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Saturday, October 13, 2012

The Glorious Sweet Potato~Easy Canning

As a child I loved it when my mom or grandmother would serve candied sweet potatoes.  They were baked in the oven and covered in marshmallows.  Yum! Now as an adult (and mom) I appreciate these orange beauties for what they really are: a nutritional powerhouse.

Sweet potatoes are a wonderful source of the B vitamins, iron, manganese, potassium, Vitamin A, Vitamin C and iron. They also are full of antioxidants and cancer-fighting agents and their low glycemic index make them a healthy choice for diabetics. Because of their anti-inflammatory properties, I love them because they help me when having a really bad fibromyalgia day.

We grew sweet potatoes for the first time this year and I am happy at our harvest.  Wanting to preserve them for as long as possible, I decided to can most of them.  I got these canning instructions from PickYourOwn.org, and I recommend you head over there for lots more tips and info.

Here are some of our sweet potatoes. The plants were purchased at a local farm supply store, so I don't know their "beginnings", but they were grown and harvested completely organically. I must say, I was surprised at how much bigger they were than those I've bought at the grocery. Some of them were HUGE!

Canning Instructions:

*Wash potatoes and cut off any "tails" (some are pictured above).
*Fill a large pot with water, bring to a boil.
*Cut the potatoes (skins on) to a manageable size for your pot. Mine were too big to put in whole, so I cut them into chunks.
*Cook the potatoes in the boiling water for around 20 minutes, or until slightly tender.
*Get your pressure canner ready while potatoes are cooking. Fill the canner with about 4-6 inches of water and get it heating up (lid off) so it will be ready to use.
* Drain and peel.
*Cut into smaller chunks, to fit nicely into your jars.
*Prepare your syrup.  After filling your jars, you will need to "top them off" with a sugar syrup. PickYourOwn.org (link above) has some wonderful recipes. I used 8 cups of hot water and 4 cups of sugar, in a sauce pan, heat and stir until dissolved. Keep hot. You may want to prepare this while your potatoes are cooking or cooling just enough to make them easy to handle while peeling.
*Fill your jars. The above syrup recipe was enough for 6 quart jars.
*Add syrup to jars (to fill line, or right below where the canning ring sits)
*Add lids and rings.
*Add jars to pressure canner; can at 10 pounds pressure for 90 minutes. I have the kind of canner with a weighted gauge; PickYourOwn.org has instructions for the dial gauged-kind.

There you go!  Glorious sweet potatoes to fill your pantry.  I like to bake them in the oven with butter and a little bit of brown sugar. How do you serve your sweet potatoes?


  1. I have a pressure canner I just got this year. My problem is that all the recipes for canning any vegi calls for long canning times. Isn't 90 minutes a long time? Do the potatoes come out mushy?

  2. 90 minutes does seem like a long time, doesn't it? This is my first time canning sweet potatoes, and I have not opened a jar yet to eat any. My guess is they are simply cooked, and cooked potatoes are a little mushy, but not gooey. I have canned regular potatoes before and they came out wonderfully. How long you cook them on the stove during prep would affect the canning results as well, I would think. When cooking on the stove, cook them just until they begin to get tender and easily pierced with a fork. Sorry I can't be much help at this time. I'll open up a jar soon and let you know.

  3. We just peeled our sweet potatoes and did not pre-cook them. We only pressure cooked at 11 lbs for 35 minutes. We opened a jar today and they taste great but are REALLY mushy! Can't imagine how they would have been pre cooked then pressured for 90 minutes...
    We have half a case yet to process and are unsure what to do.

  4. What about not precooking the sweet potatoes? You will cook them when you open them anyway, right? It seems that it would eliminate the mush factor. Any comments, yea or nay? I've never canned potatoes...

  5. According to my Kerr Canning book: Wash, boil or steam for 20 minutes and remove skins. Cut in medium pieces, or leave small one whole.

    Dry Pack: Pack into jars without the addition of liquid, to within 1 inch of top. Put on cap, screw band firmly tight. Process at 10 pounds pressure Pints--65 minutes, Quarts--95 minutes.
    Wet Pack: Pack into jars to within 1 inch of top. Fill to within 1 inch of top of jar with BOILING water, medium or heavy syrup. Put on cap, screw band firmly tight. Process at 10 pounds pressure. Pints-- 55 minutes, quarts--90 minutes.