While Fall is a favourite time of year for many Canadians to harvest late summer vegetables and preserve them at peak flavour for enjoyment in Winter, the fact is canning and preserving is a great idea for the gift giving season too!
What’s better than gifting something full of love and flavour and a great DIY project to do from the comfort of your own home?
Canada’s Top Chef Carl Heinrich, Executive Chef and owner of Richmond Station, dished out his best tips for preserving fresh flavours over the colder months and shares a Spicy Pickled Beans recipe that is sure to please.
Tools of the Trade:
Canning kits are an economical and failsafe way to preserve your favourite fruits and veggies. Complete with all the essential tools, they are ideal for beginners and home canning experts alike.
Power of Fresh of Water:
When it comes to canning, all water is not created equal. In fact, water is the secret ingredient in the canning process. A proper filter, like the Reliance™ reverse osmosis filter Carl has installed in his kitchen is a smart choice if you are doing a lot of DIY canning. It can help reduce dissolved minerals and common contaminants in your water, helping lead to perfect preserves and pickles!
Store It to Enjoy It:
Glass jars come in a variety of sizes, but it is important to only use those designed for home canning. Also, be sure to choose the appropriate size jar for each recipe. A regular mouth is ideal for pourable preserves (i.e. salsas, pie fillings) while wide-mouth varieties are ideal for canning whole vegetables and fruits.
Once the Domain of Grandmothers, Canning Is Making a Comeback.
Start preparing for your holiday gifts early and have some fun with this Spicy Pickled Beans recipe! Before you start pickling or canning, refer to Health Canada’s Guidelines on home canning health and safety tips.
Spicy Pickled Beans
Yield: 3 x 500 ml jars
Ingredients & method:
- 6 cups green beans, whole
- 650mL (650g) filtered water
- 350mL (350g) white wine vinegar
- 80g (100mL) sugar
- 25g (20g) kosher salt
- 6 garlic cloves, peeled
- 6 (2-5g) pinches chili flakes
1. Trim the beans if necessary to make sure that they will fit in the jars you have. It is important that they stay submerged in the pickling liquid.
2. Combine the water, vinegar, sugar and salt in a pot. Stir and bring to a simmer. While that is coming up, prepare your jars for canning.
3. Place the rack in the canning pot and add enough filtered water to the pot to easily cover the size of jar you are preserving in. Bring the pot to a simmer. Add three tall 500 ml glass jars to the water to pasteurize. In a small pot, put the lids and cover with filtered water and bring to a simmer to pasteurize as well. Place a towel on the surface where the jars will land and have the jar lifter, canning funnel, magnetic wand and headspace gauge ready.
4. Working with one jar at a time, remove a jar from the boiling water using the jar lifters. Drop in two cloves of garlic and a pinch of chili flakes. Add as many green beans as you can into the jar making sure that they don’t surpass ½ inch below the top of the jar. Using a canning funnel, fill with the jars with pickle brine until the first notch on the headspace gauge, about ¼”. Wipe the rim with a moist towel, add a lid then screw a ring on finger-tight. Using the jar lifters again, carefully place the jar back in the pot and remove the next one.
5. Repeat until all of the jars are filled and boil with the lid on to pasteurize for 5 minutes. Remove the lid and carefully remove the jars and place them on the towel again. Gently press the center of the lid to check and make sure the seal has held properly.
6. Here are some tips to give your spicy pickled beans a festive touch for gifting:
- Cover the lid of the jars with a piece of fabric and elastic.
- Tie a piece of ribbon around it and add a personalized gift tag.
- Stick on a handmade label with a description of the contents, the canning date and who it’s from.
- Unusual jars can also serve as attractive packaging. Pack the jars in a basket and complement it with a fresh loaf of bread.
To make sure the water you use in your home-cooking is as pure as Chef Carl’s, consider a Reverse Osmosis filter solution from Reliance. Installed right at your kitchen sink, it can help eliminate a variety of common contaminants so you can enjoy cleaner, clearer and better tasting food.
For More Information on RO and Other Water Purifying Systems That Are Right for You, You Can Always Call on Reliance®!