keep in mind that you can season to suit your own taste. After adding these ingredients taste and add additional spice if necessary.
Tools

One dozen pint jars with bands and flats
Large stock pot
Crock pot
Food processor
Water Bath stove top canner

1.) Wash and rinse jars, bands, and flats in warm soapy water. Next you will need to sterilize jars, flats, and bands. This can either be done by using the dishwasher with hot water, placed in the oven for ten minutes on medium-high heat, or boiling for ten minutes.

wash jars II wash jars

2.) While your jars are sterilizing, peel and slice one half bushel of apples. Place apple slices in the stock pot and add water. Cook over medium-high heat until apples are tender, not soggy. The apples will swell up and rise when ready, so allow room for expansion.

cooking apples two

3.) Turn off apples and transfer softened apples to a food processor. This might take several attempts to work through all of the apples. Process the still warm apples in the food processor by pulsing a few times. The apples will look similar to apple sauce.

processing apples one processing apples two

If you don’t have a food processor you can use a blender or any other kitchen gadget that chops, such as a ninja or bullet.

4.) Transfer each container of warm diced apples to a clean crock pot. Turn the crock pot on high.

crock pot one

5.) Now you are ready to add your spices. Remember, you can add additional spices to suit your own taste. Some people prefer more cinnamon, while others like more all spice. That’s totally up to you. Once your spices have been added, stir well and cover with a lid. You will need to stir frequently while cooking for four hours. Your apple butter will get darker each time you stir it. Again, add extra seasoning after taste-testing your apple butter if necessary. I always start with the amount I have listed above and sprinkle or add as the apple mixture cooks until I reach the taste that I prefer.

crockpot two The apple butter will become darker  as you add spices and cook it.

6.) After the apples have been seasoned to taste and cooked for four hours, turn the crock pot off. Next, you will transfer your apples back to the food processor. I prefer using my Ninja for this stage, simply because the apple butter pours out into the jars easier. Either device will produce the same results. You will pulse the warm seasoned apples a couple of times to achieve the desired smoothness. It will not take very long as the apples are soft and easily processed.

ninja one ninja two

7.) Once the desired consistency is achieved transfer the warm apple butter to jars and wipe the rim. Place flats and bands on the jars. Now your are ready to process your apple butter in a water bath in your canner. (My daughter doesn’t have a canner, so she uses a large stock pot to can in. She places a dish towel on the bottom of the canner and rolled up wash clothes between the jars to prevent the jars from bumping. It works just as well.)

my canner

8.) Process the jars in boiling water for twenty minutes. Remember the water must be over top of the jars. After processing carefully remove jars with a jar lifter and place them on a bath towel to cool. You will immediately begin to hear the beautiful popping sound that we love to hear! Once the jars have cooled add dates to the flats and check bands to ensure tightness.

date two

apple butter

Now you are ready for the job of cleaning up, and a little rest and relax with a good book! You deserve it! I hope you and your family enjoy this delicious apple butter as much as my family does. I can’t wait to share more canning recipes with you soon. I also have a few dried fruit recipes, and much more to share with you. Feel free to share my blog site and recipes with others. I also welcome your comments! Remember you can follow me on twitter, facebook, pinterest, or follow me at http://ahealthiermesimpleandclean.com

I look forward to hearing from each of you! I love feedback!

Canning Green Beans the Time-Tested Way

My husband and I both grew up in the mountains of Kentucky where summers were long, hot, and filled with outdoor adventures. Playing in the creek, swimming in the river, and exploring the mountains was part of our weekly routines. But, mountain living was not all fun and games. We had daily chores to do as well, many of our chores were garden related. Neither of us are strangers to garden-work, or the work that comes with harvesting.

Speaking of harvest time…it’s harvest time on our small farm! We’ve been picking green beans for weeks to eat for supper, and we’ve put a few quart bags in the freezer. But, it’s that time of year when the vines are hanging full of beautiful green beans, which means it’s picking time! Last week, while my husband and I were picking beans and canning, we began reminiscing about the jobs we were given as children during canning time. It was unanimous, both of us were always designated, the washing jobs. Yes, we were washers. We determined that it was our small hands that landed us this job. We didn’t mind, because we both loved canning, even as children. We still enjoy the pleasures and work that comes with the bounty of a garden.

