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Cooking & Preserving Foods: Squash, Zucchini, and Tomato Concotion

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Forum: Cooking & Preserving FoodsReplies: 8, Views: 114
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Hammond, LA

May 16, 2011
8:58 AM

Post #8566807

Hi all! Years ago the supermarkets used to carry squash and zucchini in crushed tomatoes in tins. I can't remember which name brand it was but I know that I was totally addicted to this stuff! I can no longer find it in any of my local supermarkets so I wonder if they've taken it off the market. In any case, in our garden we have a bumper crop of crookneck squash this year and the zucchinis are coming along nicely as are the tomatoes.

Does anyone have any canning recipes for this combination? I've canned before but by no means am I skilled at making up the recipes. I generally use other folks' recipes because I'm a bit of a chicken when it comes to making up my own (at least for canning).

Also, I read somewhere that you can make a puree out of the squash and can it to use for a soup base. If anyone knows how to do that, I'd love to have a recipe for it as well.

St. Helens, OR
(Zone 8b)

May 17, 2011
10:23 PM

Post #8570824

Be careful with recipes posted online unless you're sure the source is providing safe-tested reliable recipes, especially with low-acid vegetables like squash. So take a look at Ball or the NCHFP (National Center for Home Food Preservation).

Pureed squash has not been approved for canning for some years due to density issues and wildly varying water levels and pH. Even in the lab testers could not come up with consistently safe results, at least not without processing so long the quality was seriously compromised.

Plain summer squash is also not approved for canning, only cubes or chunks of winter squash in water. Summer squash canned alone collapses in the jar.

Of course, anyone can process whatever they want; I'm just offering the current tested guidelines and recommendations.

You will need a pressure canner but there is a safe and reliable recipe for a tomato-squash combination: Tomatoes with Okra or Zucchini (zucchini also includes crookneck).

Keep in mind with a pressure canner the total processing time for a batch of pints will be a lot more than 30 minutes. It's time to come up to a plume of steam + 10 minutes venting + time to come up to pressure after the weight is applied + 30 minutes processing + time to return to zero + 10 minutes wait time with the weight removed. So it adds up to quite a lot before you can remove the lid and take out the jars.

You can also check the NCHFP for the Mixed Vegetables recipe which is also pressure canned and gives you a lot more leeway for ingredients canned from your garden.

Elmira, NY
(Zone 6a)

May 18, 2011
5:49 PM

Post #8572615

Carol Deppe in her newest book talks about dehydrating summer squash, especially the Middle Eastern zuke type, and grinding that up and using that for soup stock. Does that sound like what you were reading about, deanne65? I'm going to try that this year.
Talihina, OK

May 18, 2011
7:07 PM

Post #8572757

paracelsus dehydrating summer squash sounds like a real good idea even if you might need to freeze for long term storage ,to me the water in the product has always been the big problem when freezing squash
Hammond, LA

May 19, 2011
6:52 AM

Post #8573467

Carol, thanks for all the helpful information, links, and for pointing out the recipe. Like I said, I am a novice canner so any information I can get about canning safely is truly helpful. I do have a pressure canner and I am going to print out your instructions about the total processing times and keep it handy. Wonderful information!

Paracelsus, I went back and found the article I was reading about the squash puree and I missed the fact that the author was talking about winter squash, not summer squash so thank you for pointing that out to me. I do have some winter squash planted but they have not made any blooms as of yet. I don't own a dehydrator, although it is on my list of 'wants', so I guess I will have to stick with freezing the summer squash for now. I hope your efforts are fruitful with your own squash.

grits, I have successfully frozen squash without problems. Do you blanch them before you freeze them or do you just slice them up and store them in bags? Maybe we've not had problems with freezing because they rarely stay in the freezer for more than 6 months before they are eaten. We cut ours in slices, single layer them on a cookie sheet and lay them in the top of the box freezer until they are frozen, then we place them in freezer bags. My mother used to blanch hers first and then freeze them in bags but she sliced them thicker and made sure they were drained well before bagging and freezing.
Talihina, OK

May 19, 2011
10:43 AM

Post #8573899

DeAnne in answer to the freezing I think I have tried just about everyway anybody ever told me to try but freezing them like you do has proven to be the best way ,but breading and frying works pretty good also ..Bought my dehydrator at Academy Sports in Alexandria La.while visiting some of my many relatives in La.
St. Helens, OR
(Zone 8b)

May 20, 2011
12:25 PM

Post #8575963

I was very glad to be able to help. Now that I'm older I don't can as much as I used to, so I review my manual whenever I "come back" to pressure canning. I also write notes in the manual. You'll see the NCHFP site has good pressure canning instructions. You may want to print them out or write the link in your book. Pressure canner manuals tend not to get updated and often have processing times and methods which don't correspond to current standards.

Pelzer, SC
(Zone 7b)

May 30, 2011
11:02 AM

Post #8597013

I'll put on a vote for dehydrating all the summer squashes. I then vacuum seal in canning jars, and use them for winter soups and casseroles. They aren't near as squishy as frozen :)
I'm off to check my canning guides, I thought summer squash could be pressure canned, but winter (and pumpkin cannot be canned as a puree, only chunked in liquid. Need to refresh the brain:)
St. Helens, OR
(Zone 8b)

May 31, 2011
1:41 AM

Post #8598529

The NCHFP has an FAQ with answer to all kinds of questions. If you take a look at the link you'll see the current stand on summer squash and zucchini. I hope this helps.


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