Author Topic: Canning book recipes too sweet  (Read 9180 times)

Offline littletea

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Canning book recipes too sweet
« on: September 04, 2010, 06:48:24 AM »
I'm using the Ball Book of HOme preserving and I'm finding the  recipes to be to sweet, so far I've done antipasto relish and veggie pickles.  Can I just reduce the sugar in the recipe?  I read to be careful about making adjustments to canning recipes so I was worried about changing the sugar ration.  Yuck - I like some sweet but these are just overload!

Offline Dene B.

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Re: Canning book recipes too sweet
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2010, 06:04:45 PM »
I noticed that about the Ball Canning book.. and the pickled foods are sometimes overwhelmed by vinegar as well.   I've tried some other books, most of which I found at my local library.  You might take a look at Preserving Summer's Bounty, it's published by Rodale..  I used some recipes from it that turned out a lot better than the Ball recipes.   

Offline littletea

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Re: Canning book recipes too sweet
« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2010, 11:07:49 PM »
Is there any way to adjust the recipes?  I just bought this book and would like to make it work...otherwise what a waste of $ :(

Offline grits55

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Re: Canning book recipes too sweet
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2010, 09:59:45 AM »
I used the dill pickle recipe from that book and when I tasted them, I too found it way too sweet.  Now I think none of them are going to be to my taste. Wish I had tried them before I did all the other 12 jars!  The instructions say to use it EXACTLY, so you don't know how to adjust...any other good recipes out there for next year?

Offline LvsChant

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Re: Canning book recipes too sweet
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2010, 08:42:39 AM »
Well... even if you don't like the pickle recipes, the book has lots of good info. about canning other things, like fruits, meats, etc. And, the methodology is very well described and the safety precautions in there.

I have had good success with old family pickle recipes and also with recipes from my (very old) Better Homes cookbook in the canning section. I was actually a bit surprised to see sugar as a part of the dill pickle recipe at all. My recipe (from my grandma) has no sugar at all.

Here is a basic dill pickle recipe:

for each quart:
1/2 lb 4-inch cucumbers (5-6)
3-4 heads fresh dill
1 tsp mustard seed
2 c. water (if you have a water softener, buy bottled water, the softened water will make your pickles waaaay too salty)
1 c. cider vinegar
1 T. granulated pickling salt (not iodized table salt)

Scrub cucumbers and then pack in hot quart jars, leaving 1/2 in headspace. for ea. qt, add the dill and mustard seed. Make a brine by combining water, vinegar and salt. Bring to boiling. Slowly pour hot brine over cucumbers, leaving 1/2 in headspace. Adjust lids. Process in water bath for 20 minutes or whatever the current ball canning book recommends (this is an old recipe).

Offline Mullers Lane Farm

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Re: Canning book recipes too sweet
« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2010, 09:45:49 PM »
I've never used sugar in my dill pickles ...

pickles
water
vinegar
canning salt
dill
garlic
mustard seeds

and occasionally a hot pepper!

Offline OKGranny

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Re: Canning book recipes too sweet
« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2010, 11:17:16 PM »
I've never even heard of sugar in dill pickles. It sounds terrible. Ball is a great beginners book for learning safe food preservation but it sounds like they've lost their minds with pickles.

Offline phuttan

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Re: Canning book recipes too sweet
« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2010, 11:41:26 PM »
It sounds a bit wierd to add sugar to dills. But be careful about altering canning recipes. High salt/sugar content and acidity hamper to growth of bad little things. Reducing sugar content could be iffy for a beginner.  It's better for a beginner to switch to another proven recipe.

Pat

Offline Mullers Lane Farm

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Re: Canning book recipes too sweet
« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2010, 08:08:27 AM »
It sounds a bit wierd to add sugar to dills. But be careful about altering canning recipes. High salt/sugar content and acidity hamper to growth of bad little things. Reducing sugar content could be iffy for a beginner. 

Very true.

With a recipe like pickles where so much vinegar is used, leaving the sugar out is safe enough. 

When in doubt, pressure can it. (pickles would be mush though)

Offline phuttan

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Re: Canning book recipes too sweet
« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2010, 09:30:24 PM »
Very true.

With a recipe like pickles where so much vinegar is used, leaving the sugar out is safe enough. 

