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Old 08-20-2011, 04:52 PM   #1
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Pickles and preserves

Thanks to everyone who gave me great suggestions for preserving and pickling all my tomatoes and cucumbers. I just put up 18 pints of "14-day pickles" using a combo of erythritol, xylitol, splenda, and gums for the sugar free and of course making a few pints for my die-hard sugar dedicated relatives!



My garden decided to explode, finally, with lots of tomatoes, and I am getting ready to put up tomato sauce and soup.
It's hard to chop up these big guys, but I've given away all that folks will take...


and there are all of these still to deal with. Think I might do some more tomato jam instead of putting up tomatoes and sauce only. Any suggestions?


I think I will plan a cruise for next summer, and forget the garden...
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Old 08-20-2011, 07:04 PM   #2
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I am busily canning away and would love your recipes. So far I have just substituted splenda for sugar. Today I made okra and watermelon rind pickles, bell pepper relish and watermelon jelly along with trying new recipes for preserving basil.needless to say my poor feet are tired!
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Old 08-21-2011, 12:00 PM   #3
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Great pics.

I have heard of green tomato pickles, but never tried them.

At the local fair they have here, some lady sells lots of jars of pickles that she calls Christmas pickles. They have red hots in them. Sorry, I don't know if that's the actual name of them but people go nuts for them and she sells out every year in just a couple of hours. I never got there early enough to buy any.

I know that's not LC, but great for gift giving....unless they might have red hot cinnamon sugar free hard candy now?

Good luck with all the canning and pickling and preserving.
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Old 08-21-2011, 12:11 PM   #4
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Great pics.

I have heard of green tomato pickles, but never tried them.

At the local fair they have here, some lady sells lots of jars of pickles that she calls Christmas pickles. They have red hots in them. Sorry, I don't know if that's the actual name of them but people go nuts for them and she sells out every year in just a couple of hours. I never got there early enough to buy any.

I know that's not LC, but great for gift giving....unless they might have red hot cinnamon sugar free hard candy now?

Good luck with all the canning and pickling and preserving.
By red hots do you mean the candies? Interesting idea! I thought about putting in some red cayenne peppers, but didn't have any on hand. That would be pretty and since I like spicy, it would be yummy, too!
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Old 08-21-2011, 12:21 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by libbysmom View Post
I am busily canning away and would love your recipes. So far I have just substituted splenda for sugar. Today I made okra and watermelon rind pickles, bell pepper relish and watermelon jelly along with trying new recipes for preserving basil.needless to say my poor feet are tired!
Good luck with all of your preserving! Sounds like you have a lot of great things going on. Let me know what ways of preserving basil you come up with -- I'm not much of a pesto person, so would love some other ideas. Was your watermelon jelly sugar free? If so, how did it work with Splenda?

Here's the proportions of vinegar/sweetener that I used for making 12 pints of pickles:
6 cups vinegar
2 cups erythritol
1/3 cup sugar free honey (maltitol syrup)
1 cup xylitol (Ideal)
1/2 tsp EzSweetz (equivalent to 2 cups sugar)
3 tsp not-sugar left over from years past. I would add xanthan gum otherwise

these may not be as sweet as I will want them to be, but I was trying for a good synergy of sweeteners that would not have an artificial taste. I figure that I can add a drop or two of Sweetzfree when I open the jar, if I want them sweeter.

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Old 08-21-2011, 03:16 PM   #6
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I found the recipes for basil on the internet. I had tons so I tried basil chopped in the food processor with enough olive oil to keep the leaves moving and then froze in ice cubes trays. Took a pint jar and alternated layers of basil leaves and salt and when the jar is full add olive oil to cover. The recipe says it will keep for months and to use as you would fresh in recipes. I haven't tried either before and only time will tell, but they look good today.

