When my kids don’t like a vegetable, I don’t give up. I make it several different ways, and sometimes even wait a couple years before re-introduction. I’m my kids’ nutritionist, and I’m putting the effort in now to set them up for a lifetime of enjoying a variety of healthy foods. It’s true everyone won’t like everything, but I gotta try, right? Giving up can lead to picky eaters, which is no fun for anyone. This past year was my victory in regards to summer squash. Neither of my kids liked it before, but they finally like it, after years of re-introduction. It’s worth it, especially because sometimes I can get a 20 pound box for $5 like I did this past weekend.
If you are wondering what recipe won my kids over, it was a Mexican squash casserole. I’ll be posting that recipe next week. I used my home canned yellow squash as my base. It takes two quarts of home canned squash to make my recipe, which means the six quarts I just canned will only get me through three dinners. Also, I want to use my canned squash for other recipes, so I need to stock up. Yesterday I did six quarts, and this morning I did five. With the rest, I’ll make a mock apple pie cobbler, make squash noodles, and squash bread.
I have to give a disclaimer . . . the government does not recommend canning summer squash, but it’s because they can’t find their research. Instructions have previously been published in cookbooks, including a Ball canning book I have on my shelf. They do have a concern about it becoming too compact because the squash gets rather soft while pressure canning if boiled for 2-3 minutes as they suggest. My solution is to heat the squash, not cook it. I wouldn’t have tried summer squash if I hadn’t seen other people successfully can it. Also, I can pumpkin, which is way more dense than summer squash, so . .
I’ve done raw pack, and hot pack with squash. I didn’t get sick with the raw pack, but just to be careful I’m doing hot pack from now on. I also found you can fit much more squash in the jars by doing hot pack. I’ve raw packed 6 jars, but with the same amount of squash I can pack 5 jars, giving me more squash per jar.
Canning yellow squash is easy, just wash, and cut into 1 inch cubes, or slices.
Heat a big Dutch oven of water. Add squash in batches, and when it’s heated through, place in jars.
Add water to the 1 inch mark, and 1/2 to 1 tsp. of salt. (I used the water from heating the squash.) Pressure can at 10 pounds of pressure for quarts for 40 minutes at 10 pounds of pressure for elevations of 1,000 feet and below. Always check your elevation before pressure canning. Don’t try and water bath can squash, or any other low-acid vegetable – – such foods must be pressure canned.