Canning Organic Plum Juice

My favorite things to can are fruit.  I love eating home canned fruit over cottage cheese, pies from my canned fruit pie fillings on a cold winter day, slathering fruit jellies and jams on my toast, or drinking fruit juice over ice, in smoothies or as a sweetener in tea!  I know my fruit comes from organic sources (usually my own trees or bushes) and if I add a sweetener I add very little organic sugar or honey, so the food is as healthy as possible.How to can fruit juice Our Santa Rosa Plum tree always seems to produce more plums than we can consume. Between making Plum Butter, Plum Cobbler, Plum jelly and Plum Sauce, I still can’t use up all the plums. And now my neighbors pretend they aren’t home anymore when we walk up with yet another bag of plums! 😉

So, with all the extra plums this year, I decided to make some sunny plum juice and can it with very little sugar. Canning juiced plums

I inherited an Oster Juicer from my father a few years ago.  I don’t really think he ever used it, but he inherited the juicer from his mother, who used it a lot!  The juicer is old (1980’s) but still works very well.  Rather than cook the plums to make them release all the juice, I decided to try using the juicer.

How to can plum juiceDear hubby Ray volunteered (yes, yes he did!) to help wash and pit the plums, while I fed them through the juicer.  This machine lets a lot of the pulp through, along with the juice, which I don’t mind.  After all, that’s where all of the fiber is! We worked in tandem, Ray pitting and me juicing, until we had enough juice to fill five quart jars plus some.  Once we got a rhythm going, it didn’t take long. After we had all the juice we wanted for this batch, I added 1 teaspoon of organic sugar for each quart (Santa Rosa Plums can be quite tart), then heated the juice up on the stove until it reached 180 degrees, and kept it at that temperature for 5 minutes. This pasteurizes the juice and makes sure there aren’t any harmful pathogens in the juice. Don’t boil the juice – that’s not necessary and breaks down too many of the nutrients! Also, I was using the hot pack method (which is the safest when canning juice) and so I needed the juice to be hot.Making organic plum juice and then canning it

To prepare the jars, I like to fill them to the brim with hot water and place them all in the microwave.  Microwave just until the water boils, and then leave the jars in the microwave until you are ready for them.  This sterilizes the jars and keeps them piping hot while you are preparing the juice!

Now, pour the hot juice into hot jars.

It used to be that when you made jams or jellies or hot packed fruits and juices, it was okay not to finish processing in a water bath canner.  The thought was that if you inverted the hot liquid for just a few seconds onto the jar lid, it would be sterilized, and the heat from the fruit and/or juice itself would be sufficient enough to form a good seal.  Well, that’s not the case anymore.  Now it is recommended that everything canned go through the recommended amount of time in a water bath canner (unless, of course, you are canning low acid foods which need to be pressure canned).  That’s okay with me since I realized  that canning outside on a cool morning is a very enjoyable task.  I use my turkey fryer that my husband and I received for Christmas (thanks Matt and Wendy) several years ago.  It’s great for water bath canning, and my new pressure canner also fits into the base! Water Bath Canning Plum Juice

Once your hot jars are packed with the hot juice, you have placed your hot lids on with the screw band, place them in a hot water bath canner and process both pints and quarts for 15 minutes.

That’s it!  Done!  Now the juice is ready for a cold winter morning.  Or, perhaps a hot summer day over ice!  Of course, it’s also great in a smoothie or added to iced tea as a sweetener and flavor enhancer.  I will be canning several more batches of this plum juice in the coming week.  I just hate seeing the plums fall to the ground and go to waste, and this is a much better solution.Using a juicer to can plum juice

And now our neighbors might speak to us again! 😉

How to can juiceSo – what do you do with all of that left-over plum pulp?  Well, you can feed it to your chickens or hogs – they would love it.  Or, you could make delicious plum butter!  I found a great way to make plum butter in the crockpot.  It is easy to do and tastes soooo  good.  For the recipe and instructions on how to make Crock Pot Plum Butter – CLICK HERE


Thought for the day:  Be kind to our earth, ourselves and each other – eat healthy food! Have a wonderful day!


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19 thoughts on “Canning Organic Plum Juice

  1. You have been a busy lady! I have beets calling me my name. We love pickled beets and they are on the agenda in the next couple of days. Thanks for sharing with SYC.

    • Thanks, I’m glad my instructions are fairly easy to understand. BTW – make both! First extract the juice, then with the left over pulp make the plum butter! Waste not, want not 🙂

    • Thanks, Rachel! Canning outside has become a wonderful relaxing time for me now! All the work of canning is pretty much done once everything is in the canner, so while it processes, I just sit back with a good book. Thanks for hosting Green Thumb Thursday!

  2. We had gallons of plums one year from a cousin and made 15 pint boxes of plum jam! What a 2 day process…. Changing it up a bit with juice like this would have been wonderful. Thanks for the great ideas 🙂

    • Good evening! Wow – that’s a lotta plum jam! 😀 I’ll tell you a secret – we like the plum juice so much I’m not sure any of it is going to make it to the wintertime! That’s okay, because we will be canning apple juice in another month or two. I appreciate that you took the time to comment – thanks!

  3. I’ve got about 95 pounds of plums from our tree to start processing. I am definitely going to can some juice. I wonder if my hubby will volunteer as yours did? Doubtful, but one can always hope. ~Tilly

    • 😀 Let me tell you, I think my hubby enjoyed helping me in the kitchen! He understands the need for food preservation, especially while we will be living in our little trailer with a very small refrigerator while our house is being built. Maybe this will light a fire under his butt and he will get our food dehydrator built! 😉 95 pounds is a lotta plums, but I know you can make good use of every pound. Thanks for the visit, Tilly!

  4. Good morning, Vickie! I hope it is as lovely a day there as it is here today. I couldn’t find a place to email you directly so I figured here was as good a place as any. 🙂 Do you have a grape juice recipe that you would email and share with me? I have some concerns about my own recipe and wanted to maybe “talk” with you about it. Thank you!

    • Hello, Sharon! I used to can grape juice with my grandma, though the canning “rules” have changed quite a bit since then. I am going to e-mail you so you can e-mail me back, then we can talk! 😀

  5. Hello, you may not be answering these but do you have to put sugar in the juice? I have a lot of plums this year but do not have the time to make jelly. Could I just can without the sugar and use to make jam later?

    • You do not need sugar to can juice, and it is better for you if you don’t! As far as making jelly later… I think it will work, but I am really not so sure if canning would effect the jelling ability of the juice. That being said, I have heard of people using canned concord grape juice to make grape jelly. I would certainly try it and see what happens! Have a great day!