Those of you who have been PMing me, you know that I have been canning like mad because my garden has been exceptionally productive. So far I have harvested 52 pounds of tomatoes, 37 pounds of cucumbers, 12 pounds of carrots, 3 quarts of strawberries, 2-1/2 pounds of basil, 1 pounds of oregano and 12 ounces of thyme. Plus my mom brought home four flats of blueberries, and one flat each of blackberries and raspberries which were being given away at the local senior center.
All this from one 4x10 foot and one 3x6 foot raised bed.
I purchased a pressure canner and have been using it with great gusto, procesing 95 jars so far. Now this is good because my mom has dietary restrictions
Today, I decided to experiment a bit, which I am wont to do wen it comes to food. I was trying to finish pickling the last of my cucumbers. I love sweet pickles and “bread and butter” pickles and so does my mom. However, as she has to be careful about her sugar intake, I wanted to try something different. I have successfully made sugar-free berry preserves and jam so that is something my mom can enjoy. She also has to watch her salt and I am able to make very low salt stewed tomatoes, tomato sauce and pasta sauce.
I have also developed my own baking recipes for sugar-free pastries using Splenda. Splenda is a great substitute for sugar and nearly always cooks exactly like sugar.
Except when trying to make pickles. :eek:
After adding all the dry ingredients, including a couple of cups of Splenda, I poured the vinegar into the pot to make the sweet pickle solution. As soon as the vinegar hit the Splenda, it started foaming just like it was baking soda. There was no way I was going to let the result of this chemical reaction come into contact with food, let alone eat it. I let this chemical reaction finish, then poured it down the sink. It created some kind of filmy particulate.
Anyway, Splenda is great for baking. It works very well as a general sweetener. However, do not use it for pickling or anything else where vinegar is an ingredient.