When in doubt, pressure can it. (pickles would be mush though)

Yes. The acidity and salinity should enough, but I always tell beginners to stay with proven recipes until they understand how it all works. If they don't like one recipe just switch to another. Once they understand all the processes at work killing and preventing bad things from growing they can safely tweak any recipe to their own taste. I like crock pickles so I always think safety first.

Pat

Offline Mullers Lane Farm

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Re: Canning book recipes too sweet
« Reply #10 on: September 24, 2010, 07:43:43 AM »
I like crock pickles so I always think safety first.

Oh yes, totally understand! With any type of crock fermentation, you need to always be thinking of safety.

And yes, you are very correct, folks that are just starting to can need to follow proven recipes until they understand how it works.

Offline beadaholic

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Re: Canning book recipes too sweet
« Reply #11 on: October 30, 2015, 09:03:49 AM »
I just got my pressure canner, water bath canner, pickle salt, etc...jars! I have it all here! BUT when reading the Ball Blue Book I was really upset that "I" being a diabetic, and wanting to produce food that is "GOOD" for me that all these recipes are FULL of sugar! It says to "Start with a Good Recipe" and the "use of those ingredients listed in the recipe" "use only those ingredients listed in the recipe". But then a couple of pages later it says the following "Whether it's to meet special dietary requirements or simply in order to make healthy eating choices, presering fresh fruits gives you more control over the quality of foods you eat. We'll show you how to reduce sugar without losing flavor, among other healthy choices." Then it says " Fruits may be canned in sugar syrup, fruit juice or water. Unless the recipe gives exact ingredients for the syrup, you have flexibility to vary the level of sweetness for personal preference or to meet dietary requirements. But look at apple butter! I cannot eat apple butter, 4 lbs of apples with 4 cups of sugar! whew, that is just alot! I could see making this with 2 cups of sugar. I would rather just lower the amount of a sugar in these recipes for me. But being I am so new to this, it makes no sense to me to make these recipes if I can't eat them! I am just me, I don't have kids at home anymore or a partner. So I am tailoring my canning and dehydrating to "ME". But I don't want to die either. I want something with "GOOD" known recipes in it, that will make and help me feel safe. I don't trust the internet enough to take recipes off of here. They might be flawed (like the woman that can's cream of celery soup with milk in it! In the pressure canner! I have read this is a big NO NO! It is scary to end up doing something unsafe.

My other issue is commercially bottled lemon juice. It does not exist here. We have limes galore, all over the place, I can occasionally buy what us American's know are lemons. But not the juice. What can I do in this case to assure that I get the right balance? It says not to use fresh lemons! Arg. I want to be able to do canning, but there are limitations for me. I have some ball "mixes" for pickles and the such, and on its way to me is citric acid, but I hate to have to always order in this stuff, as it ends up costing me way more than double the price it was sold to me for.

What book would be good for me? I have learned a load with the Ball's Blue Book, yes, but I cannot consume so much sugar. Even salt for me is a pretty big no-no but I will deal with that. But definitely sugar no, I use insulin. A very low dose, incredibly low actually, but I want to keep it there.

I know I am reviving a very old thread, but instead of starting a new one, I thought I would just keep it all together. I am sure I am not alone.

Offline LvsChant

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Re: Canning book recipes too sweet
« Reply #12 on: October 30, 2015, 04:12:28 PM »
You are correct about many of the jams and jellies and things like apple butter having lots of sugar in them... here are a few tips that may help you...

1) instead of making jams or jellies, simply can the fresh fruits using the lightest syrups or even in water. In that way, you can reduce the sugar used. However, as you know, even plain fruits are very high in their sugar content, relative to vegetables.

2) If you want to make low sugar jams and jellies, try using the recipes (and pectin) from the Pomona Pectin website. They have tested recipes for safety and result in much lower sugar jams and jellies than standard recipes. It isn't unusual for jam and jelly recipes to call for more cups of sugar than fruit itself... it seems to be the nature of that type of recipe when using standard pectin. Reducing the amount of sugar with regular pectin recipes will cause the jelly/jam to not set up properly. The Pomona pectin or the low-sugar pectin you can find in the grocery stores will allow you to reduce the amount of sugar a great deal and still achieve the desired consistency...

3) Making your own applesauce is easy... you can adjust sugar to taste and can it in water bath with no problem... When the apples are particularly sweet, I sometimes add very little or no sugar at all.

