Monday, October 8, 2012

Canning Sweet Potatoes

Updated September 2019

One of my favorite all-time "veggies" is the Sweet Potato!  We grow ours in a small 8'x2'x20" deep raised bed garden and always get a pretty good yield for the 2 of us ... with a few to share with family of course.  Sweet potatoes are one of my oldest grandson's favorites! So gather up your sweet potatoes and get canning ... I only had a small amount to pressure can this year, so what I had yielded 5 wide-mouth pint jars.

Wash potatoes and boil or steam until partially soft (15 to 20 minutes). Remove skins. Cut medium potatoes, if needed, so that pieces are uniform in size. Caution: Do not mash or puree pieces. I prefer to cut them into large "coins" or thick slices/chunks.

Fill jars, leaving 1-inch head space. Add 1 teaspoon salt per quart to the jar, if desired. Cover with your choice of fresh boiling water or syrup, leaving 1-inch head space.

Note - I only use hot water and salt most of the time so the sweet potatoes can be used in a variety of ways, such as mashed with butter. If using a syrup I would choose the "very light" or "light." Of course, that's personal preference and certainly up to you. Canned sweet potatoes are very soft and best used when mashing for sweet potato souffle, baked in sweet bread, or other similar dishes.

Syrups for Canning Fruit/Sweet Potatoes

Adding syrup to canned fruit/sweet potatoes helps to retain their flavor, color, and shape. It does not prevent the spoilage of these foods. The guidelines for preparing and using syrups (Table 1) offer a new "very light" syrup, which approximates the natural sugar content of many fruits. The sugar content in each of the five syrups is increased by about 10 percent. Quantities of water and sugar to make enough syrup for a canner load of pints or quarts are provided for each syrup type.

Heat water and sugar together. Bring to a boil and pour over raw fruits/sweet potatoes in jars. For hot packs, bring water and sugar to boil, add fruit, reheat to boil, and fill into jars immediately.

Table 1. Preparing and using syrups.
Measures of Water and Sugar
Syrup Type Approx. % Sugar For 9-Pt Load (1) For 7-Qt Load Fruits Commonly packed in syrup (2)
Cups Water Cups Sugar Cups Water Cups Sugar
Very Light 10 6-1/2 3/4 10-1/2 1-1/4 Approximates natural sugar levels in most fruits and adds the fewest calories.
Light 20 5-3/4 1-1/2 9 2-1/4 Very sweet fruit. Try a small amount the first time to see if your family likes it.
Medium 30 5-1/4 2-1/4 8-1/4 3-3/4 Sweet apples, sweet cherries, berries, grapes.
Heavy 40 5 3-1/4 7-3/4 5-1/4 Tart apples, apricots, sour cherries, gooseberries, nectarines, peaches, pears, plums.
Very Heavy 50 4-1/4 4-1/4 6-1/2 6-3/4 Very sour fruit. Try a small amount the first time to see if your family likes it.
  1. This amount is also adequate for a 4-quart load.
  2. Many fruits that are typically packed in heavy syrup are excellent and tasteful products when packed in lighter syrups. It is recommended that lighter syrups be tried, since they contain fewer calories from added sugar.

Adjust lids and process following the recommendations in Table 1 and Table 2.

Table 1. Recommended process time for Sweet Potatoes in a dial-gauge pressure canner.
Canner Pressure (PSI) at Altitudes of
Style of Pack Jar Size Process Time 0-2,000 ft 2,001-4,000 ft 4,001-6,000 ft 6,001-8,000 ft
Hot Pints 65 min 11 lb 12 lb 13 lb 14 lb
Quarts 90 11 12 13 14

Table 2. Recommended process time for Sweet Potatoes in a weighted-gauge pressure canner.
Canner Pressure (PSI) at Altitudes of
Style of Pack Jar Size Process Time 0-1,000 ft Above 1,000 ft
Hot Pints 65 min 10 lb 15 lb
Quarts 90 10 15

Reference National Center for Home Food Preservation


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