Preserving Summer Squash

Discussion in 'General Food and Foraging Discussion' started by CVORNurse, Jul 31, 2009.

  1. CVORNurse

    CVORNurse Well-Known Member

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    I was so looking forward to canning all my excess squash this summer. Last time I was into canning this is how I did it. Love just draining the liquid out and pouring it over my sauteed onion and cooking it down.
    Now they are not recommending that you can summer squash :( . I have to admit being tempted to do it anyway, since my family has been putting up squash this way for year and years.
    Would some of you canning gurus comment on this please, while I go away to blanch my batch of squash so I can freeze it and add it to my very limited freezer space.
    And does anyone dry squash? I don't have a dehydrator, but would like to get one by next summer.


    :flower:
     
  2. cattlefarmer

    cattlefarmer Guest

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    We can squash every other year. My canning books warn about canning squash because it will become mushy.

    With it being a low acid food you have to use a presser cooker. We keep the storage of low acid foods to 30 months in our house.
     

  3. CVORNurse

    CVORNurse Well-Known Member

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    I have been using the USDA canning guide in pdf format that I found online at a website I cannot find right now, but the copyright date is 1994. It does not even mention summer squash, only how to can winter squash and pumpkin. Here is from a faq online:

    National Center for Home Food Preservation | Canning FAQs
    Why is canning summer squash or zucchini not recommended?
    Recommendations for canning summer squashes, including zucchini, that appeared in former editions of So Easy to Preserve have been withdrawn due to uncertainty about the determination of processing times. Squashes are low-acid vegetables and require pressure canning for a known period of time that will destroy the bacteria that cause botulism. Documentation for the previous processing times cannot be found, and reports that are available do not support the old process. Slices or cubes of cooked summer squash will get quite soft and pack tightly into the jars. The amount of squash filled into a jar will affect the heating pattern in that jar. It is best to freeze or pickle summer squashes, but they may also be dried.

    ................
    I have yet to find anything more recent from a reputable source. If anyone can point one out, I would love to see it.
     
  4. NCLee

    NCLee New Member

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    Hello!

    My first post here, so I hope you find it to be useful.

    I've been canning about 40 years, after learning from my Mom. Even though we never had any problems with her canned foods, I don't follow many of the methods, times, etc. that she used. I try to use the most current recommendatios for all aspects of canning. It only takes one jar out of no telling how many successful ones to make someone sick or worse.

    People today have to deal with things that never caused a problem for Mom. Low acid tomatoes are a classic example. She water bath canned hers. I pressure can and add vinegar today.

    Something else she didn't deal with are the risks associated with today's massive commercial farming operations. In recent years there have been too many instances of problems to ignore the problem potential. Even though I may be canning veggies from my garden, that bag of produce or chicken from the grocery may have brought into my kitchen beasties that wind up contaminating something. It's sad to say that my Mom's kitchen may have been cleaner than mine, even with the sanitizers and antibacterial products we have today. Sometimes I feel like I need to give my whole kitchen a "bath" with bleach before I start a canning session.

    Yes, I know that's an extreme thought, but it does cross my mind, as I sanitize the sink and such.

    Did a search and all the references I found agree on summer squash.

    Here's a thought. If you have meats in your freezer that are nearing the end of their storage life, can them instead. That'll give you another year or more on the meats and free up freezer space for your squash.

    Hope this helps, a bit.
    Lee
     
  5. CVORNurse

    CVORNurse Well-Known Member

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    Funny, Lee, that is how I feel this summer canning. I am putting this food up to feed my family, and I want to be the safest I can. Being a nurse and dealing with MRSA, VRE, and even a patient that the CDC couldn't figure out exactly what he had infecting him, I am so aware that all these germs are in the environment. I want to be absolutely certain that the food I put up for my family is absolutely safe for them to eat. Wouldn't do much good if we survive the apocalypse only to be felled by bad squash.
     
  6. sailaway

    sailaway Well-Known Member

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    I pick up a copy of "Back Woods Man" Magazine at the Log Cabin Store in Lodi, Oh. every other month when it comes out. The latest issue just had an article on preserving foods through smoking, canning, pickleing root cellars and other forms or preservation. I would recomend getting this magazine, it has lots of interesting stuff for off the grid living. The article was to long to go into alot of great detail on.:cool:
     
  7. The_Blob

    The_Blob performing monkey

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    that's a pretty good trek from Sandusky just for a magazine... :eek: ;)

    where is the log cabin store? is it near the outlet mall, that's pretty much the only Lodi 'landmark' I know... :(
     
  8. sailaway

    sailaway Well-Known Member

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    The Log Cabin Store is North of Lodi on SR42 heading to Medina. (about 1 mile north of SR224 on the left.) Probably 3-4 miles north of the outlet mall. Yes it is a long trek from Sandusky, but I am usually comming back from Youngstown or Pittsburgh when I stop in. They are open until 6PM week nights. Right now it's my favorite toy store.:D
     
  9. NaeKid

    NaeKid YourAdministrator, eh?