I used splenda in the watermelon jelly and will post the recipe later. It is very light and delicate and I bet in January with 2 feet of snow on the ground it will be heavenly on a biscuit ( Lauren's almond flour ). I use splenda and the Ball no or low sugar pectin for all of my jams and jellies and they have all been great so far! I've made green pepper, blackberry, and watermelon jelly and peach jam and I have red raspberry juice and strawberries in the freezer to make when things have slowed down.

Oh, last year I made Amish Green Tomato Relish that I LOVE! I think I found it on All About.com and used splenda in place of sugar. I'll post that as well.
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Old 08-21-2011, 03:47 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by dianafoot View Post
By red hots do you mean the candies? Interesting idea! I thought about putting in some red cayenne peppers, but didn't have any on hand. That would be pretty and since I like spicy, it would be yummy, too!
Yeppers, the candy. But there might be a sugarfree alternative of some kind. I don't buy much candy so I don't know what all is available out there that is LC.
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Old 08-21-2011, 03:51 PM   #8
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If you gals grow too many zucchini or yellow squash or any summer squash, you can make squash pickles using Diana's recipe, but substitute squash for the cucumber. One year I made pickles from both yellow and zucchini and then I pickled baby carrots with basically the same recipe. My recipe wasn't the same as Diana's, but it was similar and they all turned out good. I also did pickled onions and they were good too. I added whole mustard seed to the onions when I did them.

It's been a while since I did any pickling/canning, but I used to do it every year. For the squash pickles, no one believed that the zucchini weren't cucumbers...the taste was spot on.
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Old 08-21-2011, 04:50 PM   #9
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I opened the first jar of sugar free pickles today (a week before they were suggested to be opened). They were wonderful! Since I did not do the pickling spices in an enclosed wrap -- (tea ball, cheesecloth, etc.) they are loose in the pickling juice in each jar. This is the way my mother and grandmother did it, but I think the spices are really strong done this way. I am going to pour off the liquid each time I open a jar, and strain out the spices, so that I won't be chompind down on a clove or allspice every time I eat a pickle! Otherwise, this recipe is everything I remember from having home-grown pickles as a child.
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Old 08-21-2011, 04:55 PM   #10
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They look absolutly wonderful . Diana.

I'm busy also canning away.
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Old 08-22-2011, 06:00 PM   #11
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You can take the leftover juice from the pickles and add a couple of cucumbers and overnight you will have spicier tasting cucumber. I always peel the cucumbers first but I do this all the time.
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Old 08-22-2011, 07:11 PM   #12
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Nigel, that is a good idea! I am still getting 4-5 cucumbers a day, and it seems unreasonable to waste them. I'll do some quick refrigerator pickles every couple of days, using leftover pickle juice... I did pour off the juice from my first jar, save it, toss the spices and repack the pickles with the juice and a couple of drops of sweetzfree to sweeten them a little more. They are so good! I am keeping careful notes on how to do all of this, so next year, they will be sweet, have just enough spice, and be indistiguishable from my grandmother's famous 14-day pickles.

Last edited by dianafoot; 08-22-2011 at 07:18 PM..
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Old 09-24-2011, 05:07 PM   #13
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I have just finished eating the fourth jar of pickles I put up last month. Too bad the 12 jars won't last through the winter! I still have about 20 nice cucumbers (still coming in daily) to make into pickles and I think they will be quick refrigerator ones, not 14-day pickles.
Here is what I did for traditional 14-day pickles. I would add quite a bit more sweetener next time, but it works just fine to add the sweetener to taste upon opening the new jar of pickles.

Here's the proportions of vinegar/sweetener that I used for making 12 pints of pickles:
6 cups vinegar
2 cups erythritol
1/3 cup sugar free honey (maltitol syrup)
1 cup xylitol (Ideal)
1/2 tsp EzSweetz (equivalent to 2 cups sugar)
3 tsp not-sugar left over from years past. I would add xanthan gum otherwise

these may not be as sweet as I will want them to be, but I was trying for a good synergy of sweeteners that would not have an artificial taste. I figure that I can add a drop or two of Sweetzfree when I open the jar, if I want them sweeter.

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