It’s not too late to fill your pantry shelves with your very own canned green beans. I’m excited to share my family’s recipe for canning green beans with you. This is an easy and time-tested recipe that our family has used for generations. I know your family will enjoy these tasty green beans this winter when the snow is flying as much as we do!

Ingredients & Tools

1 bushel of fresh green beans (this yields 12-13 quart jars)
1 dozen quart canning jars with lids & rings
iodized table salt
water & canner

1) Find somewhere comfortable to string and break your beans. We prefer sitting outside on the porch and stringing in the early morning hours. However, when it’s too hot, we’ve been found stringing them in the kitchen where it’s nice and cool!

green beans                          Beans II

2) Next, wash the beans in cool tap water to remove any traces of garden dirt, or insects.

wash beans

3) Wash jars, rings, and flats carefully in hot soapy water.

wash jars II

4) Sterilize jars, rings, and flats by placing them in boiling water for ten minutes. I use the canner to boil my jars in. Sterilizing jars is a must. It helps prevent bacteria from forming.

wash jars

5) Fill warm jars with clean beans and add boiling water. Allow an inch for head-space. Add a teaspoon of salt to each jar of beans. Place flat on the top of the jar and tighten the ring. The ring doesn’t have to be extremely tight, as you will tighten them again after the canning process.

fill jars

6) Carefully place filled jars in canner of hot water. The water should cover the jars with at least one inch of water. Place the lid on the canner and turn the heat up to medium high.

canning beans
My Canner holds seven quart jars

my canner
This is my canner that I have used for years! I found
it at the Dollar General Store for 10.00!

    

7) After the water comes to a boil, set the timer for four hours. Process beans the entire time.

8) Turn the burner off and carefully remove jars out of the boiling water with a jar lifter. If you don’t have a jar lifter, you can dip some of the water out and remove the jars with an oven mitt, or a rubber glove. I place my jars on the counter top on a bath towel to cool. You should immediately hear that wonderful popping sound that ensures your jars are sealing! Once they’ve cooled check rings, and tighten as needed.

canned green beans

9) After the jars have cooled, write the month and year as well as the variety of beans on the lid with a permanent marker.  Now your ready to fill your pantry with your very own beautiful green beans!

dates on jars

My family has loved these tasty beans for generations.  I must admit, I enjoy the feeling of accomplishment and small sense of pride that I feel when I open a fresh jar of my very own green beans. They’re a wonderful treat in the winter when the ground is covered with snow!  They’re also a great addition to homemade vegetable soup, but that’s a recipe for another blog! Truthfully, they make a fine addition to any meal, any time of the year! I hope you and your family enjoy my time-tested green beans year after year! Feel free to share my blog with family and friends. I would love to hear from you! Feel free to leave a comment and share you families canning experience!

Canning Clean and Spicy Salsa

Our entire family enjoys indulging in spicy salsa. It tastes great on organic blue corn chips. It makes a Mexican omelet spicy and tasty. We also enjoy adding it to pinto beans, or as we call them, soup beans. It’s a wonderful addition to taco salads, and many more dishes. We have found numerous uses for this wonderful spicy treat. We also found that the time spent together making and canning the salsa is just as fun as eating it! I wanted to share my recipe with you and your family. Are you ready? It’s easy, clean, and tastes great!

Spicy Tomato Salsa

7 quarts peeled and chopped tomatoes
5 cups of peppers (I use a combination of both red and green peppers)
1/2 cup finely chopped jalapeno peppers
5 cups of chopped onion
6 cloves of garlic, finely chopped (this can be substituted with minced garlic)
2 cups of bottled lemon juice
1 tablespoon of black pepper
2 tablespoons of salt
1 tablespoon of red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons of hot sauce
1 teaspoon of sugar
2 tablespoons of ground cumin
3 tablespoons of fresh oregano leaves
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro (optional)

Carefully place clean tomatoes in boiling water for three minutes. Remove tomatoes and submerge in ice water to cool. Once the tomatoes cool they are easy to peel and core. Combine all ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil, stirring frequently, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Ladle hot mixture into clean sterilized pint or quart jars, leaving one-half inch head space. Adjust lids and place in canner and boil for 15 minutes. (I prefer to use a stove top canner) This yields 13 pints or 8 quarts.

I hope your family enjoys this recipe as much ours does. Feel free to leave comments about your salsa experience. You might find a use that we’ve not tried! We’re open to suggestions. Remember, you can modify the spices to suit your own taste.

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