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    Is there a way to get a subscription to the magazine or is it a local-pick-up only magazine?
     
  10. sailaway

    sailaway Well-Known Member

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    Yes, Go to www.backwoodsmanmag.com :2thumb:
     
  11. annmill

    annmill New Member

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    I am trying dehydrating summer squash right now. You don't need a dehydrator I'm using a tooster oven this time. You can use your oven to. Takes practice to get the setting right I started with the lowest setting that turned it on and have moved up to 200 it will take 24 hours then I vaccume seal them. Do small amount till you get it right.
     
  12. Emerald

    Emerald Well-Known Member

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    Wow totally off topic--Spam much?
     
  13. Emerald

    Emerald Well-Known Member

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    I have to say that I love my summer squashes but I only enjoy them in the summer-I still have not found a really good way to preserve them that I like- the closest that I found and like is to bread them and bake them for "veggie sticks" and then only cook them just lightly and then freeze and take out and bake later.. lots of work. So we usually just enjoy them seasonally. I have grated them and dehydrated them but the only way to eat them then was to put them in sweet bread recipes.(like zucchini bread and some in carrot cake).
    Make me enjoy them more in the summer.
     
  14. lotsoflead

    lotsoflead Well-Known Member

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    A good rule to follow is if it ain't in the Ball Blue Book, it ain't safe, those people spend a lot of time and money testing foods so we don't have to spend a lot of time and money on Drs and hospitals or even a funeral if it comes to when hospitals are under staffed or even closed for a few weeks or Drs have left town with the other elite and privilaged. People who keep doing today what Gramma done 70 yrs ago could get in a lot of trouble. before Vietnam, We didn't have 10 channels competing for news so we have no idea about how many people died or famlies got sick from Gramma or Aunt Marys home canned remedies.
    When i was a kid, my mother would fry up a lot of sausage paddies then layer them in a crock and fill the crock with hot bacon grease or lard and when the grease hardened, it was put in the cellar til we needed it, one of us kids would go down every morn and dig out a few to warm up on the cook stove for breakfast. Almost everyone did the same thing and when someone in a family got sick it was never from maws food, it was always a bug going around or the (croup), whatever that is.today, these things are considered unsafe, yet, I still read about someone canning hotdogs,eggs,sausage
     
  15. Daegnus

    Daegnus Active Member

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    I usually just dehydrate my summer squash. Cut them into chips, much like you would bananas. Bag them up, vacuum seal, and you're good to go. The texture isn't QUITE as good as fresh once they're rehydrated in soups and the like, but the flavor isn't lost. I also tend to gorge myself on squash when its in season and coming out of my garden in bushels. I also grate a few down and store it in the freezer in bags in amounts used in my favorite zucchini/summer squash bread recipes.
     
  16. BadgeBunny

    BadgeBunny Well-Known Member

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    I can hardly wait to try this. My mom used to freeze all her summer squash (well, after she fed us fried squash every day, three times a day all summer :eek:) and I hated it.

    I am already trying to figure out the best way to shred zuchini and dry it for breads and muffins later.

    Have tried pickling some but haven't found a recipe that I like good enough to put up a ton of it ... YET ... lol
     
  17. MrSfstk8d

    MrSfstk8d Well-Known Member

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    Oh, I've made a squash relish/chutney kind of thing a few years ago. My wife really likes relish in her chili, and this was a great variation. Kept really well, but we'd used plants a bit too mature from end of season, so a bit seedy. Can't recall the recipe now, but as we'll be raising them again this year, I'm sure I'll dig it up again! I'll keep you updated, lol.
     
  18. sherldoe

    sherldoe Member

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    Things I have read regarding dehydrating squash say to blanch it first or outer skin will be a bit tough when rehydrated, but, yes, it can be done.

    I haven't tried summer squash yet.
     
  19. sherldoe

    sherldoe Member

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    Hey guys, just put it on the grill!! You can season it will all kinds of things, change up flavor and fake out entire family.... It's really good grilled in all kinds of ways. Doesn't take long, good for you and full of variety. Just one of those Texas things
     
  20. Jaspar

    Jaspar Well-Known Member

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    If you are canning yellow summer squash, take the skin off first. Zuchini cans better.

    I just freeze mine. It's a little mushy, but still pretty good when cooked.