If you grow your own pumpkins (or even have some left over from Halloween), then it can be difficult to figure out what to do with them. However, it is well worth the little bit of effort to utilize those pumpkins, as they are full of vitamins, nutrients, and anti-oxidants, such as Vitamin A, Vitamin C, potassium, and beta-carotene; and not to mention, a great source of fiber!
One of the easiest things you can do with pumpkin is make your own Pumpkin Puree (see recipe below). Use this healthy puree to make pies, soups, or in your baked goods (such as breads or muffins).
And don’t let those Pumpkin Seeds go to waste – pull them out of the stringy pulp, and roast them with a little butter on a baking sheet at 375°F. They take about 20 minutes (but keep checking, as you don’t want them to burn). While they are still warm, season with some coarse salt – and enjoy!
Pickled Jalapeño Peppers
It is usually recommended that you wear gloves when working with hot peppers. Avoid touching your eyes!
- 10 cups Jalapeno Peppers, sliced into 1/8" thick slices (approx. 2-3 lbs.)
- 2.5 cups white Vinegar (5% acid)
- 2.5 cups Water
- 1 teaspoon coarse (pickling) Salt
- 7-8 whole Garlic Cloves, peeled
- Sterilize 1/2 pint (250 ml) canning jars, lids and rings.
- Meanwhile, put the vinegar and water into a medium saucepan, and heat until almost boiling.
- Put a pinch of the coarse salt, and one clove of garlic into the bottom of each prepared jar.
- Pack jalapeño slices into the jars - each jar should contain approx. 1.5 cups of the slices.
- Pour the hot vinegar mixture over the pepper slices in each jar, filling to 1/2" from the top.
- Carefully press the peppers down in the jars (a bit tricky to do, but just make sure they will not push up the lid).
- Wipe rims of jars with a clean, damp paper towel, place on lids, and tighten.
- These can be kept in the refrigerator for several weeks.
Or, to can your jalapeño peppers:
- Using a boiling water canner, fill with enough water to cover all jars, and bring to a boil. Canning jars and lids can be sterilized in the canner prior to using, or using your dishwasher.
- Place filled jars on rack in canner, and add additional boiling water if needed, to cover jars by at least one inch.
- Cover and bring water back to a full boil.
- Once the water is boiling begin timing.
- The peppers should be processed for 12 minutes.
- Turn off heat and leave jars in water for an additional 5 minutes.
- Remove jars with a jar lifter and let cool on the counter (I usually put mine on a towel).
- As the jars cool (usually over several hours), you will hear the lids "pop" as each seals.
- To check for seals, the lids should have popped down in the centre, and will not move when pressed.
- If any of your jars do not seal, you can put them in the fridge and use over the next couple of weeks.
- Jars should be labeled and dated, and kept in a cool, dark place.
- Typically, your home-canned goods should be eaten within a year.
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