There’s nothing quite like growing your own fresh, organic food. If you’ve been gardening for any length of time, you know first hand how overwhelming it can be to have an overabundance of fresh vegetables. The first time you a harvest a 5 gallon bucket overflowing with green beans, 40 pounds of cucumbers or (and?!) a bushel of tomatoes… you know it’s time to think about canning – and what better source than a book full of Ball canning recipes?
People are always asking me for food canning recipes – it’s one of the most common questions I get in the fall. Every time someone asks me that question, I tell them about my go-to book of canning recipes (the very same book that taught me to can) – the Ball Blue Book Guide To Preserving by Ball canning. I have recommended this book to so many people that I figured it was finally time to tell you why I love it so much.
Learning How To Can?
I’m an experience food canner now, and I’ve canned many of the food I’ve grown in my garden… but it took me a long time to build up the courage to try canning for the first time. As a gardener who grows tons of her own food, learning how to can was always a goal of mine. So, after the second year in a row of being overwhelmed with cucumbers, I decided it was time to learn how to make my own pickles. (Canning pickles is really super easy, and a great thing to start with if you’re just learning how to can BTW)
So, off to the store I went to buy some jars and canning equipment. At this point, I hadn’t done much research on recipes, so when I saw the Ball Blue Book Guide To Preserving sitting on the shelf, I grabbed it. Boy am I glad I did!
What Could Be Better Than Ball Canning Recipes?
I figured the book would have lots of great food canning recipes (which it does), but I didn’t realize what a gem I really got. This isn’t just your basic cookbook – it has a great intro to canning for beginners, but it’s also perfect for experienced canners alike. For beginners, the Ball Blue Book Guide To Preserving gives you a basic introduction to canning, and introduces you to all the supplies and equipment that you may (or may not) need. It also teaches you how to can in a simple language (complete with step-by-step instructions), and introduces you to the different methods for canning.
But if you already know all of that, don’t worry. The bulk of the book contains recipe after recipe for canning different types of foods. I haven’t tried all of the recipes, but the ones I have tried have all been awesome, and I’ve never had an issue with spoilage or broken seals (knock on wood).
Since I picked up this book, I’ve bought a few other, more expensive canning books over the years – but I always find myself coming back to this one while the other canning books collect dust on the shelf. It’s a great reference, and has tons of food canning recipes tested and approved by Ball canning no less. In fact, my copy is very well worn with lots of dog-eared pages and post-it notes stuck in it. Plus, I’m not embarrassed to admit that it has plenty of stains on it too – but that’s a sign of a good recipe book (and a sloppy cook), right?
My Favorite Ball Canning Recipes
It’s a thin book, but it’s packed full of tips, recipes and information about canning fruits, vegetables and other foods. Did I mention that it has the best recipes for canning salsa too? Tomatillo salsa anyone? Or how about jalapeno salsa? Yum! Or, oooo, what about jalapeno jelly? Oh who am I kidding, I can’t pick just one favorite recipe from all these amazing Ball canning recipes. All of the recipes I’ve tried so far have been great.
Besides my favorite recipes, the pages I find myself referring to the most are the “canning tomatoes step-by-step” and “canning green beans step-by-step”. These pages have wonderful graphics and instructions, and it’s a nice reference to refresh my memory when I dust off my home canning equipment for the first time each season.
Home canning is intimidating, but the Ball Blue Book Guide To Preserving eases the nerves and provides simple, clear instructions that will give beginners the confidence to give food canning a try. Plus it’s full of great recipes that will keep anyone coming back for more. Whether you’re a beginner or someone who has been canning for years – if you’re interested in canning food, do yourself a favor and get this book.
More Recipes and Food Canning Posts
- Preparing Jars For Canning Your Own Food (in 8 easy steps)
- Food Canning Recipes For Preserving Food From Your Garden
- Free Printable Canning Labels!
- Used Canning Equipment: How To Choose What’s Safe (and what’s not)
- Homemade Liquid Stevia Extract (using stevia from the garden)
Do you can any favorite Ball canning recipes? Share your favorites in the comments below.