Summer is all about the produce. And while we often use up all those fruits and vegetables the second they get home from the market (or picked from the garden), there's a foolproof way to bottle up all those bright seasonal flavors for later. Can them!
Through the magic of canning, you can preserve peak produce (and meats and seafood, too) and enjoy it later on. Bonus: It makes a fun weekend project the whole family can get in on.
Here are 11 of our best canning recipes—from fruity jams to tangy pickles—your future self will thank you for making. If you're new to the process, check out our trusty guide perfect for beginners, which you can apply to the end of any of these recipes (since not all of them include specific canning instructions).
1. Banana Jam
Jam is the easiest thing you can do with a bunch of overripe bananas. Stir it into oatmeal, smother it on toast, or mix it into banana bread batter for an extra banana-y kick.
The trick to these tangy-sweet, super-crisp zucchini pickles from The Zuni Cafe Cookbook: an ice-cold brine.
A classic strawberry jelly for capturing the fruit's peak-summer sweetness.
Make a big batch of these canned tomatoes toward the end of the summer, and enjoy all manner of bright, tomatoey dishes throughout the year.
This passed-down family recipe nails the balance of sweet and crisp, with just the right amount of sugar, spice, and vinegary tang.
This contest-winning tomato jam is all about the versatility—use it as a condiment for grilled meats or slather it on a baguette (it's hard to go wrong).
The best way to extend asparagus's short season? Pickle them in a zippy mix of white balsamic vinegar, fresh dill, garlic, crushed red chili flakes, sugar, and salt.
8. Melon Jam
This Sicilian jam welcomes all sorts of riffs—try adding vanilla or ginger, or for a bit of extra zing, lemon zest or juice.
9. Pickled Corn
A piece of advice if you're making this spicy pickled corn: Buy enough ingredients for an extra batch. "I made it once with fresh corn and it disappeared so fast that my remake had to use frozen," wrote one reviewer.
This raspberry jam once started a bidding war, so you know it's something special.
"You can vary the vegetables based on what you have on hand, but seek a variety," says Florence-based cookbook author Emiko. "The mixture of colors and flavors is one of the best parts of this preparation."