This post is sponsored by Ball® Fresh Preserving Products however, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.
As my girls get older, it’s important to me to spend quality time together doing hands-on activities. The saying goes, “A picture is worth a thousand words, but the memories are priceless.” and I couldn’t agree more. There are so many times that my kids bring up memories of us doing things together over the last few years and I hope activities like canning and gifting our canned goods to our neighbors is a tradition they can continue as they grow older.
Canning has always intrigued me, but until this week, was something I had never tried. I decided to take the plunge into canning at home by starting with an easy maple pickled jalapeño recipe from Ball®.
Ball® is known for their iconic jars that have been around for 135 years. I actually use their jars as drinking glasses in my kitchen and am so glad I finally learned how to put their jars to even better use by canning my own foods.
Easy Pickled Jalapeño Recipe
To get started with this easy pickled jalapeño recipe, you’ll need four 16 oz. Ball® jars from Target. Keep an eye out for deals (Cartwheel, iBotta, etc) so you can stock up and save. For this recipe, I used their wide mouth jars with the SureTight™ label. They also have some super chic Ball® Aqua Vintage jars available to celebrate their 135th anniversary. I plan to grab some of these on my next trip to Target to use for gifts for people (and I’ll be sure to keep you in the loop if I create a new project with them.)
Because this was my first time canning, I started with the Ball® preserving starter kit. This kit comes with everything you need for this recipe (except for the pint-sized jars), plus a few extras for making jam. You can also find this kit at Target with your 16 oz. jars. I highly recommend you get this kit because it has the special canning tongs, trivet for inside the canning pot, measuring stick, and funnel that you need to safely handle the hot jars.
When canning, it’s important to make sure you read through all of the instructions carefully before beginning to ensure you take each step in order. Here are some dos and don’ts before you begin. Feel free to print out these dos and don’ts lists along with the recipe.
If you are working with really fragrant jalapeños, I recommend you use proper ventilation in your kitchen. I cracked my window and had my stove vent on while I cooked them.
You don’t have to use a “canning pot” to do water bath canning. You just have to have a pot that is tall enough to have your 1-2 inches of clearance.
As you can see when I put my full cans into my pot, the water was very close to the top. Since you don’t actually boil the water and just bring it to a simmer, it worked out to be okay once I put the lid on the pot.
Be sure to use a canning funnel (like the one from the preserving kit) so you don’t make a mess when ladling your jalapenos into the jars.
Don’t forget to use your measuring tool to make sure you have 1/2 clearance at the top of your jars.
I wasn’t too sure how I would like the maple flavor in this recipe, but it’s surprisingly really good. It’s sort of a salty/sweet/spicy combo that would be really good in a homemade chili recipe or even on hotdogs. Next time I would like to try to pickle jalapeños and carrots together or even green beans for Bloody Marys.
Free Neighbor Printable
As you can see above, it’s adorable to add a little printable gift tag to your pickled jalapeños if you are giving them as a gift. I used sticky paper for my gift tags so I can stick them right on the jars. Just right click and save the image and print according to the size you need.
Don’t Forget to Make Memories
Canning is a great opportunity to teach your kids a timeless preservation method. Since the peppers and cans are hot, you can handle the canning process and let them help with the decorating. They can even choose what to preserve. Maybe we’ll also try a homemade strawberry jam recipe — our favorite!