Check out some of the threads in which Morning Sunshine has posted her results... I know she has had great success in canning with low or no sugar at all for some of her fruits (peaches in particular, as I recall).

Some types of fruits will do very well with little sugar -- others not so much. The ball canning book does tend to have recipes with a lot of sugar, as I recall. Check out Jackie Clay's canning book... it is also very good. I'm not really a big fan of apple butter, so it isn't something I've investigated. However, since it isn't a recipe requiring the addition of pectin, but just cooking until it is as thick as you want, I would think you could safely vary the amount of sugar used in the recipe safely... however, I would check with others who know more than I on this particular thing...

best of luck to you in your canning adventures!

Offline beadaholic

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Re: Canning book recipes too sweet
« Reply #13 on: October 30, 2015, 08:30:34 PM »
Ordered the Pomona recipe book and 8 packages of Pomona Pectin! Whoo hooo, along with a few more recipe books they had there!

I buy sugar free apple sauce already, but if the blue book says 4 cups to 4 lbs and not to change recipes? Is it ok to just use apples? It won't go bad? Sorry, I don't know because I am so new.

Ok! So I will see the Jackie Clay's canning book as well! Thank you so much for the help and advice, I really do appreciate it!

Offline archer

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Re: Canning book recipes too sweet
« Reply #14 on: October 30, 2015, 09:21:51 PM »
Ordered the Pomona recipe book and 8 packages of Pomona Pectin! Whoo hooo, along with a few more recipe books they had there!

I buy sugar free apple sauce already, but if the blue book says 4 cups to 4 lbs and not to change recipes? Is it ok to just use apples? It won't go bad? Sorry, I don't know because I am so new.

Ok! So I will see the Jackie Clay's canning book as well! Thank you so much for the help and advice, I really do appreciate it!

pomana pectin lets you taste the fruit, not sugar.

Offline mountainmoma

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Re: Canning book recipes too sweet
« Reply #15 on: October 30, 2015, 11:58:32 PM »
First, about fruit. So fruit and tomatoes are already at the correct acidity and do not need anything like sugar or lemon juice for safety -- they DO need to be canned for the correct time. There are other reasons for these things.

Jams: The sugar in the Ball Blue book recipes is not needed for safety but is needed to get the regular type of pectin to jell. 2 other ways to do it. First is to use pomonas pectin, which is what I do, and I buy it in bulk, 1 pound, the little packets are too expensive. It keeps for years.. Pomonas pectin jells by interaction with calcium, which they supply. You dont have to use sugar at all, but you will want to for taste. I dont use much sugar. But, it does not last as long in the refrigerator once opened with low sugar, high levels of sugar does keep regular jam good once it is opened, so I can in small jars (8 ounces). You can see the mold growth if it is open too long, and it isnt anything that will hurt you in any case. Second way is to use no pectin but just cook down the fruit until it thickens ( excess water evaporates).

Applesauce: You absolutely do not need any sugar, it is all about what you like for taste. You also do not need any lemon juice, it is in the recipe for taste. I never use any thing but apples.

Canned fruit: I can these using light syrup. You could can in plain water if you wanted too, but I think that would be more likely to pull the flavor out of the fruit and that a light syrup enhances the fruit. I have canned apple slices, peaches ( sliced or halves) and pear dices all with light syrup ( ratio of sugar to water for light syrup is in the ball canning blue book) I never add any lemon juice or fruit fresh, I follow all other instructions in the blue book on technique and timing.

Tomatoes: I use ripe and not ever over ripe fruit and I follow their technique and canning times but do not add citric acid or lemon juice ever. I do add salt for flavor as per their recommendations, but you could leave it out.

Vegetables. These are a whole other thing and must have acid environment to water bath can or else you must pressure can. So, you must follow a known recipe, including the correct amount of vinegar or lemon juice called for. Sugar here is also just for flavor not for safety. I can dilly beans and dilled carrots. I made a nice pickle relish from a ball blue book recipe this year. I use the ratio of vinegar/water the book calls for for safety.

Offline beadaholic

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Re: Canning book recipes too sweet
« Reply #16 on: October 31, 2015, 11:55:44 AM »
Thank you so much for the advice, it is really helpful, because at first (as in many things in life) this is sorta scary. Of course I don't want to waste my money either, or endanger my health. I am setting up a small side room I have into a pantry. I am going to go and buy some wood to make shelves in there. I also ordered some 24 oz jars from the US we don't have them here. So it is another size that should be very useful to me. Like for soups.

Anyway, getting back on what you told me. Thank you for telling me about bulk, I will contact them and see if they haven't shipped yet and change it to that! On the Pomona Pectin. I contacted them and hopefully they will help me with that, it is only a little bit the difference in price.

Thank you so much for this, I am understanding things a little better as time goes by. I think I will be giving my first effort a go this next week!

Offline Redman

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Re: Canning book recipes too sweet
« Reply #17 on: October 28, 2017, 06:59:10 AM »
I'm new to water bath canning this year and use the Ball books. Of course being new I didn't realize they were considered very sweet. I'm glad to learn about the Pomona pectin and book and discovered I can get the pectin locally. Don't know yet if in bulk or little packets. Also new to pressure canning, I just received my canner. Anyway I found this thread most informative.  :clap:

Offline LvsChant

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Re: Canning book recipes too sweet
« Reply #18 on: November 06, 2017, 11:02:49 AM »
@Redman:

Like many, I bought the Ball book on canning and also found the recipes to be a bit too sweet for my taste. I find Jackie Clay's canning book far more useful and practical. Although I have both books, I find myself always returning to Jackie's book...

Pressure canning is a great life skill, I think. Being able to safely store perishable foods without refrigeration may be a very needed skill if our power grid ever goes out... Over time, I find most of my canning tends to be simple stuff (mostly beans - from my dried beans supply and chicken stock - for quick preparation of delicious soups). I know a lot of folks like to can up their own chile and other meals... I like to just have all the ingredients so that I can make up whatever I want with the simple ingredients. So... my pressure canning has not really focused on canning up stews, soups, etc.

Perhaps others can chime in to assist.

Good luck with your canning progress!

Offline Carver

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Re: Canning book recipes too sweet
« Reply #19 on: December 21, 2018, 07:14:38 AM »
I've wondered about this also, I do not like the taste of refined sugar, it almost makes me nauseated. I had always thought the purpose of the sugar was to quiet down the vinegar sourness. So my take away from this thread is that sugar isn't necessary other than to preserve it once it is canned, opened and in the refrigerator? We buy canned fruit, in jars, that says it has no sugar added, and it lasts, so somehow it is possible to do that. I have seen sugar as an essential ingredient in some pork preservation methods, which seems odd to me as I have always thought of sugar as an unstable ingredient, wanting to convert to alcohol.

Offline Redman

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Re: Canning book recipes too sweet
« Reply #20 on: December 21, 2018, 07:46:35 AM »
Before I started any type of canning I spent time searching the internet for information. I came across this from the National Center for Home Food Preservation. There is a lot of information here. No recipes that I've found but it's a guide for safe practices. The Ball books follow these guides as I'm sure others do. Gets into freezing, canning, smoking and curing, pickling, fermenting and more. Check out the FAQs.

https://nchfp.uga.edu/

Offline Carver

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Re: Canning book recipes too sweet
« Reply #21 on: December 21, 2018, 09:40:21 AM »
I've been there many times but never seen that page, thanks. Interesting article on preserving onions, I solar dried a lot of mine but I salted them first which flavored them as well as sucked some water out. Very good. Also I downloaded the webinar about present day preservation methods. I've got to get back into it, sort of stopped as the stuff we did before lasted so long we skipped a year or two.

Offline Redman

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Re: Canning book recipes too sweet
« Reply #22 on: December 21, 2018, 05:15:38 PM »
That was the Home page and I think it changes periodically but actually don't know that. I've never noticed the webinar.

Offline Carver

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Re: Canning book recipes too sweet
« Reply #23 on: December 21, 2018, 07:47:09 PM »
I'll watch it and give you my take.

Offline LvsChant

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Re: Canning book recipes too sweet
« Reply #24 on: December 22, 2018, 05:43:47 PM »
Thank you! I'll be interested in your feedback.

By the way... regarding canning and the high sugar content of the Ball Book recipes... I have canned various fruits using very light syrup and had good results, so I think you can achieve good results, as long as you practice safe methods. As for jellies and jams, many of the modern pectins do require the use of the amount of sugar on their recipes to set up properly. For lower sugar recipes, you can use pomona pectin and they will work fine.

There is probably an entire thread on pomona pectin somewhere here...