Canning jars can be used for many purposes: to can and store foods, to combine ingredients to create meals, salad dressings, or marinades; as serving containers; and to store and organize any number of small household goods such as buttons, pens and pencils, spices and oils. The uses are just about endless and are only limited within the bounds of your imagination.
I enjoy making jams and jellies as well as canning pickles, so these are the ways I most often use canning jars. But, I also have one that I keep spools of thread and sewing needles in for quick access to materials to mend garments and stuffed animals that develop holes with repeated use.
Canning jars make great gift receptacles for many types of small gifts. Not only do you minimize waste since wrapping paper or gift bags aren’t required, but you can use other small and simple things to dress it up such as ribbon, twine, and/or a gift tag. This minimalist approach allows you to let the gift itself (rather than the wrapping) take center stage. In addition, gift recipients can keep the jar to re-use in their own home in any way that is useful to them.
I’m going to show you two ways that I like to use canning jars utilizing the new Ball® Collection Elite Design Series Sharing Jars. First, I’m going to use one to combine the ingredients to make a delicious fall drink using Mocha Chameleon Cold-Brew Coffee. Then, I will illustrate how I use them to make gift-worthy food items, like the Spiced Pear Butter I recently made, that are great gifted on their own or as an item in a larger gift basket to friends, family, co-workers and acquaintances alike.
Many simple and tasty drink concoctions can be quickly and easily made in a canning jar with a few ingredients from your refrigerator and pantry. I like using these jars for this purpose rather than one of those fancy drink shakers because the lids screw on and stay put while shaking drink ingredients to combine them.
I have a drink shaker and use it on occasion but if I’m not paying full attention to what I’m doing, it’s not hard for the lid to come loose. The next thing I know my delicious drink is splattering everywhere except where it belongs, in my mouth.
Plus, you can serve your fabulous drink creation right from the jar straight to your guests (or yourself, ya know). I’ve never in my life served a drink straight from a fancy shaker, it always gets poured into a glass first and who needs all those extra dishes to clean later, right?
One of my favorite ways to drink coffee is over ice or chilled. I only really drink hot coffee in the wintertime when it’s cold out and the chill gets me right down to my bones. Cold-brew coffee is awesome because it allows me to get my caffeine fix all year round no matter what the weather is doing outside.
Since, it’s fall and spiced drinks are everywhere I decided to share the Chameleon Cold-Brew Pumpkin Spice Latte recipe. It’s delicious hot or cold, so gather the ingredients and make it with me. (Note: Sorry, I forgot to get the ground cloves out for the ingredient picture, but I did remember in time to add it to the recipe as I made it.)
Canning jams, jellies, and fruit butters is a great way to utilize in-season fruit and make their delicious flavors last well into the cold winter months when fresh fruit isn’t as readily available (and is more expensive if you can find it).
Canning whole or sliced fruit is one way to do it, but one of my favorite snacks is toasted bread so recipes like this Spiced Pear Butter are ones I enjoy making to dress it up for extra flavor.
Experienced home canners will no doubt have already noticed the beautiful new geometric shape of these Sharing Jars. They also have elongated necks that make adding embellishments like ribbons and gift tags even easier for gift giving. I love that! They also feature BPA-free jars, lids, and bands that are made in the USA.
Newell Brands®, makers of Ball® Fresh Preserving Products, have also partnered with Feeding America® – the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization – to donate four meals for every package of sharing jars sold. Companies that give back to the community is such a kind gesture that always makes me feel good when purchasing their products.
Ball® Brand Fresh Preserving Products by Newell Brands recently celebrated the 7th Annual Can-It Forward Day. This event is intended to bring experienced as well as beginning canners together to honor home canning as a way to bring people together while preserving seasonal foods and flavors. It’s also intended to show those who may be intimidated by the canning process that it’s really a fun and easy process.
Unfortunately I missed this event and didn’t get my hot little hands on these awesome sharing jars until October. But, you can find the videos from the Can It Forward Facebook event on the Ball® Canning & Recipes FB Page. Recipes featured in this video series were:
- Saturday, August 5: Corn and Cherry Tomato Salsa
- Wednesday, August 9: Mixed Berry Jam
- Wednesday, August 16: Bread & Butter Pickled Beets and Sweet Pickled Radishes
- Wednesday, August 23: Siracha Ketchup & Habanero Apricot Jelly
Even though summer is over and it’s technically fall now, you can still spend quality time canning and preserving. While using farm fresh, straight from the garden foods is awesome and healthy, you can still make these recipes using produce purchased at your local grocery store any time of year that they are available. It’s all good!
Do you can foods in order to enjoy the seasonal flavors all year round? Or are you interested in learning how to do it? Which Can It Forward video tutorial is your favorite?
And when it comes to fall coffee drink flavors, which is the one you look forward to every year? Mine is Mocha Peppermint and I love a steaming mug (or to-go cup) of it when it’s chilly outside! Visit Chameleon Cold-Brew’s Recipes Page and share with us which concoction you’re looking forward to brewing up!
Share your favorites (or let us know which ones you’d like to try out) and let’s have a conversation!
Connect with/purchase Ball® Collection Elite Design Series Sharing Jars:
Connect with/purchase Mocha Chameleon Cold-Brew Coffee:
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