Recipes for Home Canning and Preserving in a Crock-Pot

Inspiration for preserving in a Crock-Pot with recipes for fruit butter, tomato ketchup and more.

My home canning history began at my mother’s side, just as she had learned, and as her Ukrainian mother before her.

My mother did things her own way, however, and in the world of preserving that usually meant reducing added sugar in recipes or eliminating it altogether.

We cooked over a wood stove and she kept a (now) vintage oval Le Creuset pot on the back of the stove, cooking fruit down for hours to concentrate the natural sugars.

The aroma from that flame-coloured pot would drive me wild: cinnamon, apples, plums and wild Saskatoon berries. Each ingredient preserved with as little intervention as possible into jams and butters, compotes and conserves.

Of course, I have also found my way of putting up the bounty of summer. I still reject the load of added sugar, but I wholeheartedly embrace technology, like preserving in a Crock-Pot.

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Blueberry Lavender Preserves

An intensely flavoured berry sauce, Blueberry Lavender Preserves are simple to make and can be used in many ways as a topping or syrup.

I know I’m just getting this recipe in under the wire as berry season comes to a close. However, before we transition to apple crumbles and pumpkin pies, let’s get a few jars of summer preserves on the pantry shelves.

My thriving lavender patch has inspired its own unique run of recipe testing this August. There were a few hits, plenty of misses, and a clear winner: today’s Blueberry Lavender Preserves.

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How to Use and Preserve Summer Herbs

Simple recipes and methods for preserving the bounty of summer herbs.

Few gardening tasks make me happier than gathering enormous bundles of fresh herbs and bringing them into the Simple Bites kitchen.

The bouquets of thyme, lavender, rosemary and other herbs feel like such an abundance of wealth. I keenly feel the responsibility to preserve the bounty for the winter months.

We’ve arrived at that time of year when herbs have taken off and home cooks are wondering what else to do besides pesto and um….more pesto. I’ve responded to enough direct messages over the past few days asking how to use and preserve summer herbs that I figured I may as well write a post on the topic.

My tips on how to use and preserve summer herbs will help you waste less, save more, and eat with flavour.

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Fall Canning: A round-up of simple recipes

Today’s post is filled with simple fall canning projects, and is intended as a nudge toward the canning pot.

My hope is to inspire you to stock one or two of your favourite preserves in the pantry. I’m also sharing my own efforts to date and goals for the next month or so.

If you don’t have a game plan, the early fall months can easily pass you by with little or no canning accomplished, making for a scramble in late fall to put food up while it’s still bountiful – and affordable – in the markets.

As I always say, start small and pace yourself. It’s easy to take on too much, and canning really isn’t a project that should be rushed.

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Preserving with Kids

My home is bustling with excitement today because my parents just flew in from British Columbia for a two week stay.

Our morning table was a babble of voices as we got caught up over a breakfast of baked pears with granola and multiple cups of coffee. It’s wonderful to have the original homesteaders here on my little piece of land. We’re extending summer vacation a bit to visit with them and I won’t be online very much, but I had to tell you about a fun feature we did with popular website Kitchn.

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