Canning recipes - substitutions?

ladykitsuJanuary 7, 2008

Hey ya'll

I figured I'd get an early start this year on my stupid canning questions, so I'd be prepared when "THE" season came around.

I remember when reading about Annies salsa that so long as you didn't change the *quantity* of stuff, you could make substitutions in the recipe. We had been talking about peppers specifically at the time though, so it was still a pepper for pepper.

The reason I was asking, is that this will be my first year canning with a pressure canner...last year it was all simple tomato sauces. My husband LOVES pasta sauce. Big chunky stuff filled with olives, mushrooms and whatever.

So, the actual question...I can't find a recipe yet that he likes, however I've found some that are close. Close, if I can make substitutions. If the recipe called for celery, could I change it to something like olives or mushrooms and still be OK.

For each recipe I've found that's close, I wouldn't be needing to change much, it would be 1 -2 changes (not like half the stuff in the recipe got changed).

Thanks again!


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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

If its tomato based, be sure to add the necessary acid. Olives do contain a natural oil, but is in a very small amount, and could probably be incorporated. Celery is used in a stewed tomato recipe as are peppers and onions. About all you can do is to try and make a similar sauce, and season it with whatever herbs you require, then get hubby to see if he agrees on the flavor. Then add the citric acid, and can some. Use common sense when canning and following the guidlines required to make the canning safe. Some recipes can be adjusted to a degree provided the basics are also observed.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2008 at 9:46AM
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zabby17(z5/6 Ontario)

I wouldn't myself feel comfortable adding olives to anything that wasn't tested with them, because of the oil content. I would just add them at serving time, since it's easy to keep some on hand in the fridge.

I don't know about celery. Substituting a pepper for a pepper or using a little less onion and more pepper or garlic or vice versa is a pretty straightforward substitution, but celery is a v. different texture. Something I do is put a bit of celery seed into things if I want the flavour (I wd think you cd sub that for another herb).

But hopefully someone with master preserver expertise can give you a real answer!

Happy canning....


    Bookmark   January 7, 2008 at 12:07PM
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Linda_Lou(SW Wa.)

I would not add olives. Not many canning recipes allow for them to be added safely.
There is a recipe from NCFHFP and MSU that has mushrooms. You will see you need to stick with the recipe for safety.SPAGHETTI SAUCE WITHOUT MEAT


30 lb. tomatoes
1 cup chopped onions
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chopped celery or green pepper
1 lb. fresh mushrooms, sliced (optional)
4-1/2 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. oregano
4 tbsp. minced parsley
2 tsp. black pepper
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil

YIELD: About 9 pints

ONIONS, PEPPERS OR MUSHROOMS. Wash tomatoes and dip in
boiling water for 30 to 60 seconds or until skins split.
Dip in cold water and slip off skins. Remove cores and
quarter tomatoes. Boil 20 minutes, uncovered, in large
saucepan. Put through food mill or sieve. Saute onions,
garlic, celery or peppers, and mushrooms (if desired) in
vegetable oil until tender. Combine sauted vegetables and
tomatoes and add remainder of spices, salt and sugar. Bring
to a boil. Simmer, uncovered, until thick enough for
serving. At this time the initial volume will have been
reduced by nearly one-half. Stir frequently to avoid
burning. Fill hot jars, leaving 1-inch headspace. Adjust
lids and process.

PRESSURE CANNER use 11 lb. pressure, weighted gauge, 10 lb. pressure, unless you need to adjust for higher altitude.
Hot pints 20 min. quarts 25 min.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2008 at 4:27PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Can't recommend the olives either. Not only because of the oil but because of the ph and density effect. They can easily be added immediately before serving so no need to be canned.

Celery poses no problems as it is in many recipes.

But the bottom line for me would be to see an actual comparison of the recipes - before and after proposed changes - before saying yes, it is safe. Sure they may be small changes but sometimes a small change is enough to cause problems. The basic rule of home canning is to use and abide by testedthis will be my first year canning with a pressure canner

Keep in mind that pressure canning and BWB are not interchangeable and pressure canning doesn't turn an unsafe recipe into a safe one. ;)


    Bookmark   January 7, 2008 at 7:26PM
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robinkateb(z4 VT)

Laura, you can use the recipe that Linda posted and remove the celery or green pepper if it is not to your husbands taste. Then as Zabby said just ad the olives when you open it and heat it before serving. Last week I made an easy dinner by opening a jar of Ellie Topp's Tomato Basil sauce and adding browned ground beef, wine and more garlic. It was really yummy.


    Bookmark   January 7, 2008 at 7:30PM
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Ah well, he'll be stuck with no olives unless he wants to put them there himself then (or I'm cooking dinner) :D

I was already looking at recipes from Ball Blue book and other *good* places. I'm way too parinoid about killing everyone :laughs: Somehow I missed that perfect recipe that Linda Lou posted! I think that will be right up his ally.

Thanks again you guys :)

    Bookmark   January 8, 2008 at 8:38AM
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zabby17(z5/6 Ontario)


Aah, get DH a jar of already-sliced olives to keep in the fridge, and he can sprinkle 'em on himself at the table if he really wants 'em.

Happy canning!


    Bookmark   January 8, 2008 at 11:14AM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

My dad would sit down and eat a whole jar of salad type olives. These were cheaper and were bits and pieces of green olives and their stuffing of pimentos. I don't really care for olives much, but did try making a bread with different kinds of ripe olives added. Both brine and oil cured ones, and many needed to get the pits removed.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2008 at 11:29AM
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ladykitsu said: I'm way too parinoid about killing everyone :laughs:

Better too paranoid than not paranoid enough! :O

    Bookmark   January 10, 2008 at 6:13PM
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LOL...No kidding ;)

It was a nice feeling when my husband thought the sauce I canned was good (and safe :laughs:) enough to trade a couple cans to someone he wanted to buy a part from.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2008 at 8:43AM
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zabby17(z5/6 Ontario)


That's great that you found one he likes! Think of it --- you have created a new currency! You're like, the U.S. mint!



    Bookmark   January 11, 2008 at 3:42PM
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Hey Zabby,

I'll Let you know when I can start paying my bills in home canned goods :D


    Bookmark   January 14, 2008 at 8:49AM
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gran2(z5 INDIANA)

In Annie's sample recipe, did you notice that it called for 11 lbs pressure for 25 mins? I think that's because of the mushrooms. The norm for sauce is water bath, isn't it? I've canned mushrooms alone before (huge sale at the market) and they take a long time. They're like - zero acidity, I think. Unless you're really really good at determining the acidity of different things, it would be quite tricky to make substitutions. That's one of those things, like olives, that it's great to add when you open the jar.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2008 at 1:54PM
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