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Part of putting up our own food means putting up our own condiments as well–this includes our salad dressings.
Vinaigrettes are my favorite salad dressings, and although they are time consuming, they are well worth having in your pantry–especially if you grow your own salad ingredients all winter long (in an inside garden, of course).
You will need:
- Canning supplies
- Plastic or Stainless steel bowl
- Plastic wrap
- Kitchen scale
- Glass measuring cup
- Large cooking pot
Make sure you will have time set aside in the morning the next day to finish this project before you start. It’s not a quick project, but it is fairly simple.
Wash and hull all the strawberries you will want to make vinaigrette with. I had about 7 pounds when they had been processed. Put your prepared strawberries on your scale. Write down the weight.
You will need 1/5 as much vinegar as you have strawberries. (For example, if you use 5 pounds of prepared strawberries, you will need 1 pound of vinegar. Here is the kitchen scale I use.)
Put your strawberries and vinegar together in your bowl. I used a large stainless steel stock pot for this. Cover with plastic wrap and leave over night. If you plan to throw your strawberries away, go ahead and mush them down a bit. If you’d like to use them when you’re done, just pack them down tightly.
In the morning, make sure you have all your supplies ready, and drain the liquid off your strawberries. You can use cheesecloth over a bowl, or, I balanced a colander over a large bowl so I still had access to the strawberries.
Have your water bath canner ready, but not boiling.
Start preparing your 8 oz. jars, lids, and rings. I figure I’ll need one jar for every pound of strawberries I started with.
While your jars are boiling, measure your liquid. For this example, I had a tad over 4 cups.
Add up to an equal amount of sugar to the fluid and put them in a pan. Heat just under medium heat until sugar totally dissolves. I never boil it. I just keep stirring until my jars are ready.
Very carefully clean the tops of your jars with a clean cloth. I use a slightly damp hot cloth. Do not neglect this step. All that sugar makes for a sticky mixture, and if not cleaned off, will affect your seal.
Place your lids on your jars, and then your rings.
Using your jar lifter, place your jars into the canner, and then turn your heat up to reach your rolling boil. Once you’ve reached boiling, process for 10 minutes, plus your adjustment for altitude.
Altitude Increase Processing Time
1001-3000 ft 5 minutes
3001-6000 10 minutes
6001-8000 15 minutes
8001-10000 20 minutes
For an altitude just under 6000 ft. we process for 20 minutes.
Let set overnight and then check lids for seal. If you have one that doesn’t seal, immediately place in the refrigerator and use within 2 weeks. All other jars should be cleaned, and left to dry completely before replacing rings (if you want).
Shake before opening and keep in the refrigerator once opened.
How I Used The Strawberries
While my jars were boiling, I quickly sliced up all 7 pounds of strawberries as I normally would to dehydrate them. Since they soaked overnight, they didn’t slice easily and evenly like they normally would. That’s okay. I wasn’t concerned.
These strawberries filled my dehydrator completely. Most of them I just left as they were. The vinegar mostly dehydrated out. These just tasted like regularly dehydrated strawberries, only with a little bite. I stored these separately and use on salads with the vinaigrette. They are great complements.
A few of the strawberries I “seasoned” a bit and put up separate from the regular dehydrated strawberries as well. These are strawberry chip snacks (kind of like salt & vinegar potato chips–only with strawberries).
3 Ways To Use The Entire 7 Pounds of Strawberries
- Dehydrated salad strawberries
- Strawberry chip snacks
Looking for other ways to store your strawberries? See also: